What movies should Christians watch?
Most articles on this topic either say “it’s different for everyone”, or “this is what most Christians do.” Those answers are hard for me to swallow because I believe morals are absolute. What is “right” and “wrong” is determined by God alone and is not relative to individuals.
No matter how sensitive or tough you are, or what your personal conclusions are, God’s law is black and white. Anything against His character is sin – it’s rebellion against Him. I have a strong desire to know the truth and to know God. That’s why I decided to research this question: is it a sin to watch sin in movies and TV?
Before I go into the details, here’s my answer: If the content in movies or TV shows hurts our relationship with God or tempts us to sin, it is a sin to intentionally watch it.
I’ll divide this article into three sections: sex, violence, and language.
Is watching sexual content a screen a sin? Yes. If it causes you to lust or gives you sexual gratification, there’s no difference between sex in movies and internet porn.
It’s very clear in the Bible that lust is a sin.
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
In the old testament, a righteous man named Job also recognizes that what he sees, or watches, can cause him to sin.
I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
Along with tempting us to lust, sex scenes in movies often objectify females. They degrade the intrinsic value of girls in our minds. Females are made in the image of God – they shouldn’t be thought of as objects to be used for our sexual gratification.
God designed sex to be very good. However, when it’s used against His design, it’s dishonoring to Him. If films or TV series portray sex outside of marriage, pornography, or rape as good things, they’re spitting in His face.
There is almost no good that can come out of sexual scenes in movies or TV shows. In fact, the only possible way that these scenes could have any benefit to viewers is if they suggest sex in the way God designed it (within marriage) without causing the viewer to be sexually aroused. Check out the illustration below.
Does watching sexually stimulating content in movies or on TV hurt our relationship with God or tempt us to sin? Absolutely.
Violence is a harder topic to wrestle with. Opinions vary a lot when it comes to violence in entertainment.
Ultimately, everything comes down to how it affects our relationship with God. As John Piper says, “Whatever dulls the eyes of our mind from seeing Christ powerfully and purely is destroying us.”
Sometimes violence in movies can be justified. For example, movies that have a clear “good” side and “bad” side can actually help the viewers recognize sin and flee from it. They can also have a positive effect on viewers if the “good” side ultimately wins, reflecting the victory Jesus won over death.
However, not all movies portray evil as evil. Some movies (think Deadpool) can actually confuse the clear divide between right and wrong.
When violence is shown in a positive light, it can easily distort our view of God, and hurt our relationship with Him.
As a side note, sometimes seeing violence on the screen can hurt our relationship with God even if it is portrayed as evil.
First of all, is profanity even a sin? According to God’s Word, yes.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Excuse me if I’m wrong, but it’s kinda hard to build someone up using the F word.
In James, Jesus points out that Christians shouldn’t praise God and then go around swearing. It dishonors His name.
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?
If profanity in entertainment is encouraging the viewer to use it, it’s a good thing to avoid. Just like “you become who your friends are”, often what you hear becomes part of your vocabulary. How can Christians be a salt and light in the world if we aren’t pure in our speech?
Again, it all comes down to your relationship with God. If hearing profanity in movies causes you to stumble in your Christian walk, it’s a sin.
This article is applicable to everyone. It’s not just for “sensitive people” or for parents who want to protect their children.
If we, as Christians, want to grow in our relationship with God, we need to be careful what content we watch. It can affect us in ways we never thought it could.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
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