First, if watching scary movies violates your conscience (the “voice” that governs us with perceived wisdom in areas where the Bible speaks, and especially in areas where the Bible is silent), then do NOT watch scary movies (1 Cor. 8:7). However, we must understand that we show our weakness by limiting our Christian freedom (1 Cor. 8:7-9). The stronger brother or sister in Christ is the one that has a less sensitive conscience, not a more sensitive one (See 1 Cor. 8). We should be able to trust God’s Word, being in the world without being of it, instead of adding to God’s Word. So, once again, do not violate your conscience; however, I want you to consider freeing your conscience with the truth presented below. I hope this article better informs your conscience so that you can enjoy the Lord through enjoying His fingerprints that are still present in this sinful world.
DO enjoy the Lord through…
1. The creativity of the author(s) and director(s). According to Colossians 1:16-17, all things were created by Christ and for Christ. These created things therefore should be viewed as an avenue to enjoy Christ. As a result, when we see the marks of Christ’s creating power in the “natural” gifts of his creation, we should enjoy Him through enjoying these gifts.
2. The victory of good over evil. The very fact that the authors are contrasting good and evil proves that they live in our God’s world. There is a general moral standard that is pressing down on all humanity. The authors and directors cannot help but acknowledge these realities. Evolution cannot answer this phenomenon. Christianity can, for there is a sovereign Law-Giver. Whether they acknowledge Him or not, these movies point to God’s existence and His involvement in His creation (Col. 1:16-17).
3. The excellent acting of the actors and actresses. Stephen King’s movie Misery is a classic scary movie with excellent writing and acting. By acknowledging the Source of these gifts, we can enjoy the Lord as we enjoy His creation’s excellence. Apart from God’s gifting, excellent writing and acting would not exist.
4. Qualifying everything in light of what God has revealed in His Word. Whenever a scary movie argues for dualism, the eternal past, present and future equality of good and evil, shun this foolishness, and correct it in your mind with Scripture. God (good) is infinitely greater than evil. The television show Supernatural is full of this dualism, along with secular humanism. Recognize these realities, and remember that it is only possible to enjoy the Lord through truth. Jesus is the only answer to what’s wrong with the world: sin. No other human being or deity is the good news. He alone will save all that repent and trust in His finished work in order to be reconciled to God. Furthermore, God has never been enjoyed through sin or untruth.
DO NOT sin by…
1. Enjoying vigilante “justice.” A ton of media is full of vigilante justice. Biblically however there is no such thing in the mind of God. There is only righteous justice or unrighteousness. Vigilante “justice” is the latter. Whenever we see a man or woman hunted down by his or her victim, a rogue cop, a family member, etc., we must remind ourselves that vengeance is ultimately the Lord’s (Rom. 12:19); but while humanity is on earth, He has given this charge to His ministers: the government (Rom. 13:1-7). When they fail, we should trust the Lord’s coming vengeance instead of seeking our own (Rom. 12:19). On the flip side, whenever the government does its job, we can enjoy the Lord through their picture of His justice. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a show that deals with solving sexual crimes. Many times the victims are children. Talk about a temptation to hope for vigilante justice! When we are tempted with such things by fictional media and the nightly news, we must run to the truth of God’s Word, trusting Him beyond our own wicked desire to say, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says sovereign me!”
2. Enjoying the victory of evil over good. Fallen is a well done scary movie that involves a demon being victorious over humanity (Denzel Washington leads). At the end of the movie, the demon wins; good is snuffed out, and evil is victorious. The movie is correct in that the spiritual realm is greater than the physical realm; however, humanity is not alone in its battle against the devil. Although having evil win every once in a while is creative, and may appear temporally true; it is not ultimately true. We thus must remind ourselves that Christ has conquered, is conquering, and will conquer all evil through His life, death, burial, and resurrection. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords; and it is only a matter of time before all creation realizes this. One day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Rom. 14:10-11).
3. Enjoying the scantily clad men or women. The Bible is clear that Christians are supposed to only view their spouses in a sexual way. Whenever a nude scene or insinuated scene pops up, or a man or woman on a commercial is wearing something that encourages lust, simply look away and treasure the truth of God that is hidden in your heart. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord (1 Cor. 6:13). Furthermore, viewing a sex scene is wicked! It is the only act that we are biblically unable to look upon; for to see someone other than our spouses in a sexual situation is evil. We are only supposed to see one man or one woman in a sexual situation our entire lives. Also, it must be noted here that if you don’t deal with your wicked heart concerning this issue, you will NOT look away whenever a man or woman is scantily clad at work, the beach, swimming pool, school, Wal-mart, etc. Deal with your wicked heart (Pray, run to the cross continually, memorize Scripture, exercise self-control), for a woman wearing a peek-a-boo blouse or skin-tight pants is in your near future, since you live in a wicked world.
4. Believing that the movie is truer than the Scriptures. If the movie disagrees with the Scriptures in any way, then you must discard the lies, for the Scriptures are absolutely true in all things. You must practice discernment, believing only what is true and discarding what is not. I had a conversation about five years ago with a lost teenager. I had just read Share Jesus without Fear; so, I asked her if she had any spiritual beliefs. She began to tell me about her belief that our world is full of good and evil ghosts. She used the movie White Noise as a reference point. In this movie ghosts are heard by recording their frequency, their “white noise,” on audio tapes. Although the Scriptures teach that there is no such thing as ghosts, only demons and angels, this teenage girl believed in ghosts because she trusted a movie more than the Word of God. The Scriptures however carry more authority than anything else that appears to speak against them, for where they speak, God speaks.
5. Fearing man or creation more than God. God is sovereign over all things. He is in control. If God is for you, who can be against you (Rom. 8:31)? Even if the Devil himself comes after you, he must receive God’s permission (Job 1-2). What then do you have to fear? Instead of fearing man, who can only permissively take your physical life, fear God, who after He takes your life, has also the power to cast you into hell (Matt. 10:28). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Prov. 9:10). Trust the Lord alone in the face of fear, whether fictional or real.
What are your thoughts about this article?