You guys have made me kind of nervous. I thought I would get a lot of feedback (positive or negative I wasn't sure) on these movie/TV posts, but you have been eerily silent. So, I shall continue.
If we all agree that Christians should concern themselves with what is set before their eyes (and the eyes of their children), then we have to figure out how to go about that. It may seem like a very simple thing to do, but I imagine if you were a new Christian, and had previously watched whatever you wanted, this would seem a daunting change to make.
First, some practical things. There are several places where you can go to get good reviews of movies from a Christian perspective. My go-to site is www.pluggedin.com and I look up anything I can there. They even have reviews of video games. Julia also shared a few in the comments section of another post: www.americanvision.org/movieology and www.movieguide.org . Does anyone know of other sites that give reviews?
I have learned my lesson about reviews. We picked out a Mary Kate and Ashley movie from Netflix for the girls to watch called Billboard Dad. It looked cute....it's MK and A for goodness sake....it'll be fine. It was old and Plugged In didn't have a review on it so I read the Netflix reviews people left. AND IT WAS RATED G. So I thought all was well. In one scene, the dad is getting ready to go on a date and the twins ask him, "Dad, do we need to give you the safe sex talk?" Needless to say, this Mama almost choked on her lunch. I will be more careful or pre-screen from now on.
So you might think the answer might be to just watch educational things with your children. Documentaries will save the day, right? Um, I have a sinking feeling that is not true either.
I will say I have found older movies to be better. I'm talking about Shirley Temple old. Roy Rogers old. OLD. Morals were higher back then for the most part I suppose. I would still look into it, but you are probably safer with older movies than more modern ones and some of them are so charming.
Of course ask friends if they have seen a particular movie. Christian friends whom you trust. After all, we don't all have time to sit around pre-screening things for our children. We can help each other out.
The last thing I want to say is this. You will be hard pressed to find a movie or show with no "sinful things" in them. In movies there are bad guys and bad guys do bad things. I think the difference is, does the person doing the bad things get away with it? Or are there repercussions from their actions? For example, if a movie showed someone robbing and lying--I would want them to be caught and punished. Old westerns are great about this. In some movies, the characters act perfectly horrible and life just goes on. We cannot have a flippant attitude about sin. I wasn't allowed to watch The Love Boat growing up. Later my mom told me it was because people slept together who were not married to each other. Mind you when I was growing up, married people on TV shows did share a bed and it was even implied that they were going to....um, really share the bed. But if they were married characters then my parents were fine with that. (I'm talking about prime time TV here-nothing graphic-like Hart to Hart. Oh my word I'm showing my age.)
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from seeing bad guys do bad things on TV. My mom was always really good about making comments like, "Oh that horrible man! He just lied right to her face. That was wrong!" I also think discussing movies and shows afterward is important.
Am I saying it's OK to watch people engaged in all sorts of sinful behavior in movies? No..I'm not saying that. Obviously sexual sins are a bit much. But watching a bad guy who stole something get caught and go to jail? That I can handle. That we can discuss. There is good and bad in the world and I would rather my children learn about alcoholism from an episode of Little House on the Prairie than from real life experience. Especially with time to discuss it afterward.
I would like to wrap up with some thoughts from Erin and her husband. She left a comment on my last post that I thought just beautifully wrapped up this whole topic. I'd like to share part of it here:
"...it came up in our family devotion time, not by me, but by my husband! The point of discussion during family devotions was that it's not necessarily about setting "rules", but more of drawing close to God and seeing His beauty and preciousness so much that this other filth becomes just that in our eyes - filth. Guidelines (rules) and parameters/restrictions are beneficial and helpful, but as Christians, our goal not to be just "moral" people, checking off our "what we do right" list, but instead being transformed by our intimacy with the Holy Spirit so that our hearts no longer desire or are attracted to sin.
Amen! I couldn't have said it any better! So...some practical ways to have guidelines...and a reminder that it's really about loving the Lord.
NOW. I'm done. Any other thoughts?