Movie viewing - What Christian resources are available to help me choose good movies?

Most parents do care what their children are viewing on television and in the movies, but don't know where to turn for answers to their questions about the programming. Have you found yourself wondering if a certain movie release or TV sitcom is acceptable for your child? Does it promote the kinds of morals you want them to learn? Also remember that every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood "That's what I want."

Help is closer than you may think. Various publications and on-line websites can help you be informed on these issues.

One such organization is the Dove Foundation. President Dick Rolfe describes their mission:

The Dove Foundation tries to help those who are concerned. The Dove Foundation is a non-profit organization that identifies movies that are safe for family viewing… The Dove Seal is a symbol for families to be able to identify those movies that are safe for viewing - they'll find it on a video or they may find it on the marquee of their local theater.

…the Dove Foundation fills two primary gaps. The first one is that we take all of those films that have no rating and we put a simple rating and that is either it passes or it fails. We have done the same thing with the MPA rating system.

Another resource is the subscription-based Movie Guide published by the Christian Film and TV Commission, headed by Ted Baehr.

Movie Guide is there to help parents know what's good and what's not before their kids go to the movies. It also helps kids develop discernment… What we do is look at all the different aspects: the language, the overt actions, the violence, the sex, the philosophy, and the worldview. We try to help people understand how this piece of media entertainment differs from their perspective as Christians. And surprisingly enough, there are a lot of them that cohere with our Christian worldview - and that's the good news. It helps you choose the good as well as reject the bad.

Christian Spotlight on the Movies

Various on-line resources are also available. The most popular Christian resource is Christian Answers’ "Christian Spotlight on the Movies" (a ministry of Christian Answers). Spotlight provides "candid, concise reviews of today's movies and videos from a Christian perspective." It also includes recommendations for great family viewing and allows the user to get the information they want without long, boring, pompous commentaries. Along with providing a “Christian rating” and a “movie-making quality” rating, Spotlight also allows viewers to add their own opinions about the latest productions - allowing you to read the opinions of other Christians around the world.

Content adapted from Whatever Happened to America?

Article Version: January 30, 2020

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