I prayed through in a church where TV “in the home” was preached against. However, the pastor admitted to having gone to friends’ homes to watch TV as a kid. He also allowed the saints to have a VCR and monitor. He even eventually got one. I watched more PG movies in the 6 months after I got in church than I had in the world. Many of us would also go to places like Walmart and watch movies there.
Later, another pastor ended up teaching against TV, video, moving pictures, monitors- I wasn’t even sure it was acceptable to go to a play. So here is what’s funny to me: There could be no VCRs, movies, or TV. Sometimes YouTube was also preached against. But at least some would watch video clips online at work regularly. Several e-mailed me video clips, too. And video games that look exactly like cartoons were never taught against at all.
I’m a very visual person. To me, video is an art form, if done tastefully. But I didn’t watch a movie or TV for years because it was “wrong”. Not biblically wrong, pastorally wrong.
I don’t have a pastor now. Yesterday I checked out three videos from the library. Last night was the first time in my life I’d ever watched a video in my own home. And I cried. I don’t even know why. It wasn’t that I felt guilty. Maybe I was so relieved to be able to chose to do something just for the enjoyment of it. It was a beautiful movie. And it felt so nice to be able to just do something for the fun of it!
I’ve heard video preached against because we remember so much of what we see. However, we must remember that not everything we see is bad.
Do we truly remember more of a video than we do of real life? It may seem that way at first, but in reality, we haven’t- it’s just that in real life we remember snapshots of scenes. The best movies are simply limited to a well-directed series of these types of snapshots. This creates an illusion of remembering more from the movie than real life, when in fact we are still just remembering snapshots of the best pieces of life.
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Ps 101:3) Obviously no verse in the Bible speaks specifically against television or movies. However, this verse has been used in many circles to show people they should not watch movies or TV. We should, indeed, be careful not to engross ourselves in anything that is wicked- book, TV, movie, everyday life… but if we used this verse to say that TV or movies on the whole were wrong, then we would need to go through life with our eyes closed. Those who walk with their eyes closed are most likely to fall.