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Hollywood's War On God

December 31, 2022, 10:08:58 am NilsFor1611 says: blessings
August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
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Psalm 51:17
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« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2015, 07:18:00 pm »

Rather than catch a movie tonight, take a moment to read this.
The Unlawfulness of the Theater
Demonstrated in Simple Arguments
Set Forth for Reasonable Christians*

There was a time when doctors knew nothing of washing their hands or instruments before surgery, before the unseen germ became common knowledge.  Likewise, there are judgments we now make before we have all the necessary information.  Take a few minutes to read this treatment of this subject and examine the facts of the case.  If there is an unseen germ of pollution hiding in the theater, then it should be easily seen under the microscope of reason and Scripture.  The Scriptures teach us that it is our duty to prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God  (Rom. 12:2), so we must remain mindful that we will not be able to offer excuses to God at the judgment.  I hope that by your examination of these arguments you will know the difference between opinion and the will of God and thereby avoid great sorrow when you answer to God on that Day.

                In the past, men have been greatly mistaken about their duty to God.  They have worshipped before idols in the churches when God clearly commanded us to bow before no image.  If it is possible to be greatly mistaken in worship, then how senseless are we to imagine we cannot be mistaken in diversions.  People who bowed before these idols to pray to saints sinned against the clear teaching of God, yet they bowed out of a sense of devotion.  What is the purpose of the theater, movies and television comedies?  It is only for entertainment and pleasure.  It is not done out of a sense of devotion.  We must, then be all the more careful to examine its morality.  For all things in life we do out of necessity.  Only our diversions are chosen out of the desires of the heart.  Diversions alone are what we do for pleasure because we truly like what we are exposed to.  So, though we have much to condemn against the blindness of falling down in prayer before an idol, yet they have much to excuse their behavior.  They are taught to do so by their church, they are shown to do so by the example of their fathers, and they do it out of a sense of devotion.  Can the same blindness be charged upon us?  Without commandment or duty, we frequent the movies, comedies, and dramas which are filled with every type of filth that is condemned by the words of Scripture.  If we hold that it is lawful to enjoy that which the Scripture condemns and forbids, are we not just as blind in our diversions as those others in their devotions?

                How wrong is it to defend the use of idols in worship?  It is certainly as wrong as defending any sinful diversion such as drunkenness.  To support one sinful diversion is the same as to support any other.  It is as important to know if our entertainments are lawful as it is to know that our religion is truthful.  It is as important to know that our diversions are approved of God as to know our faith is approved of God.

                The entertainment of the movies and stage are not here set before you as things that can lead to sin.  They are not potential pitfalls that can entice to sin.  They are gravely sinful in themselves.  Like drunkenness, lying and stealing are sinful behaviors in themselves, so are the diversion of the movies and stage.    What do you see and hear at the movies or the plays?  You hear and see immoral speeches, immodest behavior, immodest dress, rude women and men, corrupt thoughts, blasphemies against God, godless solutions to problems, revenge, promotion of ungodly reasoning, drunkenness, fighting, hatred, lying, disrespect of parents, approval of magic, heathen religious philosophies, and a host of other sins.  Is there a need to ask where this contradicts a particular Scripture?  It contradicts the whole current of the religion of Christ.  It is the embodiment of everything that is not holy in this world.  It contradicts all Christian holiness and every prescribed path at arriving there.  How can we say that we are following Christ while we divert ourselves with every base thing which contradicts Christ to His face?  How can we say we are keeping our hearts with all diligence, or that we are putting off the old man, or fleeing temptation, or resisting the Devil, while we divert our minds with such content?  Every virtue produced by Christian holiness is contrary to all that is in this entertainment.

                The theater contradicts everything that true religion teaches us.  What is the whole design of true religion?  It is to make us pure in heart.  True religion conforms our hearts to that holy state which God approves, conforms us to the image of His Son, and prepares us for the company of those holy saints, the spirits of just men made perfect.  In short, we are being prepared for a place where no evil dwells and for the company of Him whose eyes are too pure to behold evil.  Yet what do we find the theater does for us?  It awakens every foul passion in us.  It caters to the lust of the flesh and encourages the desires of the mind.

                Consider how effective this form of entertainment is at affecting our state of mind.  It consists of discourses, pictures and stories.  Now what did God ordain as the most effectual way to promote the gospel?  It is preaching.  Why?  God knows our constitution and how effective this is in changing the state of our mind toward holiness.  Did not Christ teach in parables?  These were stories with heavenly meaning.  It was God who gave us the Bible and filled it mostly with stories of history and people.  Why was this His course?  It is because this is the most effectual way to get His message into our hearts, by example attached to precepts.  Observe how deceitful the Devil is by his method of using such similar means, but for a contrary purpose.  He teaches his foul behaviors, his ill desires, his perverted lusts to unsuspecting students.  The Scriptures teach us that the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).  Now these lusts are stirred in us by all the cleverness that man can invent to tell these stories.  No vice is left out.  There is not a work of the flesh missing in the Devil’s collection of stories.  Who has frequented the theater without being exposed to fornication, adultery, magic, and uncleanness, or strife and murder?  Often all these are rolled into one story.  As if it is not enough to offend God with one vice, many vices are heaped up one upon another.  For when the eye gate is left unguarded vices rush in upon us, flooding our poorly protected hearts.  If discourses and stories are ordained of God, and used by Christ, as the most effective tool for teaching His precepts and securing a change of heart from the love of sin to the love of holiness, then it is most reasonable to conclude that the discourse, stories and parables told to us by the world and infused with filthy jests and communication will corrupt us in the exact opposite direction.    Christ commands us to turn to God from sin.  He uses the best means to achieve it.  To turn a man in the opposite direction back to the love of vice, the devil uses clever stories and pictures, mixes in the right amount of vice so as to not offend us too much, and through the best means available contradicts holiness to the highest extent.

                What then is the purpose of true religion?  It is to alter our hearts to that inward love of God and that inward holiness that He requires.  Anything, therefore, that destroys that change of heart attacks true religion.  Anything that would change a heart back from the love of holiness to the love of the flesh and unholy desires, sets about to undo all that true religion does for us.  So where some sins are unlawful because of a particular command, the entertainment of the theater is unlawful because it goes much farther.  It contradicts all of the principles of true religion established by God.  So this question must be posed to you: Are you for the spirit of true religion or only for the outward form of it?  If you are for the form only, then the stage is a fine entertainment.  If you are for the spirit of true religion and desire to seek God with a pure heart, you must abhor the theater and its ill effects upon Christ’s kingdom.

Frank objects that he only watches Christian films such as have recently been brought to market.  He only watches those billed for the consumption of a moral crowd.  We are told in God’s Word, be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.  Let us take a moment to see if Frank was deceived and exposed to evil communication.  Here are some of those films Frank was able to watch.  Amazing Grace (2007): a movie about the great Christians William Wilberforce and John Newton and their battle to end slavery.  The star of this movie also stars in every other filthy type of movie, so paying for this is simply promoting his profane lifestyle like any other movie.  Yet, this movie is not without gross immorality.  Consider this review from About.com.  “Wilberforce's wife displays ample cleavage during scenes of their courtship.”  Whereas Job asks, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Frank states that looking upon this maid proves his morals come from the Scripture.   It proves only that the morality of the Bible is the opposite of Frank’s morality.  This excerpt is also from a non-Christian review, “Profanity is limited in this film. Viewers will hear a few instances of the words…”  Now since this kind of communication is not fit to repeat, I shall forbear listing the profanity.  However, Frank was exposed to all these words.  Evil communication still corrupts good manners, proving that Frank has been corrupted by what he calls Christian.

He also viewed Courageous, a movie about police officers produced by a church.  According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, it was, “Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content, Courageous is not a little kid’s movie. Teens and adults will be fine seeing this new movie. It's clean of foul language, but does include some violent gang scenes, including a shooting.”  Also, this is from ChristianAnswers.net, “The tenseness and emotion of most of the film really doesn’t make it suitable for younger children.”  Christian children are urged to stay away from this film, but do the producers really believe that children will not watch this film?  The world says it is not fit for children under 13, yet children are actors in this movie.  Jesus says, “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”  Apparently the producers of this film can involve children in what the world says is inappropriate for children.  The Apostle Paul warns us that “it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”   If it is a shame to speak of it, what kind of sin is it for men, women, and children to rehearse and rehearse, to most perfectly reenact these scenes of violence, arguments, and foul children who sass their parents?  How ingrained must those passions be that they have diligently studied to portray!  By watching this movie Frank helps to corrupt the passions of those men, women, and children who depicted these kinds of scenes and he violates the Scripture by not just speaking of these things done in secret, but supporting the public reenactment of them in a graphic and mentally disturbing way.

There is one absolutely unlawful activity that Frank may not have considered, an offence which is in all the Christian movies that he has chosen including Courageous and Fireproof.  This absolutely unlawful activity seems on the surface to be the best part of the film.  The husbands and the wives have good relationships.  They talk lovingly to each other.  They hug, and touch each other lovingly.  They speak with intimate affection. An example of this can be seen in the outtakes of the movie Courageous where one wife says to her husband, “I love you, I just want to kiss you.”  At this time she breaks character and does not say her line.  It is at this point that Frank should observe what he has just seen.  When the reality of this scene is noted, Frank will discern that these are only pretend characters of a theatrical show. He will realize that they are not really married to each other, but are really married to other people.  They are giving this intimate language to someone else’s spouse.  Men, would you let your wife go to work to stare lovingly into someone’s eyes and speak so immodestly to another man?  Women, do you want your husband hugging and touching another woman over and over until he can do it just the way he does at home with you?  Can you not see the danger here?  We are specifically commanded in Scripture, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman [who is not his wife]. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.  Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband [and no one else].”  So, God has specifically commanded us to not do what Frank saw these people do.  These professing Christians have pretended that someone else is their husband and gave them touches and intimate talk due only to a spouse.  This is a direct contradiction of Scripture, and so it is a contradiction to Christian modesty.

We know from regular reports that this very act has long been the cause of so many Hollywood players to leave their spouses and take up adulterous relationships with their on-stage lovers.  Now how could God approve of a medium that destroys the messenger?  Does God destroy some of his children to save others?  Does God allow us to be the ministers of sin in order to deliver others from sin?  This cannot be.  What seems to Frank to be a nice family is, in fact, no real relation at all.  He is watching the motion of the due benevolence a wife is bound to give privately to her husband alone, but here it is immodestly given to another man, and then publicly rebroadcast for all to see.  This is a trampling of the commandment of God.  Even if these two were married, no such conversations, looks and motions should be publicly displayed.  The Bible contains some particularly sensitive topics and covers similar events, yet read the Bible from cover to cover and you will never see a woman rub her hands down a man’s chest while looking into his eyes.  These images will never come to your eyes.  You can read your Bible and you will set no wicked thing before your eyes.  The same cannot be said for Frank’s selection of movies.  Frank’s “Christian” movies involve men and women in the exhibition of forbidden acts that no man or woman would want for their spouse under any circumstance.

The second argument against the use of the theater is its direct contradiction to this Scripture passage, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God.” (Eph. 4:29-30).  Here we are taught that all corrupt communication is forbidden us.  The reason given is because it grieves the Holy Spirit.  In other words, it offends Him.  Evil, corrupt communication is offensive to God.  It is evident that television comedies, dramas and movies contain such corrupt communication on purpose.  Therefore, the design of them is to offend the Holy Spirit.  How then can we, who are forbidden to use such language ourselves, happily give our time and money to be entertained by such offensive material?  If Christians do not care whether they grieve the Holy Spirit, then surely no one does!

                It is evident the third commandment forbids swearing.  What if you were to meet a man who confesses that God forbids swearing, and then he tells you that he regularly attends meetings at the saloon where he pays men to concoct all the ugliest curses and swearing that the human mind can invent?  Often he will spend the better part of an evening enjoying the swearing of others.  Would you not think he is either no true believer in the evils of swearing or he is so beside himself that he has lost his reasoning?  Must we not be consistent in the application of this text?  Do you believe it is wrong to let filthy communication out of your mouth?  Why pay for others to do it for you?  Would you think it reasonable if a woman claimed to do no immodest thing herself, yet she would pay others to be immodest in her presence, and to invent immodest songs and dances for her to watch?  If the only people who went to the movies and watched the television dramas and comedies were wicked people who did not even pretend to have anything but an immoral life we would not be at all surprised.  But to think that those who frequent such an activity are people who profess godliness, who claim to deny themselves to follow Christ, who live for that heavenly city whose builder and maker is God, confessing that this world is not their home, serves only to make us wonder of the reason.  So those who indulge in the entertainment of the stage do heartily endorse the contradiction of Scripture by being entertained with corrupt communication.  According to God’s Word, this kind of communication grieves the Holy Spirit away from the players as well as the hearers.

                Now I proceed to the third argument.  No one suspects the players of the Hollywood theater and the Broadway shows and the television stars to be God-fearing Christians.  They live their lives in open contradiction to the principles of Christianity.  Now how can we remain guiltless if we delight in their sins and pay their way to perform them?  If you stand by, and without rebuke, do nothing, you can make yourself a partaker of another man’s sins, how much more if you assist them in committing sin and make their vices your sport?  Would you pay a man to get drunk?  Would you pay a man to steal?  Would you pay a man to lie?  Would you pay a man to worship a false God?  Why not?   You know it is forbidden of God and you would therefore take no pleasure in it?  However, we find that so many Christians take pleasure in the theater and through their television are paying people to do what is unlawful.  This is no more than paying people to deny Christian principles.  If you would not pay a man to renounce the Christian faith, then why pay an actor to deny Christian principles?

                Ask yourself this question.  Would you live your life like you see the actors behaving on the stage?  Would you be as obscene, follow the guidance of magic, trust in godless council, or make sport of the Bible and its teachings and followers?  It is just as wicked to do these things as to pay someone to do it for your pleasure.  To enjoy the movies for pleasure is as sinful as to commit the acts yourself.  Every act of adultery, covetousness, profanity, rebellion, crude humor, disobedience to parents is credited to the account of all those who act the part and the audience for whom they perform.  This is not a far reach to argue in such a way.  Consider, when you give to a charity, do you credit yourself with having done good?  Do you not credit yourself with the good done by the charity to which you have given?  If you give to relieve the poor or the injured or the sick, do you see yourself as having helped in the performance of the charity?  You may have given a small amount, but you contribute to the whole and feel as though you are a part.  Now do you not see that the same reason that compels you to give to charity is what attaches all the guilt of the movies to you?  You give some with many others to support their immoral lifestyle and to bring these plays and shows to your eyes.  Your small part is as much your participation in their sin as if you were encouraging a man to steal or providing the means for a man to commit adultery.    Therefore, everyone who attends the theater or watches these base shows is a participant in the blatant, public display of impurity and ungodliness.  Think of all the sins that come across the screen and the stage.  Can this not frighten you away from it?  If you were to collect all the evils from one year that came across the theater screen and the television screen and the stage, how great would that evil be!  How much lewd talk, blasphemy, immodest conduct and movement, inappropriate innuendos, double entendre, dirty jokes and much more are produced by the evil imagination of men!  All of this is packaged in a product with enough interesting content for us to consume it.  Rats are poisoned in the same way.  Most of rat poison is good food.  Only a small percentage is poison, but that poison is enough to kill.  Likewise, you may argue that there is only a small amount of smut in each good film.  As goes the rat, so goes the man who indulges in the theater.  As he ingests the performance, he eats the good with the bad; and the bad is sufficient to undo the good impressions that come from sober religion.  He loses the seriousness of religion, and frivolousness and callousness set in.  How else can it be explained that he would argue for the very deeds that God has censured in light of the clear command to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather reprove them (Eph. 2:11).  Is God’s condemnation not clear enough against those who approve of these sins when he said, “that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Rom. 1:32).

                How do you know that the church is the place where God is worshipped?  Is it not because this is where hymns are sung to Him, prayers are made to Him, His Word is read and good men encourage you to read and follow His divine pattern?   Are not all these things convincing proofs that the church is the house in which God is worshipped?  Now as sure as these are signs that the Lord is worshipped in the house of God, so the Devil is just as much worshipped in the house of the stage.  Now in the theater his name is not often mentioned and songs are not sung directly to him.  He is none the less worshipped with all the same service.  His vile songs are sung about immoral love, every source is sought for answers except real prayer to God, and immoral persons plead expressly with us to follow their bad example, while the end of the story demonstrates that man can succeed in his endeavors without God, without consequences, and without thoughts of the judgment in the next life.  Would you be pleased to go to a meeting for fun where the devil was honored by worship directed to him and sacrifices were offered to him and prayers were made to him?  Would this not be repulsive to the God-fearing Christian?  Yet how can we go where the spirit of the devil is so prevalent?  All the songs are to his liking, the dialogue is what he likes, the lives of the players are to his liking and the effects on men further his cause.  Though the devil is not worshipped in name, he is most clearly worshipped in spirit.  Since we are told that God’s people are to differentiate between the holy and profane, and to discern between the unclean and the clean, then we cannot lawfully entertain ourselves where the profane is offered to us as clean.   All of this leads us to conclude that the stage is just as much the house of the devil as the church is the house of God.  If we cannot conclude that all these things show that theater is the house of the devil, then by what proofs can we know the church is the house of God?  That which proves the one, also proves the other.

                Sometimes the devils are worshipped by name.  One was worshipped with sexual promiscuity, another with violence of bloodshed, and yet another with drunkenness.  All these demons were called on by the name of an idol and worshipped according to their own debauchery.  But would not the devil be happier if he could still get all the promiscuity, the violence, the drunkenness and only leave off the names of the gods and goddesses?  His prize for doing so would be to get Christians to participate with the heathen.  Would not Satan be more pleased to give up the name of the gods in order to catch a Christian?  With the correct bait, he convinces Christians to enjoy his age old demon worship with the same practices and the same lusts indulged and the same results enjoyed by him, namely: less love for God and holiness, and more fueling of the flesh and sensuality.  This is a greater conquest for him.  He would much prefer to ruin Christians because he has already captured the heathens.

                Now I ask you to consider this.  You are not alone at the theater.  Every joke is laughed at by the demons along with you.  All the violence is enjoyed by those infernal beings, too.  The graphics are just bait to secure your attention.  The story line is simply more bait with which evil is delivered.  The music is cleverly written to assist in the reception of the profane.  It is the sugar that makes the medicine go down.  It is easier for the mind to receive the filth of the devil if it is couched in music and colors and rhymes and stories.  Strip away all these deceptive devices and you are left with all the corruption this world can invent by the most refined wit.  This is no accidental abuse of the Law of God; it is the sporting arena of devils.

Some sins come on by temptation or accidental frames of our minds.  The sins of the stage are the preplanned and prepared outcomes.  Everyone knows they will be exposed to some immorality at the theater; and the playwrights plan to put it in their production.  Even the children’s movies are not without their crude humor, prolific magic spells, wizards and “good” witches, double entendre, and inappropriate romantic relationships, but most of all they are filled with disobedient children.  The Apostle Paul strictly warns us about these days we are in and what we are to avoid.  He says, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents.”  God has given us signs to recognize the reprobates who do not like to retain God in their knowledge: they are known for being inventors of evil things, and disobedient to parents.  So the two most notorious offenses of the movies for children are the promotion of magic, which evil sorceries God hates, and the disrespect of parents which is listed as a notorious and gross sin of the worst type of reprobates and end time deceivers.  You object and say that all children express disobedience to parents.  This is true, but we are told to avoid the authors of this disobedience, to avoid adults who are hired to portray rebellion in order to corrupt your children.  How can you say you avoid these ungodly men if your children are being trained by their deceptive devices?  It is no accident that these devices are in your children’s movies.  The apostle warned us that these men would attempt to deceive us, but we are to keep to the purity of the Bible.  They do all this on purpose.

                Joe objects that he rarely watches movies and watching them does not interfere with his spiritual life, he attends church and has private devotions so there is no harm in it.  To reply, it should be observed that the lawfulness of an activity should not be determined by how often it is used, or how it affects the devotions.  Whether a Christian can use a certain entertainment should be judged by whether that thing conforms to Scripture.  If the thing is innocent then the use may be seldom or often, but if the thing is not innocent, then to use it even seldom is to knowingly commit sin.  Joe, how often would God want you to indulge in carnal delights?  That it has had no effect on your devotion is no way to judge if something is right.  In fact, this objection proves that Joe has already been hurt and blinded by it.  Joe is now promoting his own experience and understanding over the Scripture.  If you use your experience rather than Scripture to judge something this important than you have already been hurt by it. It has removed the Scriptural foundation to your reason which is supposed to keep you safe in life.  If a worshipper of idols told Joe he was never hurt by this form of worship, Joe would certainly tell this person that although he thinks he is not hurt by it, he is going against the Law of God and cannot but be hurt by it.  Because Joe has a blind defense and leans on his own understanding, he will shoot down any objection no matter how reasonable and how Scriptural it is, but he never requires a word of Scripture to do it.  In effect, it is an objection that shuns all real reflection and thought.  If Joe’s use of the theater is lawful, then he should demonstrate from Scripture that it is good.  If something conforms to God’s law it will tend to promote humility, purity of heart, wisdom of mind, hatred of sin and the world, sobriety, watchfulness and every other Christian grace.  Is this the effect of the movies and the stage?  Whenever there is something valuable in the movies and television to affect a more serious state of mind that would lead to thoughts of sin, salvation and judgment, the writers are sure to quickly add in some crude humor, immodest clothing, immoral movements, or slighting of eternal things to turn your minds from any sober reflection.  After all, you are there for entertainment, not to reflect on your need of a crucified Savior who calls you to a life of self-denial, cross-bearing, and perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

                Again, think how Joe has been injured by the theater.  His taste and delight for the stage shows that his heart is not in a right state of religion.  Now Joe thinks this is very forward to accuse him when he is a faithful church member and regularly attends to private devotions.  Joe’s objection is that the delight he takes in his religious duties show the state of his heart to be good.  Am I to believe that he attends church services because he likes what happens there and is pleased with what he sees?  I accept that all this is to be believed about Joe.  He likes church and the services to God there performed, which is why he frequents it.  Does this not also prove that Joe’s frequenting the movies, the television dramas and comedies or plays is the demonstration that he is pleased with what is there and what he hears and sees and that his heart is not in a right state?  If he likes what is there, then his heart is not right.  If he does not like what is there, then why is Joe forcing such punishment upon himself by going where he gains no pleasure only to be exposed to what both he and God hate?

                We can be fooled by many outward signs in others and ourselves.  There are many duties performed that can lead others to believe good things about the state of our hearts.  However, the things we take delight in are sure tests of the state of our heart.  Nothing can tell more about the state of a man’s heart than what he delights in.  We are told to delight ourselves in the Lord, yet the movie goer there delights himself with the culture of the stage.  What is there that harmonizes with the Christian spirit?  What concord is there between the humor of the movies and the pure things of God?  What fellowship has the wisdom of the stage with the wisdom God?  If our hearts were full of the things of God, if they were full of the graces and tempers that He requires, if our hearts were full of a spirit contrary to the world, we should find ourselves so much offended and pained by the theater that we would want no part of it.  For, to test the state of our hearts by the things that delight us is the surest test that can be applied.  If we cannot know the state of our hearts by our delights and pleasures, then the state of our hearts cannot be known.   
                It is no objection to say that you know of so many good people who use the theater for diversion.  For how do you know them to be good?  Is it by their behavior?  They delight in the good of morality.  Yet, they also delight in the evils of the stage at the same time.  If you judge them to be good by their delight in morality, must you also judge them to be defective in goodness by their delight in immorality?  The Scriptures tell us to follow men only so far as they follow Christ.  Just because we follow a man in his service to God does not mean we must follow him in his inconsistency, too.

Now imagine that you know nothing of plays, movies and television dramas and comedies.  Imagine further that you only know the practice of Christianity where it was pursued with zealous desire for purity.  You are come to this country and exposed to something called the theater and you desire to know if you, as a serious Christian, can attend.  How would you go about deciding if you should go?  First, you would ask what a theater showing was.  You are told that it was a place where many people frequent and gather to see a great show of talks and scenes, of colors and motion, of dress and splendor.  All this is set to the finest music and performed to perfection.  You are told that the most ingenious men and women are sought because they have the best wit and humor to write the finest scripts.  The highest paid and most flamboyant and beautiful people are found to portray the roles of exquisite people.  Each player is highly trained to exactly portray the height of drama.  They portray love interest in all its wild passion, they portray violence with perfection, they portray revenge and madness, lust and envy, adulteries and fornications.  You are told that this partly contains the discourses of immodest women, lewd conversations, profane language, curses, swearing of all descriptions, the elevation of magic and wizards, dirty jokes, and all the immodesty of thought that the finest poets can invent.  All this they say is done in the liveliest production for the audience of good Christians.

Do you have to ask if there is a Scripture that forbids this?  Do you need a specific text to know that everything about this form of entertainment runs contrary to the path of life set before us by the Savior?  There is no need for anyone to tell you that this is backwards to every motion of real virtue.  You would easily find that such forms of entertainment are a gross contradiction to Christian holiness and serve no purpose but to turn the heart to the love of vice.

The Apostle Paul has commanded us in 1 Cor. 5:11, “not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”  Now in the theater, we not only keep company with such, but we make them our entertainment and delight.  Are there fornications in the shows?  They are filled with all the immodest behavior inappropriate for women in public.  The women and men immodestly speak and handle each other, disgracing good manners. They often yearn covetously for love and possessions.  Railings are a regular part of the dialogue.  Drunkenness is a major theme.  We are not to even eat with them, much less spend a half hour to three hours under their instruction sitting dumbly by while they pour fourth their profane babbling and grieve the Holy Spirit.

What if you were to meet a gathering of ministers of the gospel?  Suppose you were to enter their assembly to find that they were there to ridicule every sacred thing in true religion.  They studied and prepared to make the best and crudest jokes about preaching, praying, the Lord’s Supper, baptism, church members, Christ and holiness.  Who could but think that this gathering runs perfectly contrary to the calling these men have received.  To jest of all these things seems so much more sinful because they are ministers.  Is it not just so with the women of the stage?  They have been called to a peculiar station in life.  As women, God calls them to a modesty becoming their fairer sex.  Yet what do we find in these shows?  Women shun their modest calling to publicly ridicule all things modest.  By immodest dress and movements and looks, lewd talk and filthy jokes, women of the stage profane the modesty required by their sex.  Yet, here we also find a multitude of women who have gathered in front of the screens and stages to see their sisters crudely pervert the reputation of women.  They approvingly watch as their sisters debase their sex and pull society with them.  Now as it is contrary to the calling of the clergy to see them profaning things holy, so it is contrary to the modesty of women to see them debasing their sex.  It is just as important for women to promote the modesty required by God as it is for ministers to promote the holy life required by God.
Now how are you to know if your religion has had any effect upon you?  Is it not because you conform to the inward spirit of the commands and not just the outward form of them?  Is it not because you have made purity of heart your first desire and seek a higher happiness which can only be found in a Holy God?  How can you prove that this is the case with you?  If you cannot condemn the most prolific outpouring of filth regularly available to the average family, if you cannot renounce the source of worldliness which has the greatest effect to conform our children to the ways of Satan, if you cannot detest the very spring from which every kind of evil flows, how can you show that Christ has called you unto holiness and you have accepted the call?

That sin which accompanies the theater is no small and accidental sin.  Some people are guilty of sins brought on by personal defects and reflexive temptations.  However, they are afraid to ever encourage a man to follow in their path and therefore, do their best to conceal them.  They try to suppress the temptation and fight the desires of the flesh.  This is not so with the stage.  The sins committed on the television, movies and stage can offer none of these excuses.  The wickedness there committed is preplanned, it is fully willful.  It is a public declaration and endorsement of sin.  It shows no concern for the danger they place others in by tempting them to sin likewise.  This bold faced guilt is piled high by the purveyors of this industry.  Imagine a collection of all the blasphemies, profanities, immodesties, adulteries, rebellions, spells, curses, swearings, and like sins from just one year’s productions.  Any civilized society should refuse to be debased by such lewdness.  How much more should those professing godliness refuse ever to use these shows to entertain themselves.

Nor should we suppose that this age is the first to censure the performances from this crowd of ungodly men.  The Primitive Fathers from the earliest days of the church spoke against the immorality of the stage.  The church would excommunicate any actor or anyone who married an actor who had not repented.  The Early Church Fathers wrote prolifically upon this subject as the holiness of our early brothers was being assaulted by the same immorality we see today.  For citation of this nature you can view A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage: Together with The Sense of Antiquity upon the Argument by Jeremy Collier (1698) and The Great Abuse of Music by Arthur Bedford (1711) both available free on Google Books.  This is no new argument; it is old light lost to our generation that must be regained for the sake of a holy church.

This last thing I would ask of the reader.  I do not ask that he would agree with all the arguments here asserted, but that he would not allow himself to condemn them until he can put his own arguments into a reasonable answer, and can present the doctrines of Scripture to contradict what was here asserted.  As far as he can show how I have reasoned wrong and mishandled Scripture, thus far has he a right to reject what has been said.  People must not condemn the arguments here given because they are contrary to their desires or habits.  The arguments are either true to the Scripture or not.

Lucy objects that although the arguments are true, they do not apply to the movies she watches because she only watches clean movies.  Let Lucy observe that what she calls a clean movie is not without the same vices as the others just in a lesser degree.  Her movies do not teach watchfulness or sobriety or holiness any more than the others.  It is our duty to completely avoid the theater for all its immorality as much as it is our duty to avoid the bar for its immorality.  Just like a Christian should not go into the saloon for a good sandwich, so a Christian should avoid the theater even when it offers a seemingly better product.

As the Scriptures tell us that the heart of man is deceitful, so we should suspect our own hearts to be deceptive on any subject.  Some who do not use the theater could agree to all that has been said.  Others struggle against what is here written.  It is no wonder.  What blame has been leveled against the stage carries the additional blame to all those who delight in it.  Therefore, it may be painful to consent to the reasoning.  It may cause some to be angry with every argument for proving as much as it does.  Yet, knowing the ease with which our hearts can deceive us, we must ask, is there an answer for every argument?  All the arguments here given are calling for real righteousness and true holiness created in the heart in the image of Jesus, that is, they are to defend only what are the essential parts of real religion.  I hope you are in favor of a pure heart, and that which will be to the good of your neighbor.  For no man can tell how far his example can affect the destruction of his brother.  The number of souls that have been ruined by a poor example cannot be counted.  What you do with these arguments can determine whether you and those influenced by you are delivered from a life of entertaining your way to destruction.

By Rev. Troy A. Dukes - troydukes@hotmail.com
* ©2013 Many parts adapted from the Absolute Unlawfulness of the Stage Entertainment Fully Demonstrated by William Law
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