If we are that naive to think that we need to read an in depth review on an immoral film to see if we should watch it or not, then we obviously aren't reading our Bible enough! I grew up in a secular home watching most movies that came across the 'New Release' shelf. I studied Film as Lit, not only in school but also as a hobby. My family was BIG on films, knowing actors names, and their personal lives. I am going to give you a few tips to keep in mind when choosing films to watch.
PG-13 should be a red flag! Why would the entertainment industry caution those under 13 from watching it? Their standards are OBVIOUSLY not the same as Jesus has already told us in His Word. On the back of any film, where the rating label is, it will tell you WHY it has that rating. It may warn you about vulgarity, crude humor, partial nudity, etc. Right away you should put the film down! Why would you allow the same eyes that the Holy Spirit sees through, to see such things?
Rated R: Umm do you need an explanation for this one? Okay so The Patriot and The Passion are rated R, we know it's for violent scenes, there is no nudity, a few inappropriate words in The Patriot. If you have a TV Guardian, maybe you afford yourselves a few flicks if you know it's for language. Please be cautious! Some films have a language rating, but during the film the content of the conversations are about immoral physical behavior. For the most part, all rated R films are BAD for Christians.
PG, Parental Guidance Suggested: Remember what a said above about the entertainment industry's standards? Many years ago I watch a film from Disney that was rated PG. In the FIRST scene the camera showed a CLOSE UP of the man's REAR END. It took up the WHOLE screen! THAT was PG. Needless to say we took it back and demanded our money back and made a formal complaint to the store.
Actors/Actresses: Many of them are KNOWN for their immoral films, so why bother watching them? Time and time again I would try a film that I KNEW the actor was immoral and practically kicked myself for even trying to watch them.
Review Sites: There are a few 'Christian' review sites that offer the scoop on what positive elements, spiritual content, violent content, etc is contained in them. I'm sorry but I just HAVE to ask, what 'Christian' is watching all these films and reporting every tiny detail? I am quite certain they struggle with deep immoral temptations. Why can't someone just say 'Hey you know that film coming out this weekend? I know that actor has a bad reputation for immoral conduct in all his films, he also uses vulgar humor. Don't watch it.' Why do we think we can pick and choose which sins we'll allow across our television screens?
I do highly recommend a TV Guardian. We have the DVD/VHS combo machine with it built in, by Sanyo. Yet even though we have that we are careful what we watch.
My main point in writing today is that we don't need Pop Culture 'Christianity' to tell us the details about such films. We can use common sense and Biblical wisdom. Don't get caught up in those so called 'Christian' sites and their reviews. If we know the Word, we will know if it's a film or book we can read or not.
Psalm 101:3, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."
Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to a ministry leader of a Rescue mission. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.