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July 05, 2012

Don’t Pretend It Didn’t Happen

Christian art isn’t “safe” art. For the Chuck Colson for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

LifeWay Christian stores recently caved in to a complaint from a Southern Baptist pastor and pulled copies of The Blind Side from its shelves. Rough language and behavior portrayed in the film so offended the pastor, he filed a resolution against it at the the Southern Baptist Convention.

But the pastor’s shallow movie analysis missed how the rough language and behavior was portrayed. The movie told the real life story of Michael Ohr, whose was saved from inner city gang activity and homelessness when a loving family took him in. What he actually faced was much rougher than the movie!

Look, real Christianity including Christian art doesn’t hide from the real world. Our addiction to keeping everything “safe,” hides the fall and trivializes redemption. How evil is portrayed in a movie is far more important than whether it is portrayed. My friend Gina Dalfonzo explains this in a terrific article, and I’ve linked to it at I’m John Stonestreet.

Further Reading

Kinkade, Sayers and The Fall
Gina Dalfonzo | The BreakPoint Blog | June 18, 2012

This post has earned 6 Comments so far.

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  • July 05, 2012 // 09:04 am //  # 
    Rick's avatar Rick

    Truth means the whole truth. As long as truth is portrayed as ugly as it really is we have nothing to fear. Did not God himself included the ugliness of Noah with his daughters, David with Bathsheba, Abraham with Abimelech etc. but not with great detail. He gave us just enough of a picture to know what took place without concupiscence.  “Our addiction to keeping everything ‘safe,’ hides the fall and trivializes redemption.”
    However, let’s remember, Romans 16:19b-20a “Wise Unto Goodness, Simple Concerning Evilâ€?. Although God has seen fit to describe (to some degree) the misdeeds of His followers, we must be careful to be discerning in our description of the truth lest we tempt others to be deceived by it. All things are lawful but not all thing edify others. We all should benefit from Paul’s admonition, ” You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is beneficial.
    We must use scriptural discernment to decide what is “good for you” and “what is beneficial” before we speak, write or create art for the sake of others.  I Corinthians 15:33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
    Perhaps both sides should address the issue of the content of the book.

  • July 05, 2012 // 10:34 am //  # 
    Elizabeth DiGiacomo Hageness's avatar Elizabeth DiGiacomo Hageness

    Riok—very, very good!

  • July 05, 2012 // 04:42 pm //  # 
    Tony's avatar Tony

    Mr. Stonestreet,
    So are you telling me that you showed this movie to your kids?
    As a Christian leader and godly influence that you are- would you recommend we show this to our kids?
    Is there a standard in what we watch?  Many of my peers love The Office- but it seems to go against the Spirit of the Bible. What would you counsel?
    Thank you for helping me thru this. I just don’t think I want my kids talking about ... The things in this movie

  • July 05, 2012 // 05:36 pm //  # 
    Elizabeth DiGiacomo Hageness's avatar Elizabeth DiGiacomo Hageness

    Tony, I would like to reply to your question, though you ask it of Mr. Stonestreet.  I would not show this movie to your kids due to the language & violence.  For your own protection, there is one scene where Sandra Bullock goes into a bad “hood” to find out about Michael, dressed in a form- fitting dress that accentuates everything she’s got, which is a lot.  In my mind, she’s just ASKING to get harassed by showing so much skin & curve.  For someone who is supposed to be seeking out her son, it seems counter-productive to me to go around taunting mankind with one’s appearance.  Totally ruined the movie for me. 

    I am thankful for this on-line interaction
    with God-fearing believers.
    We must be careful what we see, say, hear, do.
    Thanks for listening.

  • July 06, 2012 // 07:15 am //  # 
    Summit Ministries's avatar Summit Ministries

    We’ll take a minute to answer on John’s behalf. To answer your question about showing the film to your kids, just because a movie has worthwhile content that reflects the biblical worldview doesn’t mean that young children are prepared to watch it. When they are prepared is a question a discerning parent must answer. Films like The Blind Side have the power to remind adults of truth or even show them something they’d never realized before. Simply because something has Christian themes doesn’t make it appropriate for kids, the same way that young children may not be able to readily understand all the stories of the Bible. Discerning when your kids are ready for such content is one of the key roles of parenting.

  • July 06, 2012 // 08:55 am //  # 
    Rick's avatar Rick

    Summit Ministries - best answer yet. We can take comfort in that Christian liberty teaches “others may, I cannot”... as it relates to what a parent allows his child to watch on a movie… or even when.

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