Blindsided by Reality

So the church has a new target in its ongoing war against the “corruption of our youth” and the dangers of our culture. 

The movie “The Blind Side.”

Yes, the one with Sandra Bullock that came out a few years ago. The one about the family that takes in a troubled kid and gets him playing football, where he thrives and rises to fame in the NFL. The one based (perhaps loosely) on a true story.

It was a nice feel-good movie for most audiences. For Christians, it was a rare chance to see Hollywood show us a Christian character instead of a caricature.

It’s for your own good.
Because we said so.

But apparently there were some potty mouths in the movie at some point. So it needs to be taken off the shelves at the local Christian bookstore, because… I don’t know, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Here’s CNN’s Belief Blog with the article.

I understand why some Christians might object to profanity and taking God’s name in vain being in a movie. I know some religious people have a strict code about what is permissible and what is forbidden.

For example, bacon.

A good chunk of the world’s population can’t eat it without violating their faith. I applaud their resolve (and take their share).

Part of entertainment–not popcorn-chewing, mindless action fare, but the thought-provoking, sticks with you when you leave the theater or turn off the DVD kind–is portraying reality.

In life, people sometimes say bad words.

They sometimes do bad things.

They sometimes think bad thoughts.

It’s ok to admit that. It’s ok to see that on a silver screen. It might trigger a discussion with my kids or my friends (or with my own thoughts on the matter). It might force me to evaluate “Why do I believe what I believe about this? What are the consequences of this behavior? Does any good come out of this? Does anything harmful result?”

Imagine the thought of discussing with our kids the power of our words and the importance of how we communicate.

Or you can cover their ears so that they never hear someone drop an F-bomb. (Shock! They probably already have, when you weren’t around.)

Imagine the thought of explaining sexual purity to our kids and discussing the importance and value of healthy relationships.

Or you can cover their eyes lest they see cleavage on TV. (Newsflash, they’re probably already seeing the overly-sexualized images all around them at the grocery store checkout lane.)

Imagine the thought of talking with your kids about the value of life, the dangerous corruption that comes with power, and the many ways violence as a solution is no solution at all.

Or you can stop them from playing Halo or Call of Duty on the XBox. (Spoilers: they’re probably playing it at a friend’s house.)

We can’t live in a protected bubble where no mention or thought of sin ever sneaks past our careful defenses. Doing that separates us from the world around us. Christ didn’t tell us to form little safe communes in the middle of nowhere. He told us to go out into the world and make disciples.

We see Paul do that in the New Testament, and he encounters a lot of objectionable content as he travels. He advises the churches under his care about holiness and getting rid of sin that corrupts. At the same time, he uses the sin and the misguided beliefs of the people around him not as a wedge to create a separation but as a hook to lead them to the Gospel.

Paul doesn’t run from reality to hide in safety. He embraces reality to further the message.

If we look at the Bible, it has a lot of pretty objectionable content too. The movie, The Passion of the Christ is a popular Christian film, but it’s brutal and vicious in its depiction of blood and gore. And we celebrate that, because, hey, it’s Jesus.

“Violence is ok, but don’t say any bad words, don’t show any skin, and heaven help you if homosexuality is involved somehow!”

If all we do is find reasons why things are bad, we’ll end up living in our sheltered communities, avoiding any interaction with the people around us (the ones we say we love, right?). We’ll surround ourselves with all the “pure” things – until someone else figures out what’s wrong with them. We’ll be safe.

And we’ll be completely ineffective at accomplishing the purpose for which the church exists.

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2 thoughts on “Blindsided by Reality”

    1. Well said. There is surely a fine line where we try to figure out whether we’re being too ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the world. I think we make that decision too often based on fear instead of sound judgment. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

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