The other day, I was questioned on why I felt the freedom to see a particular movie. As part of the premise of the questioning, the person mentioned a saying that is common among the people that attend her church; “Would you watch this if Jesus was sitting next to you?”
First of all, the goal of the question is to motivate by guilt manipulation. If you are in a church where people talk like this, roll your eyes, grab your keys and go home; never go (or look) back. Only two people live in this church setting, the manipulators and the victims. I know for a fact that God has NOT called you to this church.
Secondly, Jesus sees everything you do, everything you see, every thought you think and He sees the same for the rest of this fallen creation. Even more to the point … He has become that sin so that the Father could pour His wrath upon this Only-begotten Son. Jesus isn’t a puritan, He was the toilet brush for our sin, and is now the God who reigns over all creation.
Thirdly, the movie I was going to watch had an “R” rating, but I am a big-boy, in my forties, and I don’t need mommy to tell me good and bad. The movie is about a battle over good and evil where good wins. This is called justice, and all Christians should be reminded of the final end for evil in watching it.
Fourthly, God doesn’t exactly hate violence. Marshmallow bunny rabbits weren’t poured out on the enemies of Israel. Nerf balls weren’t lobbed at the broken body of Jesus. And in the end, God’s ultimate Justice on Satan and his minions will include a war like no other, and we will witness it (read Revelation).
I understand that watching empty violence is objectionable. I don’t watch it, but neither do I go to Will Farrell movies. To imagine that our God is some prudish mid-western grandma is to castrate God.
And by the way, God doesn’t do guilt. Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.