1.) WHAT DO MY FRIENDS THINK ABOUT IT?
Sometimes friends can be a reliable source of discernment when it comes to choosing movies. But remember that your friends may not share the same convictions that you do. One of the reasons that I’m passionate about this ministry is because some people whom I love and respect, who I know love Christ, DO NOT HAVE MEDIA DISCERNMENT. They are being deceived by the enemy in many of their media choices. One of the most violent and sexually graphic movies that I have ever seen was was highly recommended to me by a very good Christian friend. I don’t see a movie any more until I’ve check out its content on www.pluggedinonline.com
2.) HOW’S THE TRAILER?
Trailers usually give you the absolute best scenes in the movie. And they rarely give you any information that would help you make a decision which is based on Biblical values. Trailers may give you a flavor of what the movie is about but they won’t help you ‘take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ'(2 Corinthians 10:5b). I’ve made decisions to see movies based on trailers and had to walk out of the movie because of its ungodly content.
3.) WHO’S IN IT?
There are some actors who tend to take more wholesome roles than others. But just because your favorite actor played a good role model in his last 2 movies does not guarantee he will always do the same. Once again, check out the reviews.
4.) WHO DIRECTED IT?
Directors would fall into the same category as criteria #3. Just because his or her last 3 movies were wholesome doesn’t guarantee that the next movie won’t offend you and your family.
5.) WHAT KIND OF MOVIE IS IT?
Is it a mystery, a suspense movie or maybe a romance? These are all neutral genres. The last suspense movie may have dropped 10 ‘F’ bombs but your next suspense movie may be more wholesome like ‘National Treasure’. One comedy may have dirty jokes while another has wholesome jokes. I like an occasional Romantic movie. God’s certainly into romance. But please know that the term ‘chick flick’ does not sanctify romantic movies as many Christians seem to believe. Many chick flicks contain plenty of fornication and unbiblical views of healthy relationships between men and women. The genre should not determine whether we should see or not see a movie.
6.) WHAT DO CRITICS SAY ABOUT IT?
Most movie critics that you see on TV do not review the movies from God’s perspective. Some of the best movies that I’ve ever seen have gotten poor reviews from popular movie critics. While at the same time, some of the recent Oscar winning movies would never be recommended by me.
7.) WHAT’S IT RATED?
Ratings can be a little helpful. I review them in my media seminars. However, they also are not coming from a Biblical worldview. As our world becomes increasingly more evil, so follows the movie ratings system. What would once be considered PG is now rated G. What once was rated R is now PG -13. The ratings will continue to change (and probably for the worst). Remember, GOD WILL NEVER CHANGE AND HIS WORD WILL NEVER CHANGE.
If you’re looking for a guide to help you make wise and God honoring movie choices, please go to Focus Publishing for a copy of our book BIBLICAL FILTERS FOR YOUR MEDIA CHOICES.