"Can Christians watch horror movies?...and what about free will?" A conversation with a friend

David,

Hope all is good for a Monday.. I have a few questions If you dont mind. No rush on answering them.

Question 1:  I was interested in entering this short film contest they do every year called Spaltterfest. Of course its horror type movie contest, mostly people do gorey type shorts. having always been a Horror/Gore-ish movie aficionado, curious on what your thoughts are on making a film like this? is it Un Christian? I guess depeneding on whats made. I told my wife I was thinking about helping someone out, and she replies " as long as its not a bad subject" ..my reply was.. well it is called Splatterfest. I would like to know what you think on this subject.

Question 2: Free Will, Growing up and also alot from my wife before, I would always here " God already knows your plans, before everything you do, he already has your life mapped out and knows what you will do"  In my opionion that wouldnt be Free Will, is there any truth to that by what you beleive?


As always.. Thank You 


Hey brother!

Good questions.

Concerning the #1: I don’t think it’s inherently bad to do it. A good question would be: does this build someone up, encourage them, serve them, get them closer to acting like Jesus, etc. At the same time, you could be a great witness for Jesus among all kinds of people. I’d say: if you can be real deliberate about being a Christian while working on it, then maybe it’s cool. Yet, if the movie encourages things that are clearly un-Christian, then I’m not sure I’d join in the party. I’m thinking more about who and how this influences more than I’m thinking of some dogmatic rule to follow.

Concerning #2: This is a huge topic and there are a few genuine Christian views that disagree with one another. My view is that God certainly knows exactly what we will do with our free will. In no way does this limit my freedom. It just means that God is able to know all events.

A loose analogy: I “know” what Elaine will order at the Cheesecake Factory if we go there (because I know her repeated patterns). God, on the other hand, not only knows our patterns and knows what we would have chosen if put in that position (like knowing what Elaine would have ordered had she gone or if she’d eaten at Chick fil A or wherever), but He also knows exactly what she will order the next time she goes because he sees the future. He “sees” or has awareness of every event in the universe at the same time.

To say it this way: God almost certainly has two kinds of knowledge: (1) what I would have done if put in any position (like what David would do if he got a flat tire or never met my wife or ate pizza for a year) and (2) what actually happens in every situation.

God’s knowledge of something doesn’t mean that my wife didn’t have the freedom to eat something else. God didn’t make her eat that. She chose it. He just knows what she’ll choose before she knows it. Why? Because God is not limited by sequential events in time like we are. Why? Because He’s not a creature in the space-time continuum. He stands on the side of the river bed seeing the whole river; we’re the ones in the water.

Make sense?

And here’s the incredible thing: God actually takes our request into consideration in the whole show! He actually grants yeses and no’s to our requests and works the Kingdom of God around our requests. It’s just that God already knows what we will pray for and what He will do in our lives because of our requests.

We can talk more in person if you’d like. I love talking about this stuff. J

Word,
DP


Thanks David.

I understand your response to Question 1, but There really isnt a Horror movie that would build someone, or Encourage them. or maybe. Id really have to give that alot of thought. I guess my wife's response confused me, I know she doesnt like gore or violent movies, but she does love The Walking Dead. .. This also brings another question. I know about Music and Movies with cusswords or promoting violence and bad unchristian things is something we should not participate in, But again like I said, I like Horror movies. Is that "unchristian" to like to watch those. Example: The Conjuring, not gorey violent, but about evil or movies based on true stories about evil spirits or ghost?

I like that response for question 2.. I would like to talk more about it. Growing up catholic I heard alot of stuff that would confuse me. Then hearing total oppisite or different stuff from my wife's family as they were raised Pentecostal.

Thanks


Hey bud.

Good questions/points.

I see movies, music, books, etc. as an issue of mental/spiritual “diet.” That is, what does it do to me internally? I can hear some cuss words and it doesn’t affect me much. I hear several and it gets to me. I’m more prone to talk that way because it’s being introduced into my mind over and over.

So, it depends on the effect it has on me. I sometimes like to watch thrillers and whatnot; I don’t watch bloody horrors because it doesn’t jive well with me. I used to watch more horror movies when I was younger but I got to where it really bothered me because it was so much violence and nonsense (like the Saw series and whatever). For me, I just decided that watching those movies didn’t get me to where I wanted to go internally. I do the same thing with other movies or music. I change them if they cause me to flinch or feel uneasy. Now, I really like some directors (like Scorsese), but I can’t watch most of his movies more than once because of violence and language and whatnot.

My only personal rule is (and I’m not perfect at this, but in general this is true of my choices): I don’t want to watch something that I would be embarrassed to tell someone else I watched it, especially during a sermon. If I’m that uncomfortable in talking about it, then it probably means it wasn’t good for my growth. :)

So, it’s not Unchristian to want to watch those movies. I just don’t think any degree of a steady “diet” of them is good for your growth, especially if it influences any of your thoughts or behavior, and certainly not if you’d be embarrassed for other Christians to know.

Since I don’t think it’s based on a simple rule (Jesus sure didn’t talk about movies in the New Testament!), I tend to apply these principles. And I’m not perfect!! But these are my general criteria…

Good stuff! And we can chat more about free will. It sounds like you’ve heard many different things!

Peace,

DP