Saturday, October 23, 2010

Media-Horror Movies

First, please know I don't judge someone for a movie they watch. I'm from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" generation. My worst nightmare EVER as a kid was about Freddie. The thought of the marshmallow stairs still creeps me out some...yikes!

Yet, as I'm getting older, I've started becoming a lot more aware of what I watch and listen to. I'm kinda in an analytical stage of thinking about God's thoughts on different media and how we influence the movies and songs made (as Christians).

This time of year is one I have mixed feeling about. I LOVE the creativity of costumes and imagination, but the dark and sexualized aspects of this season seem to glorify the lesser side of our natures. I have problems reconciling the two.

You see, not all the movies I watch glorify God. They are often middle of the road. They don't glorify Satan, but they don't glorify God either. (Obviously this is still something I'm thinking about.)

Yet if you ask someone what a horror movie is about, they usually will say they are about evil...blood, guts, mutilation, and fear. Usually they don't wax philosophical and say, "They are about good versus evil and the ultimate war between the better and lesser sides of ourselves." Smile

The answer leads me to the conclusion...just a logical train of thought...that they not only do not glorify God, but glorify everything God is not about (evil, fear, mutilation). Thus these movies glorify the opposite of God, Satan.

I can find many verses that talk about purity and how to live our lives, but can't find any rationalizing my watching horror movies or putting my money into things promoting horror (though I don't like them as an adult...too much horror in real life).

I would love to hear your thoughts. This is just my train of thought. We've been talking to our teens lately and media has been in the forefront. Please don't feel judged. I'm just working through my personal relationship to the media and would love for you to share your thoughts.

6 comments:

  1. Oh, I totally support this line of thinking. I truly believe that most of us, as Christians, do not take seriously enough the instruction to think on "whatever is true...noble...right...pure...lovely...excellent or praiseworthy." I think we often conform by doing whatever everyone else is doing - and then (at least some) feel self-conscious if we make a choice to avoid something everyone else is doing.

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  2. I was going to tell the story of Tailypo to adults at the Storyteller's Guild--a "jump" story about a guy who ate a creature's tail and the creature came and got it back. For adults who came to hear stories like that because they enjoy them, it is appropriate because it is for recreation, gives a sense of shared enjoyment, and isn't going to glorify evil or fear. They asked me to tell at a children's festival and encouraged me to tell the same one. I had this same exact debate in my head.

    Why would I tell a story to unsuspecting children with the sole purpose of making them feel fear? The last line is the climax and you leave them hanging, meaning those kids would walk away frightened and needing to work through the fear at home--often int heir dreams. And yet I was encouraged that children wouldn't make images in their minds that were too hard for them to handle.

    Maybe that was true at one point in human history when storytelling wasn't a lost art but a way of life, but children are inundated with images and experiences well beyond their coping abilities now and they don't need to paint those images in their brains as we've already done it for them. I ultimately said I would not do that tale.

    I found another "jump" tale which has tension build over what is going to happen and then ends with a complete tension release--everyone is safe. It has a strong moral of obedience, respecting authority, of rules being in place for a reason, and of having proper caution. The children can enjoy a "scary" story in its proper context of being in a safe environment and working all the way through the emotions within the story, coming out the other side smiling.

    But even people who live and breathe storytelling tried to dissuade me from caring. It is hard to be different, but I think it is important in areas like this. It's also really hard to try to walk the fine line. As St. Augustine once said: “Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.” It's easier to reject it all completely than it is to attain perfect moderation, but as Christians, moderation in all things (meaning between extremes of cowardice and pride, for instance, and balancing justice and mercy; not meaning a little bit of everything--good or bad) is what we are to strive for. 1 Cor 9:19-27 is one of my favorite scriptures.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

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  3. i agree and havent seen a horror movie in a long long long time. i try to avoid legalism side of things but this is something i cant reconcile.

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  4. My personal conviction is to not watch horror movies - at all. We also do not allow anything occultic in our house - witches, vampires, ghosts, etc. (although we do participate in halloween - but only dressing up (nothing scary) and eating candy)

    I have seen true spiritual warfare - the powers behind it, and there is no way I can invite that into our house. People can say its only entertainment if they want, but evil is only looking for a small invitation and it can work itself in after that very easily. And its so easy to want to bring it in - I fight this battle constantly - most of it is so beautiful.

    But Im like an alcoholic with this stuff. I once let it have a hold of my life, and now I cant even have a drop or I will crave it. Thankfully I have a husband who understands and agrees with me...

    Like I said, this is just my personal conviction, and this is my story.... but all too often, I find that Christians have no idea what the Bible says about this kind of stuff.... just my 2 cents.

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  5. Good post, and excellent comments/discussion. I love the St. Augustine quote, and with Talley agree that most people just don't realize what Satan is doing and that he does have power and is not something to mess around with. Very thought-provoking (and convicting!) today.

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  6. I feel the same as you do with not wanting to invite satanic things into my home. I don't celebrate Halloween as it's rooted in evil things. There's so much spiritual warfare going on that we are UNaware of, it's best to take care of the things that we are aware of. That includes movies that the spirit feels uncomfortable when we watch. The Spirit inside is alive and makes these things known.

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In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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