Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner on Movies

This is a transcription of part of a Generations with Vision broadcast titled "Should Christian Families Watch Movies?" Bold emphasis is added.

Kevin Swanson - “You’ve got to ask the question, Is it appropriate to watch these things? If you can’t connect loving God and keeping his commandments with not watching movies, I’m not going to stop watching movies. In other words, Can you love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength, while you read a newspaper, or watch movies? That’s the real question here. Now, there are reasons why we might not want to watch movies: they might have a shallow way of communicating truth, they might be a time-waster, they might be a bad presentation of some story, they might be a little short of the fear of God, and antinomian…”

Dave Buehner - “There are lots of good reasons not to watch movies… You can take something good, and replace the very best things in life with something that was only good. It tends to be non-relational. In other words, you take your wife out to a movie—you’re not really talking to your wife, you’re not communicating with your wife. You’re together, but you’re not looking at each other. There’s lots of good reasons not to go to movies, or not to watch them at home, but there are also some very good reasons that you might want to watch some movies.”

Kevin Swanson - “Sure, exactly. And I think, Dave, there are entertaining reasons why we might watch movies. They might remind us of an important historical story, and our response might be rejoicing in the Providence of God. I mean, there are reasons why we might watch movies. And the other aspect of this, Dave, is the assumption that movies have to be entertaining. They don’t have to be entertaining. In fact, from time to time, I need to have some contact with the antithesis. I do need to read the newspaper. I need to know what’s going on in the world. Why? Because I’m a pastor. Why? Because I’m a leader, I’m a father, and I think I need to have some contact with how the world thinks, because a lot of times, the way the world thinks impacts the way we live... This of course means that movies cannot be sheer entertainment. That means you can’t just zone out when you’re watching movies, and I hate to tell that to some folks who like to watch movies and just unplug their brain and put it on hold for a while. I think God requires us to use our minds, and renew our minds, in the process of watching movies as well, because God holds us accountable for ripping down those imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of God and Christ, and that includes what happens on the movie screen.

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