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Are TV and Movies OK?

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I've been wondering what kinds of things Christians should and shouldn't watch. Is it OK to go to the movies or watch TV? And which shows on TV are all right to see? In the shows my friends and I like to watch, characters sometimes do and say wrong things, but the shows are hilarious! What do you think?

The Bible, our guide to right living, is clear on many issues, like premarital sex, drunkenness, murder and gossip. But there aren't any hard and fast answers to your questions about entertainment. The Bible doesn't say, "Thou shalt not watch TV or go to movies." Still, I think we can find scriptural principles on which to base our responses to these "gray" areas.

One principle the Bible is very clear on is essentially this: Garbage in, garbage out. What we put into our minds matters, and it affects how we think and what we do. The Bible says, "As he thinks in his heart, so is he … " (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV). I also like what Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: "Man becomes what he thinks about all day long."

Whatever you put into your mind will eventually work its way into your thoughts and actions. If you put garbage into your mind, garbage will come out. If you put good things into your mind, then good things will come out. It stands to reason if you fill your head with negative and ungodly material through TV, movies or the Internet, negative stuff will show up.

Another biblical principle is this: Think about good things. The apostle Paul has some sound advice about your thought life. In Philippians 4:8, he writes "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Even if you can find excellent, praiseworthy things on TV or in the movies, you won't find enough to keep your mind pure. What you need is a daily intake of the Word of God. When you're getting that, you'll be better able to discern what's worth watching and what's just bringing you down.

I don't have specific rules and regulations to share with you, and I can't give you a list of acceptable and unacceptable TV shows and movies. But I do believe that as you and your friends look to God's Word for guidance, you can make wise decisions about entertainment.


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