Ask any ol’ regular Joe Schmo Christian whether or not watching porn is a sin, and they’ll definitely say yes. (Unless they have never heard the name Jesus before)
But ask that same Joe Schmo Christian if watching murder is a sin, and you might get a very different answer.
And why would it be?
I just finished watching John Wick, an hour and 31 minute movie about an ex-assassin coming back from retirement to seek vengeance on a dude who stole his car and killed his dog. I originally watched it because I had overheard some Christian friends talk about how they had enjoyed it thoroughly and from the reviews I assumed it was going to be an action film about a guy who kicks butt in the name of some good enterprise. 20 minutes in and I realized that the guy was not fighting evil in the name of anything good, he was out simply for revenge and would kill mercilessly to get what he wanted.
But wait, he’s the good guy.
The bad guys are bad because they’re protecting the guy who killed the “good” guy’s dog and stole his car. Yet John, said good guy, has a body count of at least ten people to the bad guy’s one dog.
Well anyway, so Mr. Wick goes on for the rest of the movie killing, driving cars, killing some more, killing, and then just when you think he killed everyone within a five mile radius, there’s a few more to take care of. And then finally, he finds a new dog and walks off into the sunset, I’m assuming more at peace and happier since taking so many lives.
I confess, I should have stopped watching this movie when I first felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit say “Hey, this is kind of gross and doesn’t represent anything I stand for. Stop watching.”
But I didn’t.
I watched that whole killing machine movie. The whole darn thing.
And I was struck with the heaviness of it. The dirty, icky, filth that it was seeped in.
But not just death, but the worship of it.
Woah Peter, calm down, it was just a fun movie.
Would you say the same thing about a porn film?
So why, I wonder, do we skip past the whole murder is a sin, ya know, killing senselessly, etc etc?
When Jesus talked about sin, he got to the heart of it. Lust equals adultery, hating your brother equals murder. It’s about the heart.
John Wick clearly hated this people. And he killed them. And that’s the entire plot of the movie. Mr. Wick killing.
(Ok, so quick clear-up here. This is the difference between murder and killing. Murder is a sin of the heart, whereas killing is an action. In order to kill you have to kill, but you do not have to kill in order to murder. You simply have to hate. Jesus clearly laid this out for us. So movies that have war in them, or even fight scenes are not necessarily bad. God is a god of war. War can be righteous. God fights many battles against evil. War in itself is not evil, it’s when it is used for senseless violence and out of greed or malice then it is evil. If we were supposed to cover our ears and eyes from all forms of violence we should not live in the world nor should we even read the bible. Violence is not what I’m talking about. It’s the glorification of violence. There are war movies that have war in them, and there are war movies that glorify war. There are super-hero movies that have violence in them and super-hero movies that glorify violence. I’m not going to go through a list of things to look for to be able to tell which is which, use your mind, and the Spirit he gave you to discern. I will say one things though. Vengeance movies, which this one was, are always a glorification of death, because although sometimes fighting and killing are unavoidable, vengeance is always avoidable. Vengeance seeks out death. It pursues someone with the intent to kill. God says vengeance is his. Let’s not take that from him. So yes, I watch plenty of movies that have violence in them. I’m not talking about violence, I’m talking about the glorification of it, or the worship of it by using excessive measures to display it, and blurred lines on who’s good and who’s bad. Those things are usually recipes for such movies.)
Why do we elevate certain sins above others? Why has murder become so acceptable for western Christians to watch and enjoy?
Does God get joy out of people killing each other?
Highly doubt it.
So why should we?
Why is it so easy for everyone to admit that watching Fifty Shades of Grey is bad, but when it comes to a Quentin Tarantino film, meh, you’re probably ok, no big deal.
One glorifies premarital, perverse sex, and the other glorifies senseless, light-hearted destruction of people made in the image of God.
Go ahead, tell me I’m being too serious. If you can watch people being brutally murdered for fun then go ahead; I’ll take my sensitivity over enjoyment of murder any day.
I can’t stand silent about this anymore. It’s weighed on my heart for a while; and yes, I’ve failed in keeping with my convictions many times, but it’s something I need to lean on the Lord for, just like anything else.
God doesn’t take murder lightly. Murder is a destruction of his creation. It is an undoing of God’s workmanship. It’s something no person, especially Christian, should laugh at or enjoy. It’s sick, vile, and twisted.
God is a god of war, not murder.
There is nothing good in murder.
Not even at the box office.
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”