April 12, 2021
Christian discernment goes beyond what you watch. It's also about how you engage with it.
Christian discernment may go "beyond" what you watch, but it certainly _begins_ with "what you watch."
In my many years of Christian ministry, I have noticed that discernment is one of the areas most Christians struggle with (or lack). If our minds are not being renewed daily by the Word of God, there is little to no chance that our viewing habits will consist of wise, godly choices.
What I find troubling about this article - with all respect to the author and her well-written piece - is that many will likely read it and see it as a justification for watching trashy shows. "Great, I'll just make sure I believe this steamy sex scene is truly loving." We are called to no longer conform to the pattern of this world, and I believe that must begin with what we allow our eyes and minds to consume.
I remember how uncomfortable I would get if my parents were in the room when something less-than-wholesome came up on TV. If the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and Jesus is present with us wherever we go, how do we - or how should we - feel when unwholesome (unholy) things are presented in whatever media we are enjoying?
I agree that discernment is personal, and what may be okay for you may not be okay for me. But we need to be careful that we don't use that as an excuse to watch whatever "feels good" to us.
Isn't it time for Christians to stand up for what is right instead of accepting everything the world offers as if it does not and can not offend our Holy God?
Well said! I absolutely agree. Some things are just wrong no matter how you cut it!
I believe there is nothing wrong with Christians watching TV, in my humble opinion there is not a lot worse than the 6pm News, our news a couple of nights ago, first seven items, five shootings, one rape and one stabbing, it does not get much worse than that, most of us watch the news which to me is a modern day live Horror Show, we just have to watch with an adult attitude and either turn your head away or hit the mute button when inappropriate scenes occur.
In The Bible We Are Called To Be Holy, We Need To Distance Ourselves From Cussing, Violence, And Nudity
I am grateful for this column and for your writing generally.
Between yourself and the equally (I’m sure) earnest and committed believers who’ve written in opposition to what you’ve written there is clear tension (sometimes taut as a musical string) on which we all must try to find balance.
I am an ordained minister (now Emiratis) in a Bible believing church. Additionally, I have a MA. in theatre and worked many years in that area as both an academic and a performer. The “secular” theatre (if there were such a thing) is where most of my practice and interest lie.
With both hats that I wear: Man of God and performer/entertainer, I have come to this tenuous peace about it.
First and of utmost importance is that the Name of God is precious and holy and is at all times and all places to be revered, is where all Christians must start. That the specialness of God’s name is to held In first place is reflected in that the content of the first TWO of the Ten Commandments are both about the sanctity of God’s name. If we can’t start (and end) there, we can’t have conversation.
But then, and decidedly in second place, God created us in his image. Part of that means that we are creators too. The impulse to make and participate in art is a great part of how that God-given character of ours is made manifest. Making art in which we seek to engage our shared humanity with audiences is holy work. God calls many of his followers to be artists.
Many of these artists have been led, (by God, I am confident), to communicate and create dramas and comedies and pictures and songs that need to speak in the vernacular in order to have believability in today’s stage and screen and digital artistic endeavors.
Here is a simple rule that I follow with regard to what I will watch or perhaps perform:
1) Rough talk. That includes barnyard language, obscenity, “hell”, “damn”, “f***”, “bloody,” “bigger,” etc. these I hear, and long for a more polite time, but watch on.
2). Profanity. This is speech that uses the name of carelessly. Modern screenwriting regrettably abuses the name of the Lord as if it simply is punctuation — exclamation points. This is to be greatly regretted. The Lord’s name abused as it so regularly is, is shameful and always to be noted and lamented. Also, such use almost always is just a substitute for good writing and the work as a whole is poorer for it. Often I will turn such stuff off because it’s not worth my time and makes me feel bad. But often, I keep watching because I agree with the writer that it is okay if not necessary. In truth, there’s many times when I wish I’d have turned it off sooner. I’m 77 and still learning!
3) Blasphemy. This is the use of Lord’s name, “weaponized.” When the writer or director uses The Name as a way to deride, to slander, or ridicule God and his people, the product deserves a stern rebuke and a letter of protest.
Rev. John F. Schuurman (emt.)
Throughout the new testament it speaks of being "of the world". Christians should avoid anything of the world. This is in so many tv programs and movies. In the new testament it says not to use evil and filthy communications. Do you thing if God doesn't want you using it I am thinking he doesn't want you hearing it either.
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