What We Watch

Part of engaging culture as Christians is finding out how culture affects us, and acting counter culturally to that. A second part is making sure that we are not partaking in culture in such a way that it hinders our Christian walk. Everything we listen to, watch, and read will affect how we think. How we think will affect our actions.

Subtly, the culture you engage will begin to infiltrate your mind, for better or for worse. For instance, in the short documentary by Jean Kilbourne
, Killing Us Softly (warning, mature content), Jean shows how even just the advertisements that we visually consume can affect every ones views of women, both the way men view them, and the way women view themselves.

She draws strong correlations between the advertisements in a society and the number of cases of eating disorders and self image issues. She shows how consistently in advertising women are presented as sex symbols, victims, prey, objects, and finding value in their relationship to men, not on their own. Where there is no mass media, there are drastically lower numbers of eating disorders.

Advertisements also affect how we think about manhood, womanhood, parenting, children, ethics, morality, sex, vacations, rights, and more. Therefore, we must be careful as to what we consume. Now, we may not be able to avoid all billboards, commercials, and Facebook advertisements, but we can choose what television shows we watch.

The television series, The Big Bang Theory, Community, My Name Is Earl, Friends with Benefits, How I Met Your Mother, and others all devalue the importance and sacredness of sexuality. Sex is a commodity, sex is cheap, sex is between any two consenting adults without repercussion (At least in the movie, Knocked Up, the movie is about a pregnancy after foolish choices).  On a short note, our society does not understand sacredness of any form, and certainly not when it comes to sex.

My primary point though is that whether we like it or not, these shows are going to affect how we think and therefore how we live. Is it then worth it? Is it worth it to watch programs that consistently portray life contrary to biblical principles when there are many other good shows that do not. One could watch, White Collar, or Sherlock

(BBC. Really, you absolutely need to watch this, if you gain one thing out of my blog I hope it is that you watch the BBC Sherlock starring, Benedict Cumberbatch), or movies like, Valkyrie,
, Howl’s Moving Castle any from the Marvel Universe and others.

I am not saying that we cannot watch anything that contains ideas contrary to Scripture, (each denomination would, in their opinion, need their own Hollywood!) but we must be careful and we must remember that self control, and personal sacrifice  are part of the Christian walk and more important than our own entertainment.

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2 responses to “What We Watch

  • HappierNow

    I like engaging in open, intelligent dialogue about cultural issues. However, your tone feeds into the stereotype of judgmental Evangelical re-hashing worn out sermons and patronizing those who disagree.

    I support gay marriage. I support a woman’s right to choose. (I’ve also seen–and enjoyed–Knocked Up!). Continuing to dictate what is “Christian” and “Biblical” according to passages conveniently chosen or that support the powerful Christian Right just validates my decision to leave the community that I grew up in–one that holds beliefs like yours. I’m happy to argue that the Bible–that faith, and love–are more complicated (and maybe not even concerned!) with the triviality of deciding what cultural items are appropriate and for whom. To each his own.

    Wishing you a future of open-mindedness!

    • lukemanalive

      Hello HappierNow,
      I am sorry that you feel that way. What passages am I “conveniently using” to support which “powerful Christian Right”? Also, I am all for open dialogue, which is why I am offering a view point. I agree that it is complicated. I have many friends and family members that disagree with me. They back up their position with careful thought and Scripture as well. So I am not sure as to why you think I am being un open minded. I don’t think my positing my own position makes me un-open minded. However, if there are ways I can phrase or speak my position better, I would happy to hear your suggestions.
      Luke

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