Funny thing about that Old Grey Mare ~ she is just not the same as we remember. Yet, she insists that it wasn't her that moved. Upon close inspection, I realize that if she is the one who has remained constant, then Mr. Visionary and I must have changed. Have we changed, or have we just put on a new pair of glasses? The answer is looking a lot like...
We have lately had several opportunities to watch again, this time with our children, movies that Mr. Visionary and I remember as being a lot of fun. We are cautious with the exposure our children receive, but not against good old fun sometimes, too. So, when on movie night recently, we pulled out something we haven't seen in ten years or so, we were shocked to realize that it was not fun anymore.
We have changed. Especially in the way we watch a movie. Instead of just sitting back, and pressing pause on our moral compass, we are actively filtering what we see through new glasses (the lens of God's word). Does everything have to be perfectly cheery, godly and uplifting? Absolutely not. But like King David, we will set no wicked thing before our eyes ~ not even for the sake of 'entertainment'. Seeing wickedness on the screen is not completely without purpose, in my opinion. Seeing wickedness either go unpunished (or worse...rewarded) or having it glamorized is absolutely evil, and we will not do it. We believe ourselves to be setting a bad example, and condoning the behavior if we allow ourselves or the children to watch it.
We were flabbergasted when a certain character 'prayed' aloud to his dead father asking for help locating something, and his sword was shown 'leading' him to the right place. Using methods that God has forbidden (necromancy) helped this man gain success. Yikes! Where did that come from? Neither of us remembered that part from the old days. The Old Grey Mare still swears she did not move.
Another part of our movie-watching experience that has changed is the degree to which we will allow ourselves to become emotionally involved. Movies are designed to illicit a certain emotional response in order for one to feel that they have experienced something other than two hours of idleness during the viewing. They are carefully crafted so that the viewer will believe that 'good guy' is who the producers desire to be the good guy, and they are often not good at all. In the movie we just watched (and agreed never to allow in our home again), one of the 'good guys' spent twenty years of his life with the sole purpose and religiously avowed goal of seeking revenge upon the killer of his father. The end of the movie encourages one to be happy for him that he was successful in reaching his goal of murder. I can understand the guy's sentiments...I just cannot condone them. Nor can I reconcile them with God's word.
"Oh, I know it is wrong...but it is sooooo romantic."
"Yeah, but his father was killed ~ he should do something about it!"
"What's so bad about it? They love each other."
"Well, those guys are rich; they don't need all that money."
If I know it to be sin...how can I go along with it anyway because my emotions tell me it has to be right? The World says that feelings can never be wrong; that since feelings are the standard, we do not need God's enduring word. I'm here to testify that feelings cannot be trusted...that His word is the only thing we can trust.
The standard never changes. But our standard must change as we bring ourselves into closer alignment with His standard. If that means redefining what is and is not acceptable viewing material in our family, then so be it. If we get a lot of flack about it from others (and we do), what does it matter, right? I am not afraid of changing. I am afraid of being the frog in the pot that gets slowly boiled to death.
***EDIT*** An anonymous commenter, (IP: 126.96.36.199 , pardosa.ent.iastate.edu), from the Entomology Department at Iowa State University assured me that the frog in the pot is a myth. This person is correct, but many things that are myths are such well-known analogies that they are still in popular use.