Before You Watch Your Next Movie…

Before you take your family to watch your next movie, or stream a movie at home, I highly recommend that you exercise your due diligence, research the movie, and decide if it’s worth watching in the first place.

Changing Standards

It’s clear that the  standards in Hollywood are constantly changing for the worse, and the content continues to push the moral boundaries in terms of language, violence, nudity, and story content. Not only that, the ratings are no longer a good indicator of a movie’s suitability for certain audiences. So what’s a Christian to do when it comes to picking a family-friendly movie to watch?

Over the past few years I have watched fewer and fewer new movies, mainly because of my increased family responsibilities, but also because of the increase in trashy content, the cost, and the time involved. But for the rare movies that my family and I do watch, we like to first read a movie review from a Christian perspective- even if that spoils certain parts of the story! Yes, friends, purity comes before pleasure.

The Media Gatekeeper

No Christian wants to sit through two hours of a God-blaspheming, man-glorifying, bloody, and sensual garbage, let alone expose their families to such things. I think it behooves every Christian man to be the media gatekeeper of the family, in terms of what movies and tv are watched, what music is listened to, and what books, magazines, and internet content is read. Our calling is to lead, provide for, and protect those under our care.

Movie Reviews From a Christian Perspective

Here is the website my family visits for movie reviews from a Christian perspective. I think you’ll find it extremely helpful as well:

http://christiananswers.net/spotlight/home.html

Christian Answers Spotlight section has reviews on many of the latest movies released, giving each movie’s MPAA rating, main actors, director, producer, distributor, the overall plot and storyline. Most of the reviews I’ve read do a great job of analyzing different issues brought up in the movie from a Biblical standpoint. They also give ratings for Violence, Profanity, & Sex/Nudity, even giving exact numbers for each particular swear word in the movie. Or explaining the types of violence and nudity that are present in the film, if any.  This is a great way to avoid going to see a movie where our Heavenly Father’s name is taken in vain, or where we are exposed to nudity, or unnecessary gore and violence.

It’s definitely worth the few minutes it takes to read the review. And if you end up seeing the movie after all, the peace of mind you’ll have from reading the reviews will definitely outweigh any disappointment you might have from already knowing what the general movie plot is about. It only makes sense to do this. Otherwise we’re going in exposed. And that’s a dangerous thing to do.

Here’s another great website that reviews movies, tv, music, games, and books. I haven’t used it as much as the other site, but from what I’ve seen, it looks pretty good!

http://www.pluggedin.com

This second website is supported by Focus on the Family.

Go ahead and see which website works better for you!

If you still aren’t convinced about the need to research a movie before you watch it, please check out my 7 reasons below:

My 7 Reasons to “Research It Before You Watch It”

  1. God tells us to guard our eyes, as they are the gateway to our soul (Matt. 6:22, Psalm 101:3, Job 31:1, Matt. 5:28, )
  2. The Bible tells us to think about good things (Phil. 4:8)
  3. The Bible tells us to avoid myths and wives tales (1 Tim. 4:7) This is a big one!
  4. Time is precious and the Bible tells us to redeem it, not waste it on fruitless things. You can do a lot of good things in 2 hours. (Eph. 5:16, Psalm 90:12)
  5. Money is a gift from God, steward it well. (Deut. 8:18) Don’t spend it on things that pollute the mind and soul.
  6. (This is connected to the previous reason) We want to support things that are good, and not support things that are bad. Paying to see a movie is showing support of it, whether you end up liking it or not. (Unless you’re watching it in the hopes of some apologetical mission, or want to teach others about why it’s bad.)
  7. Would seeing the movie cause your family other Christians to stumble? (Matt. 18:6, 1 Cor. 10:32)

Have a Conversation

If you end up watching a movie with your family it’s always a good idea to talk about it when it’s all over; the characters, and plots, scenes, etc. Don’t let the movie just wash over you and your children, lift up the good points, and tear down the bad points.  

We’re in A War- Nothing is Neutral

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”  (Colossians 2:8)  

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Keep fighting the good fight of faith!

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Photo credit: Stuck in Customs via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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