4. Can I draw spiritual parallels or draw anything from them?
I often hear believers say, “I won’t watch an R-rated movie.” I used to say that too, until my brother wisely advised me not to let the Motion Picture Association determine my viewing standards. After all, The mission was rated R, as was Schindler’s list and The passion of Christ. All of these films moved me immensely and led me to have a deeper understanding of God, his compassion and his sacrificial love for me.
God can speak to us through any art form or medium. And we can draw spiritual parallels through much of what the secular world offers. I learned as a child, after watching Star Wars: A New Hope (which many Christians objected to in 1977 because of its “new age representation of force”), that the Holy Spirit who dwelt within me was far more powerful than Satan and his attempts to crush my soul. My parents explained to me that surrendering to the “dark side” meant living according to my carnal nature rather than surrendering to the Holy Spirit of Christ. I am grateful that my parents allowed me to be exposed to secular art and entertainment that impacted my generation and generations to come, while showing me God in him, above and in comparison with him. My faith was not damaged by seeing these films. On the contrary, my understanding and interest in the power of the Holy Spirit took root. (Admittedly, I have since learned the differences between strength in star wars and the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. But it was a memorable teaching moment for me, as a middle school kid, because my parents used it as a conversation starter about the Holy Spirit and our surrender to the Spirit in order to live a life. armed by Christ.)
I believe we can see God’s handiwork and hear His voice anywhere because He is ultimately the Creator of art, medicine, science, history, knowledge, wisdom, philosophy and everything else. When we look at something through the lens of a biblical worldview—so that we can distinguish between what is His and what is a distortion of His ultimate purpose and plan—we can become more wise through it.
Each of us is uniquely designed. Images, words and music trigger our emotions and win over our hearts differently, and can make us feel scared, entertained, convinced, inspired or enlightened. Each of us will be responsible to God for what we have done or have not done, according to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and whether we have heeded it or not. My prayer for you is that every decision about what you let in or lock out will be made after prayer and surrender to the One who knows your heart better than anyone. And let your decision be one you can trust, no matter what it looks like to others.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/People Images