(Sorry for the boring title. It’s been a long day…)
In my job as a youth pastor, the topic of movies comes up from time to time. What kind of movies am I allowed to watch? Is it okay for me to watch an R rated movie and tell my parents we went to see a Disney flick? Should I keep my kids from watching anything over PG-13? Is the Justin Bieber movie a sign of the impending Apocalypse?
Those are hard questions to answer (except for the Justin Bieber question. The answer is “Yes”). There are no hard and fast rules in Scripture that explicitly deal with entertainment. I mean, you have your “flee from evil, cling to what is good” verses, with your “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” verses as counterpoint. But no “thou shalt not see anything starring Seth Rogen, but Mel Gibson is okay” type verses.
Personally, I have two rules for watching movies. Rule number one, I am paying big bucks to escape reality for a couple of hours. I don’t want to watch a movie that is about real life, especially one where the good guys die in the end. “The Perfect Storm” was a perfect example those kinds of movies that I detest.
Rule number two, if the movie has a “message” that it is trying to get across, I want to be able to gently draw the message out and ponder it. I can’t stand movies where the message has all the subtlety of a cinder block to the back of the skull…
…Which gets me into trouble from time to time. Most movies that are billed as “family friendly, faith based alternatives to Hollywood” definitely fall into the cinder block category. Add to that the reputation that so-called “Christian” films have as being less than stellar when it comes to such trivial matters such as plot, script, special effects, and acting, and you have a movie that I will probably regret seeing.
Parents tend to not like that kind of attitude in their youth pastor. But I want to get kids thinking about their faith. I want them to struggle with the big questions, and not have pat answers handed to them on a silver platter.
What are your thoughts on movies?