"But I really like popcorn!"

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James Ashworth

Inactive User
I was wondering if you could share your thoughts about Christians watching films (in particular, those that contain profanities, violence, sex etc).

Within my church there has been a big uproar lately about some people going to see the Matrix. Now as Christians, if we do something that genuinely offends our fellow believers, for the sack of Christian fellowship, we should refrain from that thing. In this instance, some young people within the Church were confused as to what was right and what was wrong in regards to watching movies, and the fact that a bunch of people from the Church had arranged to go caused confusion. So, the issue was brought before an elder and the person arranging the event was asked to cancel it.

This event preceded (and was fuelled by) a lengthy email concerning the disrespectful Christian-undertones of the Matrix and the worldliness of film going in general.

Being fully aware of the MASSIVE potential dangers of worldliness creeping into the Church and the lure it has over our own personal lives, do you think we are compromising by going to watch such movies (as mentioned above)?
...Some would even say watching movies altogether but for now we'll just talk about these.

What shall we say then?
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
Rent the DVD, watch it in the privacy of your on home with your spouse, fast forward past the pornographic parts, and only talk about the movie with like-minded Christians.

There is no need to flaunt our liberty in Christ. Also, some younger Christians and younger people, may lack discretion. Why put stumbling block before them when you can simply view these movies privately.

Right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

Perhaps, the church could host a movie night, so someone who has seen it can edit the bad stuff. Then there could be an open discussion of the film afterwards. Questions could be raised about the film's world-view, system of morality, and how it reflects or influences our culture.

Television is getting to be just a s graphic as a rated R movie these days. We will have to be more and more careful in the coming days regarding what we watch on the TUBE.

We are not going to be perfect either. I have watched a few films and TV shows that I have regretted, and needed to repent of. God knows our hearts, how easily they can be enticed by these forms of entertainment.

For some people, total abstinence is easier to achieve, than perfect moderation (Augustine). But not all forms of entertainment are wrong. There are some very good movies out there. And we should not shy away from recommending those gems to our brethren.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
James, I think that the principles of personal holiness and brotherly love are definitely the context in which we have our Christian liberty. If we can watch something without grieving the Spirit of God, but if it offends our brother, or puts him in danger of grieving the Holy Spirit-- then I agree with Visigoth that renting the DVD is the way to go. If we cannot even do that without grieving the Holy Spirit-- or if we are "risking" that, I think it is better to miss out on the DVD and not on the Holy Spirit. I only wish I lived more with that attitude. I'm afraid I am often willing to run the risk of offending the holiness of God because of not wanting to lose out on something else. What a cheat!
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
The thing that really bothers me from the initial question is the fact that an elder at church intervened and said "NO" but the people all went ahead with their plans anyway.

They should be disciplined for their rebellion against God given authority. The fact that they acted in rebellion makes the movie a moot point. The elder said don't go and when they decided to disobey, going to the movie became a sin if it was not already.

Here is a brief excerpt from an article I wrote about the Biblical role and duties of elders. One segment deals with the responsibility of members to the elders.

[quote:1454d28ea1][b:1454d28ea1]Scriptural Responsibility of the Congregation to their Pastors[/b:1454d28ea1] - Hebrews 13:7

1. Hebrews 13:7 - Obey them, remembering and following their faith
2. Hebrews 13:17 - Be submissive to them
3. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 - Recognize him and his authority, esteeming him highly in love, maintaining peace in the Body
4. 1 Tim. 5:17-19 - Count him worthy of double honor, remember that he is worthy of his wages and to be supported by the ministry (see also Matt. 10:10; Luke 10:7; 1 Cor. 9:9-14), do not receive an accusation against him unless it is made by two or three witnesses.[/quote:1454d28ea1]

Phillip
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
I do not know if the person that planned it still took the group, or if everyone went on their own in disregard of the exhortation from the initial post.

Phillip, do you think an elder should command the congregation to NOT see a specific movie ? ?

An admonition is one thing, but that bold of a command worries me a bit.
 

Gregg

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:e75a009b8a][i:e75a009b8a]Originally posted by Visigoth[/i:e75a009b8a]
Rent the DVD, watch it in the privacy of your on home with your spouse, fast forward past the pornographic parts, and only talk about the movie with like-minded Christians.

__________________________

Reply...

So in essence with this line of thinking, would it be alright to rent a movie about a chainsaw maniac, watch it in the privacy of your home with your spouse, fast foward all the parts where the sawyer is limbing his victims and only talk about it with other Christians? If not, why the difference?


Quote:
_______________________
There is no need to flaunt our liberty in Christ. Also, some younger Christians and younger people, may lack discretion. Why put stumbling block before them when you can simply view these movies privately.

_________________________

Reply...

Or you can deny yourself of watching them all together.



Quote:
_______________________
Right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

Perhaps, the church could host a movie night, so someone who has seen it can edit the bad stuff. Then there could be an open discussion of the film afterwards. Questions could be raised about the film's world-view, system of morality, and how it reflects or influences our culture.
_________________________

Reply...

Or the church could take a stand against the immorality in movies today and impress upon it's members to stay away from them.


Quote:
_________________________
Television is getting to be just a s graphic as a rated R movie these days. We will have to be more and more careful in the coming days regarding what we watch on the TUBE.
_________________________

Reply...

Or we can simply turn it off.



Quote:
_______________________
We are not going to be perfect either. I have watched a few films and TV shows that I have regretted, and needed to repent of. God knows our hearts, how easily they can be enticed by these forms of entertainment.

For some people, total abstinence is easier to achieve, than perfect moderation (Augustine). But not all forms of entertainment are wrong. There are some very good movies out there. And we should not shy away from recommending those gems to our brethren. [/quote:e75a009b8a]
 

Gregg

Puritan Board Sophomore
[i:266dc8d468]Originally posted by pastorway[/i:266dc8d468]
The thing that really bothers me from the initial question is the fact that an elder at church intervened and said "NO" but the people all went ahead with their plans anyway.

They should be disciplined for their rebellion against God given authority. The fact that they acted in rebellion makes the movie a moot point. The elder said don't go and when they decided to disobey, going to the movie became a sin if it was not already.

__________________________

Reply...

I would agree
:thumbup:
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
To answer the question asked of me above, yes, I do think an elder has the authority and responsibility to boldly instruct the congregation in matters like this. It is not outside of his authority or responsibility to have told the group not to go to the movie once he knew they were thinking about it.

The fact that it caused enough of a stir in the church to have been taken before the elder should indicate that this was an opportunity to defer and deny self and not go to the movie.

Phillip
 

James Ashworth

Inactive User
Phillip,
Just to clear the record...The person asked to not go, didn't go in the end for the very reasons you mentioned. However, not all, but most of the people who had planned to go, still went. It was not made clear that they also should refrain but I suppose if the rule applies to one....anyway

Visigoth,
As far as not flaunting our liberty in Christ, I would agree. Within this event, that was never questioned though. The lingering issue is: compromise and worldliness. As I said to some of my friends, I would like to think I will come to a point in my life where reading the Word or Christian literature take precedence in my life over watching movies and the like. I certainly wouldn't hold movies up so high as to justify a church 'gathering'. Never!

---------------

Are we as Christian's compromising by allowing ourselves to be drawn into such morally unpredictable forms of entertainment? Shouldn't we have such an aversion to sin that we don't allow the 'possibility' of being drawn into watching (or listening) to such things. Being aware of our own sinful natures, we know we can so easily fall into bad habits that at first seem harmless but poison us from within.

Two years back we had a seminar on Worldliness (Speakers present were Dr Joel Beeke & Phillip R. Johnson) and it blew me away! I changed so many things in my life because I saw how much worldliness can creep in and corrupt the church as well as our lives individually. Since then Ive been stricter on myself in what movies, music and books I read. But, this has not meant Ive completely blocked them out; they are still in my life, but now, within moderation. But, as Ive said, my heart is by nature, deceitful and I find myself compromising more than I'd like.
...Im sure I don't speak for myself here!

Should we then be allowing these things in our lives?
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
Seems like Gregg and pastorway have a bit stricter set of guidelines for their personal holiness. That is fine. I happen to enjoy movies very much. I think there are a great many movies that are good overall, but have a few questionable scenes. Sometimes those scenes are justified. They portray evil as evil and show the bad consequences of bad choices. When a movie glorifies adultry, and does not portray the harm it does to everyone then I do not approve of it.

Violence is neccessary at times as well.
How is fighting Orcs or shooting virus entities in a computer simulated construct any different than destroying the deceptive ideas of Satan, or hacking Agag to pieces in our own lives ? ? ?

There are also great movies about salvation and redemption from the absolutely horrifying depths of human depravity. Like "Magnolia" for instance. Exodus 8:2 is quoted and displayed all throughout the debauched episodes of the entire film.

We need to fill our minds with the scriptures to guide our consciences, and then determine not to violate our conscience. I go through fasts from media and entertainment at times as I feel led.

And if, some Christians take total abstinence to such things instead of moderation I am not going to argue that they should not.

I would rather encourage them to follow their convictions.

[Edited on 11-15-2003 by Visigoth]
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Visigoth said: "And if, some Christians take total abstinence to such things instead of moderation I am not going to argue that they should not."

I think that these Christians are not choosing abstinence [i:e6c3b7801e]instead[/i:e6c3b7801e] of moderation, but as a way to achieve it. In their determination not to be immoderate, these Christians choose to abstain from anything that might feed immoderate lusts. The immoderation is in sin.

We all must give account of ourselves-- whether we have defiled ourselves, or helped others to defile themselves (I have a hard time supporting the movie industry because of that aspect: the actors are definitely defiling themselves-- why should I pay them for it?) But it is a good thing that we do not give this account to each other-- we stand or fall before God. And it is an even better thing that we shall stand, because God will hold us up.

"Whatsoever is not of faith is of sin."
I would just challenge everyone whether they are willing to lose their eyes before using them to sin; whether we would rather lose whatever movie is in question than be caused to sin, or cause others to sin, by it. If we are not, how can we think that what we are doing is of faith? Our consciences have made peace with the enemy. If we can honestly say that we have that willingness, then we have the attitude behind purity. "To the pure, all things are pure." Not only because he can draw pure thoughts from all things, but because he will not defile himself with any of them.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
[quote:23275f3844][i:23275f3844]Originally posted by Visigoth[/i:23275f3844]
Perhaps, the church could host a movie night, so someone who has seen it can edit the bad stuff. Then there could be an open discussion of the film afterwards. Questions could be raised about the film's world-view, system of morality, and how it reflects or influences our culture.[/quote:23275f3844]

The problem I see here is that we "vote" for the type of movies with $$$. Getting the movie is a vote that it is acceptable. Whether bits are edited out do not count as a "vote" against such material because the movie producers get the same $$$ that say do more of the same.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
When thinking about violence, sex and the like in movies, we should also think about the same ideas contained in the Bible. Certianly we are tlaking about apples and oranges when it comes to comparing a movie to the Bible, but we should not condemn "violence" for the sake of violence if we intend to read the Bible. Behading, stabbings, cannibalism, dogs eating flesh, etc, can be found to stimulate the imagination in a holy manner based on Biblical texts. When we glorify "sex" or "violence" for the sake of glorifying it, that is altogether different (like Friday the 13th part 47, 48, 49, 50, etc.)
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes, like the violence of historical atrocity, war, natural disater, etc . . . those are good to consider.

Also, holy war like Lord Of The Rings.
 

canuk

Inactive User
sin in a vacuum

I would agree whole heartedly that if something is said from the pulpit it should be received as instruction that the Holy Spirit is conveing to that particular body of believers, but-it should be based on scripture, and it shouldn't be a personal conviction. There may be times when something is said from the pulpt that shouldn't heeded.

You can forsake all the "creature comforts" like TV, movies, music, etc but you are still going to sin! Now obviously I am stating that anyone here is into sinless perfectionism, but my point is that even without these "worldy" distractions, I would still fall flat on my face and have to repent!

And the irony of these is that the last movies that I have seen was Toy Story 2 and Spy Kids in 3D!

---0[ :lol:]0
(O||||||||/O)
[/][email protected]==[/]
"It's a J E E P thing..."

[Edited on 11-15-2003 by canuk]

[Edited on 11-15-2003 by canuk]

[Edited on 11-15-2003 by canuk]
 

turmeric

Megerator
Did the elder forbid people to go see the movie, or did he forbid it as a church-sponsored event?:question:
 

love2read

Puritan Board Freshman
Does it glorify God?

Like John Piper said one time:
The point is not if you are sinning against God but does it glorify God!! Does it contribute to ones growth towards the Lord!?

Answering this question I should say a big big NO...... so dont go to the movies and instead spend your free time not on doing GOOD things...... but on doing THE BEST THINGS!!!
Spend time with your family and best friends in talking on heavenly things or spend time studying/meditating on His Word and other beautiful works.

PS Do you know Trivial Pursuit? There is a Bible version of it (very cheap at christianbook)!! Buy it and play it with your friends! You will find time to talk about things instead of sitting besides each other watching a movie and not communicating at all
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think Visigoth's first post in this thread summarizes an excellent way to view this issue. I would say that these principles can apply to music as well.

Good work, Visigoth.

[Edited on 2-9-2004 by luvroftheWord]
 

Jie-Huli

Puritan Board Freshman
Richard Baxter's Guidance on Lawful Recreations

The following advice on the proper questions to consider when contemplating which recreations (including movie-going) are lawful for us as Christians was written by the Puritan Richard Baxter, and I think it is very excellect and worthy of the agreement of all:

"If you would escape the sin and danger, which men commonly run into by unlawful sporting, under pretence of lawful recreations, you must understand what lawful recreation is, and what is its proper end and use.


No doubt but some sport and recreation are lawful, yea needful, and therefore a duty to some men. Lawful sport or recreation is the use of some natural thing or action, not forbidden us, for the exhilarating of the natural spirits by the fantasy, and due exercise of the natural parts, thereby to fit the body and mind for ordinary duty to God. It is some delightful exercise.


We do not call unpleasing labour by the name of sport or recreation; though it may be better and more necessary. We call not every delight by the name of sport or recreation; for eating and drinking may be delightful; and holy things and duties may be delightful; and yet not properly sports or recreation. But it is the fantasy that is chiefly delighted by sports.


All these things following are necessary to the lawfulness of a sport or recreation, and the want of any one of them will make and prove it to be unlawful:


(1) It must be engaged in with the glory of God in view. The end which you really intend in using it, must be to fit you for your service to God; that is, either for your callings, or for His worship, or some work of obedience in which you may please and glorify Him (cf. 1 Cor 10:31). Therefore the person that uses it, must be one that is heartily devoted to God, and His service, and really lives to do His work, and pleases and glorifies Him in the world: which none but the godly truly do! And therefore no carnal, ungodly person, that has no such holy end, can use any recreation lawfully; because he uses it not to a due end. For the end is essential to the moral good of any action; and an evil end must needs make it evil: "Unto the pure all things are pure, [that is, all things not forbidden,] but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their mind and conscience are defiled" (Tit 1:15).


(2) It must fit you for God's service. A lawful recreation must be a means fitly chosen and used to this end. If it has no aptitude to fit us for God's service in our ordinary callings and duty, it can be to us no lawful recreation. Though it be lawful to another that it is a real help to, it is unlawful to us.


Therefore all recreations are unlawful, which are themselves preferred before our callings, or which are used by a man that lives idly, or in no calling, and has no ordinary work to make him need them. For these are no fit means, which exclude our end, instead of furthering it.


Therefore all those are unlawful sports, which are used only to delight a carnal fantasy, and have no higher end, than to please the sickly mind that loves them.


And therefore all those are unlawful sports, which really unfit us for the duties of our callings, and the service of God; which, laying the benefit and hurt together, do hinder us as much or more than they help us! which is the case of all voluptuous wantons.


(3) It must not take time away from greater works. All sports are unlawful which take up any part of the time which we should spend in greater works: such are all those that are unseasonable; (as on the Lord's day without necessity, or when we should be at prayer, or any other duty;) and all those that take up more time than the end of a recreation does necessarily require (which is too common).


(4) It must not be sacrilegious. If a recreation be profane, as making sport of holy things, it is a mocking of God, and a villainy unbeseeming any of His creatures, and laying them open to His heaviest vengeance. The children that made sport with calling the prophet "bald head" were slain by bears (2 Kgs 2:23).


(5) It must not be at the expense of others. They are unlawful sports which are used to the wrong of others: as players, that defame and reproach other men; and hunters and hawkers that tread down poor men's corn and hedges.


(6) It must not involve deriving pleasure from the sin of others. It is sinful to make sport of other men's sinning, or to act it ourselves so as to become partakers of it; which is too common with comedians, and other profane wits.


(7) It must not be unclean or obscene. Unclean, obscene recreations are unlawful; when filthiness or wantonness is represented without a due expression of its odiousness, or with obscene words or actions. "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting" (Eph 5:3-4).


(8) It must not evoke lust and other sinful reactions. Those sports are sinful, which plainly tend to provoke ourselves or others to sin: as to lust, to swearing, and cursing, and railing, and fighting, or the like. Those also are sinful, which are the exercise of covetousness, to win other men's money of them; or that tend to stir up covetousness in those you play with.


(9) It must not be cruel. Cruel recreations also are unlawful: as taking pleasure in the beholding of duellers, fighters, or any that abuse each other; or any other creatures that needlessly torment each other.


(10) It must not be too expensive. Too costly recreation also is unlawful: when you are but God's stewards, and must be accountable to Him for all you have, it is sinful to expend it needlessly on sports.


(11) It must not be forbidden to us by our superiors. Unnecessary recreations forbidden by our lawful governors are unlawful. If they were before lawful to you, yet now they are not; because your king, your pastor, your parents, your masters, have power to rule and restrain you in such things; and you must obey them.


By this it is easy to judge of our common stage-plays, gaming, cards, dice, and diverse other such kind of sports. If they have but any one of these evil qualifications they are sinful.

All these are applicable both to young and old. But I would especially address our youths, who are sadly being carried by the love of sports and pleasure from the love of God, and the care of their salvation, and the love of holiness, and the love of their callings; and into idleness, riotousness, and disobedience to their superiors:


(1) Do you not know that you have higher delights to mind? And are these toys beseeming a noble soul, that has holy and heavenly matters to delight in?


(2) Do you not feel what a plague the very pleasure is to your affections? how it bewitches you, and befools you, and makes you out of love with holiness, and unfit for any thing that is good?


(3) Do you know the worth of those precious hours which you play away? have you no more to do with them? Look inwards to your soul, and forward to eternity, and bethink you better.


(4) Is it sport that you most need? Do you not more need Christ, and grace, and pardon, and preparation for death and judgment, and assurance of salvation? Why then are not these your business?


(5) Have you not a God to obey and serve? and does He not always see you? and will He not judge you? alas! you know not how soon. Though you be now merry in your youth, and your "heart cheer thee..., and [thou] walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: yet know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment" (Ecc 11:9).


(6) Observe in Scripture what God judges of your ways. "We ourselves... were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures" (Tit 3:3), being "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God" (2 Tim 3:4). "Flee... youthful lusts: but follow after righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Tim 2:22; read also 1 Peter 1:14-15; 2:11-12; 4:1-4; 2 Peter 3:3).


(7) You are but preparing for your future sorrow, either by repentance or destruction; and the greater is your pleasure now, the greater will be your sorrow and shame in the review."
 

dswatts

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:9c0d831dc3][i:9c0d831dc3]Originally posted by canuk[/i:9c0d831dc3]
I would agree whole heartedly that if something is said from the pulpit it should be received as instruction that the Holy Spirit is conveing to that particular body of believers, but-it should be based on scripture, and it shouldn't be a personal conviction. There may be times when something is said from the pulpt that shouldn't heeded.[/quote:9c0d831dc3]

Let me say from the outset that I agree most definitely that we should deny ourselves daily, and mortify the flesh. We, as the church, have allowed too much wordliness creep in. This has been to the detriment of our own spiritual growth in grace and our witness.

But I strongly disagree that an elder's pronouncement on a particular movie are to be regarded as binding on any believer other than himself. As an elder, he may exhort to holiness of life through mortification of the flesh, but I think we are entering legalistic waters when we look to the pulpit like a spiritual 'Siskel & Ebert'.

In this day and age of 'battered sheep syndrome', one has to be careful to not fall into the ditch of antinomianism on the one hand, and legalism on the other. And I personally think that it can be Scripturally demonstrated by comparing Paul's tone with the Corinthians versus the Galatian churches that of the two, legalism is far deadlier.

Again, please don't blast me as an antinomian. I am not. I am merely addressing pulpit pronouncements being regarded as binding the consciences of believers in regard to cultural or entertainment activities.

Just my :wr50:

Grace,
Dwayne

[Edited on 2-9-2004 by dswatts]
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:d6de3681d8]I am merely addressing pulpit pronouncements being regarded as binding the consciences of believers in regard to cultural or entertainment activities. [/quote:d6de3681d8]

Consider these Scriptures when Paul makes a binding pronouncement regarding cultural things:

[b:d6de3681d8]Romans 14[/b:d6de3681d8]
21It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

[b:d6de3681d8]1 Corinthians 8[/b:d6de3681d8]
9But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

We must esteem others as better than ouselves and be willing to limit our freedom of necessary to promote true love and unity in the body.

Why do we think liberty is an excuse for doing what an elder would prohibit?

[b:d6de3681d8]Galatians 5[/b:d6de3681d8]
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

13For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Beside that, what authority does an elder have? May he only make pronouncements about non-cultural/non-entertainment items?

If you go to your elder for counsel and go against what he has said, that is not wise. It is not a matter of being an elder/dictator......a true, godly elder and his congregation must remember these verses:

[b:d6de3681d8]1 Peter 5[/b:d6de3681d8]
1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.


[b:d6de3681d8]Hebrews 13[/b:d6de3681d8]
7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.

17Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

Personal Freedom is limited by Love for the brethren.

Phillip
 

eelliott777

Inactive User
"I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!!"
Tell those people instead of going to see THE MATRIX, et al, they should sit home by the fire and read Ezekiel 16.
 

robot

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:90092a96d4][i:90092a96d4]Originally posted by James Ashworth[/i:90092a96d4]
I was wondering if you could share your thoughts about Christians watching films (in particular, those that contain profanities, violence, sex etc).

Within my church there has been a big uproar lately about some people going to see the Matrix. Now as Christians, if we do something that genuinely offends our fellow believers, for the sack of Christian fellowship, we should refrain from that thing. In this instance, some young people within the Church were confused as to what was right and what was wrong in regards to watching movies, and the fact that a bunch of people from the Church had arranged to go caused confusion. So, the issue was brought before an elder and the person arranging the event was asked to cancel it.

This event preceded (and was fuelled by) a lengthy email concerning the disrespectful Christian-undertones of the Matrix and the worldliness of film going in general.

Being fully aware of the MASSIVE potential dangers of worldliness creeping into the Church and the lure it has over our own personal lives, do you think we are compromising by going to watch such movies (as mentioned above)?
...Some would even say watching movies altogether but for now we'll just talk about these.

What shall we say then? [/quote:90092a96d4]

My youth group used the Matrix to "teach from the Bible" for a month. Consider yourself lucky that people at your church are so pious about defending their hearts.
 
J

JonathonHunt

Guest
Yes, I knew youth groups at a school I worked at who used the Matrix as a tool for evangelism.

I rather saw it as showing a 15 rated film to under 15s, which in my opinion is wrong!

Regarding whoever asked 'was going to see the Matrix forbidden as a church sponsored event'...it never was a church sponsored event, and never would be, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

It was rather a large and growing group of people who were going to see it together, who were discouraged from doing it as a group because (aside from the consideration of whether the film per se was acceptable) of the official and organised appearance of the outing. I am just guessing but in my view it would lead 'weaker brethren' to view movie going as acceptable and something to do regularly with 'church folk'.

Whether to watch a movie or not is a personal decision (although some films e.g those which contain p0rn are clearly not acceptable), and I wouldn't want to give the impression that movie-going was 'banned' in a legalistic fashion at my former church. It isn't. I would say that it is probably generally discouraged. There are better things to do with time!
 

Mary

Puritan Board Freshman
Wow, this has been a great topic - I have been wondering about this...

I can never remember WHERE in the Bible something is, but I know there's a scripture about meditating on what is pure and keeping your mind far from evil. There's also one about avoiding the very appearance of evil. I'm sure Pastorway or one of the elders could say exactly where...

But my point is, many movies that aren't necessarily in-your-face BAD still have underlying messages that aren't really the best. I am thinking of the newer movie Mona Lisa Smile (which I judged to be feminist propaganda cleverly disguised as a period piece). It certainly didn't (appear) to have gratuitous violence or sex in it. However, I think the underlying message (that men are our oppressors) does do real violence - to our society, to our attitudes toward men, and by extension, to future generations.

The other thing that I really have a problem with is the "modernizing" of classics. The new ending of The Scarlet Letter leaps to mind, but far more subtle than that was the changing of a few (truly lovely and romantic) lines in Little Women, where Susan Sarandon decides that she just will not say that being loved be a good man is the loveliest of all endeavors, and instead spews out a diatribe against corsets.

My point being that although we may realize without too much deep thought on the matter that Friday the 13th Part 27 is something we shouldn't see, we would be far more likely to let our guards down with some of the movies I have mentioned here, which might be just as damaging.

Also, don't forget that when you are paying the money to see the movie, not only is it a "vote" for that movie (feedback to Hollywood), you are also financially supporting whatever actors are in it, and you are supporting their causes. So, for instance, when I went and saw Little Women at the theater, I financially supported Susan Sarandon. (which I'm sure I will have to answer for someday)

I like movies too, which makes it harder to resist the temptation to see them. I find myself justifying things to myself.. :wr30:

Mary
 

lkjohnson

Puritan Board Freshman
My experience is that when someone is asking this basic question (What is wrong with _________?) they are generally looking to do the minimum necessary to please God. In other words, just how much of the world can they have and not got to hell?

I always answered by asking a question. How does _________ glorify God? That should be our question. I then give them the example of the parable of the Good Samaritan. The young lawyer wanted to know what he had to do to go to heaven. Jesus asked him what the law said and he replied that one must love God and love one's neighbor. When Jesus told him that he had answered correctly, the lawyer asked, "Who is my neighbor?" Have you ever heard a stupider question? He was a scribe! He knew what the Scripture meant by 'neighbor.' Why then did he ask the question? Because he was looking to do the minimum necessary for salvation. If his neighbor were other Israelites, fine and good. But, if his neighbor was not, then that was a different matter altogether. Jesus was saying that there is no minimum, only complete commitment to him.

Now, does this mean we should not go to movies? Not necessarily. We have discussed the issue of Christian liberty on this board more than once. However, I do believe that we should be asking ourselves, "How does __________ glorify God?" If we do, we probably won't go to many movies.
 

Doodle Bug

Puritan Board Freshman
I know this is an aside slightly from the original post, but I thought it might be interesting. I went to see the second Matrix with my father. I was horrified. I still can't believe I didn't walk out (and that my father didn't either).
Watch, or rather not watching since I had my hand over my face, this movie has solidified my convictions on movies. Had I not seen it I probably would have stayed in my noncommittal stance on movies. Since I have only gone to see one movie (The Return of the King was too hard to resist) and have rented none.
 

exscentric

Puritan Board Freshman
Seems that those that don't don't and those that do do and the two will not meet and do a little :bouncing:

We haven't been to a theatre for near forty years and have survived - totally inept of the world, but survived - NOT. You don't need to indulge in the world to know where and how the world lives.

And no we don't watch them on television either. Our viewing on the tube is very limited and we still survive. We even turned 60 minutes off for awhile due to the vulgarity of one of their visitors.

It is our personal belief that we don't need to fill our minds with dat stuff so we don't. Since I am doing some study in Galatians I will be quick to say that we aren't doing it to gain salvation so we aren't legalists - we aren't doing it because we are free to not do it and decided not to :bigsmile:

The next question might be, well how did your children survive? Just fine. They aren't as careful of their viewing as we would like now but when they are forty you can't tell them ........ well you get the idea :bouncy:
 
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