Entertainment! The vast and lucrative movie industry thrives on the almost-insatiable appetite of billions of people for entertainment, filling their eyes and ears with images and sounds designed to thrill them, excite them, make them laugh, make them cry, and make them lust.
Mankind’s appetite for entertainment is nothing new. In earlier ages the arena and the stage catered to this appetite. In the ancient arenas men fought with beasts, and men fought with men, in bloody clashes which only ended with the death of one of the contestants; and the crowds bayed for more and more blood. And on the stage there were plays which entertained people with violence, fornication, adultery, idolatry, heathen mythology, etc. The invention of the motion picture was the next step; and today an endless variety of movies is available in one’s own house, at any time one desires.
This article is entitled Hollywood and the Christian, because the name “Hollywood” has become synonymous with the movie industry, the largest source of movies in the world; but of course many other parts of the world have their own movie industries as well.
Those who profess to be followers of Christ, children of the living God, must evaluate the “entertainment industry” in the light of Holy Scripture. Large numbers of those who profess to be “Christians,” who are able to wax eloquent about the precious doctrines of the faith, who speak piously and appear so godly, are slaves to their TVs, computers and phones, bowing down before what they have turned into their household gods, prostrating themselves before this idol of entertainment. Should they be deprived of them for any reason, they behave with all the anxiety displayed by Laban when his daughter stole his household images (Gen.31:19-35). One hears professing “Christians” speaking enthusiastically about the latest movie, the latest “soap” saga, etc. In one breath they speak of attending the services of their church, and then of the movies they have been watching.
How many parents – claiming to be Christians – rightly condemn the music young people listen to, and even rightly forbid it in their homes, yet are glued to their screens, soaking up the vile filth that spues into their homes and their lives from these toys? Hypocrites! Condemning what suits them, but not what doesn’t! Where are the ministers who speak out against the sinful entertainment of movies? One of the main reasons for their silence is that the men claiming to be shepherds are slaves to these things as much as their flocks are. Where is the separation from the world that the Bible commands?