This is something we have most definitely dealt with and have come to a satisfactory conclusion. (If I remember correctly, this was discussed on a list a long time ago, wasn't it?)
Movies and television dramas/comedies in which people act out sin in actions, speech, thoughts, appearance, expressions, etc., ARE TO BE AVOIDED.
"I will set no wicked thing before my eyes" (Psalm 101:3).
If you were watching something on television in which someone is dressed like a whore or in which there is a sexual scene or in which someone murders someone else, are you setting a wicked thing before your eyes? It has nothing to do with the motives behind what you are watching. If you have to set a wicked thing before your eyes in order to see what you want to see, then you are in sin. You are actually bringing these things into your household. Would you permit a wicked couple to do a "love scene" in front of you in your house? If not, why not? Yet you're doing this if you let it in via television.
You talked about "sifting where you believe there might be something of value." Tell me -- what movie that contains sex or violence or sexual talk or violent talk is something of value? Is that movie of such value to you that you can sit through the wickedness to get the supposed valuable portion of it?
You said, "the most obscene garbage may, arguably, be watched with an innocent intent. It depends on what you are looking for." Whatever the intent, the obscene garbage then enters the mind. And what would be the intent in watching a movie like "Die Hard" or "Body Heat"?
"whatever is true, whatever honorable, whatever is right, whatever pure, whatever lovely, whatever of good report, if of any virtue, and if of any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
Movies and television dramas/comedies glorify sin. Even when it is the "bad guy" who is murdering someone, this sin, by its depiction in drama, is glorifying it. This also includes the so-called "children's movies" such as the Disney animated movies in which the leading female characters are inevitably dressed like whores and in which wicked "romance" is promoted. Most of these are also infused with the occult: witches, magic, etc.
My brothers and sisters, TURN AWAY from such wicked trash. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!
"But I desire you to be truly wise as to good, but simple toward evil" (Romans 16:19).
Any image or visual representation of God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit, whether it is a painting or a sculpture or a living person or any other thing, is an idol.
The Greek word for "idol" is eidolon, which comes from the same root as eidos, which means "appearance" or "view" or "form" or "shape" or "fashion."
If a static picture of "Christ" is an idol, then certainly a moving picture of "Christ" (such as in a movie) is no less an idol. If a photograph of the actor James Caviezel as "Christ" hanging on a cross is an idol, then certainly the moving picture of James Caviezel as "Christ" is no less an idol.
The gall, the utter blasphemy of a sinful man pretending to be the sinless Christ, God incarnate!
People who watch Mel Gibson's movie will imagine James Caviezel to be Christ.
The religionist will bow his head to pray to "Christ" while imagining the face of James Caviezel. The religionist will mediate on the "crucifixion" and imagine James Caviezel being "crucified." It's all repugnant, nauseating idolatry.
A dove representing the God the Holy Spirit is an idol. A white-haired white-bearded man representing God the Father is an idol. A doll in a manger representing God the Son is an idol. See www.outsidethecamp.org/xmasidol.htm .
Also, while we're on the subject of movies, all the hype about the Mel Gibson movie has overshadowed the reality of the wickedness of most movies and TV shows and plays in general. Even the Mel Gibson movies in which there is no one pretending to be Christ are wicked. Any kind of "entertainment" in which people pretend to sin is wicked. That includes just about all drama, doesn't it? What kind of "interesting" plot would there be if there wasn't any sin?
This even includes "Bible drama" in which people pretend to commit the sins that are recorded in the Bible. Could a Christian in good conscience pretend to be Joseph's master's wife trying to seduce Joseph? Or could a Christian in good conscience watch such a thing?
Is it okay to watch a dramatic representation of sexual or violent situations? Or even a dramatic representation of thievery, drunkenness, covetousness, or gluttony? No. "Whatever is true, whatever honorable, whatever is right, whatever pure, whatever lovely, whatever of good report, if of any virtue, and if of any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
To God alone be the glory,
Hi, Jeremy -
Let's think about this. I'll try to get you thinking by asking questions.
Let's think about movies that intend to be entertainment. Are you entertained by sin? Do you find sin funny or fascinating or entertaining?
Now let's think of the sinners you encounter daily. In your daily life, are you entertained by the sin of the sinners you encounter daily? Do you find their sin funny or fascinating or entertaining?
What redeeming value is it to watch someone acting like a whore or an alcoholic or a fornicator or a liar?
And how about the ones who are actually doing the acting? Is it wicked to act like a whore or an alcoholic or a fornicator or a liar?
Could you in good conscience act like an adulterer? A murderer?
What's wrong with pornography? Doesn't pornographic stuff happen in real life? Where do you draw the line?
Would it be wrong to go to a beach in which there are people who are basically dressed in their underwear? If not, what's the difference between that and going into a bedroom in which people are dressed in their underwear? How about watching a movie in which people are dressed in their underwear? What's the difference between watching people on television in their underwear and having these same people in your living room in their underwear?
How about a "docu-drama" of a mass murderer? Is it wrong to watch someone acting out the brutal murder of someone? What about the brutal rape of someone? Where do you draw the line?
What's the value in all this? What do you want going into your mind? What kind of things do you want to think about? What kind of things do you want to spend your time doing?
I hope this gets you (and others) thinking!
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