This has been another summer of blockbuster superhero movies. So far, we have had among others, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and of course, the monster blockbuster movie, Kong: Skull Island. I must admit that even when I viewed the trailers, the movies seemed enticing — a thrill ride, from start to finish. It is hard to help being amazed as the action and special effects jump across the big screen, tied to an over-the-top, but engaging story-line.
Movies are an American pastime. Most of us can remember as kids, buying popcorn, whose aroma can’t be replicated at home, and the tub of soda too big for our own stomach! The movies were exciting! However even then, they were not so innocent. Still, we didn’t care. It was fun, and we were ignorant. Jump forward a couple decades, and nothing has changed. In fact, many movies we flocked the theaters to see are now being rebooted to be edgier, faster, more mainstream, and more vulgar — much more vulgar. Maybe it’s because I am getting older and have teenagers of my own, but at the risk of sounding like an old killjoy, I am growing increasingly concerned about the content of movies — even animated movies — which are marketed towards our children. As a Christian parent, you should too.
So, let’s just imagine you see an adult with your child, and this person decides to tell your girl or boy a joke. They smirk, look around, and begin loudly, “Two transvestites walk into a strip club…” Do you allow them to continue? Do you stand by to hear the rest of the joke? Or, do you immediately interrupt, knowing that a line has been crossed? If you are a parent worth your title, you would stop them in their tracks. Even if your teen hears every lewd comment and dirty joke imaginable at their local Christian or public school, there are rules on how we allow adults to speak with our children, whether they are being funny, or not. I believe those same rules should apply on the big screen. I think you know where I am going here. Let’s go.
I'm Getting Tired
I am getting tired of the movies. I am getting tired of the summer blockbusters and even animated “children’s” movies which market themselves as harmless entertainment, indoctrinating and training our children with vulgarity and sexual lewdness. I am tired of our kids learning about drugs, porn, homosexuality, dirty jokes, and graphic violence while Christian parents are sitting right next to them, staring at the giant screen with a broad smile on their face. These movies are witty, funny, and nearly two-and-a-half hours long. Sadly during the exact same week, I often have to beg parents to bring their kids to youth ministry for the exact same amount of time. These same people complain when church lasts for over an hour, but will not second-guess the decision to watch a movie for nearly three hours.
I am starting to wonder if our choices of entertainment are really modern manifestations of idolatry. I believe a line has been crossed when our children understand the detailed history of the characters in the Marvel Universe, but will not study the Bible. A line has been crossed when our kids can define the terms, Jedi, Padawan, Infinity Stone, Sith, and Inhuman, but claim they cannot understand the pages of scripture. They understand every term and phrase that comes out of the mouth of Yoda, but claim that the “thee’s and thou’s” of the King James Bible are too difficult for them to understand. They understand Snapchat, Minecraft, and modern hip-hop, whose language changes and upgrades nearly every year, but seem to think the Word that brings salvation is out of the reach of their heart and mind.
Your Kids Are Not Dumb
See, your kids are not dumb. They are being trained, but not by their parents. Nevertheless, if you are constantly exposing them to the uncleanness of Hollywood, you are allowing the world to upstage and eliminate God from their impressionable minds, all in the name of entertainment. You are allowing them, in essence, to take a break away from God, as though the joy and wonder of the spirit-filled life is some type of burdensome reality from which we must protect our kids. As Christian parents, it seems as though we fight hard to protect them from “too much church,” using the lame excuse of having “time with the family!” All the while, we open our households to the wickedness, debauchery, and secular humanism preached to them in the theater. Then on the very next evening, when the church gathers together for prayer services (if your church even has a prayer service), you leave the kids home, as though it’s an abomination for them to tarry for an hour. Then, they happily comply and stay home for an evening of television, internet, video games, and only God knows what else. The training is working. They are lost. Your teens are lost in your home, while you go to church, and your kid takes the long, painful journey of a godless life.
Are We Raising Christians at All?
Zion, how willing are you to go to heaven without your kids? You want your kids to know Jesus, but are sitting there in front of a 60-inch television screen, letting the world invade your home with all of its corruption, while you laugh? Even at church (if your teen still goes), they have their iPhone or their tablet, playing video games and talking on social media, while you sit right next to them. Are we raising Christians at all? Are our teenagers disciples of Christ, or are they hell-bound, non-religious churchgoers? I say this with the fear of God, and with all due respect to you as a parent: Continue this course, and hell will open its mouth wide for your kids, and you will have allowed it! Is there no desperation? Is there no burden to see them saved? Would you not face the perils of hell yourself, for the salvation of your own children? Yet, because of the taste for the world, I fear that for many "Christian" families, the perils of hell may become a family affair. Something has to change. A line has been crossed.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2, KJV).
Imagine a household where your teens are transformed — not like the Autobots or the Decepticons, but true inner-change towards Christ where their minds are renewed. Imagine them being a force in this world, not for good, but for God, and the gospel. Imagine your teenager being the type of person who actually thinks about pulling others out of the snares of hell! Now, I know you want to believe your baby loves Jesus, but recent statistics show that this generation is the most godless generation, ever. Your kids do not have prayer lives. They have no clue about personal evangelism, and they know little to nothing about the Bible. The majority.of our "Christian" teens hardly even believe in God. Most likely, this includes yours.
Please be warned: Your kids will not thank you when they stand before God in judgement. If you are allowing the world to indoctrinate them through movies, music, the internet and other mass media, you are teaching them how to compromise and conform to the world. Consequently, your kids will not get into heaven. Now, I understand that the gospel is not just about avoiding hell. But, if avoiding hell was the only reason why Jesus came, I would beg my children to stay away from the wicked one, and give their hearts wholly to Christ! Have you given this message to your teen, lately? If not, then how will they ever know? Will your youth pastor tell them? That's unlikely. Far too many youth ministries do little more than play games and give advice. In fact, there are quite a few who will go to the movies this week, and fill your teenager with more worldliness.
Consider Your Ways
Before your next family movie, or the next big release from your favorite rap artist, and before you buy your teen the new iPhone, I need you to consider the eternal consequences of the seeds you are sowing into the life of your children. This is a matter of heaven or hell, for them. Instead of worldly entertainment, have fun with your kids. Spend quality time away from screens (television screens, movie screens, cellphone screens), and talk to them. Take them camping, fishing, and even shopping. Throw the football around. Cook with them, teach them the ways of God through your words and your life. Dust off the bicycle in the garage and go riding. Find a way to their hearts again, because they need Jesus, and they need Him to be seen through you. This is not the time to take a gamble. Please do not willfully expose your children to things that separate them from God, while hoping they will still live for Him. Consider their souls. Help them to lose their taste for the world, and begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness. The time is short.