“It was such a good movie! Well, it had a little language…oh, and that one scene…but overall, it was a really great story!”
Yep, I’ve been recommended a movie before based on the above review…even worse – I’ve been the one to recommend a movie based on that type of review!
There is something wrong. With us. With Christians.
There is something wrong when we can casually overlook sin, in the name of “entertainment”, and because we are not the ones actually committing the sins that we are watching, we somehow feel okay with that. After all, its “just a movie”, “its really funny”, or “its a great story”. Yikes.
Think just “watching” it doesn’t matter? Paul says in Philipians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I know that you aren’t thinking about Christ when a “love” scene is playing. Honorable and pure are not words that jump in my mind. Oh. Of course. You will just fast forward through it, right? Well, someone has to watch the screen to know when its “safe” to push play. Oh, and did I mention that the employee at the Blockbuster(the one that thinks Christians are two faced and hypocritical?), he doesn’t know that you were planning to skip right past that scene – all he knows is that you rented the movie.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident; sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:16-24
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous(that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light(for fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful to even speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:1-17
Now those are some hard truths. And that is only a glimpse into what God’s word has to say about ANY kind of sin in our lives! Sin in our minds is just as bad as public sin. Did I mention that this truth does not apply to just movies? How about music, TV shows(yes, your favorite sitcom), company we keep, etc.. Overlooking homosexuality in a TV show, sexual implications in a song, crude language – the list goes on.
“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” James 4:4-10
In these verses that I have chosen to share, I see “resist the devil”, “purify your hearts”, “crucify the flesh”, and “take no part in darkness”, along with other warnings throughout. Are we resisting the devil or inviting him? Are we purifying our hearts or adding poison? Are we crucifying the flesh or are we reviving it? Are we moving away from darkness or walking towards it?
You see, we can’t, as followers of Christ, separate “entertainment” from our hearts and minds. We cannot compartmentalize Christianity in our lives. It is all woven together. Our brains, our minds, must process every word we hear and every sight we see. Once we see, once we hear, it is written in our minds, likely to not be easily forgotten. When sin is written on our minds and not dealt with, it creeps into our hearts, blackening the very part of us that Christ came to wipe clean. I ask you now, how can we invite back into our lives, the very things that Christ died to remove?
Once the drops of poison begin to contaminate our lives, even in the small things, we will inevitably begin to spread it in an outward manner. I can attest to this. I’ve had it happen. I’ve seen it happen.The second we feel the nudging of the spirit, we should flee. Yes, I said flee, as in run. QUICKLY. Scripture uses the word “flee” in multiple verses to describe what we should do when faced with sin. It doesn’t say to sit idly by and try to think about something else, or to ignore it just this once. Nope. It says to hike up your skirts and RUN. Don’t give sin a fighting chance.
And if you are saying that you “just don’t feel convicted about that”(I’ve heard it before). That is a scary place to be. You see, if there is not conviction in your life in regards to this or any other sin for that matter, then you MUST examine your life and your salvation. Yes, I just went there. Scripture is very clear that once you are a believer in Christ, nothing can separate you from him or remove you from the hand of God. We must also remember that we still have that sin nature and even though we have Christ, we are not perfect because we are still living in the flesh. HOWEVER, if you do not feel conviction or if you find yourself constantly in the midst of sin, especially habitual sin, consider this: When we are saved through Christ, we become a new creation, a new creature, and we WILL walk and look different from the world. When we taste the grace of God, through his Son, we are changed. If you have not been changed, if you still look the same as the unbelieving world, it is time for a heart check. I fear for many that are quick to claim Christ, yet do not walk as we are called to.Take a look at 1 John. I fear for those who look the same as the world.
I challenge you, believer, follower of Christ: Don’t allow “entertainment” to be an excuse to invite sin into your life. Flee from sin, even the mere thought of it. Check out www.crosswalk.com. They have a great area on their site devoted to movie reviews. We have started looking up nearly any movie we want to see. I challenge you not to walk into a movie theater or turn on a TV show without checking out the review and matching it up with what scripture has to say. Sure, you might watch a few less movies, a bit less TV, maybe even abandon your radio station of choice, however, is that really such a big sacrifice compared to the sacrifice that was made by Christ on your behalf? I don’t think so. Our view of entertainment must be changed if we are to grow to be more like Christ. Are you willing to stand for that change in your household?