Wednesday, September 26, 2007

know when to draw the line

There are a lot of black and white areas in life...and then there are the grey. I think TV & movies is one of those grey areas. As Christians, what is okay to watch and what isn't?

It's almost impossible to find a TV show or movie these days without pre-marital sex, curse words and immoral actions. Does that mean we shouldn't be watching ANYTHING??

I'm not going to preach on this subject. It's not my right -- and quite frankly, I don't know the "right" answer (if there even is I said -- it's a grey area, at least in my opinion). But what I do want to advise is know when to draw the line for yourself.

For example: several months ago, Les and I had a friend over for a movie night. We watched the first one and all enjoyed it. Next, the guys wanted to watch a movie that we had taped off of pay per view when we had $100 worth of free PPV movies when we signed up for satellite TV. I wasn't too interested in it, but I figured I would give it a shot. The movie was called "The Hills Have Eyes." Has anybody seen it? If you haven't -- I wouldn't recommend it!!

Anyway, it was only about 5 minutes into the movie where I knew I shouldn't be watching this. There was this feeling in my gut and I just knew I should draw the line and leave the room.

But I stayed.

About 15 minutes later it was just getting worse and worse. I wasn't enjoying this movie AT ALL, yet for some reason I kept watching it. I was in my own house -- I could very easily have gotten up and done something else to keep myself from watching the horror that was greusomely being displayed on the TV screen.

But still I stayed.

I was disgusted with what I was watching, and I finally drew a line for myself. I told myself, If they do anything bad to that little baby -- I'm outta here! Well, about 15 minutes later my line was crossed. This freaky looking evil creature pointed a gun at a screaming little innocent baby.

And I got up and left.

I'm proud of myself for leaving when my line got crossed. I only wish I had drawn the line in a different place. I wish that my line would've been at the 5 minute interval when I already started feeling uncomfortable about what I was watching. Or at least at the 15 minute interval. But I had let myself take in too much of the horrific scenes and my mind was a little traumatized. I went up to my room and started to read a book -- a simple, easy-reading Christian romance book -- but I still couldn't relax.

I felt like I had let evil into my house.

So I prayed. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. I prayed for that little baby in the movie. I prayed for the parents who allowed that baby to be a part of that movie. And I prayed for the evil to leave my presence.

Now, I'm not saying that Les and Paul are horrible people for watching the rest of the movie (the baby ended up surviving, by the way -- Les gave me that comfort once he came upstairs). It obviously didn't affect them in the same way that it affected me. People have different tolerance levels and different tastes.

The same goes for me. I know some people who can't stand to watch the CSI shows on TV. It's too horrendous to them and they will just not be a part of that. But I watch CSI and I enjoy it. Don't get me wrong -- I don't enjoy the bad things that happen to the people on the show. But I enjoy it from the intellectual perspective. I enjoy watching their creative minds figure things out (and usually CATCH the bad guy/girl). Am I a bad person for watching it? I don't think so.

My point that I'm trying to make is to know when to draw the line -- for yourself. If you have a feeling in your gut that this isn't right FOR YOU -- then walk away. Turn off the TV if you're the only one watching it (or change the channel). Or walk out of the room if other people are still watching. If you're at a movie theatre, be prepared to leave (this can get tricky if you're with someone who isn't having the same problem with it as you are).

But make that decision for yourself. You can't make it for anybody else -- we all need to be the judge of what's okay for us and what isn't.

Just make sure you have the courage to walk away if your line gets crossed.


Jamie said...

Wow--great thoughts!

Melanie said...

Those are some really great thoughts.

One time I was watching Desperate Housewives and my hubby said, "I don't think Jesus would watch this show." The more I thought about it- I wondered if Jesus would watch any TV or movies. Just like you said- it's hard to find anything without pre-marital sex, swearing, violence, etc. It's really hard to know what do.

Reminds of the childrens song- Be careful little eyes what you see- for the Father up above is looking down in love- be careful little eyes what you see.

It a very gray area to me too!

TammyIsBlessed said...

Good post.

I think, unfortunately, most of us Christians draw that line a lot farther than we should. I think we've become so desensitized that we don't even realize how bad it's become. I think this is one area it certainly wouldn't hurt to be a little more conservative than we are.

ValleyGirl said...

Despite the fact that I'm an indiscriminate TV fan, I have to say I don't really think this is a grey area. For those of us who claim to be believers and followers of Christ, right and wrong and what we're supposed to be filling our minds with is pretty clearly laid out for us. Where our decisions come in is whether or not we're going to think about what we're watching and whether we're going to heed or disregard our convictions. Obviously, I lose in this arena.

Pamela said...

Great post! I will watch things that I won't let my kids if I don't want them to watch it...why should I??