God and Hollywood; Never the twain shall meet


Entertainment David de Bruyn Christianity South Africa

Does how we spend our time, our pleasure, our energy and our money affect our relationship with God? If so, then how should we spend our time, our pleasure, our energy and our money? Click image to link to source.

On Tuesday evenings my wife and I trek through to Pretoria to attend a Bible study group. Amongst the gathered saints is a young man who’s on fire for the Lord, truly zeal-filled. We’re alike in almost every aspect of doctrine and practice but there’s one thing we’re constantly butting heads on. Call it “a Christian approach to entertainment”. It looks like this, I’d say, “I enjoyed the movie Avatar”, he thinks it’s a sin to have watched it. I comment that, “The cinimatics in Angels and Deamons were awesome”, he’d feel uncomfortable talking about it. I’d… you get the picture.

Some of the folk I work think I’m a bit Amish. Some of the people I worship with are worried that I’m a Libertine. Out of a fear for the Lord I’ve been reading a number of articles on the subject. Enter David de Bruyn. He tucks into the debate in a fresh way on his blog Conservative Christianity. I like reading David, his writing is measured, cerebral and scripturally rich. Consider the following quotes from this article,

“…within the reading I did complete, I was being confronted for the first time with more than just the issue of the content of enacted drama, but a consideration of the medium of enacted drama itself.

“I can’t claim that my views or practices are entirely settled. It’s not as if I’ve had a big DVD-bonfire. It’s tough leaving your culture.

“Why did the Christian culture of nearly two thousand years exist with a sometimes unarticulated and assumed objection to theatre, while our generation hardly even raises the question?

This discussion finds relevance within the pages of Scripture in a host of places. Romans 12 is as good as any-a-place to start,

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Want to hear the verse in context? Romans 12
What is this about?

At this stage of the game I lean toward entertainment being a category of leisure in which discerning saints may, and should, excercize, Christian Liberty. I’d encourage you to read David’s article and enter the debate with me.

David de Bruyn

David de Bruyn was born and raised in Johannesburg, and came to faith in Christ at the age of 9 at a small, independent Baptist church in the inner-city. He received his undergraduate training in South Africa, and did graduate work in the States. He also trained in media and radio broadcasting, and began presenting a weekly Bible-teaching program on Radio Pulpit in 1999. He began assisting in the pastorate in 2003, and became senior pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church (www.ncbc.co.za) in 2005. He identifies himself as a Christian, a conservative, a Baptist and a moderate dispensationalist.

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5 thoughts on “God and Hollywood; Never the twain shall meet

  1. The old “culture argument” has been around for awhile, there those who know and love, who would use all meduims eqaully and “sanctify” them by their use. However usefull other media is to be regarded, Non Christ exalting Non christian entertainment is a part of our heritage ( before we came to Christ, and even after.) It is like cutting off an arm to cut yourself of from secular entertainment. Is that what it would take to get rid of our obsession with being entertained?
    Maybe so. I read David’s article as well, and I see his point. In fact I considered his point before hemade it, but what are the alternative? Yes there should be a balance, which comes down to a question Ray Comfort loves to ask. Would you go to movie if it used blashpemy, even once? I which I was gutsy evenough to say I would. That is what I should do. Leonard ravehill used to call hollywood, “the cesspool of all and the mouth of the abyss.”
    Having said that obedience to do the rigth thing at the right time is waht we and and discernment of the highest calibre.

  2. Hi Mark,

    This has been a hot topic in our family for a number of years. We recently had a great talk by Al Schuster at church on the issue. He’s thought through it quite thoroughly for a number of years and presented a Scripturally rich and balanced perspective a few weeks ago in Bible Hour at Antioch. I’d encourage you to listen:

    Ethics (session 16, entertainment)
    Preached by: Alan Schuster
    Sunday, May 27, 2012

    [audio src="http://abcmedia.s3.amazonaws.com/Ethics_p16.mp3" /]

    Grace and peace be with you as you delve into this most important of topics!

    David

    • A few years ago Al came and presented his thoughts at Midrand Chapel, where I was previously. That was actually what sparked the on-going discussion between myself a Godly guy called Jonathan Klimik.

      I truth Al leans a little more to the conservative right than I do; but all the same I’d agree with you that he’s given it some good thought and he certainly helped me to think and the big picture.

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