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Everybody But Me

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: This question came in through our Q&A system, but the person asking gave an incorrect email address, therefore the answer never got to her. :-( We think this is a situation a lot of Christian teens probably find themselves in too, so we're sharing September's reply with you here. —Cat

p.s. Let this be a reminder to always double-check your email address when you're asking a question! We can't answer you if we can't email you back!


Question

ALL of my friends are going to the movies Divergent and Catching Fire. Except for me. My mom won't let me go because she thinks it's too violent, etc. and since we're Christians. I don't want to watch it either if it's not something God would want me to watch. But I've heard from Christians who went and said it was great and fine to watch. My mom is considering it, but if God doesn't want me to watch it, I won't. I don't know what the answer is. HELP ME.

Answer

Sounds like you're getting some conflicting information, which is always a bit frustrating. First off, if your Mom has told you you're not allowed to go see these movies, you're doing the right thing by obeying her regardless of if you agree with her decision or not. Ephesians 6:1 says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."

What is "too violent" in a movie will be different from person to person. Of course, the Bible does not directly address if we should or should not watch specific movies, but the Bible does give us guidelines about what we should and should not expose ourselves to.

"All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify." —1 Corinthians 10:23

When watching a movie, different people bring and take different opinions. For some people, they don't like The Hunger Games because they believe it glorifies violence and watching it is similar to the Romans watching the gladiatorial games. Because of this, they're convicted against watching this movie. If they watched it anyways, for them, it would be a sin (James 4:17). We are always supposed to listen to our conscience (1 Thessalonians 5:19), and if we're not sure whether or not something is okay for us, it's better to avoid it than risk "grieving the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 4:30).

However, for other people they might instead take away the themes of self-sacrifice, courage, and unconditional love from The Hunger Games, which would be fulfilling the command in Philippians 4:8 to think about "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is commendable...anything worthy of praise."

Keep in mind that neither of these views automatically prove how "good" of a Christian someone is or isn't. Each person will be different, and as you're growing in your own convictions and how God wants you to approach things in the world, your views will change too.

God has placed your mother in your life to help and guide you. :-) Maybe she thinks you're not quite ready for these films yet. If, further down the road, she changes her mind, it's okay. Maybe even further down the road, you'll come to the same belief as your mother—that these movies are too violent and not good for you personally. This is all part of growing up, which, while confusing, is also a super awesome experience as you learn what God wants you to be like. :-)

—September

By: September

September is an aspiring novelist, book hoarder collector and movie watcher. She has an incredibly tolerant cat named Scout, an assortment of plants that seek global domination, and a distinct lack of awareness for where she is at any given moment.

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