Thursday, March 25, 2010

Should Christians Watch Movies?

Watching movies has been a favorite past time since I was a kid. I remember watching movies late at night with my parents, like Jaws and Killer Rabbits (not official title) and having discussions about what's real and what's not. One of my favorite classes in college was the "Art and History of Film", especially when my homework was to watch movies, holla!
Even though I love watching movies, I love my Lord Jesus Christ most of all! Do movies fit in a life devoted to Christ? Well, I don't remember Jesus going to the cinema and to be honest I don't know if he would go into a theater for the sole purpose of watching a movie. I don't know... Maybe there will be a time where I stop watching movies, I don't know. I do believe that the idea of watching R and even PG-13 movies split Christians and non-Christians alike. Some think it is ok and some don't. In Galations, Paul talks about Freedom in Christ and that we should not use this freedom to indulge in sin. So I believe it comes down to the heart. If watching certain movies causes you to sin, I say don't watch. I know my self there are movies I don't like to watch movies that contain a lot of sexuality, nudity, persistent vulgarities, over indulgent violence, gore, stories about infidelity, demonic and most horror movies. I do like to watch movies about people and issues people deal with on a daily basis. I like stories about redemption and change. God is in the business of changing lives and each unique person has unique baggage that needs to be checked in. I believe that movies reflect the thoughts and points of view of people that I might not have encountered and that leads to learning and understanding.
I watch movies in order to learn. I also watch movies to get out of the house and spend time with my wife. I watch movies because it is something I have been doing for over 20 years. Yet when talking about movies to others, except for this occasion, I am careful of my audience because my tolerance may be different from another and I do not want to offend a Brother or Sister in Christ. In Romans 14, Paul talks about not judging our other brothers and sisters. I should not judge a brother or sister who will not watch a certain movie that I would or vice versa for we will all stand before God to be judged. Paul also talks about some foods that some consider clean and some consider unclean, leading to arguments and judgements. Paul says to not destroy another for your own "eating." Be careful to not offend a weaker brother or sister. I would give up watching a movie if I knew it would offend another.

Watching and discussing movies gives me an opportunity to relate the truths of God to the ideas, values, philosophies that are portrayed in the films. I believe people are searching for truth and movies give us glimpses of what others see as truth. I see it as an access point to the Gospel, the One Truth, found in Christ Jesus. "I am the way, the truth and the light, no one gets to the Father but through me."


  1. I love the passage you're referring to, where Paul says, essentially, that we know the parameters of what's morally acceptable for us, but that other people's parameters may be different than ours. That is one of my favorite parts in the Bible, because it implies we don't all have to believe the same things to be moral and Christ-loving people (and good thing, too, since we DON'T all believe the same things!).

    I *DO* definitely think Christ would have gone to the movies. Christ was a man of his times, and didn't hold himself apart from his culture, but immersed himself in it. WWJD? IMHO, he would watch an R-rated movie. If it was good.

  2. I think he would watch, "The Passion"... :)

    Yeah, I could see Jesus watching a movie, even an R for these reasons: In his day, he encountered sex (Not to say he had sex, but dealt with prostitutes, etc.), vulgarity, violence, greed, murder, and even demonic activity and I am not sure how He dealt with all of that as a Man. So if he could deal with the real, he would deal with the reel.

  3. When he returns to earth, I doubt he'll stop for the latest blockbuster. (If they are still showing movies at the time) He is always about the Father's business. He would not need to watch them to learn or to be entertained. If he did enter a theater, he may not be able to focus on the flashing screen because his heart would ache or be full of love for the flesh and blood and souled people sitting next to Him. And after that he would probably sneak away to a quiet place. Just a thought.

  4. But of course... that doesn't mean we cannot watch them.