No longer one of the Watchmen

watchmenI’ll cut to the chase, then rewind. I am making a promise to God that I am not going to watch another R rated movie after this past weekend. There was quite a bit of hype (and advertising) around the new Watchmen movie. I won’t go into details, but I have since apologized to two guys (for even thinking about going to see it). The movie had its share of profanity, sexuality and pretty intense violence. Each of us have our own limits, and I’ve told myself many times that I won’t check out a movie with that kind of a rating. Sure, this was a spur of the moment decision to fill some time, but my guard was down and my life is no better after seeing this film. Hollywood sure can dazzle us with effects, action and sensuality, but it cannot fill a void in our lives that only God’s love can fill. There’s no other way to put it I guess. To that part of Hollywood……I don’t need you any longer.

savinggodThere isn’t a movie in the all-time top 10 grossing movies that is rated R for a reason. I did conclude the weekend by watching “Saving God” starring Ving Rhames on DVD. I’d recommend checking it out if you are at all interested in getting a better understanding of life impacted by drugs. It was one of the better movies I’ve seen recently, and opened my eyes to how our culture is having to “save God”. God doesn’t need saved, but there are quite a few ministries that need to be rescued and returned to serving God as they were meant to be. Lots of damage has been done to work God has started, and it takes some serious effort to do the work God has for us. That is what needs saved.

What are your thoughts on R rated movies? Has your life improved or been damaged from viewing them in the past? Does Hollywood need to see that we don’t need that trash?

PRAYING for the message of the Saving God movie to be effective. PRAISING God for actors like Ving Rhames and productions like Cloud Ten.

  1. I have watched R rated movies and I would like to take back 95% of them. I have to admit that some of them skewed my thinking for years after in ways that I am still working on. Thankfully I am almost dug out but it was a hard road back.
    His road is not an easy one to follow but it is far more rewarding.

  2. What’s funny is I only saw 90 minutes of the movie and I agree totally w/ the guard being down statement. Just shows that we always have to be cognizant of our surroundings and be an example to others at all times. Good post man.

  3. Though I can understand your statements about Watchmen, and applaud you following your convictions, I do not feel that all “R” rated movies are trash. “Hotel Rwanda” is one example I can think of that is an uplifting film, though the language and violence gives it a “R” rating. One might argue that the violence could have been toned down, but would the message have been as strong? Also, though you are correct in noting that there is not an “R” rated movie in the top 12, “The Passion of the Christ.”

  4. John Gruber

    Thanks for your words. I was debating on Watchmen, but now that Doug Fields and you have not recommended it, I will not see it. I appreciate your honesty.

  5. Yes, Hollywood does need to see that we don’t need this trash. But, the world seems to really really like the trash that Hollywood puts out.

    I’m including Christians in the “world”, not pointing fingers at ALL, because I wonder how many Christians, followers of Christ, people like you and I who want to be Christ-like, go through the trash that they put out? Is there not enough of us true believers in the world to make a difference, if we just made the choice that you did (and stick with it)? I think so. Fireproof seems to be doing great because of us.

  6. Personally, I take each movie individually and make a decision based on what some of the family oriented reviewers say.

    I agree with jdantzlerw, in that just because a movie carries an R rating does not mean it’s immediately to be labeled as “trash.”

    While I know many people think they are “grown up” enough to watch any and everything that comes out of hollywood, personally I KNOW that I cannot.

    This means that I am very selective with the movies I see. And if for some reason, I happen to “find myself” in a movie that is ultimate poo for the soul, I SHOULD just get up and walk out or hit stop on the player. Do I? Tough one.

    All that to say, we should guard our hearts and the gateways in (our eyes). Most rated R movies are garbage. Some are not.

  7. thank you men for standing up for what is getting us back to the Highway of Holiness! We need more men that are willing to make these kinds of stands, including walking out on films that violate the heart of God. For too long Christians have accepted what they should not and do not in many cases want in the film industry. There are some great films that are still great action films, and not just girly, or ladies night out films, that bring us to a higher standard. Fireproof has made such a great impact on many and shows that this can be done.
    It also goes for tv too. There are many shows that when they started were family friendly action stories. But once they had the audience, after a few episodes have started bringing in provocative language and scenes, as well as abusive language. If we wouldn’t allow it into our homes in person, why do we through the media?(film,magazine,book,tv, or online sites!) Yesterday I was really blessed to hear a portion of a pastors conference, and one of the speakers was a pastor named Matt Chandler. The main theme I picked up on was getting back to Holiness…not the law, but Christ in you, operating in His fullness through the Spirit of God. I was thinking of this when you mentioned walking out of a film that violates the standards of His Holiness. This takes courage in one sense. But in another sense, shame on us(thank God for His Grace!), when we slowly allow these things to creep in on our lives and families. The battle is real. thank you men for taking a stand!

  8. Dennis C

    Gabe, My Wife and I completely agree with you. We fell into the same trap of going to see this movie. In this world, it will probably win awards in Hollywood. Shame on us. What were we thinking?

  9. I would say that making an absolute statement about the rating of the movie is like the devout Jew who pre-tears toilet paper so as to not ‘work’ on the Sabbath. Instead you might consider saying, “I’m going to be abiding in my walk with the Lord when I choose to watch any movie – G or R rated.” Sets the priority where it should be: Colossians 3:1-3. There are plenty of trashy non-rated movies or G rated movies that are no better for your walk.

  10. Thank you for this honest post. I am often amazed at how much manure Christians feel comfortable digesting. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that eating garbage is not a good diet for healthy growth.

    I have heard of a number of brothers and sisters who are ready to rush to the theaters to see the Watchman with no thought about the potential content. We the church could use a healthy dose of discernment when it comes to our entertainment.

    That being said, I do believe that a movie can carry an R rating and still be valuable for personal and spiritual growth. The two mentioned above are examples. I would put an older movie like Schindler’s list in the same category.

    Keep chasing the prize (Phillipians 3:14) and calling others to do the same. Grace and peace.

  11. Oh boy, we got an eyeful unfortunately – in imax none the less. I was greatly saddened by what could have been a great movie.

  12. In the UK we have different ratings… they are based on age 18, 15, 12, U are the main… Though I am 18 I do not think I will be watching an 18 rated (equivalent to R) anytime soon, in fact there are many 15s I wouldn’t watch.

    For me it’s the sexual content that is the swinging point, I won’t watch a film (especially alone) if there are more than “mild references”… but I have recently learned not to trust the backs of DVD cases as the last film that said mild infrequent sexual references was a little dodgy… and in a world where sexual sin is rife and it is something I am trying to stand up to its something I gotta steer clear of… That’s where I stand on movies at least.

    Thanks for the observations and confessions Gabe

    God Bless

  13. Before I go watch a movie I go and check the rankings. The one I pay the most attention to is nudity/sexuality. It helps keep me in check. I have slightly more trouble avoiding this stuff then my wife. I sometimes get too excited about a movie, that may have questionable content, and often times don’t pay attention to that aspect. But be careful, the description of the scenes in the movies are quite explicit. Often times I think that reading some of them is just as bad as watching the scene it describes. Personally, most rated “R” movies fall into the category of movies I shouldn’t go see.


  14. Karyn

    Like you, I was committed to not watching R-rated movies, and I didn’t for years. But, as someone already mentioned, The Passion of the Christ is rated R. I realized then that I was being somewhat legalistic. Much of the bible would be rated R if acted out (mostly for violence).

    Now I’m still judicious about what I see, but will not automatically exclude a movie just because it’s rated R. Having said that, I’ve only been to one rated R movie since Passion, and that was just a couple of weeks ago — Slumdog Millionaire.

    I appreciate your intention to guard your heart and mind!

  15. I completely agree with you. The Lord has been dealing with me about secular music and being in my word more. Putting him first before doing anything that my flesh “wants” to do like play video games and such.
    I think as Christians we do need to guard ourselves from things we allow to influence us.
    Good post.

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