Big Questions

Navigating the entertainment world as Christians

Posted August 23, 2023

by Shelby LaPorte

Photo by Mollie Sivaram for Unsplash

Navigating the Entertainment World as Christians

The entertainment world is a broad and integral part of society that consists of things such as music, television shows and movies that can provide people with both enjoyment and education. In this broad world, Christians may often wonder what aspects of entertainment they can take part in.

Koinesúnē’s mission is to celebrate the authentic pursuit of discipleship, to bring more people to God and allow human spirits to grow in the service of God. How does this mission impact the entertainment Christians can conscientiously consume?

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What Does the Bible Say About Entertainment?

There are numerous faith-based films and television shows the Christian community can enjoy. For example, “The Chosen” is a seven season show that gives viewers a look into the life of Jesus from the perspective of those who knew him. The show has received 500 million views around the world since its release in 2017.

“The Passion of the Christ” is a popular Christian film released in 2004. Since then, it has grossed nearly $612 million worldwide. There is even a second film in the works that is expected to be released in 2024

While both “The Chosen” and “The Passion of the Christ” are highly recommended watches, are Christians expected to only watch faith-based productions such as these?

Though the Bible does not specifically talk about entertainment like movies or television shows, there are several verses that can help us better understand what God expects us to watch.

Jesus cares deeply about His people and about what they do in their lives — our actions reflect who we are. He cares about what we watch, so it is important to put consideration into what we consume. Luke 11:34 reminds us that what we see with our eyes will either fill us with light or with darkness.

The Bible does contain some insight into how Christians should approach entertainment. Psalm 84:10 provides a reminder that a relationship with God should come before anything else and should be the main source of joy and fulfillment.

This call to have God at the forefront of our life does not mean we cannot pursue entertainment. In fact, Proverbs 17:22 and Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 urge Christians to seek wholesome entertainment, according to BibleMesh.

Continuing to honor God is the right way to indulge in entertainment. Movies and shows should not become a way to escape reality and should not reflect sinful desires, according to BibleMesh. Entertainment should not come before God and the joy that can be found in him nor should it come before the needs of others.

There are several other verses throughout the Bible that instruct us to avoid indecent exposure, Psalm 110 and Colossians 2:8. Another of these verses, Psalm 11:4-7, reminds us it is against God’s will to love violence. When movies contain violence, it is important to be aware of how we perceive it — we are not meant to love violence.

Along the same lines, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 tells us to hold on to what is good and not what is evil. Bringing this mindset to what entertainment Christians consume can help ensure that we are keeping God at the center of what we watch.

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The Law of Love

The “Law of Love,” which consists of loving God and our neighbor, provides an insightful look into how Christians should approach entertainment, wrote Daniel Blackaby in an article for The Collision. Blackaby suggests when we stop to think about what we should watch or what we should read, we should ask ourselves what the most loving choice is.

No matter what the genre of the movie or the topic, if we can not apply the Law of Love it may not be the best choice. It is important to think about whether or not the source of entertainment can assist us in loving our neighbors and God.

Certain things in movies can begin to transfer into real life, according to Brilliantio. What people watch can often begin to influence their beliefs, opinions or actions, according to Paul Jenkins for Brilliantio. This tendency, whether conscious or subconscious, can perhaps be avoided if we apply the Law of Love to every kind of entertainment we consume.

Individual discernment plays an important role in the effect movies have on people. A movie may not inherently be “good” or “bad” but the way it’s perceived by each individual can influence the impact it has on them. Context is a major factor as well. R-rated movies may not be appropriate for children, however for some adults, they can be a good source of entertainment or education.

Think Christian provides a similar approach to The Collision, encouraging Christians to think about the things we watch in terms of love. The article also instructs us to recognize that certain entertainment can represent the bad of this world because it is modeled after this world.

Non-Christian movies or television shows are not devoid of redemptive story arcs or characters. Think Christian points out that many characters can be seen growing and changing as the storyline continues.

Entertainment can be a meaningful outlet for Christians so long as they reflect on the way it impacts their relationship with God and with others. There are several websites that can provide Christians with information about what a movie contains so that we can make an informed decision before watching a movie or television show, such as Plugged In and Common Senses Media. When choosing things to watch, Christians should practice mindfulness and discernment.