When my son was in first grade, he came home from school one day and told us about the "dark and scary" video his teacher showed the class. It was The Nutcracker! Todd and I had a good laugh... then questioned whether or not we were wise to shelter our children to that degree. On the flip side, if you turn on the Disney Channel, you'll get an eye full of little girls in lipstick dancing suggestively to some pretty mature songs. I've heard people say Christian parents should shelter their kids from secular media as long as they can. I know other people believe in serving up reality early on. Any thoughts on this?
Parents need to make decisions like this all the time. I believe we need discernment and wisdom to make such decisions and to teach our children wisdom and discernment. Complete isolation and protection is impossible. Total immersion in everything “out there” is dangerous and deadly. Some children can “handle the truth” at an earlier age than others.
Is it OK for Christians to go to R-rated movies?
The rating is not the sole issue. Some Christians can do so in faith and others cannot. Some people have a conscientious objection to watching films with a particular rating. Follow your conscience.
That’s right. It depends on their conscience. Romans 14-15 seem to indicate a great deal of freedom on a variety of issues. Interestingly, Paul seems to indicate that whatever we decide should be kept to ourselves (14:22). This isn’t about broadcasting to the world seeing R movies or not. Rather, we should examine our consciences on these issues and quietly, humbly go on our way.
Further, I’m not sure R-ratings are what we as Christians want to be making our determinations by anyway. There isn’t anything biblical about the divide between R vs. PG-13. Have you seen some of the recent PG-13 movies out there? Ratings are set when a bunch of (anonymous) people get together in a room and decide based on certain guidelines; guidelines, I might add, that are ever changing. Bringing a work of art into dialogue with the Philippians 4:8 guideline (as I noted in an earlier post) seems a much better direction to head.
Say I have a friend named "Sally" who is a brand new Christian. Do I steer Sally away from the secular music/film scene and encourage her to explore Christian entertainment? Why or why not?
It depends on “Sally” and her experiences and sensitivities and convictions and weaknesses and . . .
Maybe Sally would benefit from some time focused on explicit teaching about the Lord from reliable sources (church teaching, a book recommendation by a friend, etc.) and thus would do well to leave off her normal routine. On the other hand, maybe it wouldn’t matter. Yet, while it would depend on Sally’s conscience, I would tend to think if she moved away from it for a time, one could think of it more as a fast than as a final break from the “secular” world. I think fasting can be helpful in all kinds of venues, and while it is normally thought of in relation to food, I wonder if a few more of us, “mature” believers or not, could use a time where all the noise of life is turned way down.
That’s a wrap! Thank you both so much. Great interview! Before I let you go... one last question. Beginning with Dr. Kreider... inquiring minds want to know... what's on your I-Pod?
In my regulation rotation...
Anything by U2, especially “Where the Streets Have no Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”
Switchfoot, my new favorite is “Awakening,” with the line, “I wanna live like I know what I’m leaving”
Andrew Peterson, especially “The Far Country”
Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready to Make Nice”
The most recent additions to my ipod (albums):
Glen Phillips, “Mr. Lemons”
Borne, “Loss of Signal”
Will Kimbrough, “Americanitis”
REM, “Automatic for the People”
Pretty eclectic... thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed the integration of relevant music into your lectures at DTS. I still remember a heart-wrenching Johnny Cash song you played once... and how powerfully it reinforced your teaching. You've given us a lot to ponder. I, for one, am taking a much more scrutinous look at lyrics and themes and messages... and growing and learning in ways that are, frankly, surprising. Thanks, Dr. Kreider!
John... this question's for you: top ten films?
2. Winter Light (1961, Bergman)
3. Diary of a Country Priest (1950, Bresson)
4. Ikiru (1952, Kurosawa)*
5. Ordet (1954, Dreyer)
6. The Third Man (1949, Reed)*
7. The Night of the Hunter (1955, Laughton)*
8. Late Spring (1949, Ozu)
9. M (1931, Lang)*
10. Notorious (1946, Hitchcock)*
* Indicates those movies my “popular” movie loving wife enjoys. :)
Hmmm... I've seen a grand total of NONE of those... I think I will take your wife's lead and start with the asteriks! Hey, John, thanks so much for all your great insights. Now I'd best let you get back to grading papers!
(By the way... John has a wonderful movie review blog. Check it out at: http://gladsomemorning.wordpress.com/.)