Movies with the Lord's name in vain

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T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
What are your limits for movies with the Lord's name in vain. Do you watch them? What is your criteria for not watching a movie?
 

Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
What are your limits for movies with the Lord's name in vain. Do you watch them? What is your criteria for not watching a movie?

We have no business watching movies that blaspheme God. We have no business watching most movies at all in my opinion. I try not to watch any R rated movies and anything that blasphemes the name of God.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
What are your limits for movies with the Lord's name in vain. Do you watch them? What is your criteria for not watching a movie?

This is a good question, even if I think it is worded incorrectly. I would prefer to think of it in terms of "What is your criteria FOR watching a movie?"

I hope the change in emphasis and tone is evident.

For me, and I do think the answer is subjective, it is primarily about story and plot development. My personal opinion is that it is incredibly niave to simply go by ratings (i.e., anything and everything R rated is off limits, but anything that is PG-13 or "below" is fair game).

The specific content of the movie is, in my thinking, in support of the story and plot, and indeed the "message" or "point" of the story. I won't watch a "slasher film" because of the point, what it is trying to illicit from the viewer, even though the older ones like Friday the 13th aren't really any more gruesome than, say, Saving Private Ryan, which I will watch. I'll watch something with nudity - for example, there is a bit of nudity in Schindler's List and Braveheart and in an episode or two of Band of Brothers - but I won't watch a movie like Unfaithful which is a story that virtually celebrates a woman's adulterous relationship and then her husband's murder of her lover...

It is also true that a great many movies have no substantive or intriguing story or plot and then they try to substitute for that lack with vulgarity and profanity... I have little time for such an insulting assault upon my intelligence.

Anyway, while our minds prefer "easy" hard and fast absolute rules, I think that this is an area that is relatively flexible.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
I usually don't watch anything worse than Pixar unless I have a good reason to. :)
 

ubermadchen

Puritanboard <strong>Outlaw</strong>
I've pretty much given up on modern movies. There's plenty of great films from 50 years ago or so that aren't set on blaspheming God. Turner Classic Movies shows plenty of good films.
 

carlgobelman

Puritan Board Freshman
What are your limits for movies with the Lord's name in vain. Do you watch them? What is your criteria for not watching a movie?

This is a good question, even if I think it is worded incorrectly. I would prefer to think of it in terms of "What is your criteria FOR watching a movie?"

I hope the change in emphasis and tone is evident.

For me, and I do think the answer is subjective, it is primarily about story and plot development. My personal opinion is that it is incredibly niave to simply go by ratings (i.e., anything and everything R rated is off limits, but anything that is PG-13 or "below" is fair game).

The specific content of the movie is, in my thinking, in support of the story and plot, and indeed the "message" or "point" of the story. I won't watch a "slasher film" because of the point, what it is trying to illicit from the viewer, even though the older ones like Friday the 13th aren't really any more gruesome than, say, Saving Private Ryan, which I will watch. I'll watch something with nudity - for example, there is a bit of nudity in Schindler's List and Braveheart and in an episode or two of Band of Brothers - but I won't watch a movie like Unfaithful which is a story that virtually celebrates a woman's adulterous relationship and then her husband's murder of her lover...

It is also true that a great many movies have no substantive or intriguing story or plot and then they try to substitute for that lack with vulgarity and profanity... I have little time for such an insulting assault upon my intelligence.

Anyway, while our minds prefer "easy" hard and fast absolute rules, I think that this is an area that is relatively flexible.

:ditto:

I think I recall reading John Piper say that he has a much higher tolerance for violence and profanity in movies than he does for nudity. As he puts it, the violence is fake and no one is really getting hurt, the profanity is part of the script and isn't 'really' being said to anyone, but the nude woman on the screen is a real nude woman. I can empathize.

I kind of like what you said, Sola. I try to avoid films that simply glorify or sensationalize violence and nudity and are extremely short on plot; there typically is no point in it. However, there are a lot of good films that do have violence and profanity in them (Saving Private Ryan is a good example); yet that film gets me choked up at the end every time I watch it because it's such a great story!

I think its hard to set concrete rules here, In my humble opinion. Besides, discussions like this (where there is going to be a lot of variation of practice) tend to blur the line between what is required of Christians and what is tolerated or permissible.

-----Added 12/18/2009 at 01:30:38 EST-----

Praise the Lord for the gospel.

:amen:
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
My personal opinion is that it is incredibly niave to simply go by ratings (i.e., anything and everything R rated is off limits, but anything that is PG-13 or "below" is fair game).

Case in point: the Twilight movies. Anyone here who watched either one or both of them should be groveling about in sackcloth and ashes right now.

:p
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
My personal opinion is that it is incredibly niave to simply go by ratings (i.e., anything and everything R rated is off limits, but anything that is PG-13 or "below" is fair game).

Case in point: the Twilight movies. Anyone here who watched either one or both of them should be groveling about in sackcloth and ashes right now.

:p

I didn't even know there were two of them...

I hope you feel good, Archlute, I now know more about Twilight than I ever wanted to. :)
 

T.A.G.

Puritan Board Freshman
What are your limits for movies with the Lord's name in vain. Do you watch them? What is your criteria for not watching a movie?

We have no business watching movies that blaspheme God. We have no business watching most movies at all in my opinion. I try not to watch any R rated movies and anything that blasphemes the name of God.

I am going to have to agree with you...
 

carlgobelman

Puritan Board Freshman
What are your limits for movies with the Lord's name in vain. Do you watch them? What is your criteria for not watching a movie?

We have no business watching movies that blaspheme God. We have no business watching most movies at all in my opinion. I try not to watch any R rated movies and anything that blasphemes the name of God.

I am going to have to agree with you...

Responses like this worry me because the word "we" is thrown around a lot. I think it's perfectly fine if *YOU* want to set those standards for yourself, but be careful when you start including others in your personal standards.

We aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from watching R-rated movies...
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
I am going to have to agree with you...

...We aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from watching R-rated movies...

How is this true?

It's technically true since there aren't "degrees" of holiness. You're either holy, or you aren't.

-----Added 12/18/2009 at 03:21:02 EST-----

We have no business watching movies that blaspheme God. We have no business watching most movies at all in my opinion. I try not to watch any R rated movies and anything that blasphemes the name of God.

I am going to have to agree with you...

Responses like this worry me because the word "we" is thrown around a lot. I think it's perfectly fine if *YOU* want to set those standards for yourself, but be careful when you start including others in your personal standards.

To be fair, he did say "in my opinion" (in my opinion).

We aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from watching R-rated movies...

One could also say we aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from p0rnography. This is a dangerous path to go down.
 

carlgobelman

Puritan Board Freshman
I am going to have to agree with you...

...We aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from watching R-rated movies...

How is this true?

Because as far as I'm concerned, this is something that falls into the area of Christian liberty. If I go around saying that "I don't watch R-rated movies and I don't think others should either," then I run the risk of judging my brothers and sisters in Christ based on whether or not they watch R-rated movies; and I think the Kingdom of God is bigger than that.

Should we exercise discernment in what we watch or listen to? Absolutely! But I refuse to get pulled into the trap of judging others based on my criteria for discernment.

-----Added 12/18/2009 at 03:29:31 EST-----

One could also say we aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from p0rnography. This is a dangerous path to go down.

Apples and oranges. There are CLEAR prohibitions in Scripture against p0rnography and sexual sin.
 

HeIsMyRighteousness

Puritan Board Freshman
...We aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from watching R-rated movies...

How is this true?

It's technically true since there aren't "degrees" of holiness. You're either holy, or you aren't.

I believe any film that does not seek to glorify Christ is at least not profitable and at most destructive to the soul. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

Is that true? In heaven we will be sinless and holy yet our holiness will not even compare to the holiness of Christ. Is it not our duty to grow in holiness, to be continually separating ourselves from sin and killing our sin. Do we not grow in holiness?
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
One could also say we aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from p0rnography. This is a dangerous path to go down.

Apples and oranges. There are CLEAR prohibitions in Scripture against p0rnography and sexual sin.

I'll agree about sexual sin, but where are the prohibitions against p0rnography?

-----Added 12/18/2009 at 04:24:48 EST-----

How is this true?

It's technically true since there aren't "degrees" of holiness. You're either holy, or you aren't.

I believe any film that does not seek to glorify Christ is at least not profitable and at most destructive to the soul. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

Is that true? In heaven we will be sinless and holy yet our holiness will not even compare to the holiness of Christ. Is it not our duty to grow in holiness, to be continually separating ourselves from sin and killing our sin. Do we not grow in holiness?

We grow in sanctification, yes.

But, the idea that there are "degrees" of holiness isn't found in Scripture. The term "holiest" applies, indeed, to God, but the term "holier" is never used except in condemning the Jews' "holier than thou" attitude. There is a difference between our holiness and God's, but not between ours and our brother's.
 

carlgobelman

Puritan Board Freshman
One could also say we aren't more or less holy because we refrain or don't refrain from p0rnography. This is a dangerous path to go down.

Apples and oranges. There are CLEAR prohibitions in Scripture against p0rnography and sexual sin.

I'll agree about sexual sin, but where are the prohibitions against p0rnography?

Let's agree on a definition of p0rnography first. I'll offer this as a definition (feel free to disagree if you like):

por·nog·ra·phy (pôr-nŏg'rə-fē)
n.
Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.

Can you think of Scripture that would forbid this? I sure can! Howabout Matthew 5:27-30 for starters?

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Now you will have to provide the argument that equates R-rated movies with p0rnography in order to make your analogy work.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
Apples and oranges. There are CLEAR prohibitions in Scripture against p0rnography and sexual sin.

I'll agree about sexual sin, but where are the prohibitions against p0rnography?

Let's agree on a definition of p0rnography first. I'll offer this as a definition (feel free to disagree if you like):

por·nog·ra·phy (pôr-nŏg'rə-fē)
n.
Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.

Can you think of Scripture that would forbid this? I sure can! Howabout Matthew 5:27-30 for starters?

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Now you will have to provide the argument that equates R-rated movies with p0rnography in order to make your analogy work.

p0rnography's just pictures. There's nothing wrong with looking at it as long as you're not lusting.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't think you can say "R-rated" is the make or break.

But if the name of God is being blasphemed, and you are not stopping it, how is that not sin? If someone is being murdered, and you do not stop it, that is sin. Likewise, if we sit and listen to the name of God being blasphemed and do nothing, that is sin. And we need not stop a murderer, we need only turn it off or leave the theater.

This is not an extra-biblical law, it is simply God's law in practice.
 

HeIsMyRighteousness

Puritan Board Freshman
"p0rnography's just pictures. There's nothing wrong with looking at it as long as you're not lusting."

You sure about that? There is everything wrong with it. These people are committing sin in the picture and there is nothing nothing good in it.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
This is an area in which I continually need to press for renewal. But if "it is even a shame to speak of those things which are done of them in secret," why should we ever seek to justify placing these things before our eyes in the name of entertainment? Art can still be art and depict or acknowledge the horrifying things of this world for some good purpose without making us revel in them. 1.) Blasphemy -- it is quite easy to demonstrate that one is a profane man or blasphemer without subjecting audiences to those things which ought to monstrously offend us. 2.) Violence -- it can be made clear that death or destruction is happening without us watching the bodies be mutilated; audiences of movies and plays were quite capable for years of knowing that someone was shot and killed sometimes even just by hearing the noise of a "gunshot" off stage. Do we gain anything by showing disgusting gratuitous violence? Would William Wallace have lost any of his evident nobility in Braveheart if we simply saw the aftermath or heard reports of the battles? Did we really gain *that* much by seeing the limbs hacked off in the midst of bloody carnage? 3.) Sexuality -- do we really have to say anything about this one? &c.
 

carlgobelman

Puritan Board Freshman
p0rnography's just pictures. There's nothing wrong with looking at it as long as you're not lusting.

Are you serious?!?!? I'm assuming you're playing devil's advocate here, but is that the best argument you can muster?

There is a HUGE difference between a movie like, Braveheart, and a pornographic movie. Braveheart has, to my knowledge, one scene with brief nudity as you see William Wallace and his wife on the night of their marriage consummating their wedding vows. That movie gets an R rating for violence and brief nudity. There are miles of separation between that and a pornographic movie whose sole intent is to pander to our baser instincts and generate sexual arousal.

There's even a huge difference between nude pictures and p0rnography. I can, for example, appreciate a painting of a nude woman without getting aroused, but that's a far cry from p0rnography.

There's a reason why some movies get R rating and others an X rating. There's a reason why some pictures are hanging in galleries and others in 'adult' book stores.
 

HeIsMyRighteousness

Puritan Board Freshman
I think I answered in haste. I am sorry. If you were forced to look at a picture and you looked without lust, you are right, you did nothing wrong.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
"p0rnography's just pictures. There's nothing wrong with looking at it as long as you're not lusting."

You sure about that? There is everything wrong with it. These people are committing sin in the picture and there is nothing nothing good in it.

Of course, I think it's wrong, for the same reason I think R-rated movies are.
 

carlgobelman

Puritan Board Freshman
Of course, I think it's wrong, for the same reason I think R-rated movies are.

And therefore, for you, they are wrong. I have no problem with that whatsoever. But not all R-rated movies are created equal, right? That's why I hate getting drawn into these discussions because this is an area of discernment each Christian must make on their own.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
And therefore, for you, they are wrong. I have no problem with that whatsoever. But not all R-rated movies are created equal, right? That's why I hate getting drawn into these discussions because this is an area of discernment each Christian must make on their own.

But the OP asks about taking the Lord's name in vain. If that is included, is there really an issue of discernment involved?
 
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