Tuesday, September 25, 2007

That Old Grey Mare


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: , 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.



  1. I think I know the movie that you are talking about...it was one of our favourites too! We pulled the plug on commericial TV 2 years ago and have never looked back. I think that most films that come out of hollywood are designed to numb the senses. My husband calls the TV "the window to the world". Now our discernment is being sharpened by the Word of God.
    It does put one at odds with the rest of the world some what! Thanks for your post - it's encouraging to know that likeminded believers are out there somewhere!
    BTW, we had a look at Demolishing Strongholds last night.....will update you soon. Thanks for sharing your resources :)



  2. Acres-of-Hope-Lynne~
    I'm so glad you hang out with us here! Thanks for the encouragement...I love iron sharpening iron!

    Yes! I have and am still reading Margin. Truly, it is one of the top five books that have drastically affected my life...and I always keep it lying around to pick up here and there. I must read parts of it at least once a week ~ over and over again. I'll have to post about it sometime.

    *Numb the senses*...that's IT! That's exactly it. Frustrating, isn't it...that was otherwise a really funny movie.
    I'm eager to hear about your checking out the Strongholds material!

  3. I rarely comment on your blog even though I check it almost daily but I couldn't let this one go without commenting.
    We have had this happen quite a few times and finally decided that from here on out, we will re-watch whatever the movie is and then determine if it's okay for our children to watch.
    It's really funny (strange-not HA!HA!) that you have this memory of a particular movie and think it will be a great movie for family movie night and then when you sit there watching it with eyes that are not clouded over, you are shocked to find out that the great family movie is really just chock-full of things that you don't want your children exposed to.
    We get an enormous amount of negative feedback from family and friends because we won't allow our children to view movies that THEY have deemed acceptable. :-( However, like you all, we have just stayed the course and gently remind them that they are OUR children and we have the right to choose what they will or will not view.
    This is a great post and so relevant to what we face as parents and believers.

  4. "Inconceivable!!" ;) hehehehe I know that movie well... have had all of the same misgivings and wrestlings you mention here.
    What we ended up doing years ago is editing our VHS tape and recording over the scenes you mention and a few more as well, like the torture chamber in the tree and the fight/revenge scene at the end. Now that our kids are older we've actually discussed why we edited those scenes out way back when, and every now and then when we pull out the edited version to watch, we're all reminded of how relevant the Word is to our every day lives.

    My son went through a phase when he was about 7yo, and loved that movie (our edited version, heh!) where every time I'd ask him to do something for me he'd say "As you wish..." Oh, you can imagine how my heart would melt, because as you know, he was really saying "I love you..." *sighs*

    Great post!
    Thanks so much for stopping by my place. I do so love visiting your blog, and it was great to hear from you!

  5. Michelle~
    I am SO glad you chimed in! We decided the same thing...which is why we will probably watch very few movies ever anymore...who has time to watch them first...THEN watch them again with the children? Might as well do something else with our four hours.

    That's a great idea about editing your own tapes!

    Sweetie, first I want you to know that I am honored that, as a new believer, you would choose to hang out here with us.

    Second, I know that this is a big question, with an even larger answer. That said, I WILL endeavor to get your questions answered...but it may take several posts.

    My thinking is that you can't be the only one with the same questions.

    Also, if I am not able to answer some things, I will help to the best of my ability to teach you how to study for yourself, so that you can dig for answers even when no one is available to answer for you.

    I will try to get some notes together and prepare something this Sabbath, when Mr. Visionary is available to do it with me.

  6. Julie, here's the thing. I feel like we've changed on EVERYTHING! Not just movies, but everything.

    But I'm at a place of not really knowing how to even share any of this with family or friends or fellow bloggers. For one thing, I get so tired of being "corrected," of others saying that I don't love the lost enough (if I am so desirous of being set apart from it), of others saying that I am over protecting my children and that they will over compensate some day and rebel...

    in truth, these people have no idea how MUCH we differ, how MUCH we have changed. I'm not even sure how much to say, because I really don't believe there is any way they will understand what I'm saying. (Not that we're so advanced or anything....puhlease. We've so far to go!)

    I just feel...how to say it...not really lost, but like I do not fit in anywhere. And I don't want to fit in - not really - I just don't know how to communicate with those who expect me to be "one way" when I'm not "that way" any more.

    Make any sense?

    I'm eager for the Lord to teach me how to do this. I'm listening.

  7. Ha! - Lynne - Thank you for asking those questions - I am in a somewhat different place - but have always been curious how Jewish traditions fit into a Christian home!
    I look forward to learning more along with you!


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