Daily Devotional for Wednesday April 11, 2007
Some of the Great Movies of All Time Would Never Have Been Made Today
(1 Timothy 1:19, 4:12; 2 Timothy 4:4; 2 Peter 3:17)
Some of the great movies of all time would never even be made today! Easter Sunday afternoon I was able to enjoy some down time watching the back nine of the Masters. Congratulations to Zack Johnson for holding off Tiger Woods and winning one of golf's most prestigious tournaments. Johnson took several opportunities to let a worldwide TV audience know that his faith in Jesus Christ sustained him in those final holes. After chatting with several good friends who are on the PGA Tour, it turns out that Zack is not only a great golfer, but a very committed Christian. How fitting his great victory came on Easter Sunday!
After my wife and I ate some dinner, I sat down to catch up on some of the day's news before going to bed. In scrolling thru the stations, I stopped on AMC (American Movie Classics). Just starting was the 1937 classic movie "Heidi" starring Shirley Temple. Instead of going to bed, I got my wife and we watched this great movie classic together. Immediately following, we watched another Temple classic "Little Miss Broadway." As I sat there and enjoyed these two great movies, I couldn't help to think that if someone was trying to make those exact movies today in the year 2007, they would be laughed out of the offices of every major motion picture studio.
Let me tell you what are some of the hottest movies the major motion picture studios are putting out today. The Hills Have Eyes 2, Grindhouse, 300, Dead Silence, Hannibal Rising, and soon to be released, Hostel 2, and Saw 3. What do these movies all have in common? They make the studios tons of cash and they are some of the sickest, most disgusting movies ever created depicting human torture, mutilation, and killing. I already know the standard answer from those who support these types of movies is that it is not real, it is just a movie, it is entertainment, and that nobody was really tortured and killed. I counter that weak justification with the simple question, "What possible good can a person gain by watching such a movie?"
The answer is simple, NOTHING! I would also add that anyone who is "entertained" by watching a person being tortured, mutilated, and killed, has some very serious psychological issues. It is simply not normal to find anything entertaining in seeing a person being tortured, mutilated and killed. This is partially a byproduct of the world we live in that places little to no value on human life. We slaughter 4,000 innocent babies every day in this nation. Children grow up playing video games where the goal is to kill your opponent. The media is feeding young adults a steady diet of death on TV, in the movies, on the Internet, and through music. It is no wonder kids today grow up desensitized to death and place little value of human life.
I think it is wonderful that the movie studios are producing more family friendly movies. It is nice to have those options. While people of faith, people who support more traditional family values will go to see those types of movies, the very same studios also produce the sexual, violent, mutilation films that glorify death because there is an insatiable demand for those types of movies. The lost and hurting masses who choose to reject Christ's love, live in rebellion to God and His Word, have so hardened their hearts that they demand more blood, more gore, more sensational ways to view death. Never forget, satan is about death and God is about life. Those who follow satan embrace death and those who follow Jesus embrace life, even in the movies they watch!
Long gone are the innocent days of Shirley Temple. In just one generation we have gone from the wholesomeness of Temple to the utter depravity of movies graphically depicting every kind of deviant sexual act and ways to kill another human being. As I watched those two Shirley Temple movies last Sunday, I smiled as little Shirley knelt by her bed and said her prayers, as her grandfather read passages from the Bible, and the scenes of a church service complete with a few minutes of sound preaching and the great old hymns of the faith. The sad reality of the year 2007 is that you won't even find that in most so-called churches today!!!
You don't have to have any history degrees to simply look at where this nation was spiritually 70 years ago and where it is today. While things weren't perfect, we still lived in a nation that honored God and revered His Truth. Even though we had many different denominations, all Christian churches still preached the Bible and called sinners to repent and turn their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ by faith. Sin was not glorified and accepted but condemned. Alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography all existed, but they were deemed as deviant behavior not socially acceptable. False religions and cults were not given a place of prominence but kept underground.
Marriage was without question one man and one woman for one lifetime, with there being a huge stigma to divorce. Most children grew up in a home with a mother and father, unlike most children today who grow up in broken and blended homes. TV, radio, and the movies produced wholesome family entertainment with strict standards of decency. Many say we have progressed over the past 70 years. I agree that we have progressed in every way but the most critical, SPIRITUALLY! You don't have to be saved, read the Bible, or even believe in God to know that as a nation, as a people, we are in spiritual free fall!
I love you and care about you so much. As I layed in bed Sunday night, I couldn't go to sleep right away. I wanted to cry but couldn't. We have become a wicked people. Millions of people are spending eternity in hell because we have allowed our society to lose sight of God, forget the Truth of His Word, and reject the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. As someone who has committed my life to serving the Lord I weep daily for this nation and the lost masses who will perish and spend eternity in hell. I am resigned to the fact that this nation is so lost, its heart so hardened, that it will never turn back to God. But that only motivates me to do more each day to reach those who are hurting, are searching for answers, and do want to find true hope that only exists in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ..
You see, it is still about souls my friend. One at a time. Yes it would be wonderful to see this nation fall on its knees and repent and turn back to God. If that happens praise God. However, those who know the Lord can still make a huge impact on millions of lives who without Jesus will spend eternity in hell. We have great hurdles to overcome, great obstacles to clear, but with God's strength we can overcome those hurdles and obstacles and be victorious in bringing in that last great harvest of souls before our Lord returns.
The contrast between the Shirley Temple movies of a generation gone by and the graphic mutilation and death movies of today demonstrate how far we have fallen as a people. But it is still about each individual soul, and knowing how many souls will be lost forever should be all the motivation the child of God needs to give all they have to reach as many as they can with the Truth of God's Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ. The time is short, Jesus is coming, and the lost masses are out there waiting for someone to reach them. It is time to get serious and busy about bringing these lost souls the hope they yearn for and helping them find the peace, joy, and everlasting life that only comes from knowing Jesus!