Monday, February 25, 2013

The Oscars, James Bond, the Pull of the World and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

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Yesterday, my husband turned on the pre-Oscar show where they interview all the people in their fine clothes.  I came down the stairs to read (we always have closed-captions on due to my hearing loss) "I can't sit down and feel like all my organs are being pushed out of my body."

Really.  What about choosing to wear a dress that allows you to sit down and doesn't lead to organ failure?  How hard of a choice is that?

Maybe it's harder than I think.  Because the truth is, I don't stand before millions to be evaluated on my looks alone.

Maybe Amanda Seyfried doesn't know yet that her worth comes from Jesus and not millions of adoring-yet-fickle-fans?

The whole Hollywood thing really causes me to stop and think.  Honestly, one the one hand, I watch shows like this with my breath sucked in because I really don't want to hear Seth McFarland singing about boobies. I don't want my husband seeing said boobies only partially concealed by the low cut dresses of the women sitting in the audience.

On the other hand, I love James Bond.

For those of you have seen any James Bond films, you see the contradiction.

I posted on the SDG Facebook site that I needed ideas for tonight's post.  Sherri suggested "Actions speak louder than words."  And I wonder (with a knot in the very pit of my stomach) if maybe I shouldn't love James Bond.  It's not that I watch it incessantly, but by fawning over Skyfall (although Adele's voice is so luring, isn't it?), do I contradict what I say about sex, appearances, and keeping our lust in check?  I don't find myself lusting over the Bonds, but I am sure of this:

1.  Some women do.
2.  Some men get incredibly turned on by all the suggestiveness of the Bond girls.

And I wonder, even if I were to watch it by myself, even if it's a good movie, is. it. worth. it? I take a moment to pause because I've spent the last two weeks writing chapter six of our porn addiction book.  Chapter six is all about what God intended sex and marriage to be.

James Bond isn't it.

Sometimes not conforming to the world is hard.  Sometimes it is a lot more fun to just go with it.  Explain away the problems.  Makes some sort of excuse just because, well, I want to.

I still, even though I see the problems, want to watch James Bond.  I love the action, the thrill, the whole intrigue of spy-dom.

I am torn.  So, I'd love to hear your opinion (and let's all be respectful here, because that's what sisters do) -- how do you handle Hollywood and all that comes with it?  Do you banish it?  Is there a moderation?  Is it a stumbling block for you?  Do you appreciate the art behind it?

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  1. I don't find it so much with movies, but I sometimes stop and realize how much I allow to slide in when it comes to what we watch on TV. It can be subtle I think, and taking stock on a regular basis helps.

  2. A pastor from a former church we went to (left b/c we moved too far away) said, "We tell our kids to not watch bad movies/T.V., but somehow we have deceived ourselves in to thinking it is okay for us. Adult movies doesn't mean adults should watch it." That was hubby and I's first conviction. I motto now is "Junk in, Junk out." It has helped us a ton in our choices.

    I don't dislike Hollywood, but hubby and I keep it in check a lot. We rarely and I mean RARELY watch rated "R" movies because so much is about putting in constant curse words or soft porn b/c somehow this gets you that rating and more people to buy what you are selling. We also don't have cable T.V. for the same reason and my kids don't know they are missing anything and we have seen a difference in how the constant commercials no longer pull us to buy cr*p.

    I understand though that this is a personal choice and I don't try to "play God and convict people." I realize we have to come to that place on our own. Blessings to you my friend.

  3. This is a tough one. I love a good story, but sometimes, Hollywood tells stories all wrong.... I guess I pray for discernment. We tend to watch things at home, not in the theater. Sometimes, we turn the movie off mid-way because the Holy Spirit nudges us to stop watching.

    1. totally agree - the Holy Spirit is our best guide. If He is saying... turn it off - we turn it off.

  4. Hi,
    I understand your dilema. It is hard for us to give us the worldly desires. Try one thing at a time. I used to read books that my soul didn't like but I did. Eventually I stopped reading them - and my soul healed. Movies - and TV - the same thing. I stopped watching certain shows. Then my hubby and I stopped cable or satellite. It has taken time but truly I have more time to do God's work, fill my mind with exciting good things. The "Whatever " verse really made an impact on my life. Philippians 4:8
    Blessings to you as you work on this problem.

  5. I don't really spend a lot of time thinking about it. I approach movies like books. I admire them for the art, for those with gifts and talents to tell a story visually. I believe God is sovereign and He can use it all for His glory. I suppose everyone has different sensitivities when it comes to that. I think the minute anything becomes law, rebellion is right behind. Like dieting for instance. The minute you decide you won't eat, you crave everything.

  6. I do spend a lot of time thinking about this, more for my kid's sake. As a parent, I believe I am called to be watchman and gatekeeper over their hearts. And also teach them how to be.

    I wonder how much entertainment I am getting over the very things that Christ died to forgive us for.

  7. I like the Sean Connery bond with his brand of humor - all the others seem way to serious:) We are movie fans, pre-1950. We love the messages, the art, the humor. Today, we enjoy more of the British stock actors - who seem to have more a "craft". I love Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird - because he so creates the character Atticus (sp). I love Edward G Robinson in Our Vines Have Tender Grapes. I love John Wayne in The Quiet Man - and the Gary Cooper in Mr Deeds Goes to Town - and how he questions the sweet old ladies who raise him. I love how they are able to portray these characters and infuse nobleness with their talent - what a gift. It's a shame movie creators of today give us fructose art when they should be create something more fulfilling:)Then maybe they wouldn't have to just rely on sex and immorality to sell movies.

  8. Within a few more months, we will have kids the following ages: 12, 13, 14, and 16. That's a whole lot of eyes and hormones raging around here, lol! Let me be brief: as a family we have to be very careful, because teen boys are not capable of evaluating media as art. :-) And girls aren't a whole lot better! As a couple, I would have to say our standards have gotten stricter over the years. Mostly because of the kids. And it is so very rare that the inclusion of blatant sex has anything to do with the beauty of art or communication of a strong moral message in visual media.
    It can be so very hard, though. I, too, love me a good thriller :-)

    1. Agreed, Steph! That was a really tough age, as many of our daughters' peers were allowed to watch stuff our girls could not. I have railed for years that movies, especially for children, don't need sexual suggestiveness or swear words. I am always disappointed when it pops up in those movies. :-(
      That is one of the things I love about the films by Sherwood (?) Productions, the group that produced Flywheel, Courageous, and The Love Dare!

      I think that showing the kids quality entertainment-books, movies and discussions-so they have a measuring stick is always helpful.

  9. This is a toughie, there are some things I know I can't watch because of how I feel afterwards, so I've learned to pick them out right away. I love movies and different kinds, but there is almost this invisible line that when watching, you just know it's too much of one thing, rather violence or sex.

  10. I mostly ignore Hollywood, but I don't banish it. If I banish something, it suddenly becomes more enticing, and I fight a desire to rebel. More importantly, I don't want my kids to grow up fascinated by a mysterious, forbidden fruit. Better to know it is there, participate in some aspects of it, and ignore the rest. The way this plays out for me is we watch movies, but if I haven't seen most of the nominated films, that's okay. I like to look at what the stars wore, but I usually don't watch any of it live, because I really don't care about what they have to say - I just want to see pictures of the dresses. I take a sort of aloof approach, I realize, which may or may not be correct, but it works for me.

    Glad you dove into this subject, Jen. It is interesting!

  11. This comment is from Sandra @ Thistle Cove Farm (Blogger was being a pill and not letting her post). I am posting it because I think it is full of wisdom. Here's Sandra:

    I'm a simple Sandra -grin- and for me it's easy. Hollywood is fake...most everything about it is fake so the television shows, movies and a lot/most of the Hollywood people are fake, lost, lonely and, I think, act insecure. They're entertainers and it's so sad when some of them believe their own press. I don't watch frightening programs or movies...garbage in, garbage out. I don't watch suggestive, "sexy", sensual programs...little eyes be careful what you see...if I watch a James Bond movie, it's at home so I can fast forward through the bedroom scenes. I do enjoy the stunts and love seeing how the stunt men and women ply their trade.
    Of the names you mentioned, only James Bond and Adele are familiar to me and I've not seen Skyfall although it's on my to-watch list.
    When Dave was alive, we would watch movies and he'd smile gently when he would fast forward through racy or frightening parts. He would wait until I went to bed before he'd watch frightening movies. He could watch stuff I couldn't and wouldn't watch but he didn't condemn me, he protected me.
    For most of Hollywood actors, I feel sorry for them. They've confused what they do with who they are and until they get it right, they'll always be searching.
    In closing, to paraphrase Winston Churchill... Never, Never, Never, Never, Never go where you're not supposed to go.

  12. Truthfully, I think I need to change my outlook on Hollywood. I am all one for the gossip of Hollywood. I am the one who loves the drama of all that is said about whoever in Hollywood. (Yes, one of my guilty pleasures). I use to be one who knew everything and anything that happened in Hollywood. But for a while, I got out of it. I didn't know nor care about what was going on in HOllywood. However, I have turned into the stereotypical housewife, wanting to buy all the magazines by the check stand because I want to know where Jennifer Aniston got proposed to.

    So this post was an eye opener for me. :-)

  13. "Others may, you may not." By choice, I don't watch t.v. because it's wrong for me on so many levels. Like the Trojan horse, the media seeks to change how we think by a process called "habituation."

    Habituation is "a decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated presentations."
    At first an image, an idea or vocabulary may shock us (or our children.) As we are confronted with the stimulus again and again in various formats, we became used to it until soon we see nothing wrong with it.

  14. Hey, Jen! I agree with "3dlessons4life" and "Janis Cox", as well as several others. If the Holy Spirit it convicting me to change the channel, fast forward, or turn it off, I try to make it a habit to do just that. It's not easy, though, sometimes. I just posted on my blog a song, among other things, by TobyMac called "Lose My Soul". ( I really like the lyrics to that song, which goes along with this theme!
    God Bless, ❤Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

  15. I want to be careful how I respond, because I don't want to come across self-righteous, or hypocritical. Because just as soon as I post this, don't you know I'll be tempted to watch something unacceptable to someone else. :)

    I have never liked the sexual content in movies or TV. It bothers me when it's in there and I HATE when my husband sees that stuff. I do not allow our kids (ages 13, 11 and 6) to watch anything with sexual content. Even mild sexual content. Even TV shows with mild sexual content.

    As a result, we watch very little TV and DVR most shows so we can fast forward over commercials.

    My husband and I love going to the movies, though. So, what I do is read the review (Plugged in) to see why a movie is rated the way it's rated that way. (I consider war violence different than thriller/slasher violence, for example). If I don't like what's in there or feel like I might be offended, we choose another movie.

    It's getting to the point where we can't much see anything beyond a PG rating, because PG-13 is often very offensive to me.

    For the movies we still want to see, but don't want to sit through the sexual content, we rent them and fast forward over the offensive parts.

    I am very affected by images, so I just know for me, it's best that I don't look at certain things at all. And I want to lead my kids by example--especially now that I have a teenager who has many friends allowed to see PG-13 movies.

    It's tough.

  16. Sandy's comment resonated with is tough, and I am not perfect, and nor do I have it all figured out, but I do try to limit what I/we watch...with varying degrees of success at various times...

  17. Would love to read your work on that chapter, Jen! Have you read Sacred Marriage? It's really good.

    We do try to limit and some things we just skip...or walk out on. I heard a woman say once about the soap opera addiction she had just left behind: I realized I was sitting watching, enjoying the very things Christ died to remove. Wow. Telling comment.


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