Biblical Principles To Apply To T.V. And Movie Viewing

 

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It is wrong to make a lengthy thousand page list of all the television shows and movies which are sinful to watch.

But note there are Biblical principles which apply to all movie and television watching. These principles are especially important to study because increasingly censorship regulators are permitting extremely wicked shows to screen on T.V. For example, the American show “Queer as Folk”, which is being screened weekly in Australia in 2004, depicts homosexual men practicing group sex.

 

The spread of T.V. shows promoting homosexuality

 

In her article “More than two to tango” in the “The Australian” newspaper journalist Emma-Kate Symons states: “Queer as Folk, the U.S. cable television drama about a close-knit group of gays and lesbians living in Pittsburgh, screens weekly footage of characters – mainly the gay men – engaging in group sexual activities in the backs of nightclubs and saunas.” [1] “Queer as Folk” has been given only a “Mature Audiences” rating. This is another example of censorship regulators condoning a decline in moral standards which parallels what happened in the ancient Roman Empire as it gradually collapsed.

On March 28, 2004, the “Sunday Life” magazine article (pages 28-30) in the Sun-Herald newspaper in Sydney, Australia had an article entitled “The Gay Life” and “Queer T.V.: why prime time has gone so gay.” [2] In this article, the journalist stated:

 

a)        Between 1972-1977, Channel 10 in Sydney was one of the first television channels in the whole world to have a homosexual character regularly in one of its shows. This show was called “Number 96”. The journalist said that this homosexual character was presented as having “charm and finesse”.

b)        Other shows which had some or many episodes which presented homosexual characters or homosexual practices in a positive light were:

 

(i)        the Australian show “Prisoner: Cell Block H” which screened between 1979-1985.

(ii)       “Brideshead Revisited” in 1981.

(iii)     the American show “Dynasty” which screened between 1981-1989.

(iv)     the American show “Melrose Place” which screened between 1992-1997.

(v)      the American show “L A Law” in 1992 which was the first prime time programme to show a lesbian kiss.

(vi)     in 1994, the American show “Roseanne” which showed Roseanne kissing another woman on the lips.

These shows worked together with the continual pro-sodomite propaganda in the Australian media, universities and public education system and the increasing support of most Australian politicians for homosexuality, to change the attitudes of the majority of Australians towards homosexuality in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.

In the early 2000’s, homosexuals and their supporters in the American entertainment industry are becoming even bolder in the attempts to convert everyone to their perverted ways.

For example, the American show “Sex and the City” attempts to brainwash its viewers into believing that sodomite men are the only men whom women can trust. The “Sunday Life” article says “Sex and the City” is: “where gay men go beyond being merely a must-have accessory for the stylish gal about town to the only men you can trust – gay characters are interacting with their heterosexual counterparts on a scale that has never been seen before.”

Similarly, the American sitcom “Will and Grace” presents homosexual men as having a great sense of humour. (“Sunday Life”, page 29).

Also note that there are now numerous shows on Australian television which are more pushy in their pro-sodomite propaganda than any previous shows. The new ones are called:

 

(i)             “Queer as Folk” on S.B.S.

(ii)           “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” on Channel 10.

(iii)          “Boy Meets Boy” which will be soon shown on Channel 10.

(iv)         “The L Word” on Channel 7. The “Sunday Life” says of “The L Word”: THE L WORD This clutch of gorgeous gay girls (the cast includes Flashdance star Jennifer Beals) gives lesbian life a slick of Sex And The City – esque gloss. For once, it’s the straights who are the token couple.”

(v)           “It’s all Relative” on Channel 10.

(vi)         “There’s Something about Miriam” on Channel 10. Miriam is a male who has changed sex and is now having dates and affairs with unsuspecting males.

(vii)        “Playing it Straight” on Channel 7.

 

Also, there are a number of Australian shows which previously excluded homosexual couples but now are including such couples as supposedly “normal”. An example of this is “Neighbours” which recently had a girl experiment with lesbian practices, then feel guilty but then be told by her school teacher and a relative that there is nothing wrong with children having lesbian encounters.

On Tuesdays at 8.30 pm, Channel 10 also has a new show called “There’s Something About Miriam”. This show is about a male transvestite looking like an attractive tall female and having six men competing for his attention. The six men do not know Miriam is really a male. Shows like this condition people to think it is right for transvestites to deceive heterosexual men into having actually homosexual relationships with men pretending to be women. Unless they are one of the rare cases of men born with genital abnormalities, most transvestites are the product of hormonal drugs and plastic surgery. They are male homosexuals who so crave to be the female partners or catamites in sexual encounters, they are willing to artificially change the sex they were created.

The “Sunday Life” article also states: “National broadcaster SBS has been screening the sexually explicit gay soap opera ‘Queer as Folk’ and you can hardly view a reality TV show that doesn’t have gay contestants, such as all-dancing Gav and Waz from ‘The Block’ who didn’t merely come out of the closet but renovated it. ‘The Secret Life Of Us’ also flew the rainbow flag. And Bravo TV, which developed ‘Queer Eye’, is not only working with Network Ten on a local version, it has launched its own version of ‘The Bachelor’. Entitled ‘Boy Meets Boy’, it revolves around a gay man who has to choose from 15 men to accompany him on a holiday to New Zealand.”

The “Sunday Life” journalist argues: “A number of factors have coalesced to fuel the mainstream media’s appetite for all things fabulous. Not least the fact that gay culture is frequently viewed as more trend-savvy, fashion-forward and rampantly creative than the rather dreary heterosexual one – which, quite frankly, is screaming out for a good zhuzhing.

‘In terms of cultural trends, gay has become cool,’ says N.K…, director of social and market research company Heartbeat Trends.

Another significant element has been an attitudinal swing in which homosexuality is not merely tolerated by the younger generations but the idea of anything but equality is laughable. ‘Increasingly, this is a culture of the individual and people in their teens and 20’s want to be part of it,’ says K… ‘But in order for me to have the freedom to express who I am, I need to accept who they are. It’s not the shows changing perception but merely reflecting attitude shifts in society. From our research, young people in society cannot understand why there is even a debate about gay rights.’

T.C…, head of development, entertainment and acquisitions at Network Ten, concurs. ‘We are following society’s changing attitudes,’ he says. ‘We know our audience – that is, people from their teens to their late 30’s – and they don’t have an issue with homosexuality. For us to make a show that ignored homosexuality would be to go against what our audience view as a normal life. It would be unrepresentative of the world they know and counterproductive for us. Our audience work with gay people, go out with gay people and are gay people.’”

This article “The Gay Life” had numerous pictures from these various homosexual shows. There were pictures of:

 

(i)             two nude homosexual men in bed together with their bottom halves covered by bedclothes.

(ii)           two homosexual men having a passionate kiss with each other on their lips in the show “The Secret Life of Us”.

(iii)          two lesbians holding each other in a standing embrace in which their clothed bodies are touching genital to genital, their mouths are extremely close and the lesbians are looking like they are about to kiss each other on the lips.

 

The influences of T.V., movies and the Bible on churchgoers compared

 

At present, it is probably true to say that many churchgoers listen to television shows and movies far more than they study the Bible or listen to Biblical preaching. As a result, their values, standards and behaviour are probably at least equally a product of what they listen to on television and in the movies as what they are of what is taught in God’s written Word. In other words, many churchgoers possibly are living more as disciples of “Lord Hollywood” and “Lord Television” than as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. This alarming fact means it is extremely important that churchgoers begin to apply Biblical principles when choosing what they view on television and in movies.

 

Does it transform and renew our minds?

 

In Romans 12:2, God commands: “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” How can we have a renewed transformed Christ-like mind when we are frequently programming it with evil, wrong and impure ways of thinking? Our human minds are like computers to some extent. What we programme them with is what they will become.

Proverbs 23:7 states: “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…” To a certain extent, what we think about is what sort of person we will become.

Romans 8:29 says that believers are “predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son.” God wants us to be renewed according to the image of Jesus Christ which includes His thoughts, emotions and ways. This does not just apply in church meetings. It relates to everything we do every day.

In 2 Corinthians 3:18, God reveals that He wants us to be continually transformed into the image of the Lord from glory to glory by the Holy Spirit’s power: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, Paul told believers that one of the weapons of their spiritual warfare is “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Can we honestly say our thoughts are captive in obedience to Christ if they are enjoying watching movies or television shows which promote, justify or condone things He hates?

 

Are the meditations of our hearts acceptable to God?

 

In Psalm 19:14, David prayed; “Let the…meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord!” Are the meditations of our hearts acceptable to God.

Philippians 4:8 instructs us: “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

In Greek, the word “meditate” in Philippians 4:8 is a form of the word “logizomai” and in this context means “make those things the subjects of your thoughtful consideration” [3] or “think about, consider, ponder, let one’s mind dwell on”. [4]

Many films and television shows these days approve, condone and even blatantly or subtly attempt to justify or promote unbiblical ideas and things which are unjust, unrighteous, wrong and impure – the very opposite of what God commands in Philippians 4:8. Despite this, Christians spend often many hours of time each week meditating on these things.

In Psalm 1:1-2, God instructs us to meditate on His Word continually: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” But very sadly probably the same believers who meditate for hours every week on the false ideas and evil practices in various television shows, only meditate on God’s Word for a few minutes each week. Is this really God’s way?

 

 

 

 

Does it call good what God calls evil?

 

Isaiah 5:20 warns: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness…” Here God warns us that He pronounces a judgment or curse on anyone who in away says or promotes that anything God says is evil is actually good or which He says is good is evil. This includes producers and script-writers who promote in their television shows or films that certain evils, for example sex outside of marriage, are good and certain good things, for example loving Jesus Christ, are evil.

 

Does the movie or show justify the wicked?

 

Proverbs 17:15 declares: “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the just. Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” Here God states that anyone who justifies the evil ideas or practices of the wicked are abominations to God. This includes the producers, script-writers, actors and actresses of movies and television shows which justify any type of wickedness. Justifying wickedness can include condoning, arguing for or promoting any type of evil.

 

Does it glorify God?

 

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, God commands: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This verse relates not just to worship through music and songs and church services. It relates to every practical aspect of our lives. You cannot find something more practical than eating and drinking. So this verse obviously relates to watching television shows and movies. Paul’s expression “whatever you do” includes movies and television shows.

So the obvious question is: “How can you or I watch a movie or television show to the glory of God if this promotes or justifies practices which God hates?”

The only exception to this would be if for God’s glory, we are watching the show so we can find out about certain evil philosophies and practices so we can preach or write against them. But even in such circumstances, we need to be very careful that all of our motives are godly and pure. In such situations, we need to pray sincerely what Psalm 139:23-24 states: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Also, as we will see later, God does not lead Christians to watch nude sex scenes for any purpose on television and in movies.

 

Studying history and other academic books

 

Many primary source or secondary source history and other types of academic books objectively record the evil philosophies and actions of various individual and groups throughout history or today. But they do not justify, promote or condone such philosophies or actions. It is not wrong to read such books as a part of our learning. [5] Primary source history books are those written at the time of the events in modern times or any writings from ancient or medieval times even if they were written after the times of the relevant events. Secondary source history books are those history texts written in modern times after the times of the actual events.

But those chapters or sections of primary and secondary source history and academic books which continually promote or justify various types of evil are wicked abominations in God’s eyes. In Isaiah 5:20, God says: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…”

It is dangerous to permit young children to read the evil-promoting sections and chapters of these history or academic books. Even Christian adults should be very careful if they have to read these sections and chapters as part of their academic studies. If Christian teachers quote from these sections or chapters to their older high school students, these teachers need to present such quotes in a context of the teacher showing strong disapproval of the evil activities promoted in these quotes and the reasons why these activities are wicked. In Matthew 18:6-7, Jesus gives us all a very strong warning about how we relate to children: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”

If we are doing a university or other educational course which requires us to read various books which contain various unbiblical wicked ideas and/or practices, we need to be very careful that Satan does not use these to deceive us. Throughout history, many churchgoers have been brought into bondage by reading these.

God hates all sins. Someone who is ruled by God the Holy Spirit will hate every type of known sin no matter where it is found.

 

The man-made law and the disastrous conscience alternative

 

Previously many Christians tackled the problems of wickedness in various movies and television shows by making a man-made law: “Thou shall not go to the picture theatre or ever watch television.” It is not wrong for Christians to choose to not own a television set. But it is wrong to teach that the Bible says it is sinful for any Christian to own a television set.

Many Christians have searched for an alternative way of handling the issue of television shows and movies. As a result, they began to use the following simplistic principle: “If your conscience permits you to watch a specific film or movie, then God approves of you watching it.”

This principle sounds good in theory. But the problem is that many Christians have seared their consciences so badly prior to or even after their conversions to Christ that their consciences do not work properly anymore. As a result, many of them imagine their consciences approve of them doing things which are unbiblical and wicked.

Also note in 1 Corinthians 8:4-12, Paul teaches that some Christians have a lack of knowledge of God’s Word and have an associated weak conscience, and as a result they can misinterpret the actions of Christians with a better knowledge of God. Knowledge of God’s Word sharpens the clarity of our consciences.

Because even born-again believers’ consciences can be weak, it is dangerous to use our consciences as infallible guides in determining right, wrong and God’s will in specific circumstances.

A moral or ethical disaster has occurred in many sections of the modern Church through the teaching that Christians should determine the rightness or wrongness of moral issues by their consciences instead of on the basis of Biblical teachings and commands. For example, there are many modern churchgoers who claim their consciences permit them to have sex before marriage, engage in sexual petting outside of marriage, have homosexual lovers, live in de-facto relationships, take marijuana, watch x-rated movies, paint nude models of the opposite sex at art classes, abort their babies because they do not want more children and so on.

 

Paul never intended for Romans 14 to be abused

 

Paul never intended his teaching in Romans 14:1-23 to be applied to ethical issues like sex before marriage, homosexuality, taking harmful addictive drugs, abortion and looking at immodest exposures of nudity by members of the opposite sex to whom you are not married. Instead in Romans 14:1-23, Paul taught that Christians can rightly have different standards about things like whether to eat meat or to regard certain days as holy to the Lord.

 

Love does not enjoy things which promote or justify evil

 

1 Corinthians 13:6 says that true love “does not rejoice in iniquity.” In Greek, the word “rejoice” here is a form of the word “chairo” which means “to enjoy a state of happiness and well being” [6] or “to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, be full of joy.” [7] Therefore, 1 Corinthians 13:6 teaches that a person walking in true love from God does not enjoy or feel glad or feel happy about movies or shows which promote or justify iniquity or evil.

In Psalm 97:10, God instructs us: “You who love the Lord, hate evil!…”

 

God abhors looking at wickedness and commands us to hate evil

 

Habakkuk 1:13 says about God: “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wickedness.” If God hates looking at wickedness, should His children enjoy looking at it? In His role as Supreme Ruler and Judge, God must look at every type of wickedness and evil. But He does not do this as a form of entertainment, relaxation or enjoyment. God is not tempted to become like humans who are fascinated by various types of evil.

In Romans 12:9, God commands all believers: “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” We cannot honestly say we are abhorring or hating evil if we are enjoying watching a movie or television show which promotes or justifies something which God says is evil.

When in Amos’ time, the northern tribes of Israel were trying to worship the Lord but compromised with many sins at the same time, one of God’s solutions for their spiritual problems was: “Hate evil. Love good” (see Amos 5:15).

 

Evil company corrupts good habits

 

In 1 Corinthians 15:33, Paul warns us: “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.” Evil company can be the people you spend time with in person, on the phone, on the Internet, on television or in any other way. Watching television mostly involves being in the company of actors and television commentators.

 

Walking as Jesus walked

 

1 John 2:6 says that if we truly claim to be abiding in Jesus Christ, our standard will be walking or living as He did when He was on Earth: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” Hebrews 1:9 says of Jesus: “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.” Jesus loved everything that was right in God’s eyes and hated everything which was evil or contrary to God’s commands. He loved all people, no matter how evil they were, but He hated every type of wickedness, no matter how seemly minor.

For us to walk as Jesus walked involves loving others, loving everything which is right in God’s eyes and hating every type of wickedness. Can we honestly say this is the criteria we apply to all our television-watching? Or is the television our idol which rules us more than Jesus Christ?

 

Be as wise as serpents

 

In Matthew 10:16, Jesus instructed believers: “Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents an harmless as doves.” Jesus knew that there were millions of wolves in the non-Christian world who would try to devour believers in whatever way they could. So He told us to be as wise as serpents. The obvious question then is: “Are we acting as wise as serpents if we are exposing ourselves to needless temptations just for the sake of entertainment?”

 

The prudent person

 

Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12 declare: “The prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.” These verses reveal that prudent sensible people in God’s eyes foresee future evils and hide themselves from these, but the naïve or simple continue on in dangerous paths and end up suffering unnecessary catastrophes.

 

The Holy Spirit works through His Word

 

2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:19-21 reveal that the Scriptures are inspired by God. God and His Holy Spirit do not contradict their written Word. The Lord always confirms His Word. Mark 16:20 records: “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” God does not confirm the false religious theories, opinions and traditions of humans.

In James 1:5-8, God promises to give us wisdom if we trust Him to do so and do not doubt: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Therefore, if we trust Him to give us wisdom about what movies and television shows to watch, His Spirit will guide us as we continue to meditate on verses of Scripture like those recorded in my chapter here. It is far better to pray, trust God for wisdom and meditate on relevant verses from His Word than to follow your subjective and possibly seared and/or weak conscience to guide you.

If a television show or movie has nude sex scenes in it, you do not need to ask God for wisdom about whether to watch such scenes. As seen in the following section, His written Word already reveals it is wrong to view these scenes.

 

The Bible’s attitudes to watching nude or sex scenes

 

It is clear from the large number of verses in the Bible which teach that it is a shameful sinful act us to look at the genitals of a sexually mature member of the opposite sex, that we should not watch nude or explicit sex scenes in movies or on television shows (see Exodus 20:26, 28:42, Leviticus 20:17, Isaiah 20:4, 47:2-3, Lamentations 1:8, Nahum 3:5-6, Micah 1:11, 1 Timothy 2:9, Revelation 3:18 and 16:15). 1 Corinthians 12:23 teaches us: “And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty.”

1 John 2:16 refers to the sin of “lust of the eyes”. In Matthew 5:28, Jesus spoke of committing adultery in our hearts: “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

In the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:13, Jesus taught us to pray: “Do not lead us into temptation.” We are being hypocritical if we pray these words and then not long after deliberately put ourselves into temptation by watching nude or sex scenes.

 

Censorship standards are constantly under attack

 

The standards of censorship in the world are being pressured by various groups to become more wicked and demon-inspired each year. Recently, for example, various arts groups attacked the Office of Film and Literature Classification and the Classification Review Board in Australia for banning the film “Ken Park” which showed sex scenes involving teenagers of 16 and 17 years and a father attempting to rape his sleeping 17 year old son. In one scene, the viewer sees a boy’s erect penis and semen.

Those who are trying to overturn the ban on this film claim that because it depicts child sexual abuse but does not actively justify or condone it, this means it is a good film. But by similar foolish reasoning, we can say that if a film depicts humans have sex with animals or two year olds being raped by paedophiles, this is healthy television viewing as long as the film does not justify or condone such practices. It is sinful to watch someone else having sex with another person. This applies even if the couple are married and love each other.

Recently, the Brazilian film “City of God” was passed for screening in Australia even though in one scene, a little boy had his penis fellated. The pitiful excuse given for this release of this wickedness was the scene was brief.

 

Changing the channel, fast forwarding or turning it off

 

If after applying the Biblical principles in this writing to our television show or movie, we know it is contrary to God’s will, we should change the channel or turn it off immediately.

If the television show or movie is not contrary to the Biblical principles found in this writing, except say, for example, one nude scene, there are two possible approaches we can take. One view would suggest it is better not to watch the movie or show at all because it is difficult to know when the nude scene will come on. A second view would say it is fine for us to watch the show or movie, as long as we:

 

  1. turn it off while the nude scene is on or
  2. fast forward it while the nude scene is on, if it is a video or D.V.D.

 

When fast-forwarding, we should turn off the show. Otherwise we will still be watching it but at a fast speed. Also note it is often difficult to know how long the nude scene will be on.

Through the ratings on films, you should have a fair idea before watching them whether they will have nude or sex scenes in them. If you choose to watch such films, you should have your remote control ready to change the channel or fast-forward.

For teaching purposes, I have used the films like “Snow Falling On Cedars” which are not wicked but contain a couple of semi-nude scenes. At first, I fast-forwarded the scenes for my classes. But later I taped over the semi-nude scenes. A short gap in a film hurts no-one.

I believe it is also wise for us to teach our children to turn off immediately television ads which promote any type of unbiblical philosophy or wickedness also.

 

Flashbacks

 

Some people falsely believe they can look at the nude bodies of sexually mature members of the opposite sex or nude sex scenes without this affecting them badly in any way. They fail to consider that they are not only tempting themselves to commit adultery or sexual immorality in their hearts. They are also filling their memories with graphic pictures of the nude or sexually active bodies of members of the opposite sex.

These memories will often later return to their viewers in the form of flashbacks. These people will, for example, have a memory of the nude body of an attractive member of the opposite sex flash into their minds. Such flashbacks can continually reoccur, tormenting married or single individuals and tempting them to imagine sexual experiences or commit adultery with the image in their minds.

As a generalisation, males are affected worse by seeing the nude bodies of sexually mature members of the opposite sex than vice-versa. But females are not immune from this problem.

 

The great God-given responsibility of parents and school teachers

 

Christian parents need to be extremely careful to closely monitor what their children watch on television, videos, C.D.’s and computer discs. In Matthew 18:6-7, Jesus gave a very strong warning to us all: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses. For offences must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” Refer also to Luke 17:1-2. In Romans 14:13, Paul said: “Therefore let us…rather resolve this not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”

In Greek, the phrase “stumbling block” in Romans 14:13 is the word “proskomma” meaning “an obstacle against which one may dash his foot” [8] or “that which provides an opportunity or occasion for causing someone to sin”. [9] In Greek,, the phrase “a cause to fall” is “skandalon” which means “a temptation to sin” [10] or “a trap, probably of the type which has a stick which when touched by an animal causes the trap to shut”. [11]

Schoolteachers are also accountable to God in relation to what books, films and other teaching resources they expose children.

As parents and schoolteachers, we must ask ourselves and God: “Are we acting as stumbling blocks or causes to fall for the children He has placed in our care?”

Many Christian parents and schoolteachers pray that their children or students turn to Jesus Christ and tell them various things about God from the Bible. But then many teachers and parents sadly undermine all their good work by permitting or even showing these young people television shows and movies which justify, approve of or condone things which God utterly detests.

This is similar to how the Pharisees’ and scribes’ religious traditions undermined and nullified the Word of God. In Mark 7:13, Jesus said to the Pharisees and religious lawyers that they were “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Man-made traditions are unbiblical philosophies and practices. There are plenty of unbiblical wicked man-made ideas and practices promoted or condoned in some television shows and movies.

 

It is easy to act like hypocritical Pharisees

 

Sometimes Christian parents and school teachers act like hypocritical Pharisees. For example, they strongly warn their children to never look at nude pictures on the Internet or in pornographic magazines. But then at other times, they show their children movies or television shows with nude or sex scenes in them.

 

 

The temptations of leaders

 

Many Christian leaders are tempted to put having outward success in ministry and large numbers in their local churches as being more important than doing things for God’s glory and having real love for his people. As a result, they do not want to teach or preach about anything which may tempt people to move to another church. This is why they avoid topics like Biblical guidelines for watching television and movies.

But if Christian leaders avoid their God-given responsibility to rebuke, correct and exhort (see 2 Timothy 3:16, 4:2, Titus 1:13 and 2:15) and to admonish or gently rebuke or warn (see 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 2 Thessalonians 3:15 and Titus 3:10), they are committing a sin of omission. James 4:17 states: “Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

In Revelation 3:19, Jesus stated: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…” True love inspires godly Holy Spirit-led Christian leaders sometimes to rebuke known sins.


 

[1] “The Australian”, 10th March, 2004, Sydney, Australia, page          .

[2] This second title is what the article is advertised as on the magazine’s front cover.

[3] Vine, page 628.

[4] Bauer, page 476.

[5] One exception to this would be reading lengthy overly explicit accounts of someone’s sexual experiences outside of marriage.

[6] Louw and Nida, page 303.

[7] Perschbacher, page 435.

[8] Vine, page 441.

[9] Louw and Nida, page 775.

[10] Bauer, page 753.

[11] Louw and Nida, page 56.


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