Friday, November 9, 2012

R.C. on D.C.

There's a man who rules this country,
          and we have trillion dollar debts.
There's a man who rules this country,
          and socialized medicine is not just in our rear-view mirror, it's tail-gaiting us.
There's a man who rules this country,
          and there's blood in our streets up to our knees.
Beloved, there's a man who rules this country,
          and He wasn't even born in this country......He was born in Bethlehem.
As dark as these days may be,
          the Lord Jesus Christ reigns today.
                    Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr., July 2010

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How I Examine a Film

When I'm examining a movie the first thing that I consider is whether or not it recognizes that the LORD is and that He is God. I'm not interested in buying and having my children watch the Beverly Hillbillies. I do not mean to pick on this show. I've only seen one or two and that a few years ago they may be better or worse than I know. I enjoyed them but I do not know of them ever reading or quoting the Bible, praying or attending church. So even if there were nothing else questionable I'd just not want them because if one is not for Christ he is against Christ.

If a movie accepts that the LORD is God then I consider if there are bad things in it which make it unacceptable to watch. If a picture is a horror film it is not acceptable even if it's somewhat Christian! There are some things which are a shame to speak about and how much more to portray in a film. It should be noted though that by sticking with movies that recognize God as God, most films with things that should not be viewed will be eliminated.

Though I'd reject many films because of the sin portrayed in them, most stories will have some bad antagonist in them and this is okay, for the Bible is full of stories of men's sins. But when bad things are portrayed I have two questions about how they are portrayed. First is it dealt with discreetly and tastefully? Second are things that are bad clearly recognized as bad and those that are good as good?

It seems to me that even if some sins are portrayed with some discretion and made to be bad a young child can still be disturbed because of not understanding the whole matter and so I think that I, as a father, need to be sure that I interpret what my children see for them so they know what's going on. And there may even be some very good movies which it would perhaps be wise of me to wait to let my children see till some older age.

I do think that the quality of cinematography, acting, music, and other aspects of a film are important. It is good to have an appreciation for good work, but I want to be certain that I do not care more about the technical aspects of a particular picture, than about the more important aspects.

Each family may perhaps have differing standards and varying ways of evaluating movies. This is altogether fitting and good, for each Christian is at a different place in sanctification and may have more or less issue with certain things. All Christians, however, should be conscious and intentional about what they watch and try to see that Christ would be happy with their films. We must avoid bad movies, but on the other hand I think we should have good movies in our homes. Films can communicate quite powerfully and a good sermon or documentary that is done well can greatly benefit a family. Some dramas are also very good and can help or encourage us like some of the Christiano or Sherwood films.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What About Pictures?

     God does not change and what is good and evil does not change.  Throughout history many groups of people have come and gone but all men are sinners and generally face the same issues just in different manifestations. For example, the Romans had violent games in the Colosseum for entertainment. We do not have that today, but many people are entertained by violent games on the computer. 
     Movies are something that most people today watch.  I do not know of any time in history before now when people had movies.  And yet, at different times in history people have had theaters (Acts 19:31), plays, pictures, and music.  Some have called a movie a "picture."  While all of the issues that relate to movies have probably been dealt with before, films seem to be more complicated because they bring together so many different issues.  There are pictures, words, music, and a story line; but they are also related to television, theaters, and a general captivation with entertainment.  Because they are so popular today everyone has to deal with them in one way or another. Some in the world seem to be fine with anyone viewing any amount of any movies, but the Christians I know generally have some standards for what movies they will watch and often how much time they will spend watching movies. Some think we should watch no videos in our own homes, but while I'm not going to discuss it now, I believe the medium of film is very legitimate to use.  People can watch too much and become like one who is sitting back and watching everything, but never doing anything, but I'm not going to discuss that aspect now either.  In this post I'd like to share some thoughts on evaluating the content of movies.
     I've noticed that different Christian families have different things that are key in their evaluation of movies.  Some are especially keen about violence and others about clothing.  One thing people are often careful about is bad language.  Each of these things is a moral issue.  I believe it is very important to properly evaluate morals in a film, but there is something more important than morals.  That is whether the movie is Christian or humanistic.  If a movie has no swearing and is somewhat moral, but completely leaves God out as if He does not exist, it is a humanistic film.  Some films treat life as if God exists and the Bible is His word. Of course we would think of the modern Christian films like Time Changer or Courageous, but there are also many other movies that do this, such as Sergeant York and some Roy Rogers.  But many films on the market acknowledge another god.  An example could be Star Wars which recognizes a "force" that is similar to Buddhism.  Some films acknowledge the state as god, but many just make selfish humans to be god.  The theology of a movie is more important than it's morality, because morality is determined by God.  If we do not the LORD as God we have no basis to maintain any morality.  Numbers 33:52 says, "Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places." (emphasis added)  Just as the children of Israel were not to tolerate the pictures of the heathen, we should not tolerate motion pictures that are heathen.  This includes Harry Potter, but also many other films that we may think are innocent. 
     For sake of time I'm not going to discuss anything further in this post.  Perhaps I shall have more to say another time. 
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Great Comission to Nations

      Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
     God has commanded us to preach the Gospel to every creature but He has also told us to disciple nations. There are three things that I would like to point out that we can conclude from the command to teach all nations.
     First, Christianity transcends nations. While countries come and go the church remains. One hymn puts it this way:
                  Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
                  But the Church of Jesus constant will remian,
                  Gates of hell can never 'gainst that Church prevail;
                  We have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail.
      Second, God sees people as being parts nations. Many in the world want to minimize national patriotism and instead replace it with alliegence to the earth. There are also some in the Church who do not want to think much of their national citizenship. While we are subjects of Christ's Kingdom, we still ought to love and be loyal to our own nation just as we should love our earthly family even though we are part of God's family which is far more important. God is the one who established governments and divided mankind into nations at the tower of Babel.
      Third, the preching of the gospel should have an effect on a nation as a whole. All the people in any earthly nation will probably never be saved but the commands of Christ and God's power will affect an entire nation when the great commission is carried out. The Bible will change the culture of any people who are taught it. The government of a nation will also be affected. A nation cannot follow both God's law and Sharia law.
     While nations are to be taught according to the great commission, we who are Christians are the one's who must do the teaching out of obedience to God.