A friend asked me a question yesterday. He wanted to know my thoughts on a new movie that is coming out, Beauty and the Beast, a remake of the 1991 Disney Classic. According to its director, the movie will break ground as Disney features an openly gay character. The movie also includes a “nice, exclusively gay moment”. Did I think this was a movie Christians could watch or not?
Here is what I said to him:
Although I don't know much about the movie, I can say that we as a family will probably not watch it. If it contains an "openly gay character" and a "nice gay moment" it would be a no go. We realize that compared to many other Christians, our view is conservative. I'm not judging them. I don't think we're better Christians than they are either. I am concerned however when I see how far Christians are willing to go before they draw a line in the sand. Many see no problem with watching movies or TV-shows that normalize sexuality against God’s design and advertise blatant sin. Do we ever say no?
I realize that we live in the world and that we can't isolate ourselves from it, nor should we (Joh. 17:15). I'm also not of the persuasion that we can't enjoy forms of entertainment simply because they're not Christian. But many mainstream movies carry such ungodliness that I don't want to expose myself or my family willingly and consciously to that. It desensitizes us to what is evil and diminishes our appetite for what is right, good and beautiful (Phil. 4:8). Why lower the bar on truth and holiness only because the movie is "really cute" or "outrageously funny"?
I often hear people ask the question: "What is wrong with watching this or going to that place or listening to this kind of music?" But that is a minimalistic way of approaching things. We should be more concerned about what is right about it. Does it promote that which is good and wholesome and lovely? Does it help us love God more? Christians don't realize how much of the worldly agenda they are taking in by watching movies. And it's ignorant to say that it doesn't affect us.
The other day I was trying to find a movie to watch with my wife and 13-year old daughter. My conclusion? Most PG-13 movies (and even some PG movies) are unacceptable, not just for my daughter but for all three of us.
Being (very) restrictive on what we watch is not the litmus test of orthodoxy. And yes, if not handled well it can easily slide into legalism. But for us it is about obedience, about wisdom, about protecting the minds and souls of the family. We're called to stay away from every kind of evil (1 Thes. 5:22). If sexual expletives, using our Lord's name in vain and the open promotion and glorification of ungodliness doesn't fall into that category, what does?
This is where we have landed. Let every person be fully convinced in His own mind (Rom. 14:5).
For more information on the movie and an insightful biblical and cultural analysis by Al Mohler, click here.