The Sin of Watching Hollywood Films?

The entertainment industry in the United States which is frequently nicknamed Hollywood is not at its “essence” satanic or antichrist.  Its essence is “entertainment” or providing someone with enjoyment.  However, the vast majority of the directors and producers are not believers and are therefore servants of Satan.  These directors and producers try to provide enjoyment to their audience with foul wicked things and frequently portray what is evil as good.  Nevertheless, there are some directors and producers in the entertainment industry that do produce products that are edifying and/or not defiling.  Whether or not a film is full of perversion, people choose to view it for several reasons.  Some are merely seeking entertainment, others are doing research for educational purposes, and still others end up watching it because of their company.  Choosing to watch movies and TV shows produced by “Hollywood” should be done with caution and spiritual preparation for a potential trap of Satan.

Those who watch movies and videos produced by the entertainment industry are not necessarily turning their back on God.  If the material being viewed is full of things God hates and it is being portrayed as good, a healthy Christian ought to have the same attitude about it as God.  It is not in and of itself evil to watch something that God hates especially if one has the same attitude about it as God.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, Christians can find out what God's attitude is about a movie by filtering its contents with what the Bible teaches about the movie's contents.  Men and women who are ignorant of the Bible's instruction will likely fail to discern God's heart about a movie and are likely to be deceived if the movie has a corrupt message.  However, “watching” a movie that contains perversion is not the determining factor that makes a person more or less in fellowship with God.

Though fellowship with God is not necessarily affected by viewing a movie, the movie will most certainly influence its viewers.  Everyone is influenced differently by the movies and videos they watch, but everyone is influenced in some way.  Some times the influence is obvious, but other times it is more subtle.  One person will watch a movie filled with violence and/or perversion and walk away thinking how vain the main characters lives were and determine to live more diligently for the age to come.  Another will see the same movie and want to mimic the lifestyle of the characters because it looked like they had a good time.  Still another will watch the movie and will subtly come to the conclusion that the sins the characters did were worse than anything they do and as a result, care a little less about getting rid of the sin in their own life.  This is just a brief example of a few different ways people are affected by what they watch, but the point is that each one will be influence by what they see.  If watching a movie moves one to please God more earnestly it has had a positive influence, but if it draws them away to live for this world, then it has become a tool of Satan in their life.

Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour in this world and many Christians almost ignore this fact.  Peter goes to great lengths to describe the way Satan intents to bring about men and women's destruction (2 Peter 2:1-22).  What Peter has written can be summed up in two primary methods.  The first is to make us believe something that is not true and the second is to appeal to the desires of our flesh.  One of the main tools Satan is using is the directors and producers of the entertainment industry to create movies with deceptive messages that appeal to sinful human passion.  Because many Christians are so careless and feel so free to passively entertain themselves with with movies designed to draw them after the world, they have fallen into Satan's snares.  They have accepted lies that leave them in bondage and have been drawn away from what is good to follow after their sinful desires.  Since they constantly feed themselves a regular diet of lies and lust, they reap what they sow and find it impossible to consistently bear godly fruit in their lives (Galatians 6:7-8).  Therefore, many Christians' lack of caution and preparation concerning Satan's tactics frequently brings about their destruction. 

Paul instructs believers how to stand against the tactics of the enemy when he writes, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:10-18).  Paul's prescription for being able to stand against the lies and tempting desires presented by the Devil is to be fully equipped and always in prayer.  Those who believe they can freely watch movies produced by Hollywood without being fully equipped and in constant communication with God are asking for trouble.

When Christian's have watched a movie they often think that no trouble was done, but in reality they are being subtly drawn away.  Certain indicators linger after viewing a movie that can aid in discerning how one has been affected.  The places to find these indicators are in the heart and mind.  A healthy way of thinking is described in Philippians 4:8 when Paul writes, "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."  Likewise, Colossians 3:1-2 summarizes the healthy condition of a believer: "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Frame your thoughts on things above, not on things on the earth."  If watching a movie has caused one to have inappropriate thoughts or to filter their experience from some perspective other than God's it has had a dangerous affect and has compromised their spiritual health.

Though watching movies and TV shows produced by “Hollywood” is not necessarily sin, Christian's need to recognize the dangers involved, exercise caution, and be spiritually ready for a potential trap of Satan.  There are many ways movies and videos influence its viewers and Christians need to be actively evaluating how they are being affected.  If a movie inspires one to see the world from God's perspective and motivates them to follow Christ more fully then it is a “good movie.”  Nevertheless, if it draws its viewers to an earthly mindset and fills their hearts with unholy desires then it is part of Satan's scheme to kill and destroy.  Those who want to become mature in Christ and to be an heir of the life to come must not be lazy, but realize that their future will be affected by their response to Hollywood.