Sometimes I am told, “Those violent video games don’t affect me. I know they are just games.” Or, “I can watch those shows and movies, or listen to that music, and it really doesn’t affect my Christian life.”
I am reminded of an interesting story told by a friend of mine:
“Pearl (his dear late wife) and I went to see a movie in Abilene, TX about gangs. It was an OK movie but had a lot of fighting between the gangs. We didn’t enjoy it.
“After the movie, we noticed that all the young guys came out with their chests puffed out, trying to bump into one another to get into a fight. They all thought they were as tough as the guys in the movie and were aching for a chance to show it.”
I didn’t go to that movie. He told me the name, but I couldn’t now tell you what it was. I have, however, seen some movies like that, and I have noticed the same thing. People identify with the characters in a well-done movie (and sometimes a not so well done movie) and carry that with them outside of the theater.
Violent media creates violent citizens. Cruel movies create cruel people. Optimistic movies influence watchers to be more optimistic, and so forth.
I am not talking censorship, but I think there is a strong message to parents and responsible adults here. I think it can be also applied to all Christians who seek to honor God in their actions and choices.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
It doesn’t take a truck load of wisdom to see the converse of this in the movie theater lobby. What enters the eyes and ears goes to the heart. What lives in the heart comes out the hands, feet and mouth.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9.