Sunday, June 05, 2011
"Oh, be careful little eyes what you see..."
I remember singing this song back in Sunday School as a child and it just came to mind after many,
MANY years as I'm thinking about how to start this post. For those who don't know it, it's simple:
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see (x2)
For the Father up above is looking down in tender love
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
And it goes on with "ears/hear" and "hands/do (or touch)".
Even now that I'm "grown", this song provides crucial directions for stayin' saved in this here world we're livin' in... especially now that it's summer blockbuster movie season. I've not been going to the movies much in the last several months and that's [somewhat] intentional. I'm sure you feel me when I say that most of the offerings on the big screen are not exactly Christian-friendly, so the only option to safeguard my "little eyes (and ears)" is usually to skip it altogether.
My [personal] general rule of thumb is no R-rated flicks; but I make rare exceptions for the sake of history or culture (i.e. Gladiator, Troy, For Colored Girls, etc). Why? Well, it may not be that obvious to some but movies in that category are there for pretty much 3 reasons: profanity, sexually explicit content or brutal violence (the real hum-dingers have all 3). So that makes my main concern intentionally exposing myself to "spiritual toxins". The Word tells us to avoid evil in all its forms, AND to keep our minds on spiritual things. Call me super spiritual if ya wanna, but I'm not really seeing how a Christian can consciously do that while watching stuff like The Hangover, any of the Saw series, or Love and Other Drugs. (Yes, I know these scriptures should be applied to all facets of our lives but I'll just stay focused on movies for the sake of this post.)
This is an active battle for me, because I've had to pass up several movies with friends--saved and unsaved--who didn't understand why I wouldn't go. I have a tendency to internalize things mentally so when I can't get a song outta my head, I mean it literally. The same goes for movies in that a scene will replay itself involuntarily in my mind's eye, with surround sound. For that reason, I have taken to heart God's commandments about guarding my 'gates' and this has forced me to be extra vigilant about my entertainment choices.
For example, whether I'm in a theater or having a Blockbuster night, I will not watch a make-out/sex scene. Even romantic comedies get the side eye from me. Why? I'm SO glad you asked, so I'll ask you a question in return: Let's say you've been wanting to travel to an exotic place for years but the status of your visa application was indefinitely in-process. Would you taunt yourself intentionally to test your willpower? Well, that's kinda how hot-and-heavy scenes on-screen play out for saved, single, ol' me. And in case ya missed it, I'm using the "visa application" metaphor to represent my prayerful petition to God to unite me with the husband that He has for me, but apparently He's still "processing" my request... and me, for that matter. So for me to watch others [kinda sorta but not actually] doing it on screen is like me being a mouse and setting up a nice, cheesy trap for myself. Seriously, who does that?! After all, I'd hate to have something like this happen:
The same goes for violence and profanity. Cursing is not part of my vocabulary--except for those rare occasions in rush-hour traffic (help me, Jesus!!), so why would I pay to hear someone else do it?! Although I have heard one Christian woman admit to dropping f-bombs because she's not 'religious', yet she assured me that she doesn't go around cursing like a sailor, I see no way to justify a child of God using nor consciously entertaining such language. And then there are your die-hard fans of slasher [and Quentin Tarantino] flicks. How do you guys sleep at night?? No, really?! The last horror movie I saw was the very first Final Destination and I could barely keep my seat. Is it not pure evil for human beings to devise horrific ways to dismember each other, and equally so to be entertained by such? (That's not a rhetorical question, I really want to know!) A Christian friend invited me to go see 300 and I was interested in the actual storyline, but I punked-out because of the gory war scenes.
So as we're making our lineups of summer flicks, let's stay mindful that the impact of our entertainment doesn't stop when the lights come back on in the theater. I'll be posting my list soon and you all are welcome to share your 'must-sees' with me, as well.