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.