Cinema has come a long way since the first clips of motion picture came to light in 1878. As the decades rolled on, film and music producers have created rivers of movies and albums for the masses. Today, watching movies is still a favorite pastime for millions of people. But as with everything, guidelines and standards allow us to make choices when it comes to what we will watch, read or listen to. Parents look for ratings to ensure that a movie is safe for their children to watch. Restaurants are careful about the choice of music they play for their customers. Seventh-day Adventists also believe in carefully choosing what to watch or listen to.
Is music bad?
God gave us music for the purpose of worship and enjoyment.
King David was a talented musician who used his gifts for the glory of God. In fact, musicians in the Bible set music to psalms and used these during worship. In 1 Samuel, Saul called upon David to play the harp. This was because evil spirits were tormenting Saul. “And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him” (Samuel 16:23).
God created us with the freedom to choose, and this includes music. Music in today’s world serves a variety of purposes. Satan has exerted his evil influence on much of the world’s music. Therefore, we should be discriminating when choosing music. God should be the focus. We can reference Philippians 4:8 for guidance:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
God created man with the ability and freedom to create art. Man has applied his talents to music and movies. Of course, movies and television programs did not exist in Biblical times. One could argue that Satan’s influence in these visual formats is stronger than in music. These formats are rampant with drugs, sexual immorality, and violence. Many Adventists choose to avoid certain movies or television programs for this reason.
Do Adventists watch movies?
In recent years, Seventh-day Adventists have taken an active part in creating movies and television programs.
The feature, Tell the World, depicts the early days of the Adventist church. It shares the hopeful message that Jesus is coming soon. HOPE Channel, Amazing Facts, Voice of Prophecy and the Three Angels Broadcasting Network broadcast quality Christian programming across the world. Cosmic Conflict, produced by Amazing Facts, has helped thousands understand the Great Controversy.
In secular media, Holly wood presented Seventh-day Adventists in a more positive light with Hollywood films such as Hacksaw Ridge. While violent, the film highlights the observance of the Ten Commandments by Seventh-day Adventists in a positive way. The themes of faith and grace are also prevalent. Several American television programs have referenced Seventh-day Adventists, consistently remarking on their strong faith.
God is the Creator of all that is good, pure, and praise-worthy. Our entertainment choices should reflect this. As you develop a relationship with God, He will guide you and show you in these choices.
By: Jennifer Berubee-Burkes