“Oh, Be Careful, Little Eyes, What You See. . .”
Tim Challies’ post on Evan Almighty is right on target. He speaks about the blasphemous nature of movies in this line. It is an amazing thing that movies mocking the faith once delivered to the saints are being marketed to Christians and that many professing believers are falling for the bait hook, line and sinker without even realizing what has happened (see also Ben Wright’s post on this). I appreciate Tim’s confession that he is not strong enough to see the film without being drawn in. I could not see it myself, and, frankly, don’t see how any Christian can justify opening their minds to have such garbage poured in. It is so easy to become desensitized to the filth Hollywood pours out, particularly as it numbs us to a sense of our own indwelling sin.
This issue of what Christians watch is one that has been on my mind a good bit lately. There are certain things that are a matter of conscience in the Christian life things that the strong can handle without sin that the weak cannot. But there are other things that are sin no matter whether one is strong or weak. One area this affects is whether to view certain movies, even if only for the purpose of reviewing them to inform others. I am enjoying a gift subscription to WORLD Magazine, but I am not alone in expressing my concern, even shock, about some of the films and music reviewed therein. I am appalled that reviewers who name the name of Christ would subject themselves to the lewd content in many of the movies that are reviewed. How can one come away unstained? How can one participate when thinking of how to apply Psalm 101:3?
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:
I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
I recently saw a movie in which I was surprised with certain things I saw. They were mild, even innocuous by the world’s standards, but the world’s standards are not the Christian’s standard. If I had checked out the review at www.pluggedinonline.com, I might have avoided this. But even this movie was marketed to Christians and advertised on a pastors’ email list from which I receive updates. Neither WORLD Magazine nor preview.gospelcom.net gave sufficient warning to some of the suggestive content in the film.
A friend of my said the problem is idolatry. I think he is right. We bow at the god of entertainment and don’t mind overlooking a few “minor” things. We bow at the god of social and cultural acceptance and respectability. And what do we reap from sowing such seeds? We have people like the 7th grader I once spoke to who knew a great deal about Jim Carrey and nothing about William Carey. These are people like many we know, even pastors and seminarians; these people are quite a bit more like many of us than we may be comfortable to admit.
I am reminded of Isaac Watts’ words from “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?”:
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace
to help me on to God?
Don’t mistake what I’m saying. There are things that are acceptable for Christians to view. But we must be careful, guard our eyes and our hearts and remember that Hollywood is not our friend. “Oh, be careful, little eyes, what you see!”
P.S. See also the analysis of Don Fields on this topic here.