This made me stop and rethink: what is wrong with a Christian going to the Cinema or the Theatre?
At our ministers' week of prayer in January past one of the men when preaching lamented that in days past when someone came to know Christ as Saviour there was never an issue about whether it was right or wrong to go to places like the cinema. Converts knew a Christian should not be found in such places.
One of the questions that Free Presbyterian ministers are asked at their ordination or installation to affirm is:
Will you publicly denounce the great public vices of drinking, dancing, gambling and the pleasure crazes of this present evil world and by example live righteously, soberly and godly before all men?
Attending the cinema falls into the category of the 'pleasure crazes of this present evil world'. Yet sadly today more and more professing Christians see nothing wrong with going to the cinema.
Here is an outline of what is wrong with a Christian attending the Cinema or the Theatre.
Is it right for a Christian to seek entertainment? Is it right to seek entertainment in what is a pleasure craze of the world?
Surely it is not. The Christian finds all their joys in Christ and in Christ alone. The Saviour is not to satisfy only part of the deepest longings of the human soul and not others. Christ is all that a Believer wants or needs. As Charles Wesley said in his hymn: Jesus, Lover of my soul:
More than all in Thee I find
That is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that a Christian would want to be among this type of company.
The Christian is to be separate from the world. We may be in the world but we are not of the world as to its spirit. What does it say about a Christian who feels at home among the unconverted as they go about seeking their pleasures?
The Word of God instructs us what we are to set before us:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things, Phil 4:8.
It also warns about the harm that is done when setting sin before our eyes:
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners, 1 Corinthians 15:33.
The Psalmist made a covenant with his eyes to set no wicked thing before them:
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes…, Ps 101:3.
May the professing Church return to the old paths, wherein is the good way. Let our prayer be that of Jeremiah: renew our days as of old.