Ethics: Church Member Invites You To R-Rated Movie Night

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What would you do Wednesday!

It’s Friday night and your husband has already left for a deacon retreat for the weekend. He’ll be home Saturday night so you’ve got Friday night and Saturday free. You will miss him, but know that you will only be apart for one day and it will allow you to spend some time with friends.

One of the other deacon’s wives calls. She asks if you want to come over and have a movie night. She tells you that the movies are a surprise and you will have to come over to see what they are. No big deal since you’d love to have a movie night and spend time with the other ladies. Since your husband took the only working car and movie night is 10 miles away, your friend who invited you has to come pick you up. Her husband rode with your husband to the deacon retreat.

You arrive at the home and get settled in. Finally, you ask what the surprise movies are. On the agenda for the night are:

Sex and the City andΒ Sex and the City 2!

Knowing that your both deacon’s wives and that other ladies are present, how would you handle the situation?

What would you do?

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tagged as , in Culture,morality

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daniel Spratlin November 3, 2010 at 11:22 am

My stance is as follows (note: I’ve not seen either of these movies):

1. High tolerance of violence – it isn’t real violence
2. High tolerance of language – it isn’t meant
3. Very low tolerance of nudity – that person really IS naked

2 Wesley Walker November 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I wrote on this recently at my blog (you can read it at http://www.studyyourbibleonline.com/random/christian-and-r-rated-movies/ ).

I have not seen Sex and the City but if there is nudity and sex then I think it is outside the realm of what Christians should watch.

3 Victoria November 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I would say as sweetly as I could πŸ™‚ “you, as a Christian are watching this garbage, and you want to involve other Christian women in watching it too”? Then I would open her Bible and read her this passage
1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world β€” the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life β€” is not of the Father but is of the world.
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
NKJV

After that I would tell her I had no intention of watching those movies, and I would ask her to explain to me why she would want to watch them.

I do not see this as a matter of Christian liberty at all–I see it as a matter of loving the filthy rot of our culture. No doubt some will come here and say it is a matter of liberty and accuse me of legalism, so be it!

4 Mark November 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Daniel,

I’ve talked with some friends who seem to come down inline with your list. Interesting perspective.

5 Mark November 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Thanks, Wesley. I’ll check it out.

6 Mark November 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Victoria,

Good answer as usual. I do think some would take this as a Christian liberty issue. Do you see any difference between a movie containing much sexual content versus one with violence?

7 Victoria November 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Yes–not much difference in my book-explicit sex or graphic violence. We would not have to pose this question to the early church would we. Do you think they would have wanted to be guests at the Colosseum watching people of all sorts(not just Christians) being ripped and devoured by wild beasts and women being raped and all of the other grotesque violence and sex happening there in the arena. It seems to me Mark that Western Christians are the only ones that get this wrong. Now I know that the sex and violence in the movies is fake-but why would a Christian who enjoys watching it in make believe, not want to watch the real thing. The issue is the heart.

Phil 4:8 says this
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy β€” meditate on these things.
NKJV

If a movie is being made that is a biography it certainly may have to depict sex and violence in some way–but there is a way to do it that is not GRAPHIC–and that is the way the old movies were done. I will never forget the very chilling movie “In Cold Blood”. I was deeply affected by the horrible murders of that entire family. They did not need to splatter blood -guts- and brains all over the screen for us to understand the horror of what had happened.

Today’s movies are desensitizing people and especially Christians who are watching them to sin and violence–don’t tell me that if a believer is watching that stuff the conscience is not being seared in some way. Soft core porn in the movies today is going to turn to hard core porn in the near future. I appeal to young Christians to love God by hating what He hates and refusing to let your eyes enjoy what grieves the heart of God!

8 mike November 3, 2010 at 10:04 pm

this a great scenario. i think we have to be careful about passing judgment, yet we also have to do the right thing. both of those come into play here. as a guy, i don’t plan on watching any girl movies about shopping and sex, so i personally wouldn’t be in this scenario. i suppose a more relevant scenario for me is if someone wanted me to watch “Full Metal Jacket” or “Kill Bill” or some other movie that centers on violence and destruction. i’m not sure what i’d do.

9 bluewoad November 4, 2010 at 11:46 am

Victoria,

I agree with you, but with only one slight modification:

Your analogy to the violence in the Colosseum is flawed because that was real violence, whereas most all violence in movies is not real. Modern viewers understand that at a certain level, so drawing a comparison btwn real violence and ‘make believe’ violence needs an extra step, namely, it needs to be stated that even make believe violence numbs us to the horribleness of what it is representing — causing pain in someone who bears the image of God. Once we are caught up in the ‘it’s not real’ mentality, then when confronted with real violence, we tend not to be shocked by its horribleness.

10 Micah Burke November 5, 2010 at 2:16 am

Sex and the City? BLECH… Gladiator… are you buyin’ the popcorn?

11 Victoria November 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Okay Micah-you are KICK-BANNED bud! Much love in Jesus, vickiann πŸ™‚

12 Matt Marshall November 6, 2010 at 8:55 am

First off, true liberty is liberty FROM sin, not liberty to sin freely. Secondly, why would a non-believer pay attention to Christianity if no one ever adhered to its teachings. Thirdly, true Christians are discerned by their fruits. (I am not saying that the lapse in judgement above automatically means that someone is unsaved but it would concern me nonetheless.)

13 Mark November 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Are you two going to duke it out? πŸ™‚

14 Mark November 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Matt, good comment. You remind me of how easy it is to point out and criticize the sins of others. That is, to discern our own lives. If we did a better job of starting there it would do our souls well.

15 Clark November 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Sex and the City ran for several years as a series on HBO. I don’t think it was every meant to be anything other than soft core porn. As far as I’m aware, lots of people saw (at least the first movie) in theaters, but even secular movie goers don’t consider Sex and the City a take on real life. The relationship between that franchise and sex is like the relationship between Disney movies and zoology. I think the fictional scenario given here is almost silly. The movies are stupid enough that the situation described is unlikely. And what married couple has only one car?

There are other rated R movies that draw a less clear line. The Patriot is rated R, but not for nudity. It’s about the Revolutionary War, and depicts scenes of violence on the battlefield. But I show it to U.S. History students in my high school classroom. I must get special permission each time, however, because of the stipulations in my state regarding movie ratings. End of the Spear is a film about Christian missionaries, but is rated PG-13. I don’t think the rating of a movie creates an ethical dilemma so much as the movie content. In other words, “Is it wrong to watch a rated R film?” is not a simple yes/no question. I would have to ask “Which one?”

16 Mark November 8, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Clark,

If you’ll notice I implied that the couple only had one working car. Whether or not this point is silly is your opinion and it’s not unheard of that a couple only have one car. In fact, here in the Metro-Atlanta area there are those who use public transportation and have no car.

However realistic a movie is should not have a bearing on whether or not a Christian finds it acceptable to view. I don’t know anyone who would say the pornographic movies are realistic, yet I know of no Christians who would find them acceptable to watch for that reason.

I do agree with you that the answer is not a simple yes or no. One last thing, you really have no idea how much of my ethics scenarios are unlikely since you don’t know how close to true most or all of them may be. πŸ™‚

17 Jared Moore November 12, 2010 at 3:50 am

Mark,

I would probably watch the movie(s) with these individuals while biblically and verbally dissecting truth from fiction, and qualifying the good in light of the finished work of Christ. I would turn from the nudity and sex scenes, encouraging them to do the same.

In turn, I would never be invited back to watch a movie again.

Language doesn’t bother my conscience; nor does violence. Sexual nudity however I believe is the only thing that we are unable to see without sinning. The actual act of seeing someone other than our spouses in a sexual act, whether true or fake, is evil. Seeing violence however is not evil; the evil comes when we want to be violent. same goes for the language.

I’ve written several articles at my blog dealing with this subject:
1) http://jaredmoore.exaltchrist.com/2010/10/27/how-to-watch-a-scary-movie-unto-the-glory-of-god/
2) http://jaredmoore.exaltchrist.com/2010/10/10/gods-revealed-glory-in-all-media-dont-throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bath-water/
3) http://jaredmoore.exaltchrist.com/2010/09/18/10-reasons-why-you-should-participate-in-ungodly-media-with-your-children/
4) http://jaredmoore.exaltchrist.com/2010/09/04/10-necessary-truths-for-enjoying-the-lord-through-media-movies-tv-songs-books-etc/

Check em out; and let me know what you think. BTW: This is the first time I’ve been to your blog… looks good; I will be returning… hope to link to some of your articles in the future as well!

18 Mark November 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Jared,

Thanks for stopping by and for the compliments. I will check out your posts. You certainly have offered the most interesting perspective on how you would handle this situation.

.

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