Lately, however, I have been pondering what I put into my head. Specifically related to movies, what is acceptable? I have heard many Christians employ some type of "Christian liberty" argument to defend watching just about anything. Other followers of Christ simply draw the line at the "R" rating.
But what about PG-13? The above ratings chart says that PG-13 films "may be inappropriate for children under 13." Let's keep in mind that the folks who give movies their ratings are not exactly people who are living according to a biblical worldview - and even they say some of the material should not be watched by anyone under 13.
This got me thinking. If a secularist says a movie warrants a PG-13 rating, then what should my reaction be to it?
This is where I (and many other Christians) make a mistake. We try to figure things out by using our own reasoning ability rather than simply looking into the bible. We ought to always be asking what the scriptures say about things.
Watching any sort of film causes the viewer to think about certain things - whether good or bad. What does the bible say we should be thinking about? Paul addresses this quite clearly in Philippians 4:8. The apostle writes:
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things." (NKJV)
"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." (ESV)
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." (NASB)
Paul commands the Philippian church (and us) to mediate, think, dwell on godly, holy things. This is a present tense command, which means that we should be continually thinking upon these things.
If we are to be continually pondering things that are true, honorable, just, etc., then there is no room for thinking about those things that we might, in our flesh, even consider to be "neutral." If we are to take scripture literally, then movies with a PG-13 rating should be considered to be unacceptable. How can content that is not appropriate for a 12-year-old fulfill what is said in Philippians 4:8?
I realize that there could be exceptions to what I have said. As an example, Schindler's List, which I think had a "R" rating, might be appropriate because its rating stems from the graphic nature of the treatment of the Jews during WWII.
The reality, however, is that the vast majority of movies receive a PG-13 rating (or worse) due to content that is inappropriate for Christians to be viewing (if we are willing to accept Philippians 4:8 at face value.)
Now, what about PG movies? Quite frankly, are ANY movies worthy of spending our time on?
I'm going to have to think about this some more. But, suffice it to say, PG-13 films do not need to be something we are watching.