“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.” ~Phil 4:8-9
Recently, a slew of new movies came out: Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Thor, Kung Fu Panda 2, and some I don’t even know. If you’re like me, you like watching movies. The acting, the plot, the creativity behind it is all interesting and engrossing. However, before we watch any movie whatsoever, from Bob the Builder to Pirates 4, we have to ask whether it portrays things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Does Bob the Builder portray things that are honorable? Sure, it’s about a construction worker and his team serving others and though a children’s show, it encourages behavior that many adults in today’s world could stand to learn. Does Pirates 4 portray purity, truth, and virtue? From what I’ve heard, it doesn’t sound like it. Now ultimately, you are the one watching the movie and you have to put it through the Scriptural test yourself. Also, I know that you may have already seen Pirates 4 and I didn’t bring it up merely to call you on a movie that I might judge as worldly and sinful, but more as a reminder to constantly compare the things you watch, say, think, do, and write against the standards of the Word. A while back, my dad checked out Gladiator from Blockbuster for us to watch on ClearPlay, but even though it filtered out almost all of the bad stuff, after getting halfway through, I finally decided to not watch anymore. Now I like action as much as anyone, I enjoy seeing the physical maneuverability of the human body evidenced in eye blurring martial arts and sword fighting as much as anyone. But the theme of the whole movie was revenge, bloodshed, and un-Scriptural motives. True, there was heroism and nobility, but the bad was so much more than the good, that my conscience convicted me and I went and read a book instead. Again, I am not trying to put myself on a pedestal as a “goody-goody,” but am instead trying to exhort you to greater diligence. In fact, far from being an example, most of the time I grumble and talk to myself about bad parts of shows or books or speech, but I rarely take action. Stand up for what you believe in. Be respectful; do not cause a brother or sister to stumble, but stand firm. If you believe something to be unprofitable or un-Biblical, don’t watch or read it. If a believer uses the name of the Lord in vain, humbly correct them and bring to light their error. If they will not listen, then the fault is their own, but better to try and encourage them than to live in a constant compromise of faithfulness to the Lord and diplomacy. If it helps, make a list that you can run through to examine things or even better, memorize Scripture for each requirement. Take a stand, brothers, for if we don’t, who will?
Your brother in Christ,