Several of our younger visitors and a few of the older ones seem to want to excuse sins in cinema with the argument that the Bible contains tons of sin. They ask "Why don't you CAP the Bible? It is full of sex, violence, hatred and other sins."
Since the numbers who argue the point appear to be growing (as if the idea has been posted on some message board or in some chat room and has oozed into others), we prepared a special reply for the folks who seem to want to excuse sins in cinema with the sins in the Bible and indeed seem to think they have found a great and victorious piece of worldly wisdom.
Note that the essay is directed at those who have communicated great animosity toward this ministry telling you, mom/dad, the truth about the content of films so you might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision on your own whether a film is fit for your family.
Trying to excuse sin in "sin-ema" with the sins in the Bible is excusing defiance OF His Word with trying to USE His Word against His Word against sin.
God condemns sin whether in our lives or the lives of those in the Bible. Truly, that a sin is in the Bible does not excuse the sin nor does it excuse sins in our lives or in and as entertainment. Trying to excuse sins in entertainment with the sins in the Bible clearly points to whether one honors God's Word AND whether one reads only the little pieces and parts that seem to fit an agenda, ignoring the total of what is said. The sins in the Bible are written of to provide example by which to teach without demonstrating them as is done in entertainment. In no case does the Bible demonstrate any sin (as films do) let alone speak of sin to seduce us to sin or to excuse our own sin or to give us pleasure.
And if sinful behaviors in movies are used to teach then one risks 1) condoning the sins of the one demonstrating the sinful behavior and 2) teaching the one being taught how to behave how to misbehave. In other words, using demonstrations of misbehavior in and as entertainment to teach children (which includes at-home teens) not how to behave may instead teach them how to not behave. Karan Omidvari at St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark reveals that "impressionable adolescents" (she was speaking of teenagers) are at the age when its good to be "bad."
The sins of the men in the Bible are NOT there to give us justification to do them ourselves, to entertain ourselves or to give us the autonomy to decide on our own whether a behavior God says is sinful really is or not. Whether intentional, the sins in entertainment serve as lures and examples for aberrant behaviors and thoughts and inevitably become behavioral templates whether those templates are acted on or not. Further, rarely are the "consequences" in movies, if any, more than mere token. The Bible is crystal clear about the consequences of unforgiven sin. And nowhere in the Bible are there any audio or motion picture demonstrations of sinful behavior. In addition, when teaching us about sin, not once did Jesus e-v-e-r demonstrate any sin (as actors/actresses do) or even encourage our participation in any sin (as enjoying the display of sin does). And never did He speak of sinful behaviors and images as attractive, desirable, acceptable or "cool" as many movies do.
What about descriptions of sinful behaviors in any sort of graphic detail? The Bible speaks in understatement, e.g., "He took her" or "sliced off his ear." Quite a bit of difference in perspective indeed. Much experiential maturity not possessed by most children (again which includes at-home teens) is required to perceive the true meaning of such texts without letting one's own hedonism contaminate and counterfeit the Words and their meaning. Not so in many films which steal the very childhood from children. By the way, a glaring paradox haunted me as I tried to find justification in the Bible for the G, PG, PG-13 and R classifications established by the MPAA. Specifically, I tried to find where in the Bible at what age sin becomes no longer sin. There was none. I did find, however, that any behavior which is sinful for a child is also sinful for an adult ("legal" is not part of the issue). I found also that anyone who teaches and/or causes a child to sin would be better off if a millstone were tied about the neck of the one teaching and/or causing a child to sin then cast into the sea [Luke 17:2]. You may be desensitized to what God calls sin, but God is not. Why should He? He gave up His mortal LIFE for our sins.
As another example for comparison regarding the degree of influence of subject matter in the Bible versus in movies, reading "was killed by" is a l-o-t different than watching and hearing someone thrust a 14" knife into a man's body, repeatedly, slowly at first, seeing the steel of the blade disappear, appearing more stained with each withdrawal as blood spews, splatters and pools, the body twitching with each new thrust until it twitches no more then pumping eight rounds of .45 bullets into the body with steely coldness to make viciously and brutally certain the victim is dead. As graphic as that description is, in text it is not nearly as invasive as seeing it in action on the larger-than-life screen plus hearing the viciousness of it in 1000 watts of chest-thumping audio power.
And I wonder what would happen to the circulation of Playboy(tm) magazine if it were to replace its photographs with written descriptions of its victims using only the terminology and style found in the Bible? Nothing? Well!? Men buy Playboy(tm) magazines for the articles, don't they?
Quite a bit of difference between sins in entertainment and sins in the Bible. At least for the Jesus-loving, Word-believing Christian. Remember, He spent three days in Hell so you would not have to spend one moment there. Do you really want to try to fight His Word by excusing sin in sin-ema with sins in the Bible?
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