9 comments on “Rated R Movies Are Not Off-Limits to Christians

  1. Interesting post. I would agree to a degree. I certainly wouldn’t say as a blanket statement “Rated R movies are off limits”. One reason is because the MPAA isn’t the most reliable. They often give a movie an R rating that could easily be a PG-13.

    But to the spiritual point, I think Christians need to be careful with R movies. I get the examples you present but I would argue that those examples are presented within God’s word and for specific reasons. I would be uncomfortable placing it in the same categories with a ton of what we see in R movies. Take the profanity, comparing those couple of passages with the majority of flippant profanity is many R movies is hard to do. Same way with nudity and graphic violence. I also think you eventually have to deal with passages teaching us to set our eyes on things that our pure and passages dealing with discernment and putting off certain things.

    I say all of that as someone who sees plenty of R movies so (as I mentioned ) I do agree with your greater point. I just think it can be a slippery slope. But as you said, not all movies are appropriate.

  2. I think you know how I feel about anything that smacks of legalism, so of course I agree that a Christian prohibition on all R-rated movies is unreasonable and intolerable. Movies can be learning tools and create a platform for intellectual discussion and exploration, and some of them are rated R. When I was a teenager, my dad and I started watching R-rated war movies–films that depicted stories that took place against the back drop of World Wars I & II, Vietnam, the French Revolution, etc–together and then discuss the historical and political topics that they addressed.

    Discretion is key. Images are powerful and they stick in one’s brain, so I’m fairly careful about what I expose my brain to at the movies. I stay far away from gory horror/slasher movies (never seen Hannibal), and I have a pretty good sense of what sort of films, directors, and producers make movies that I do not need to see.

    All that to say: ditto, Nate.

  3. I went to a Christian school (Indiana Wesleyan) where, as freshman, we had to sign an agreement not to participate in certain activities, one of them being R-rate movies. This, along with the prohibition against dancing, absolutely infuriated me. I hate every kind of legalism. It does NOT align with the gospel. But the whole R-rated movie thing really bugged me on another level.

    As you said, there shouldn’t be a blanket ban on R-rated movies for Christians, but discretion needs to be used. This is what I thought my university should’ve been doing. We should be learning and teaching each other discernment rather than imposing strict rules. Because, as Paul said in Romans 7:7-8, “Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘Do not covet.’ But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart form the law, sin is dead.” Basically, Paul understands how I felt when I never wanted to watch R-rated movies more than when they were banned. And I wasn’t the only one. On the opening night of V for Vendetta, the theater was packed with IWU students.

    So, I whole-heartedly agree with you, Nate. A blanket ban on R-rated movies is not the answer. Instead, we need to use our discretion, and help each other determine what is useful and healthy for us spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.

  4. Pingback: Kingsman: The Gentleman Spy Returns | Let There Be Movies

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