Purity in the Media

image_g3ndduI recently had a conversation with a friend who wanted to go see No Strings Attached. It is a rated R movie about two friends that agree to have a sexual relationship without liking each other.

I don’t think she realized how watching this type of movie could defile your mind. As it says in Titus 1:15, “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

Here’s my question: Do you think Christ and the disciples (if they had movie theaters then!) would go out and see No Strings Attached? Do you think Christ would tell the boys that as long as they didn’t do it, it was okay to put this in their minds? After all, they were all over 17.

Some might make the argument that you can just see it and then not worry about it. Did you know the human mind is capable of memorizing 25 formulas in a day? 25!! Obviously, we can’t use that much, but the human brain is an amazing thing that can. This is why scary movies can scare you for weeks after you see them! Just as scary movie images linger, so do the inappropriate ones! It’s impossible to get images out of your brain after you’ve seen them, which tells us we have to be very particular what we let in.

We are to be examples in our purity as Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I think our purity is one of our major ways to evangelize. Most teens will ask you questions about why you won’t watch a certain show or listen to certain songs, etc. So what should our standard be? Should it be a certain rating that we don’t go above? I’m over 13 but I’ve seen some movies that are PG-13 that I don’t think anyone 13 or older should watch.

I think we may have become desensitized. Things that were once really bad we see so much over and over that they don’t seem as bad anymore. Being desensitized blurs our ability to tell right from wrong. The sad truth is most people, like my friend; don’t even see how filthy these movies are anymore. The Proverbs writer predicted this would happen though in Proverbs 30:12, “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.”

Here are some practical how-to’s of picking appropriate media:

  1. If you’re watching a television show that has inappropriate sexual jokes, foul language, or anything impure: change the channel! One of my new favorites is The Andy Griffith Show. Everything in Mayberry is always so happy and carefree!! It is a nice way to unwind at the end of the day.
  2. If you’re listening to music you feel has inappropriate messages, (though it may have a great beat!) change the radio station or put in a CD that you know is clean!  If you’re unsure on lyrics, Google before you buy!
  3.  If you’re in a waiting room somewhere and you see magazines that show anorexic, airbrushed women talking about their sex lives with their boyfriend, resist the temptation to pick it up! Plan ahead by bringing a book.

I think that many of these ideas wouldn’t appeal to people like my friend I mentioned in the beginning, because The Andy Griffith Show might not be funny enough, or it’s not colorful enough. This should serve as a warning that entertainment is a slippery slope. Once you let so much in, there’s no going back. So be careful to guard your mind! Lastly, listen to what the psalmist says to those who have a pure heart in Psalms 24:4, “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

Holly Beth Pannell
About Holly Beth Pannell 11 Articles
Holly Pannell is a Management Information Systems major at the University of Oklahoma. She attends church at the Penn South Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, OK. She works at the University of Oklahoma in the admissions office and likes being in the middle of the action at her college. She is the oldest of three—all girl—and live in Norman, OK. She enjoys dinner with friends, Sooner football, John Green books, following politics, late night bowls of cereal, and The Office reruns.

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