Well, the movie industry strikes again with another movie that overwhelmingly appeals to the typical teenage girl. "Dear John" has already been deemed by pop-culture as the "must-see" romantic movie of the new year.
The movie is rated PG-13. Most Christian teens would have never blinked an eye at wanting to see a PG-13 movie because they knew that there must have been some unwelcomed content that would give it the "13" rating. The times, however, "they are a changin'"...
Well, tonight the movie hit the theaters, so I knew that good ole' http://www.pluggedin.com/ would have the movie review up. Of course, I went and checked it out. Here are some excerpts:
"And they do eventually have sex, too. As they undress each other we see his bare chest and her bra and panties. The camera zooms in on their torsos after the rest of her clothes come off. (Shadows and arms cover her breasts.)"
"A small handful of s-words. "Fricking" stands in for the f-word. God's name is abused two or three times. Once it's coupled with "d‑‑n." Jesus' name is misused about that same number of times. Other language includes a few uses each of "a‑‑," "b‑‑ch" and "h‑‑‑."
While as parents we don't always get it right, media choices seem to be the easiest and most obvious pitfall... not to fall into.
Biblically speaking, the use of foul language and, especially blasphemy, should not be condoned by the Believer. I've heard this line of rhetoric...um, justification...from various teens (and others) on the content of movies with foul language and blasphemy:
"Well, the content of the movie is good and it has a meaningful storyline. Everyone in public talks that way anyhow. I hear those words in school all the time. It's no big deal."
That line of thinking greatly frightens me. Here's why...
There is a HUGE difference in overhearing the language in a public environment and making the choice to sit down for two hours and pay $8.50 and condoning the content. Even worse, coming out of the movie and saying that it was the best movie you've ever seen and recommending it to others.
How can we, as Christians, sit idly by while our Savior's name is used as a cussword on multiple occasions?! I can see some Believers not even flinch as they pop in another bite of popcorn and sip at the straw of their soda as "GD" rolls off the lips of an actor on the screen. And why? All in the name of being "entertained".
This should not be. Watch what should be the reaction in a short clip from the movie "Time Changers":
Here's a typical conversation:
"If, in fact, the content of this movie is not THAT bad, would you be willing to show this movie on a Wednesday night or Sunday morning in church?"
"Of course not!"
"Obviously, because they are cussing and saying 'GD'. You can't show that in church! Plus, they would not think about it the way that I think about it."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, they might think about it in a worldly manner and they might be affected by it. I would not. I'm mature enough to handle the content."
I'm sure you can see where this conversation is going. Maybe you've heard the same line of reasoning from other people, or even maybe you used this line of reasoning with yourself as a form of justification. You wanted to talk yourself into going to see a certain movie and needed your conscience to be muffled.
If the content is not okay to show to the Body on Wednesday or Sunday, then why is it okay for you (part of the Body) to see it any other day of the week? Why have you established a different standard for yourself?
For those that would attempt to sweep this under the rug of "conviction", I challenge you to test the offense of using the Lord's name in vain (blasphemy) and foul language against the Scriptures. After studying it out, you will clearly see this is not a conviction, but rather a command.
I pray that you pray about what you watch before you watch it. Furthermore, I pray that you do not give "Dear John" $8.50 of your money or two hours of your time. Instead, let us stand up and say as the man in the clip above said:
"Stop the movie! You must stop this movie! The man on the screen just blasphemed the Name of the Lord! There must be some mistake! You must stop this movie! This is an abomination!"