|Posted by Pastor Jono on March 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM|
Following on from the last post, I suggested we ask ourselves three questions before deciding whether or not to watch that movie we are considering. Remember, our decision centers on the call of the disciple ("If any man come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me") and the essence of the first commandment ("Thou shalt have no other gods before me"). Our choice will either bring glory to our Saviour or not.
The first question to ask yourself was "Does this movie/show have sinful sights?" This was the subject of the last post so now we move on to a second question to ask yourself...
2. "Does this movie preach a false message?"
1 John 4:1 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
The answer to this question will not always be as obvious as to the previous question. We have to realise every movie maker is also a messenger. He or she is essentially preaching a message. Sometimes it is an obvious message, sometimes it is much more subtle. BE AWARE OF THIS! You may decide that though the movie is not full of 'sinful sights' it may not be glorifying God to support the messenger by paying him/her to rent/watch their movie with the money God has provided you with. Let's look at another recent example...
The Life of Pi was a recently released movie much celebrated by the media and endorsed by some Christians on Facebook etc. I did a little research on it and found that it is a fairly clean movie by Hollywood standards - no nudity, not full of gratuitous violence, a couple of minor bad words. But it is very definitely a movie with a message. Over the course of the movie the main character, Pi, goes through his extraordinary experiences and the idea is that they bring him closer to "God". But which God? At one stage Pi talks to a Catholic priest, a Hindu guru and a Muslim cleric and the idea that is promoted is that all roads lead to heaven. I have heard Christians promoting this movie because in the emotions of the story they applied it's message to their own relationship with the true God. However millions who see this movie don't know the real God and will leave thinking the gods of the hindus and the god of the muslims etc is all the same God. The movie is preaching a message to millions that you would be shocked if I preached it in your church!
Do you know who made this movie? The director's name is Ang Lee. The last movie he directed that was nominated for Oscars was Brokeback Mountain a movie about gay cowboys that was designed to promote homosexuality. Do we expect this director to make movies that honour and glorify God? At teen camp I see young people sitting in the chapel services listening to the preacher and some of them will have their arms folded, sitting low in their chairs, and glaring at the preacher defensively. They know the preacher is pushing a message and they are defensively analysing it! But how many teenagers will go to watch The Life of Pi and have the same awareness that this is a preacher pushing a message?
Every movie has a message. 1 John 4:1 tells us to try(test) the message. Parents, check out the movies your kids watch - what is the message? Educate your kids in the Bible so they know how to filter messages through the Scriptures. You wouldn't let a cult preacher into your churches pulpit, you wouldn't deliberately let a false teacher teach your kids sunday school - why would you let Hollywood preach and teach error to you and your children? And why, why on earth, would you give money to false preachers through movie tickets and rental fees so they can keep making more movies that delude millions?