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Meleik (9)
Q: Why don't S.D.A don't go to the movies?
A: Dear Meleik,
There are a few reasons why SDAs don’t go to the movies.

First of all, we find an important lesson in Matthew 6:22-23, where Jesus said “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” Jesus was talking about how when we bring things into our bodies through our senses (watching, reading or listening to things), they fill our mind and affect the way we think. When we watch things that don’t bring honor to God (killing, lying, making fun of others, being disrespectful to parents, teachers, or other adults, teaching that the world is billions of years old, etc.), those things start to have an effect on the way we think. Before long, we find ourselves thinking that a “little lie” isn’t so bad, because even the “good guys” tell lies sometimes; or we think that making fun of some kid at school is okay, or talking back to our parents is funny, because that’s what our favorite people do in the movies or on TV. And instead of wanting the “bad guys” to be saved, like Jesus does, we would rather see them punished, or worse – killed. The same is true about what we read and what we listen to. Of course, not everything on TV is bad (like Kids’ Time, for example). There are other programs that uphold good Christian principles. This is why the Bible tells us that if we are going to put anything into our brains by watching, reading or listening to it, we should follow this rule – “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.” (Philippians 4:8).

Another good reason not to go to the movie theater is because as Christians, our lives should be an example to others. The Bible says that we should “decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” (Romans 14:13). What this means is that when it comes to going to the movies, even if we were to choose a Christian movie, when others see us going to the movie theater, they don’t know what we are going to see; they just know we are there. This destroys our Christian witness, and may give others an excuse to go to the theater and watch things they shouldn’t.

We should also remember that Jesus is our example in all things. Although there weren’t movies in Jesus’ day, people went to the theaters to watch plays. But not once do we ever find Jesus there. He spent His time ministering to the needs of others. I personally used to go to the movies every week, sometimes more than once a week, before I became a Christian. I have not been to the movie theater since I became a Christian, and I have found that I have had so much more time for better things like outdoor recreation, hobbies, and sharing my faith with others.

I hope these answers help!

Thanks for writing, and remember, there's never been a better time to share Jesus!

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*Note: All Scripture references are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise indicated.