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