Don’t Change Your Mind
Over Your Popcorn!
Warren E. Berkley
“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” 1 Thess. 2:13 (ESV)
We live in a visually centered culture. We are watching televisions, computer screens, phone screens and tablet devices several hours daily. And in this media-heavy climate, the movie industry has discovered new and exciting ways to market their products through services like Netflex, Redbox, cable on-demand services, etc. – all in addition to the traditional theatre venue.
It has occurred to me, we may need this simple reminder: movies are generally not objective and reliable sources of history, and should not ever be allowed to compete with the authority of the word of God.
Brokeback Mountain should not change your mind about sexuality; The Da Vinci Code offers nothing of substance against the authenticity of the gospels; Erin Brockovich didn’t cause most of us to stop using public water; Wall Street did little to change the economic system. Remember, while movie makers may have certain designs and agendas to change your mind, let the viewer beware. Movies are generally not objective, reliable sources of history. However entertaining they may be, they should never be allowed to compete with the authority of the word of God.
It is true, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest may heighten our concern about mental institutions; A Beautiful Mind takes us to a new level of awareness of Schizophrenia, and Rain Man may well spark a better understanding of Autism. The movie Courageous was refreshing to those of us who hold honesty and fidelity in high esteem and take delight when those virtues are exemplified, especially when so many movies celebrate the opposites. But even when movies are thought-provoking, beware of changing your mind over your popcorn!
Movies are often produced and delivered, to create sympathy for the primary character or set of characters. One of the basic ingredients of a successful movie is, a strong character who is not understood and struggles against odds and adversaries. We get on the side of the protagonist and may feel strong disfavor toward the adversaries. That’s exactly the audience outcome that is within the purpose of the producers. That sympathy we feel must never become the basis for changing our beliefs or practices, particularly when you consider – God has given us his word in written form. And, “when you read,” you understand what you ought to believe and do before God (Eph. 3:4).