When I started this blog I thought to myself:”I hope I’m not doing this daily and becoming one of those overbearing people who need to share their opinion perpetually.” As you must be painfully aware I couldn’t resist today… this blogging stuff is exciting! Today I find myself writing a blog because of an article that caught my attention. I have a tendency to read Relevant magazine articles online and in hard copy in an attempt to maintain some connection with the questions our faith is wrestling with in this generation. I found an article discussing discernment when it comes to viewing media. Here is the link: (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/tv/questions-ask-watching-r-rated-show)
I have found more and more of the students I come across accessing this wonderful form of entertainment called Netflix. For those of you who don’t know (or live under a rock); Netflix is an online streaming service that allows you to access hundreds of movies, documentaries and shows. It’s so common that one of my favourite questions to ask students is what they are binge-ing (this is when someone watches shows or movies without restraint) surprisingly almost everyone has an answer. If I am honest I am not the exception. Tina (my wife) and I can be found bingeing shows like Sherlock Holmes. She and I have wrestled with what is ethical or christian in regards to what shows we should watch. I grew up in home with 5 older brothers and I always watched shows or movies that were beyond my age of maturity; it just came with the territory. As a result I may be more flexible with what is ok to watch and what isn’t. My parents approach to media was to appeal to our conscience and encourage us to use discernment. However they also knew what each of their children’s weak spots were and would voice an opinion on what is and isn’t appropriate for their children specifically. I believe it is important to look at your motivation for watching a movie, show or listening to certain music. If it teaches a strong lesson about life I can tolerate some strong media because I don’t believe it’s healthy to shelter people from reality. It is for this reason that I love bands like Alexisonfire because in their music they talk about real people, real problems and questions we as humans encounter in life. (If you are curious it is a metal band a favourite song of mine is born and raised) But if a show or movie glorifies violence, swearing or sex in a way that glorifies sinful behaviour just for the sake of entertainment I have less patience for that. Personally another line I draw is that I refuse to watch media that has nudity in it. What I loved about this Relevant article is that it challenges it’s reader to avoid legalism and it doesn’t give a clear cut answer but it calls it’s audience to think more deeply about what they are allowing into their lives. You may be asking why I brought up such a confrontational topic or why I didn’t just say that any media that isn’t christian is bad media; I desire to be transparent and real with people. Also, I have noticed that the people, especially students, I encounter watch a lot of media some of it good and some of it bad. Rather then telling them to totally avoid media I’m asking them to think about it. We also know that for many students if they were told to avoid media in general…they wouldn’t. So lets have a conversation with them. Lets ask them what their struggles are and ask them to avoid media that glorifies sin or exploits their weaknesses. Let’s think about it. Let’s talk about it.