Movies/TV and Faith

So many movies are really bad viewing choices for one reason or another, and frequently we don't know it 'till after the money is paid. The box just doesn't reveal enough about what may be important to Christians. When you are looking to rent or buy, check here first to see if anyone has already seen it and can tell you more about it.

Postby Jesse Bramhall » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:48 pm

When I've been over at Anna's house. Her brother's and sisters are actually really good kids, but the men aren't taught to do to much, so Anna became a second mom. Now that she's gone, her younger 12 year old sister does a lot of the work. Her 17 year old brother is a good kid, but kind of struggles with what to do, after all, all he knows is that women do all the work.

They have this method where they write scripture on to little cards and leave them on the T.V. or in the bathroom. The kids don't read the Bible on a regular basis, so all they know about the Bible is these short quotes that tell them why God thinks things they do are vile. As Bruce points out, the problem with this is that it's not, "Living out the Word".

I think I pointed out earlier the matter of Trust. You see trust is developed between a Parent and a child when the child discovers that a Parent's judgement is reliable. "Because I say so." Doesn't cut it. But, if you manage to give them a restriction and why, they will very likely not do it, because they want to maintain the same respect for you you gave to them. Even if they directly disobey, at that point, you really don't lose because they still learned their lesson, just the hard way. But that's the hard part isn't it? You have to trust that they can make decisions. A little responsibility at a time is the best method, in my opinion.

All of Anna's brothers and sisters are getting to the point where they constantly question the authority on the matter. When you don't give kids reasons, they only know you as "NO". So the relationship they have with you ends up being about how to work around you. They won't tell you, what they're doing. They won't even feel like they should need to. You say "No" they do it anyway. They'll say, "Isn't that what the difference is between parents and adults?" or "I thought they just like saying "No"?" That kind of thing.

Her Mother does tons of work to try to maintain care for all of them. But one lazy parent, like a dad, makes things really unbalanced. Anna's Mom is still trying to be submissive to the Authority of a Husband who has no direct connection with his family. That makes things really hard.
Blessings and Shalom

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Postby Shari Freeland » Sat Jul 23, 2005 4:38 pm

Have you considered the possibility that if you hadn't been shielded from things that you would have launched into independence at a more worldly point and been less fearful, resulting in going farther into evil than you did?

Even saying no all the time without explanation is harder than just saying yes. The logic that you are presenting has no boundary. There is no defined limit of what is inappropriate for a child to watch as long as a parent is there to say "this is wrong" and "this is right" and "this should have been handled differently". Parents can rationalize letting their kids watch anything in the name of education, even if they shouldn't be watching it themselves. The best education a parent can give a child is by example.

Raising kids is hard. I had my own issues with my parents growing up. But when I had kids of my own, I developed a new respect for my parents because I realized that they are human and they had their own circumstances to handle. They did the best that they knew how to do. And sometimes they didn't even do that, but sometimes I don't, either.

The majority of homeschooled kids that I have met did not go through the major rebellious period, and there is no reason to just launch them off once they are "of age." And, if my kids are polite and loving while in my home growing up, that isn't a bad side effect, either. My daughters will go up to anyone, regardless of age, physical ability, color, circumstances, etc., and ask if they know Jesus. One of my daughters gave all of her money to help some missionaries. Sometimes I get more of an education than they do.

My point about the choices that my children make is that I cannot help what my child does with what they have been taught anymore than the children of Israel could with their own children.

Why does "family education" have to come through tv and movies anyway? It did not exist for 5900 years of the 6000 years of man's existence. I think that the lessons in the Bible cover just about any circumstance. God's Word does not need the assistance of man's movies to make a case. It stands alone.

Shari
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Postby Bruce Bertram » Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:03 pm

I wasn't shielded, myself. My natural mother was very permissive, and I was able to pretty much do what I wanted. When I got to a foster home, however, there was more control. My natural mother wasn't a godly woman, although a decent enough sort, and the foster homes were all 'Christian.' Except the last one, although they started going with me when I wanted to go to the local Baptist congregation because the pastor was an assistant coach on my high school football team. So I got a good experience between 'no control' and 'control.'

None of the Christians home schooled (not as popular back then), but they all tried to exert control over us. When I was 13, I asked my natural mom if she would relinquish me for adoption (give up her parental rights). I did this because I instinctively knew that I needed more discipline than I would receive from my natural mom. She was just way too permissive, and I would've done a lot of wrong things if I'd've stayed with her.

The foster homes, and my adoptive home, were not terribly strict; more like typical Christian strict. Which is to say that in some ways they were no different than the world. But, there were a lot of good things they believed in, and imparted to me. I would say I got a good look at two styles (no control and good control), and I picked the 'good control' model. My adoptive parents (my parents) did a lot to pull me back from the brink of the precipice.

So I agree Shari, that a parent needs to prohibit and control. But by the same token that some parents are not strict enough, some are too strict. And either extreme is too much is all I'm saying. We have to work at being balanced by the Word. For you, maybe it's harder to say no without reasons than to say yes, but some parents aren't that way. It is easier for them to say no than to exercise judgment and to train the child. Some parents don't raise their kids; they just watch them get older.

I agree that raising kids is hard, if you are going to 'raise' them. Some parents, though, (and you are not among them) really do not care enough to put the work into 'raising.' Most of the times a 'nay saying' parent (again, not you) just doesn't want to put the effort into teaching, and doesn't want the trouble of allowing the kids to do anything. They know that raising is hard, and they just decide that the 'safe' thing to do is not let them do anything.

I know there are home-schooled kids who remain well-balanced as they grow up, and make good choices (mostly). As a matter of fact, if I had to do it over again I would home-school my kids too. I just think public (or private) schools are too much of an artificial environment with way too much exposure to things that kids should not even be thinking about most of the time. It's obvious you are not afraid to put in the effort to raise your kids or you wouldn't be home schooling, so I commend you for that. But I have seen a lot of kids from overly strict homes who just went nuts after the parents lost control. They didn't have a 'rebellious' time before 18, but they more than made up for it later.

In some ways I also agree with you that there is no guarantee kids will stay with the program after they leave home. It's amazing that some kids from completely worthless homes will turn out okay, and some that had every advantage go into the toilet. I guess in some ways this is God's grace. The Israelites, I think, lost it because they didn't practice and teach the Word of God, not because they didn't want their kids to turn out okay.

The reason 'family education' needs to include TV and movies is not that we couldn't do without them, but that they are out there for the viewing. Sort of like an automobile. We could do without those, too, but we don't. We get out there and buy them and learn to drive them and insure them and maintain them. You wouldn't let your kids grow up without training in driving, so in the same way I didn't want my kids to not know how to 'drive' a movie. I wanted them in the driver's seat, not the media.

Shalom
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my Childhood

Postby Jesse Bramhall » Sat Jul 23, 2005 7:10 pm

Alright, to clear a couple of matters up, for starters.

1. I do believe that a good crack down is always good and necessary when it comes to raising kids. So yes, "Don't" should mean "Don't!" and "no!" should mean "No!". That's why I refered to the trust establishment. What I often see is that kids do not take their parents word seriously, and this is why they disobey. How much to crack down depends on the kid's temperment. With some kids, just saying, "you really let me down." is all you really need to say. Others want tough love. They want you to give them restrictions. If you don't they'll say things like "You never ground me!!!!" to prove that the mother doesn't love them. The other end of the spectrum, there are kids that just don't understand punishment. These kids sort of sit there, scared, or often get a little mopey or sad or depressed. There's about a billion different possibiliies.

2. If you believe you can keep your kids away from television for the rest of their lives, then there would be no reason to educate them. The only way you could do this is if you lived out in the woods somewhere, or on a farm in the middle of nowhere perhaps. If you can't, then kids should be educated on what the thing is so it loses all it's mystery.

Alrighty, so, my childhood. I was born from a 19 year old mother who divorced my dad because of drug and wife abuse. She wasn't much better than my dad, although she did quit drugs for Short spans of time, during my childhood. I think she's been at least off the harder stuff for some time. She spent a lot of time going out at night, to bars with her friends, but never got drunk that often. She worked as a waitress in the evenings so she wasn't ever there and when she was she was sleeping before she went to work. Her method of discpline was yelling and slapping which I never understood, I took it personally and never learned a thing from it. Part of this was because even if I was doing right she would find other things to yell at me about. Most of the time these screaming fits were extremely condescending. Since she was never there, I was left on my own, with completely free reigns to do as I please.

Nothing really happened. You see I didn't have much respect for my mom so I knew that I simply would not do the things she did. I pretty much avoided drugs and sex, which were the only things I knew to avoid. I was exposed to a lot of films, tons of films. But they have no real effect on me, I actually have a bit of a disintrest and distaste in them now. You actually become disgusted by things when your standards change, it's really not the desensitiesed thing everyone makes it out to be. You see things differently when you begin to restrict yourself more. I've also been exposed to a great deal of messed up stuff, such as drug addicts, people doing drugs, bars, wherever my parents brought me. Most of the time, all of it only angered me.

So in conclusion, I really wouldn't know if a more restricted upbringing would have changed anything. However, I wouldn't change the knowledge I've gained from my unrestricted upbringing, that would be like backtracking. Although I didn't have much of a childhood (had to grow up really fast) I knew all these things, and was exposed to all this far before college and avoided getting in to a great deal of trouble. I'm not saying all kids should live out their childhoods going through some of the stuff I did. I'm just saying, I don't believe that exposure is synonamous with a life of rebellion.
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Postby Jesse Bramhall » Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:46 pm

1Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

   4to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

   5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.


Verse five is really what I'm focusing on here. Peter is speaking of the birth of a "new life". In a sence, you see, we are "sheilded", but it's not by the overting exposure to the evils of the world. It's by the power of God that comes to us through faith. However, we have the opportunity to be part of that by living it and teaching it.

I'm under the impression that demons have no real power, except for what we give them. They impress upon us the kind of control that they really don't have. With faith we're protected by anything they could throw at us.

So in a sence, I would say, education is the"sheild" for kids. After all, it is their ability to discern good (faith) and evil (rebellion) that will protect them more than anything. And that wisdom only comes from the light of men.

It's through Christ that these things have no power over us. Ultimatly, it's when the reformed drug addict can be exposed to a heroine needle and say "bleh, not my thing any more." That "faith" has been attained. At least if the drug addict came to this conclusion because he came to realize the greater reward.

That's the means of attaining good behavior. Understanding the reward is greater in heaven than anything here. If a kid can learn that at an early age, they're ahead of the rest of us.
Blessings and Shalom

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Postby Bruce Bertram » Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:46 pm

I agree that God protects us, even when we don't know we need protecting and even when we don't ask for it. We just have to be careful that we don't presume on this by unnecessarily putting ourselves in harm's way, too. We husbands also have to exercise our gifts in sifting what our wives and kids experience, as much as we can.

Speaking of God's protection, I just got done watching 'Constantine,' and outside of extremely wrong theology it wasn't half bad. Of course, I don't watch movies for theology, anyway (and Hollywood never disappoints). This one keeps you riveted, and they didn't go over the top with the intensity. It's a bit like The Mummy (it even has Rachel Weisz in it) with just a little more oomph. Not for young kids, but if you watch it with Anna (Jesse) you might end up with her in your lap and holding tight a couple of times. :) I wanted to jump into Susan's lap once or twice myself, but at 230 pounds to her 115 she might not've recovered! :lol:

The battle between the demons and Constantine is showy but the basic principles are good.

Shalom
Bruce Scott Bertram - http://www.wholebible.com
War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory.
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Scary Movies

Postby Jesse Bramhall » Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:02 pm

Yeah, right, well it's not really a ticket to do what you want either. You end up back to moderation in all things including moderation. I doubt a drug addict should ever put himself in a place where he was around any sort of substance that could lead him to relapse. I'm just saying, if he were to accidently come into contact with it, hopefully he had learned enough to deny it's attraction.

That's really what it all comes down to, attraction. What attracts our sinful natures seems to also be different for everybody. For one person it might be sex, for another, it could be obsessing over television, or drinking. Then those obsessions tend to cause us to break some or all of the commandments. The funny thing is, we're all sinful, but we all go around say, "I don't understand why he gets so caught up in to all of that." Then we go two steps away and poor ourselves another drink, or what have you.

Yeah, Anna's not to good with the whole scary movie thing. You can rest assured she won't be sleeping very well after viewing one. I was in Oak Park taking care of Elaine and I said, "What are you doing."

"Watching 'Talented Mr. Ripley.'" I didn't even remember we had the that film in our apartment. It looks like a classy film with a classy story. But then when you watch it, it's like one of the scarier Alfred Hitchcock movies. I said, "Oh, I don't know if you want to keep watching that." "Why, it's not that scary." she said. After trying to explain what happens in the film. I said, "Ok, well we'll see."

After the film was over she came out to Oak Park and spent the night there with me..

She's got an overactive imagination, so her mind goes all sorts of places it shouldn't.

This looks like Mr. Reeves 2nd film series with a SciFi type renditiion of a -kinda,sorta, theology film- what's up with that? I guess they think Reeves looks Gothic enough.
Blessings and Shalom

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Muslim Wrestling Character Banned

Postby Jesse Bramhall » Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:34 pm

I don't watch wrestling, like, EVER. But I saw on the news that they had made a muslim character for their show.

Image

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u ... haracter_2

The other thing that wierd is that the Wrestling Character, Sting, is apparently a reformed Christian!?!? They even sell his movie on Some "Christian Video" sites. When did that happen? I get the feeling WWE is trying to sell us something, and I don't think it's religion.

Image

http://www.christiancinema.com/catalog/ ... desk_id=88
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Postby Bruce Bertram » Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:31 am

I have no idea what the WWF might be saying about Christians, unless it is that 'everyone' is a Christian or something. The Arab guy has gotta be a glutton for punishment, though. Even if it's not politically correct to pick on Muslims, I think he'd still be a target. Is he a 'good' guy or a 'bad' guy? (Kind of like asking if he's a 'good witch' or a 'bad witch!' Like that makes a difference!) :)

I think Keanu Reeves just likes the more thought provoking roles, which is why he's tackled projects like The Matrix and Constantine. I like his work, in general. He may be more in tune with spiritual realities than we think.

It's funny how some truth finds it's way into most of the movies. 'The Matrix,' for instance, posits that the world we see is not the real world. Constantine is more about the 'other plane' trying to invade this one, especially the 'son of Lucifer' (seed of the serpent). I wonder how much of these types of movies are intended to either educate us (get us used to the beast's eventual appearance) or numb us to the possibilities of Satan's goals. When the Beast is revealed, will it be like in the movies, so we just think it's part of a film project?

There is no spoon.

Shalom
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The Exorcist

Postby Jesse Bramhall » Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:45 pm

I think the Muslim character is supposed to be a bad guy. One of his 'powers" is calling on his lackeys to take out people in the ring. He's actually being banned from TV because of complaints from American Muslims that feel its a stereotype.

As far a "Sting". Apparently he was a drug addict that became a Christian after he was about to lose his wife or something. It's just hard to know whether such a story is fact or fiction.

The Old Exorcist film had a similar story, and at that time, people did believe in demons and the movie scared a lot of people. Recently there's been a change. The first "Freddy Kruegor" movies were supposed to be a more serious look at the demonic world. But the later ones mady "Freddy" into a hero. The Later Exorcist film was taken as more of a Joke, and when I saw it, people were laughing in the theatres.

C.S. Lewis's book, "The Skrewtape Letters" is taken in the same light. It isn't taken as seriously as it once was.
Blessings and Shalom

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Postby Bruce Bertram » Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:16 am

Lewis's book 'The Screwtape Letters' wasn't all that scary, I don't think. It is very thought provoking, though. Some of the arguments are a little complicated, and that may also be why the book is not as popular now. Too much thinking. :)

Shalom
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Lewis's book

Postby Jesse Bramhall » Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:43 am

It's actually still commonly read at many schools. What I mean is, it's seen as a literary work of Fantasy. People don't take it seriously theologically, or spiritually speaking.
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Postby Bruce Bertram » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:29 pm

Well, they should. Just because it isn't scary or because it is allegorical doesn't mean it isn't true, or a good hypothesis of true. The demons are probably not so amicable as Lewis paints them, but I wouldn't put it past them to be plotting all the time to bring about the ruination of whoever they can.
8Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NASB95)

I think Lewis did a pretty good job overall of phrasing the conflict in terms we can understand, even if he did take a great deal of poetic license.

Shalom


Last bumped by Bruce Bertram on Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:29 pm.
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