I reader sent in this question to me recently and asked if I would respond to it on the website, so here is my response to the readers question. I’m going to give my view, but I really hope that others will chime in and give their view as well
First, let me be honest with the fact that the Bible does not directly deal with the subject (as is expected since they did not have modern movies or rating systems), however principles in the Scripture deal with this subject.
Second, there is a certain amount of “gray” here. Meaning well-meaning genuine Christians will come to different conclusions on the subject. The main thing is all Christians need to deal with this issue and have convictions on them, while also being willing to listen to others convictions.
Third, ratings do not matter to me as much as content. So a movie could be rated PG and I might have problems with it. It could also be rated R and I might have no problems with it.
So here is my a non-exhaustive list that goes into my decision on what to watch:
1. I will not watch a show with female nudity or sex. Like Job, I have a covenant with my eyes not to look at another woman. To be honest to this covenant, I do not see movies that include those scenes.
2. I do not watch meaningless violence or “glorifying violence.” I know this might sound subjective, but let me explain. If I’m watching a movie based on some historical event, which included violence, then I feel the violence is a part of the story. This would fit into war movies, a movie like Passion of the Christ, or some other genre. However, certain movies seem to glorify violence or make light of it or just have it for the sake of violence, these movies I avoid.
3. Does it promote sin in a favorable light? If so, then its not for me. I enjoy satire. Good satire shows the problem with modern culture in a joking way. This at times means showing sin in a joking way, but the point behind the satire is to get the individual to realize how ridiculous the sin truly is. Other shows however, show sin in a funny way in order to make it acceptable. If a show is showing sin in a funny way and then affirming that the sin is in fact good or normal, then I have a problem with that show. The same can be true of a serious drama that never shows the problems sin causes.
4. How is God portrayed? More and more shows (even ones that receive a favorable rating) portray God in ways that are blasphemous. If a show does that then I change the channel or walk out.
I know these are broad categories and at times the require Christians to make individual judgments, but I think God has given us common sense and Scripture to help guide those decisions.
Now I would like to hear from the rest of you in how you make movie going decisions?
If you have question you wanted answered on this blog then send them to preacherwesley at gmail dot com.