Each weekend a variety of new movies move into the box office top 10 list.
But which of these are worth seeing? Which would you regret and wish you could erase the images from your mind? How can a Christian choose a good movie?
Today casual sex, often graphically depicted, is almost expected between the main characters in a majority of movies. Ratings of movies (with restrictions seldom enforced, as most teens know) have been steadily loosening—meaning less and less is being censored. Full frontal nudity, lots of blood and gore, and generous quantities of vulgar profanities aren't considered that big a deal anymore.
Media analyst Marshall McLuhan once remarked that "we become what we behold."
Presenting the biblical perspective, the apostle Paul wrote, "Evil company corrupts good habits" (1 Corinthians 15:33). Is it any less true of an image from the big screen?
Especially from a Christian standpoint, when we choose what movies we will watch, we need to ask some important questions:
Is this movie appropriate? Is the plot of the movie good for me? With a powerful combination of surround sound and high-definition, digital technologies allow for stunning imagery. It seems we get addicted to special effects, needing more and more to be thrilled. But what about the mind? We must guard this important gateway to our character and thinking. Consider: Would Jesus Christ approve of this movie?
Will this movie be uplifting and positive? The apostle Paul encourages us to think about true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy things (Philippians 4:8).
What lessons does this movie teach? Does it teach us to tolerate or embrace sin? Or that crime doesn't pay?
What is this movie rated, and why did it receive that rating?
Check Christian, family-friendly and value-based reviews. You can find information on the plot and the ratings on the Web site developed by the movie promoters. But remember, they are interested in getting your money. For a fuller picture, check value-based reviews from sites like www.pluggedinonline.com/movies/ (from Focus on the Family), www.christianitytoday.com/movies and www.movieguide.org. We may not agree with all the opinions expressed on these sites, but it can be helpful to read a variety of reviews before spending your money and opening your mind to the moviemakers.
What are the options? Movie ticket prices are constantly rising. And today's movies increasingly inject ideas in your mind that are not clean and pure. So, if you can't find anything worth watching, consider that it might be more fun and rewarding to do something else instead.
Why not go do something rather than passively watching? Your imagination is the limit of things to do that are fun and creative and that can help you build friendships. Simply talking with good friends in a peaceful environment can also be very profitable and stimulating. Learning from others while sharing your concerns and fears can be healthy and helpful in building lasting relationships.