Don’t Watch. But If You Do …

59

projector.JPGThe Bible never comes right out and says what to do with movies. Moses didn’t bring back a commandment that said, “Thou shalt not watch any R-rated film (unless thine film be titled Passion of the Christ).” Jesus never explicitly spoke about Hollywood. We know the Bible has as much to say to modern-day believers as it did to those 2,000 years ago, but let’s be honest: Reading the Scriptures isn’t a science. If God’s will was always obvious, we’d probably have a lot fewer denominations.

Over the last couple of weeks, you have reminded me of that truth. When I read the robust dialogue (here and on our Facebook page) inspired by The Hunger Games or the discussion for Adam Holz’s “Titanic and Sexting” post, it’s pretty obvious that Christians—Christians of good faith—can look at movies quite differently.

I love reading what you have to say—even if it’s sometimes critical of what we do here. Take, for instance, what puzzled told us:

“… honestly, I can’t understand why your website would even consider reviewing almost any rated R movies at all. I thought this was by christians for christians.”

Other readers answered puzzled. As kate wrote, “Christians watch R-rated movies (believe it or not), and that’s why PluggedIn reviews them.”

That’s very true. Christians do watch R-rated movies. And that is why we review them. But a wider question lingers: Should Christians watch them? Is it “un-Christian” to watch them?

Blacks and whites on a color spectrum or 1’s and 5’s on a rating scale can’t nail the lid down on this one, so let me share how we wrestle with the issue here in the Plugged In offices, er, I mean, cubicles.

Plugged In has two primary directives: One is to give you, the reader, as much information as we can to help you decide whether a bit of entertainment is suitable for you or your family to consume. We don’t often flat-out tell you whether to go or not, but regular readers know how to read between the lines. And they know that we’re fairly cautionary in our approach. That’s why so many of you come to us in the first place. So let’s take a torture-porn movie like Saw IV as an example. I reviewed that one, so I can speak to it directly. Clearly, from my review, you’d gather enough clues to know I’d just as soon you not go see it. But would going be a sin? That I can’t answer. Would it be unhealthy? You bet. Might it cause you to stumble in your Christian walk? Easily.

The other directive is even trickier. If a reader does see a film we’d consider unhealthy, how can we help him or her think about and process what they’ve seen?

For instance: It’d probably be fair to say that I took a rather dim view, content-wise, of the this weekend’s R-rated Cabin in the Woods. If you called me up and asked, “Is this a good movie for a typical Christian to see?” I’d say no.

But we know that some of our readers—some of our Christian readers—will see Cabin in the Woods. And if they do, they’ll be not just confronted with bare breasts and vats of blood, but with a strangely paradoxical message: Hyper-violent movies (like Cabin in the Woods) are problematic.

It’s a message Plugged In can get behind told in a film that Plugged In cannot.

How can we, in our reviews, or you, in your personal life, engage with that message—and others that can be found in problematic movies—without seeming to embrace the film, without giving in to its other elements? And how can we help those who see it process those unhealthier aspects?

It’s a tough thing to do, but we’re gonna try to do it here.

For the next few Fridays, this blog will look at how to engage with problematic films. We’ll give you tips from our own experience—how we gear up for particularly foul films, how we process their problems, how we drill down to weigh the messages. This doesn’t mean that we think it’s suddenly OK to see all the “bad” movies you want, you know, to practice or something. We’re still as cautionary as ever. But if we’re going to review R-rated fare, it’s only fair for us to talk about how we deal with it.

This post is the first in a series. Feel free to click on these related posts:

Sorting Out the Good, the Bad and the Excellent

How Come They Get to Watch Bad Movies and I Don’t?

Getting to the Very Art of the Matter

It Didn’t Really Bother Me at All

The Series Is Dead: Long Live the Series!

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

It says Don't Watch,followed by a BUT ( if you do ) .Don't means Don't.   Christians don't need to learn Hebrew and Greek.They're having a hard enough time learning   NO  and DO NOT  !!!!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Bob:

YetAnotherTeen, Fair enough. Still, it would be nice to have a better way to have a conversation here, in context with the post. :-)

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  YetAnotherTeen:

Threads are found on the Focus on the Family main site, this is just a blog for their media sub-section. Likes I would imagine would create issues in "like wars", with both sides in certain arguments (say, over Hunger Games, or R-rated movies) spamming likes on the comments that agree with their side, and it can end up a battle of which first post for which side is "liked" the most. I would imagine something like that would happen on their Facebook page. Notifications, I believe you can get those if you actually log in, for things like if someone replies to a message of yours or posts in a blog you're watching/commented on. As it is, all we have are names to allow people to know who's probably talking and email addresses that give a bit of accountability to those who post.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Josh:

I appreciate your comment and, as I said before, while I don't always agree with PluggedIn's conclusions, or their mission. I do still fairly frequent this site, just to see what they have to offer. I appreciate that they do what they do, and do it with passion. We may not agree, but they have my respect.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Bob:

Andy,

Believe it or not, I've seen the first Saw movie because so many people at the time around me were really digging it. I'm not a fan of the horror genre in general so it's not surprising I didn't enjoy it.

My point is that we need to discern as Christians. Your comparison of Saw and Passion of The Christ is a good one. Yes, at face value, both could be labeled as torture porn. But if we put both films into full context we see one that is trying to entertain for the sake of entertainment through shock value while the other tries to express the true horror of Jesus Christ tortured and crucified. See a difference there? Does it mean that every Christian should go see Passion of The Christ? Nope. Nor does it excuse lazily taking in a film like Saw with no redeeming value and say, "it's just entertainment".

As others have mentioned here, Romans 12:2 is particularly relevant: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of  your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what  is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

P.S. This comment system is the WORST. Where are the threads? Where are the "Likes"? Where are the notifications? Sorry to complain. It's just disheartening to see such active engagement here but using inferior tools for the task at hand.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  andy3193:

I like the Saw movies. I'm sorry but I do. I love the twist at the end and the films have one of the best theme songs. Theres not a lot of redeeming value I guess but thats okay. Its entertainment for me and each one of them kept me on the edge of my seat. You obviously havn't seen Saw, so this may sound weird to you but for people who have watched the Saw films know that they are good horror films. I'm not trying to start a debate or anything but the first Saw is actually less violent then the Passion of the Christ. Many critics have even called Passion of the Christ torture porn. I don't agree with that statement but I would actually encourage you to just watch the first Saw.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Bob:

Erik, Well said!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Bob:

On the other hand, I'd have to not read a lot of the Old Testament if I wanted to avoid stories of sinners sinning. There is redemptive value in telling stories where sin is on display. Not all stories are equal and not all movies need/should be seen. One key is whether a person is looking for mindless entertainment or is looking for something deeper. Discernment needs to take place at all times.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Bob:

Andy,

My question would be - what is the redeeming value in Saw? If you're not a Christian, by all means, watch it. But if you are a Christian then there should be more thought put into what we consume, otherwise we can quickly find ourselves transforming into Gnostics rather than believers in Jesus Christ.

And, if torture porn is fine for a Christian to watch then why not porn? Why not watch anything if it's all simply for entertainment?

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Bob:

Luke is right. My concern is more with stuff labeled and peddled as "Christian" but contains questionable teaching - at best. Since most films carrying the "Christian" label don't get seen by most, I'm referring more to music and books than other forms of media. Books and music have a strong distribution channel within our sub-culture and they get piped in and consumed without much discernment. Put an R-rated movie out there and it gets picked over with a fine tooth comb. At least with the R-rated movie I have some advance warning of what to expect. When I pick up that book or song by the latest phenom in christiandom it appears to be "blessed". Even worse is when you see the book for study at your church or the song being song during worship. Yikes!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Grace W.:

I appreciate how you review R-rated movies. Sometimes, I'll see a commercial for a movie that looks really interesting, but it will be rated R. I'll often think to myself, "THIS one will be different... THIS one has a good story and good actors, and it doesn't look THAT bad." But when I come to PluggedIn and review the review, inevitably I'll see how chocked-full it is with violence, sex and foul language. I don't know how many times PluggedIn has saved me from seeing nasty movies that looked decent in 2-minute previews but which were really much worse. I'm really grateful!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Larissa:

I definitely agree with you! Some of the "Christian" comments here are not respectful and are so judgemental it is a little embarrassing. I too am a devoted Christian who deeply loves the Lord. I watch the occasional R rated movie and feel no guilt about doing so. I also have a tattoo and listen to Bon Jovi all the time and yes, go to rock concerts. Guess what? God still loves me, and I have a great relationship with Him. I feel no condemnation whatsoever, because I know my spirit is perfect, and it's not about what I do, but about what He's done. Yes, I think it is right for our media choices to honor God, but I don't think God freaks out if I watch Saving Private Ryan, and I don't think I have to apologize aftewards or feel like a horrible Christian because of us. Our choices about which movie to watch don't make us more or less Christian, any more than going to church makes you more or less Christian. Just the one choice and the one relationship, and God doesn't judge us nearly as much as we judge each other. And I could say a lot more, but if I get going I'm hard to stop, so I'll quit now. So I'll just end with saying that I love PluggedIn and the job they do, and have often been saved from seeing bad movies, and even if I go see movies they don't recommend and don't always agree with their opinions, I appreciate their views and knowing exactly what to expect from the content.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Dona:

I haven't read all of the comments but some do say that they watch movies for the good that's in them and they ignore the bad. I don't think the ends justify the means. Why would Christians, people who are supposed to be holy, blameless, and pure like Christ, fill their minds with things that God hates? God says in the Bible that we are not supposed to cuss, why would we listen to it? We aren't supposed to murder, why go to torture movies? We aren't supposed to commit adultery, why watch people in a movie or on TV doing that very thing?  Sin starts in our minds so why fill our minds with sinful things?I feel sorry for the reviewers that they are reviewing such horrible movies. Everything we watch affects us. It changes us. It becomes part of us. I remember two 19 year old girls who were terrified when they stayed in a mountain cabin because of noises they heard outside. The next morning they discovered the noises were made by horses walking around but they'd been afraid because they'd watched so many Friday the 13th movies that they knew there was some psycho killer outside. That's crazy. The fear they felt is bondage and not of God.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Erik:

As for this--"But would going be a sin? That I can't answer"--I think it might be better to ask instead (as you already did), "Is it wise?"  And again, that's going to be a function of why someone is engaging in a work of entertainment, as much as of what they are examining.  I'm not going to call it a sin, because the Bible does not say it is.  To outline sins that God did not, is the same mistake the Pharisees made.  But lest anyone mistake me, I understand full well that not everything that is "not technically a sin" is necessarily good for us (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Erik:

This is going to be a matter of motivation and thought process.  Clearly the Plugged In reviewers aren't watching these movies to vicariously fulfill certain un-Godly desires.  (To the person below who talks about "looking at naked women," there is a difference between viewing something and lusting for it.  Merriam-Webster has one definition of lust as "[usually] intense or unbridled sexual desire," and this is different from simply looking, in terms of word meanings.  Unless you're going to condemn the Song of Solomon for its equally frank content [though I do understand that "Biblical sexuality" and "worldly sexuality" are often not one and the same thing].)

I can't answer why people watch one thing or another.  People watch different things for different reasons, which aren't always as simple as blind, sponge-like entertainment, so to speak.  Note this, and note this well: listen to your conscience. (Romans 14)  If you don't feel comfortable watching something, it's probably not wise that you force yourself to do so (14:23).

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  jewelz0931:

I do certainly believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs.  That is one of the wonderful things about living in the US.  However, once someone has chosen to follow Christ and call him/herself a Christian, they are no longer entitled to that.  Christians are no longer their own, they have given themselves to the Lord.  Therefore everything a Christian does and says must reflect that he is now belonging to Christ - that is the goal.  I like what First Peter 2 has to say:9. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  10. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not recieved mercy, but now you have recieved mercy.  11. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.(skipping some verses about obeying authority...)16. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.Doesn't mean anyone actually perfectly lives as God's slave, I know I don't, but that is who we are to be.  And as such, we are to make judgements based on Scripture about what is right and wrong and, having judged ourselves by this standard, judge the actions of other believers.

By the Bible's standard I do believe that there are some movies that are downright sinful for anyone to watch.  I think there are movies that are wrong for some people to watch and not wrong for others to watch.  I think that the first scenario is more common than we'd like to admit.  I think nearly all Christians like to justify certain movies, because they are entertaining and enjoyable.  We say we can't engage with our culture/friends if we don't watch them.  We say people will call us prudes and not listen to what we have to say.  We say that it doesn't affect us.  We say the story was redemptive enough to make up for the bad parts.  I've said all those things at least.  But as foreigners and exiles we aren't supposed to engage with every part of our culture/friends.  We are supposed to be called prudes and some people won't listen to us.  I accidentally let out a 'what the h--l' a while ago, something that I'd never done before, and my thoughts stray towards impurity much faster after watching sexuality, so it does affect me.  And every great now and then I think a story can be redemptive enough to make up for the bad part(s) and therefore worth watching (esp at home where I can fast forward), and PI will usually tell me about that.

And that is why I'm thankful for Plugged In.  I check it before watching any movie these days.  Actually I also check it every Monday when they send me that email and read reviews of all the movies out so I can, to an extent, engage with my culture/friends and say why I'm chosing to not watch that movie - because someone I trust said it had certain parts I'd rather not see or hear.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Atctz:

Thank you AnonymousVoice, I will check that out. I can understand where Plugged In comes from in their reviews, afterall this is a religious organization so I have no problem with reviews that are biblically based. I am very impressed with the number of different media types that PI reviews. Pretty much all the new media out their be it games, movies, music whatnot are up almost immediately after they come out, I do find that impressive. I am trying to practice media discernment with my daughter. It can be very difficult and we meet in the middle, which for many on here would be way over what they may allow in their house.

I guess I was just trying to say in my previous post that I respect everyone's opinion on here, I just feel their are some out their who only want others to listen to their viewpoint and their interpertation on things, and if you don't your a sinner. That kinda take it or leave it absolute just goes against everything I believe.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Barrister:

If you you see a large semi truck coming quickly down the road and someone is standing directly in its path, seemingly obviously to it impending impact; then "worrying" about the truck's effect on that person is quite justified.  Likewise, being concerned about the impact of prominent films on the culture is not giving into a "sprit of fear", but portraying a healthy Christ centered concern for the state of our culture.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  TheAntiFistPumper:

Plugged In's reviews are fine if you want a quantitative analysis of how many instances of each particular curse word are in a film. If you want a more qualitative review of a film which is not tied to specific religious dogma or aimed at steering readers to the ministry bookstore, I recommend Common Sense Media. Easy to find by adding .org to their name, they review by age-appropriateness as well as quality, because Heaven knows, a lot of the things PI raves about because they are "clean" are terrible when it comes to craft and story. I've also noticed while PI has an axe to grind when it comes to language and any nudity and/or sexual content, CSM comes down harder on violence and consumerism. Worth a look when you want a second opinion!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Atctz:

After reading  the comments on this blog, I don't want this to sound harsh but the attitudes and thoughts of what some have written is exactly why I am not a Christian. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, thoughts, and beliefs and I would never take that away from anyone. My belief is that you have to do what you feel is right and moral for you and your own family, however telling others that if they watch a particular movie, or show, or go to this rock concert or that one that they are disobeying God and being a bad role model is just wrong in my opinion.

I have stated before that I do not agree with much of what Focus says and believes. I am a very middle of the road kinda guy and try to steer clear from extremes. I have always appreciated Plugged In because I do think that this is a great resource for parents and those who want to know what kind of content and whatnot is in a film. I use it all the time when checking out movies that my daughter and I can watch together. I totally understand that many people who use, and post on this site are very committed, and devoted Christians and I appreciate that I am able to post in these forums and blogs. I do agree with Plugged In that the culture we live in today is in many ways very extreme and toxic , and protecting our kids from that and letting them be kids is very important. Thank you for reading.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Josh:

Ok, honestly, I don't feel that your statement " Respectfully, I would question if someone was a Christian if they enjoyed watching people being tortured and dying on screen." is actually a respectful statement. It's hard to really describe, but I'll give it a go...

Scary movies have been around for a long time. Hitchcock, and the other classic horror directors, made bank on this entertainment. It was considered pushing the envelope back then, now it's considered pretty tame, slow moving stuff.

That's how the Saw movies are. My friends and I don't revel in the fact, as you seem to imply, that people are dying, or being tortured, it's more the experience of hanging out with a bunch of friends and getting scared together. Simple as that. It's no different to us than watching a movie like Coach Carter, or The Dark Knight. It's entertainment. Sometimes you don't need something deep, or super profound, sometimes you just need to unwind with a lame, plotless movie.

But I find your comment to be a bit harsh. Jesus Christ is the single most important thing in my life. I don't need to watch movies like Fireproof, or Courageous to know that. What honors God most, in my opinion and personal experience, is our relationships with people, not how many R rated movies we avoided in our lives. So many outside the Christian belief system would never have anything to do with Christians because they believe that we're somehow all like Ned Flanders and crew. But we aren't. Maybe stepping outside of the comfort zone can lead to people taking a new look at the faith system.

I wouldn't presume for everyone to think and act the way I do (that's why the Body of Christ is so unique, and I respect that), but I would definitely challenge you for taking one verse from the Bible, and inferring that people who don't act in accordance to it, are somehow not in Christ. Only God knows the heart.

And, in addendum, I think much too much time is spent talking about what Jesus wouldn't do, and not enough time is spent talking, and living what he would do.

Just some thoughts and opinions

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  AttemptTruth:

Please note I have not read everyones comments but we must realize that even TV itself is only about 100 years old..  What did people do before that.   Familys read the Bible, worked on projects, etc, etc.  The Bible does comment on movies.  It simply says "They shall turn unto endless fables," and if this isnt God directly acknowledging Hollywood I dont know what is, "and endless geneologies."  Star Trek 1, Star trek 2, Star trek 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, oh lets start all over at the begining and reboot the entire series.  Hollywood repackeges the same stuff over and over and God put it in scripture that they would do so....  You see All the cussing, nudity, and sex is not the injury,  The quality work Hollywood does is the injury.....all the other stuff is the insult added to the injury.....  Since the creation of these media forms occured, the result has been a dramatic increase in down time or recreational time which does not accomplish much and deffinently has succeded  in cutting the indivuduals time with God down considerabley........as far as rated R movies ....Period pieces many times can have no sex, nudity, or cussing...but usualy have violence which of course is the only fake one of these listed faults...but it does look real....  I remember sitting in the theater watching Gladiator watchng one of the underlying themes of the movie which was the negative thoughs given to the mob of Rome seeking to see violence in the arena....When I had just paid $7.50 to see it as well......fake as it may be....

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Heather:

Thanks Liz for posting that. It pretty much summed up how I felt. I have a strong hatred of horror films because when I was a young teen a girl my age had us watch Ghost Ship without our parent's permission. I had never seen a horror film and as I watched it with fear and disgust she sat there laughing. It was funny to her. That was disgusting to me. People were being slaughtered, children included, and it was funny to her. The callousness of it made me realize why God calls us to keep becoming more pure and to respect life. I think horror films do affect people and make them callous and desensitized to real pain in people's lives. How many stories must we hear of people dying on the street and people just take pictures and send them to their friends. Or videos of decapitations and no one seems to be righteously horrified by a real man dying in a horrible way but gets excited that they got to see it in the first place. Real torture gets a "meh" and I also believe Christ's death is even given a "meh". How can we appreciate the agony he went through to save us if its just a blip on the screen of horrors that are viewed as entertainment. Death and torture should never be viewed as entertainment, but rather a tragedy that should never be repeated. 

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  anotherone:

Very well said Liz. Thanks for your post, I just hope others read it with an open mind and that people will consider the points you have made.

What does it say about us as a society that most of our entertainment comes in the form of watching people commit sins; murder, infidelity, stealing, cheating or lying. Why are we so entertained by watching sin? But then when we see instances of it in real life we are somehow shocked and amazed that such things could occur.

To me it doesn't really even come down to morality, rather a choice to not feed on the bread of corruption. Because no matter how you rationalize or justify it to yourself, you are affected.

You can never un-see or un-hear anything that you have ever seen or heard. Thats why the Bible warns us against putting vile things into our hearts.

The quality of the intake determines the quality of the output. Think about it like this; If you were to add just a minuscule amount of water to the gas in your vehicle every time you refuel, sure it will still run but after time your car will develop all sorts of engine problems and eventually will lead to complete engine failure. Sure you can have your engine rebuilt or you could buy additives to remove the water to prolong your engine life but the human heart has no such way of removing the impurities. Once it goes past the eye/ear portals into the heart, it is in there forever. There is no 'delete' button in the human heart. We can not simply erase those things which do not sit well with us except with the supernatural cleansing power of the Holy Spirit.

People (for the most part) are fairly cautious about what they put into their bodies these days but allow all manner of detritus to infiltrate their souls and do so willingly and pay to do so. Everything that we see and hear is food for our souls and sadly a lot of our souls are malnourished.

I pray that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened, especially in these (grossly) dark days.

Pray. Think. WAKE UP!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Kristen:

As an engineer, one of my responsibilities is to evaluate products, designs or ideas and decide on whether they are acceptable or not.  I have the authority to decide in these matters what is "right" (funtional, safe and meeting the contract requirements) or "wrong", and can expect that my decision will be followed.  However, my authority to make that decision rests not just on my credentials, but on a demonstrated ability to fully consider the situation.  When I provide credible and defensible reasons for my decisions, I demonstrate respect, protect my own credibility and reputation, and honour equally qualified colleagues whose opinions might differ from mine.

As a parent, I have the God given authority to evaluate with His leading, what is appropriate for my children, and can expect that they will do what I say even without providing a reason.  However, God in his love, created my children with free will and discernment (both intellectual and spiritual).  When I provide them with credible and defensible reasons for my decisions I show them respect and honour and help teach them to use discernment to make godly decisions when they are no longer in my care.  Just the other day, my older daughter asked why we didn't see a particular movie.  She accepted "it's not a nice movie", but she understood and felt included when her dad and I were able to back it up with "people treat each other unkindly and use rude words."  (Thanks Plugged In!) My authority doesn't come from having a good reason for my decisions, but my good reasons nurture respect for my authority.

God has the authority to tell us what to do and has every reason to expect that we will follow his commands, without question.  But in His grace, glory and love he allows each of us to choose to submit, or not, and he explains why he wants us to do things His way.  His explanations include a number of scriptual accounts that include graphic sin and cruelty, but amply demonstrate why the behaviour in question is not God's way.  His explanations also include instances where his prophets were asked to bear witness to ugly things so that others (including us) could learn from what happened without experiencing these first hand.  Giving us the details does not give Him the authority, but the details help us to understand and respect his sovereignty and love.

Seeking out inappropriate content for one's own pleasure, or creating nasty pointless entertainment is not the same thing as bearing witness to ugliness in the service of others.  And while there are certainly some shows where the content concerns are pretty obvious from the trailers and ads, I can tell you from first hand experience that's very often not the case, especially with films aimed at younger viewers.  I am grateful to Plugged in because your sacrifice gives me the ability to back up "because I said so" with "I love and respect you enough to tell you and teach you why".

As Christians, in but apart from this world, we can help build our credibility and the effectiveness of our testimony, and show love and honor to others, by providing well thought out and loving reasons for the things we will or won't do (or see or say) and what we believe.