Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Christians and the movies

A couple years ago I walked into the movie theater, and I saw a Christian couple I knew walking out. We stopped in the lobby, said hi, and I asked them what movie they’d seen. The guy shook his head and named a flick about a serial killer’s rampage (I think it was Summer of Sam). I was surprised this couple, who helped in the youth ministry and even had a Bible study group meet at their house, was watching a film like this. I remember the guy said, “We should’ve walked out.” And I couldn’t help but think, “Well, why didn’t you? Why did you even pick this movie in the first place? You had to know what you would see.”

I don’t say this to condemn this couple. We all make mistakes. We’ve all watched things we shouldn’t. But the question I’ve been asking myself lately is this: How will people know we’re Christians if we watch the same things everyone else does?

Some will argue we need to watch so we can be relevant. We need to be able to talk to people on their level, and sometimes that means watching things we wouldn’t normally watch. I see why people use this argument. Relevancy is a big issue in the church—too many people are completely irrelevant to the world. But is this really the answer? I find it hard to believe that Jesus would need to watch an R rated film so he could better minister to people. The Bible says, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Here’s the bottom line. When people look at you, do they see something different? Do they look at your life and want what you have? 1 Peter 3:15 says, Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

But if there’s nothing in our lives that sets us apart, how will people know to ask us?


Rel said...

Great post, CJ!

With Alyice Edrich said...

I remember reading that a gal in ministry I respected watched a show that left her feeling like crap for days afterword. It was a romance flick, but the guy left his current relationship for another relationship and everyone was basically routing for the unaware mistress.

When she evaluated how she was feeling, and where it was coming from, she realized that God had spoken to her. Those were not shows she should be watching and she stopped.

I love chick flicks! I love to see the underdog win. I love to route for a couple that should be together, and sadly that seems to be at the cost of another relationship. I never thought about that until I read her statements.

Now, I am more conscious of the chick flicks I go to see in the theatre--even though some of the classics are still parked on my video shelf.

Sally Bradley said...

Great points, CJ. If we want to be relevant,the Bible is what we need to be in, because He is what is relevant.