Should I Watch This Movie? (Part 2)


This is a continuation of a previous post entitled Should I Watch This Movie?

Here are a few more questions to help you check your current cinema consumption:

Does This Movie Tempt Me to Sin?

This category is broad, so let me break it down:

  • Am I tempted to lust after the images on the screen? Not much explanation needed here.
  • Am I tempted to be discontent with my current stage of life (single, married, young, old)? Movies are like circus mirrors – they distort every stage of life. Singleness is only freedom. Marriage is solely intimate love. Youth is full of adventure. Old means retiring comfortably. These inaccurate, unbiblical portrayals often tempt us to be discontent with our current stage in life.
  • Am I tempted to believe lies about God, myself, or the world? Movies make excellent liars. They tell us that self-fulfillment matters more than serving others. That sexual love is more important than marital faithfulness. That finding myself is more important than taking up my cross. That “spirituality” matters more than knowing the truth. Beware of lying movies.

Does This Movie Edify Me?

This is where things can get a bit blurry. A movie that doesn’t glorify sin, that I can thank God for, and that doesn’t tempt me can still be unedifying. What do I mean by unedifying? I mean that it doesn’t build me up, doesn’t cause me to love Christ, makes me uneasy, etc.

Jen and I recently stopped watching a particular show. We loved this show. It was an intense, good against evil, crimebuster type of show. But things started to go south. The violence became increasingly gruesome. Disturbing images were planted in my mind, and I was increasingly tempted to fear. I would imagine myself walking into my darkened house and being attacked by a hidden assailant.

Was the show itself sinful? I don’t think so. But it certainly wasn’t helpful for me. So we stopped. Let Philippians 4:8 guide you in this area:

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.

This list isn’t exhaustive. It’s meant to get you thinking, and praying about the movies you watch.

I would love to get your thoughts. Are these questions helpful? Are there any other questions you would add?

+photo by eye of einstein


  • Elizabeth says:

    I think these questions could also be broadened to include things like reading material. Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

  • Mr. Harmless says:

    I think that the amazing (or sad) thing is that we can read these questions, or some similar questions that we have developed through our own Bible study, and still watch movies that go against everything that we know.

  • Mr Harmless – I agree! There are times what I watch a movie even though I know that I shouldn’t. By God’s grace I hope to be doing it less and less as I grow in Christ.

  • Elizabeth – So glad you found these questions helpful!

  • Pat says:

    I continued to watch my favorite tv shows and listen to my favorite music after I got saved (60-70s rock and roll – the tunes that fed my teen-age brain during that time period with “you’re having my baby, what a wonderful way to show that you love me”, “come on baby light my fire” etc etc). My sinful self felt good about these messages. Everything I wanted to do was “normal”. When God opened my eyes and began working on my heart, I took Philippians 4:8 seriously and (semi-grudgingly) went through my music collection. TV was ok, tho. Off-color, a lot, but still funny and clever and I didn’t want to be one of those sourpuss Christian types.Then one episode of ER, the characters all hopped into bed with somebody – opposite and same sex. It hit me that this was not something God would want me to watch. I loved this show and was very sad to quit watching it. But it became clear to me that no matter how funny, how clever, how well done, how politically astute, I was feeding my brain (and my sinful nature) with messages that not only did not glorify God but had the potential to lead me down paths I did not want to go. We are weak and the enemy is prowling around looking for a way to take us down. We haven’t watched TV since. My kids didn’t even miss it once they got used to it. They’re now 17 and 19 and think it’s a waste of time. I think the guidelines you wrote about movies also apply to TV and music. Thanks for bringing this topic up.

  • Sarah A says:

    I’ve always thought this was subjective…that some movies are worse for some than others…but now I don’t believe that this is necessarily true. I think it comes down to my own convictions and my relationship with God. The important thing is to be aware of my responses and reactions to movies and whatever else media there is.

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