What We Watch Matters
I was shocked to see a preacher’s daughter in a Deadpool T-shirt. Deadpool is a comic book character who exploded onto the pop-culture scene two years ago with a hard R-rated movie. The film is a celebration of crude humor, violence, language, and sexuality. To see a pastor’s daughter with a T-shirt advertising the character seemed like a paradox because Christians are supposed to be different from this world, so it’s strange when we see Christians reflect the world.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
We’ve discussed matters like this in our Citizens of Heaven and Casual Christianity posts, but here we are going to focus on what we watch because what we watch matters. The concern with watching something like Deadpool is not that the viewer is going to want to put on a mask and shoot criminals—the concern is what damage the exposure to such explicit material can cause. A small crack in a foundation can go unnoticed for years, and over time as more and more water seeps in, more and more damage is done to the home.
"Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
This is what happens when we aren’t careful about guarding our hearts and minds—little stuff creeps in and we soon find ourselves using the same rotten language we heard in the movie, or thinking it when we get frustrated and angry. So instead of working toward self-control, we have let explicit material leak its way into our thoughts. Movies often tend to have a very casual approach to sex and they certainly objectify women. If we don’t stay away from this kind of content, it too will creep in and we will find ourselves objectifying women and thinking very casually about sex.
“‘The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.’” (John 15:19)
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” (Philippians 3:20)
“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.” (1 Peter 1:15)
When we expose ourselves to material of this nature, we make it more difficult to live in obedience to the life to which God has called us. In Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us a list of the kinds of things we should be fixing our thoughts on: "what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable"—we are told to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. This is hard enough to do without purposefully exposing ourselves to material that is contrary to these things.
Like a small crack in the foundation, what we watch matters. We need to be aware of what can seep into our minds. We are called to be different, to conduct ourselves as citizens of heaven and to remember that when people look to us, we should reflect Christ.
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
The question really is whether we take the responsibility of representing Christ to this world seriously. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul tells us to examine ourselves, and as Christians we should constantly be doing this. Check for those little cracks and leaks. Is there anything seeping in that shouldn’t be? Take time to examine yourself, check for any leaks or small cracks that may need to be filled by getting rid of some movies in your collection or re-evaluating what you allow yourself or your children to see. What are you reflecting: Christ or the world?
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.