I am actually sorting mails from my mail boxes of letters of long ago when I stumbled upon this letter of my Manong that was sent to me Tue, 4 Jan 2005 08:27:49 -0800 (PST). It was all about watching movies.... I told him that I love watching movies and indeed have a plenty of collection of those at home... He was indeed so surprised... told him that I studied Film Appreciation way back in college and through that subject I learned a great deal to appreciate and looked movies in the different perspective... Much better top say in the worlds view of movies as a form of art.... then on the following morning I received this mail from him...
Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Rom 1:32)
A shocking thing is happening in American religion. Many religious people who claim to love God also approve of or tolerate things that God hates. The Bible says, "Hate that which is evil; cling to that which is good" (Rom 12:9) and "Let those who love the LORD hate evil" (Ps 97:10), but many people who claim to follow the Bible do not hate evil. Rather, even though they themselves may not commit evil deeds, they tolerate evil and those who practice it.
As Romans 1:32 says, there are two things you can do to anger God--commit sin or tolerate and approve of sin.
Do you tolerate evil? Something is tolerable if it can be endured or "received without disgust, resentment, or opposition" (Webster's Dictionary). Do you ever see wickedness without a feeling of disgust and opposition rising up in your heart? Do you tolerate wickedness? Do you find it easy to put up with wickedness? Or do you abhor wickedness? Does wickedness arouse in you an intense hatred and disgust, making you sick when you observe it? I would challenge you to examine yourself honestly before God.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books (Rev 20:12).
There will come a day when we all will be judged according to what we have done. For sake of illustration, picture someone in a courtroom being charged with tolerating evil.
Prosecutor: You stand accused of tolerating what is evil.
Defendant: These charges are completely false. I love the Lord and hate what is evil. I am a Christian.
Prosecutor: Do you find evil entertaining?
Defendant: Absolutely not!
Prosecutor: I have evidence that leads me to believe otherwise: Do you ever laugh at wickedness?
Defendant: Uh...well...um...I guess I have found a few dirty jokes to be funny...
Prosecutor: What about on television or in movies? There are numerous comedies and sit-coms that exalt foolishness, making fun of and insulting others.
Defendant: Well, yes, I have laughed at many such things, but...
Prosecutor: The Bible says, that among God's people there should never be "obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving...Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Eph 5:4, 17).
Defendant: I guess I haven't taken such verses seriously.
Prosecutor: You also stand accused of tolerating filthy language.
Defendant: Wait a minute! I don't curse or swear.
Prosecutor: True, but you regularly watch movies that contain profanity and most movies even take the Lord's name in vain.
Defendant: But actually, I notice these things and I wish that movies didn't contain bad language.
Prosecutor: While you watch the movies, the vulgar language does not create in you enough disgust to leave the movie theater or turn off your TV. If every "Christian" who says he hates filthy language would boycott the movies perhaps Hollywood would change. Instead, people compromise their standards to watch what they call a "good" movie, but what God calls a "ruined" movie.
Prosecutor: Now, let us talk about violence. Do you tolerate and approve of violence?
Defendant: Now this time I can say with confidence that I hate violence. There is so much violent crime in the world and it makes me sick even to think about it!
Prosecutor: Again, the evidence points to the conclusion that you tolerate violence and even that you are entertained by violence. Do you watch violence in movies?
Defendant: Yes, but certainly that is not wrong.
Prosecutor: God told Noah that he would destroy the world because of violence (Gen. 6:11-13). "The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates" (Psalm 11:5). You should be deeply distressed and saddened by the violent acts that you see portrayed on the movie screen. But God, who knows your heart, knows that the violence in movies has not served to give you a righteous hatred for evil; instead it has caused you to be desensitized toward it.
Defendant: I guess I have never considered any of these things. Everyone else is watching these same television programs and movies.
Prosecutor: We are told to be innocent concerning evil (Rom. 16:19). Should you, a professing Christian, indulge in the same entertainment as the people around you who don't even claim to know God? Indeed, as Jesus warned, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matt 7:13-14).
Defendant: OK...But I am a Christian! I believe in Jesus so none of these things matter!
Prosecutor: Would you be embarrassed to have Jesus sitting with you while you watch your movies? Can you honestly say that you react the same way he would to the movies?
Defendant: I see your point. I would be embarrassed to have Jesus watching movies with me.
Prosecutor: Be warned, there are many who "claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good" (Titus 1:16). Again, Jesus warned you about this: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matt 7:21).
Does the defendant in this dialogue at all resemble you? Do you tolerate and even approve of the things God hates? Are you able to receive the entertainment that is full of foolishness, course joking, filthy language, and violence without disgust, opposition or resentment? If so, you tolerate evil. This is no small matter! I urge you to take these things seriously. For there will come a day when the books are open and your deeds will be laid out plainly before the Judge. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Heb 4:13).
You have the opportunity now to renounce all wickedness and ask God to create in you a clean heart through the blood of Christ. You have the opportunity to ask God to fill you with the same hatred that he has toward wickedness. I plead with you to seize this opportunity.
I never thought of those things that I have before would be just like this one. The scenario is so clear and indeed I am guilty about it. It's so hard to give up my liking of watching the latest film in town or what is currently hitting the air. I prayed hard and let God's hand worked out on it until then one morning when I woke up my liking for the movies died down... I praise God because I know it is Him who worked out on this... Amen...