Imagine I called you today and told you I was coming to your house with some friends of mine; however, I also told you that after we arrived, over the next few hours, they would curse about 25 times, including at least 6 occasions of taking the Lord’s name in vain. Additionally, a number of the girls would be walking around very scantily dressed, and there would be discussions in front of your children, parents, and whoever else is present about sex between unmarried people. Would we be welcome in your home?
What if I called and told you I was taking you to a get-together as my guest and it will cost the equivalent of a good meal to get in the door. However, once we get inside you will be bombarded with cursing on almost 50 different occasions, and you will be walking through a room with three scarcely covered individuals in bed together in a sexually implicit situation. Would you go? Maybe an even more important question is: what would you think of me for going?
Now what if I told you that the first instance describes the things found in Iron Man 3 and the second one describes the new Star Trek movie: Into Darkness? If I were to submit either of these settings to you individually you would be appalled, call into question my influence and Christianity, and tell me how you and God expect more of me; and you would be correct. So why do we not exercise the same values when it comes to our own entertainment? We invite them into our home, or worse yet, spend the money with which we have been blessed to slap God in the face with what we find enjoyable.
It is especially difficult to understand the persistence of Christians in these actions when there are such wonderful inventions as Clearplay DVD players that will filter those things from said films and make them what they should have been in the beginning: clean entertainment. Yet we are willing to continually subject ourselves to such because we are too impatient and caught up in the world to wait for a means of appropriate viewing; and then we compound our errors of influence by talking about how great these movies are and recommending them to others.
We have often heard the words of Philippians 4:8 in regard to such things as this, but it has often seemed to be too abstract for some to grasp. Therefore, consider the words of Solomon when he wrote: “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not… My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood” (Pro. 1:10, 15-16). Notice, he does not state that the way of sinners does not entice or is not appealing, but pleads with his son not to walk the path with them.
In another passage he writes: “For wisdom shall enter into thy heart, And knowledge shall be pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall watch over thee; Understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of evil, From the men that speak perverse things; Who forsake the paths of uprightness, To walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, And delight in the perverseness of evil; Who are crooked in their ways, And wayward in their paths” (Pro. 2:10-15). Are we walking according to wisdom, knowledge, and understanding; or are we following the paths of the unrighteous and their perversity under the excuses of our own entertainment?
If we are truly concerned about our influence, Christianity, and relationship with God: these things will cause us to stop and think about what we are doing before we next take that trip to the theater. I know that I have made many mistakes in this regard in times past, and my wife and I have had to work diligently to keep from making the same mistakes again. There are websites such as kids-in-mind.com and dove.org that give invaluable information in making such decisions.
However, if seeing these things has no impact on us and does not even give us a moment of pause in our decision making, is God’s Word really having any impact on our lives? Or do we only allow it to impact our lives where and when we want?