Listen:  142.6

As far as I know, there is not a specific scripture which could be used to answer this question. But the Lord has given us “principles” to live by that would aid us in learning the Lord’s Mind as to this and similar questions. One verse that comes to mind is 1 Corinthians 11:31 which says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Here is a grand principle for believers to live by; everything we do should be done to the glory of God! Can we watch a certain film or movie to the glory of God? If so, then we have the liberty to do so. If not, we should stay clear of it.

In Old Testament times, God had given the Israelites direct commandments that literally addressed every area of their lives. Nothing was left to their imagination, for in the Law were commandments telling them what to do and what not to do, including what to eat and what to drink. But today, believers are not under the principle of Law, but under Grace, as we see in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” This is an interesting verse for it implies that those who are “under the law” will also come under sin’s dominion. Why is that? Because the Law told a person what to do but it didn’t give him the power to do it. Add to this the fact that the law stirs up sinful desires in us as we read in Romans 7:5, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” You’ve probably heard the expression, “forbidden fruit is sweet”; the Law proved that, for every law that God had given to the nation of Israel was broken time and time again. Grace, on the other hand, motivates us to holiness, for “under grace”, God isn’t telling us what to do; God is telling us what He has done for us AND He then provides us with the power to live for His glory. The more we drink at the well of God’s grace and realize all that His love has done for us, the more we desire to please Him and to live holy lives. Consider these precious words from Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”

Under the Law, people were actually in a state of bondage, but under grace we are brought into liberty. Consider Paul’s words to the churches of Galatia in Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The Galatian churches were being infiltrated by Jewish teachers telling them that they must keep the Law of Moses in order to be saved and Paul warns them that if they gave heed to them they would be brought into bondage. Those who insist on putting believers under the Law, by giving them “human” rules and regulations to live by, are afraid of grace, believing that it gives people a license to sin. But instead of grace giving us freedom to sin, grace gives us freedom to serve the Lord and His people! Paul states this in Galatians 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Paul recognized that the liberty we now have in Christ can be abused by using it to justify worldly pleasures that cater to the flesh, but he insisted that God’s purpose in giving us liberty was to motivate us to serve Him and others.

If I seem to be “dodging the issue” by not giving a simple “yes or no” answer regarding watching films and movies, it’s because I want to avoid putting you “under the law.” There are churches who have established rules against going to movies, playing cards, dancing, and other things they would deem as worldly or even sinful.  But we have seen that if we put ourselves “under the law” we shall actually be brought into bondage. The Lord doesn’t want us occupied with a list of “dos and don’ts”; He wants us to be basking in the sunshine of His love and grace. Then when we question whether or not we should engage in some activity such as watching a particular movie, we won’t be asking “Am I allowed to do this?” We’ll be asking the question, “Can I do this to the glory to God?” If the answer is “yes,” we are free to do it.

There is something else we need to consider. We may feel free before the Lord to engage in some activity that is, in and of itself, harmless, but it may not be looked upon as harmless to others. I would encourage you to read Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 where Paul teaches us to consider the consciences of others. In 1 Corinthians 8:9 he states, “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak” (NKJV). Paul ended this chapter by saying, in verse 13, “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” Again, God’s grace has set you free to “serve one another,” so we should be willing to give up something we feel free to do if it will stumble our brother.  (142.6)  (DO)