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Monday, December 17, 2007

Here are Al Menconi's thoughts on "r" rated movies. I thought they were interesting vis-a-vi the discussion on Guitar Hero, Halo, the Golden Compass, etc. He wrote it in response to a letter questioning his discernment. I like his thoughts here.

Original article here.

This guy makes some good points. The point I disagree is where he arbitrarily says R rated movies are evil and then states that we shouldn't have anything to do with evil. While I agree that we shouldn't have anything to do with evil, where does Scripture say "Pvt Ryan" or R rated movies are evil? The thing that we need to be careful of is adding to Scripture and giving our addition the same credence as Scripture. Doing this only leads to trouble. The classic example is Eve in the Garden of Eden.

In Genesis 3:3, when the serpent was questioning Eve about God's instructions she added to God's Word. Her reply seemed innocent, "God said that we must not eat from the tree in the middle of the Garden, and we must not touch it or we will die." God simply said, "Don't eat from it." He didn't say anything about touching it. What had she done? She ADDED to God's Word just to be safe; but what's wrong with adding a "bonus of goodness?" By doing this she was implying that God's Word wasn't good enough to stand up to Satan's temptations. She had to "help God out" and she made an extra rule just to be safe! You know where that led.

How does Eve's actions relate to your critic's stand on R rated movies? Scripture is clear on many things we should avoid, but it is silent about movies. I would say that it is a good policy to avoid R rated movies in the majority of cases, just as you said in your article, but be careful of saying it is a sin to attend R rated movies. That's adding to God's Word and it can only lead to trouble. Why not simply say we will evaluate each movie on its own merits in light of Philippians 4:8? Doing this will eliminate 99 and 99/100% of R rated movies. We are not condemning the movie; we are simply evaluating it in light of God's Word. Be careful about making blanket statements and making conclusions Scripture doesn't.

I believe this would be an excellent time to teach your kids how to discern quality entertainment as a whole. They typically don't know. The problem isn't R rated movies, the problem is most kids don't know what is good. Their parents or youth pastor said to avoid R rated movies, but they never taught them what is worthwhile. Many PG and PG-13 movies are much worse than many R rated movies. Often the child's thought is, "it's not R rated, so it's okay." Is it really? Someone needs to teach him how to choose quality entertainment. If most kids are asked if a movie was good, their response is often, "It was funny!" Or "It was exciting!" Or "It was sexy!" Or "It had a lot of special effects!" But they can't explain if it was good or not.

If your kids don't have the ability of discerning quality entertainment, they will forever be subject to the manipulation of the Hollywood marketing machine. As parents and leaders we must see the vast majority of entertainment as "ammunition" aimed our kids in the Spiritual war of life. It is our responsibility to teach our children how not to be causalities in this battle for their minds. A way you can do this is to bring "their entertainment" into your Sunday school class and help them filter it through the grid of God's Word just like you did with "Pvt Ryan."

Finally, as a caution, study Eph 5:1-12. We are to expose evil, but to stay innocent of sin. How can we do that? This is my most difficult challenge as a speaker. My problem is not knowing my material, it's how do I expose evil and still keep my audience innocent of sin. I'm sure you have seen "presentations" on the evils of entertainment that exposed too much. Don't be one of them!

In His service and yours,
Al Menconi"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wendy's Night is canceled

due to bad weather. The next one is scheduled for January 8.