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Why Do We Watch Movies?

animated_slideMy thoughts on Movies

We are currently in a sermon series where we are using animated movies as parables.  We are taking the storyline and seeing how it can be used to preach the gospel and illustrating where the storyline deviates from the authentic message of scripture.  Why?  Why not just stick to other storylines?  Well, millions of people are shaped by movies. Movies seems to be the mainstream voice of the culture today.  Instead of just ‘preaching against’ movies, I think it is very eye-opening to see ‘innocent’ movies picked apart and illustrate how the message makes a difference.  The biggest risk is that we take the message of redemption (almost all box office hits are stories of redemption) from movies and apply them to scriptures.  We often get a tainted or skewed picture of Jesus’ gospel if we use modern cultures version of redemption.

Here are some bulleted thoughts I have on watching movies:

  • Movies can cause us to sin immediately. Porn and even mainstream movies could lead to you to actual/literal sin.
  • Movies show us what we are entertained by.  You can step back from a movie and say, “that disgusted me. I don’t want to watch that type of movie.”  You can step back and say I liked to be entertained by that. Wholesome movies are encouraging.  However, it should be convicting to you if the entertainment came from activities that nailed Jesus to the cross.  In other words, if you are entertained (amused or thrilled) by sinful activities, then that reveals where your heart might be or might be headed…a bad place.
  • Movies can show us the gospel AND what is not the gospel if we go into the viewing with a firm grip on what the gospel really is.  We can be entertained and at the same time learn and distinguish what is correct and not correct about the storyline of the movie.

How do I determine what movie I will watch?

Erica and I have set up boundaries to help our movie watching decisions.  It is laborious to review movies one by one and find out if the movie will violate our conscious or cause us to sin.  It is a waste of time/money to begin watching a movie that disgusts us and we eventually turn it off or leave the theater (we go to theaters some).  A very easy way to get a quick, easy review is www.kidsinmind.com.  This website reviews movies on 3 criteria: sexual content, violence/gore, and language.  It gives a number rating for each of these categories.  Depending on your background and culture, you should determine what movies are appropriate for you and your family. As for our house hold, our general max rating in these categories are: sexual content 3, violence/gore 7, and Language 4.  There are exceptions to these boundaries on rare occations.  For example, sometimes we watch movies for educational purposes in order to learn a sub-culture.  We have to sit through things mostly language and violence that we wouldn’t normally sit through.  An example of this would be: The Passion of the Christ.

What are your thoughts? How do you determine what you watch?

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