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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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What if I Fast-forward Through the Bad Parts?

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I want to watch some interesting movies, but they have some bad language or sex in them. Would it be OK if I just fast-forward through those parts? I donít see why people make such a big deal about those things anyway. Itís not as if Iíve never heard those words or heard about sex.


Steve Answers:

Some people avoid movies completely, whether theyíre in theaters or on video, DVD, laser disc, or TV. Some of their reasons include: they want to avoid evil (or the appearance of evil), they find other activities more fun, or they simply donít have time for it.

But you stated that you want to watch some movies. So how do you decide what to watch or not to watch? If you were a child, Iíd choose the movies that you watch. But now youíre forming your own guidelines.

Some people simply watch whatever is the newest release. Others choose movies by who stars in them or what category they fit into (comedy, action, sci-fi, etc.). Still others seem to care more about who theyíre with or where and when they watch a movie.

Recently a friend passed on to me a story of a father who stopped his children from renting a PG-13 movie that had a few questionable elements. When his reasons for not renting the movie met with anger, disappointment, and frustration, he offered to bake his kids some homemade brownies instead.

Later, when he offered them the piping hot brownies, he explained that there was just one catch: the brownies had a cup of dog poop in them. But he assured the kids that they had plenty of other good ingredients.After the kids finished grossing out, Dad had obviously made his point.Of course, Iím not suggesting that anybody eat brownies with dog poop in them! Iím also not suggesting that anyone should watch a movie that has just a little bit of bad stuff in it.

Hereís the ideal: ďYouíll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, graciousóthe best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curseĒ (Philippians 4:8, Message).*For those who argue that we just need to get used to the world, Iíll agree that itís wise for us to know whatís going on. But that certainly doesnít mean we need to be a part of it! (See 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.)Bad language, violence, sex scenes, etc., are actually in the Bible. But the Bible provides Godís perspective on these things, which is usually opposite of the way theyíre presented in movies.Perhaps the worst part of watching movies is that we become spectators and just drink them in without thinking or responding. Females get presented as bimbos, cheating gets you ahead, might makes right, religious people are stupid, dates should end with bed scenes, alcohol is a part of any good time.Whenever we view these things without challenging them, they become what we expect. And soon we find that our view of reality has been warped far from Godís ideal. And weíre the ones least aware of it!

*Scripture quotations marked Message are from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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