This is a controversial one. I know it will evoke many responses; written and unwritten, spoken and unspoken. I am treading on where angels dare not bother. We can talk about it all day long. Am I here to tell you what to watch? Nope. I am saying that when you are in LOVE; everything ceases to be about you. You care for the other party involved. Let’s move ahead.
Of recent, I hear folks that I have great respect for talk about what they watch, and I felt it was not in sync with their faith. I will tell you my reasons. I watch TV for two reasons — learning and entertainment. For learning, the Discovery Channel and National Geographic stuff come in handy. I also like BBC Knowledge for programmes like Undercover Boss, Secret Millionaire and Dragons Den.
I definitely love sports, and so I watch football, tennis and basketball on the Sports Channel. For football, I can hardly sit for 90 minutes to watch except for an FC Barcelona game. I do follow the results later in the day and highlights. For movies, I get to watch by recommendation.
Some friends know what I like, especially biopics and real-life stories and they recommend. Men of Honour and Cinderella Man are movies I can watch repeatedly. I am a romantic at heart. Romantic comedies lighten my day. That means nothing has toppled Notting Hill as my all-time favourite (the attachments below can bring the movie alive). Me Before You has also crept up the list. I like it for different reasons — quirkiness of one character. It reminds me of me. I do like it also for the simple reason/lesson that your life has implications on those who love you.
That was because of this …
I also google out stuff for myself. In this season of my life, I am watching movies with a financial undertone. I don’t want to bump into a movie and wonder what is going to happen … Time is too precious. A bad movie is a waste of two hours. Experience has taught me that.
Why all these for knowledge?
Well, when I hear my sister in the faith tell me that her favourite programme is Girls of the Playboy Mansion (summary of the reality television series — girls in a big mansion walking about naked to impress one old man). I shudder. Some brothers tell me, “I like Keeping Up with The Kardashians.” (This is the kind of television series that the Bible would describe as vanity. I think Keeping Up with The Kardashians should be tagged, “Come Watch Me Being Vain”).
Someone once missed a Christian programme, and I asked the person why and the person replied that an episode of Big Brother was airing. Since this person was close enough for conversation, I then asked, “what do you gain from watching it?” The person told me “it is a nice programme.” I asked why Big Brother was a nice programme. The person did not provide any answer.
I asked: “Don’t you think that they (Big Brother) promote cheating, lying, nudity, licentiousness and many other things you would not want your children to learn?”
There was quietness, and then I was told, “Bro. Gabriel, you will not understand.”
[I have learnt from experience that when an adult tells you that you will not understand, really you will not because what they are doing is not in sync with what you know them for. Also, they are not willing to leave that stuff. As such, you will not understand].
The same underlying philosophy is the reason I quit watching Suits and Scandal/ Fixer. They are great dramas but the lack the substance that will impress God.
I started out by telling you; it is not about what to watch and what not to watch. It is about the spirit of “why.” Is God pleased with what I am doing? Am I pleasing to God? Is it in consonant with our values as Christians? Can it be recommended? Can I learn anything of value from it?
As Paul said in Philippians 4:8–9
8 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.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV)
This is another translation….
8 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
9 Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realised. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (The Message Bible).
When we say we love God, then we must start loving what He loves. We must hate what He hates. We must be in sync. Same for any love relationship.
When we say we love God, then some things just don’t fit.
No be me holy pass, but bad thing is bad.
Our choice of entertainment should be DELIBERATE; done consciously and intentionally. We must take the time to choose because the mind feeds on the information before it.
There are things that you watch, jokes that you listen to and laugh at that will make the Holy Spirit take a leave of absence, albeit for a while.
I’ll end with some Rev. Kola Ewuosho said during WAFBEC, “whatsoever entertains you, enters you.” QED.