Faithful Entertainment Options in an Age of Moral Equivalence

Hey, so what are you watching these days?

Most everyone I know has a favorite show, or two, or three! they watch on their own, with their husband or as a family.

And while I love a good show as much as the next person (you can find a few of my movie reviews here), finding one that doesn’t offend my Christian sensibilities is. not. easy.

I’m happy to say that I’m not ashamed to make that confession, nor does it make me feel holier than anyone else. It makes me feel like a true-blue, red-blooded, genuine disciple of Jesus Christ! And that’s because the Bible tells us that as Christians, though we are in this world we don’t belong to this world.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. – Jesus, John 17:16

Because I belong to Christ, I don’t expect to have the same viewing appetite as someone who hasn’t had a personal encounter with God.

When I received Jesus Christ as my personal savior, I repented of my sin. So I’m not about to watch a show that is filled with a-bunch-of the sin Jesus Christ died to deliver me from.

Oh my goodness! Am I preaching at you? That is not my intention at all.

The last time I did that – the last time I dipped my toe into the “Christians don’t watch this or that” water on this blog, and I took a personal stand against a popular TV show – I ended up retracting my statement in this “spineless” post a mere month later.

Oh, yes I did!

I may have called the retraction “spineless,” but it really did communicate the sentiment of my heart.

Here’s why: I use this blog as a platform to encourage families with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t want to be in the space of speaking out against TV shows or blogging about other nonessential matters that divide Christians.

Look, I just don’t want to get in-the-weeds about someone else’s personal viewing habits, especially since what is acceptable for me, may not be acceptable for another Believer.

For instance, what my sister in Christ can watch is not necessarily what I can watch because it may offend my conscience. Likewise, what doesn’t offend my conscience may be a stumbling block to another dear sister.

“But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23

So I stay out of the weeds on matters such as these. 

A show of my own…

But I still want a show to watch! A show to call my own. A show to relax and unwind with (which by the way, is a learned behavior) after a long week of homeschooling and cooking and cleaning and carpooling.

One show I’ve watched and enjoyed (my favorite show twice removed) was Downton Abbey (even after I scalped other Christians for watching it).

Downton Abbey is a period film from a bygone era, back when people were less likely to violate societal mores and certain behaviors were publicly frowned upon: characters had character, adultery was shunned, as was premarital sex. This made it easier for me to digest.

I was able to hang out for several seasons until the show took a sympathetic turn toward homosexuality. Oh, well!

Then I had no show to watch.

So I sent out an SOS on Facebook to my sisters in Christ and one dear, godly sister recommended “Call the Midwife.” Another period drama about a group of women who delivered babies in East London.

The lead character was principled. Women were feminine. Adultery was frowned upon, as was fornication. I watched several seasons and enjoyed it immensely. Then, once again, the shows narrative included homosexuality.

This was becoming a pattern. Every show had to make a statement or push an agenda.

No. Show. Again.

To be clear, the sin of homosexuality is no worse than any other. I get the same conviction from watching my current favorite show: This Is Us, the NBC TV series that is sweeping the nation.

This show has a lot going on for it. The depth and complexity of its characters is certainly noteworthy. But when I saw the trailer for its highly anticipated fall 2018 season, I was convicted about it’s content because it previewed a racy scene that was glorifying the sin of fornication.

This is not new for the show, nor is it the central theme. But the truth is that I try to digest what I love about the show, while turning a blind eye to what offends me as a Christian. How long will I persist in my duplicity? I’m not sure. (#toomuchtransparency)

A show for me and my husband…

I’d love for my husband and I to have a show that’s just for the two of us, especially since we both enjoy good TV and movies.

Our evenings in pursuit of a movie we can both watch goes something like this: We grab the cable remote and surf the channel guide for something suitable to watch.

Anything I pick is too romantic for him. Anything he picks is too violent for me. Then we both find something but it’s rated R (usually a no-no for me). Thirty minutes later, we’ve found nothing, and then we’re pretty much done for the evening and default to cable news.

Some couples have recommended that we watch The Office, and while it seems pretty funny and harmless, our go-to “couples show” is the HGTV sensation “Fixer Upper“.

Yes, that’s what’s it’s come down to, folks: HGTV.

It’s not edgy, suspenseful, or filled with drama and complicated plot twists, but it is consistently entertaining.

And while I love me some Chip and Joanna Gaines, Lawd, . . . HELP ME!!

Enter PureFlix.com

Even though Fixer Upper is what I would consider to be a wholesome, family friendly show (Chip is a hoot!), I have seen an episode that normed the sin of cohabitation. But what would you expect from a show that is not made expressly for Christians?

I get it.

So when it comes to choosing what to watch individually or as a family, it can be difficult to know what shows and movies are going to be appropriate.

I want safe, wholesome content for me and my kids that highlights our values. And I think most of my readers want the same thing, too.

This is where PureFlix.com comes in.

I stumbled across PureFlix a few years ago. I’m not even sure how, but I immediately recognized it as a ONE of the solutions to our problem of what’s safe to watch.

Why did I subscribe to PureFlix? 

I wanted a safe, Christian option for all genres of movies and shows. It’s all about its selection of movies, which is free of any non-Christian content.

So, I can be confident, even before watching, that my experience in front of a screen won’t be spoiled by unfaithful episodes. (Which has happened to our family one time too many.)

Stream with PureFlix.com

My family has a Netflix and Hulu account that everyone is allowed to use with supervision. I screen what my girls are allowed to watch, but it gets tiring.

With our PureFlix account, I can be sure they only have access to content that supports my values.

Whether I want a wholesome movie that teaches my kids about God, or an educational series my kids can watch in their downtime, PureFlix offers a variety that is great for my family and keeps my mind at relative ease about entertainment. (Are we ever really at ease as parents? I can be a real nut job sometimes.)

(Click here to preview PureFlix’s Christian movies page.)

In the spirit of keeping it real…

  • My family doesn’t only watch Christian shows or stations, nor am I advocating that other families do. My girls watch Disney Channel shows, among other non Christian programming. They know the shows they can watch and the ones they can’t. The new Disney show with the homosexual character – that, they can not watch. (Yes, Disney went and did that.)
  • PureFlix is not going to solve all of your problems when it comes to entertainment. Do you remember when I said that I recognized it as ONE of the answers on what to watch? Other answers would include prayer, wisdom, and having a discerning spirit as a parent.
  • You may not necessarily agree with the portrayal of all of PureFlix’s Christian content. But as my dear, late Aunt Barbara used to say: “Child, eat the hay and spit out the stubble!” If it’s one thing I’ve learned from the amazing, diverse Christian homeschool group I belong to, it’s that Christians are not a monolithic group: nothing we watch is going to be suitable for all Christian palates.

I had a pastor who used to call the Television, the Hellivision. That cracked me up every time! But there is some truth in it.

The challenge for the 21st century Christian, and beyond, will be learning how to harness the elusive tentacles of technology available to ourselves and our children, and how to use technology for good. PureFlix is a tool that is helping me to meet those challenges. 

If you’d like to give PureFlix a try, right now they are offering a free one month trial to US and Canada residents. Click here to check them out!

Happy Screening!

Tiffiney

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Comments

  1. Wow, I believe you spoke to many of us here, Tiffiney! Rev and I will think we’ve found a show and then there’s a something presented and/or promoted that ends it for us. Thanks for putting this out there and reminding us that there are some great resources. Blessings!

  2. Oh my, Tiffiney! I thought my husband and I were the only ones who did the “look for something to watch for 30+ minutes only to not watch anything because either nothing is appropriate or nothing intersects with both our tastes.” 😀

    I also feel like the only one sometimes who couldn’t stomach a lot of the popular shows. To me, it’s one thing to have a character who does things contrary to what I believe – that’s just real, but it’s entirely another for the show to glamorize that behavior or lifestyle and push an agenda on me. It gets so tiring sometimes, because like you talked about with your shows, I’ll think “finally I found my show!” after watching an entire season only for the writers to surprise me in the next season. Oh, brother. At least I’m not alone in the struggle, eh?

    Great post, Tiffiney. PureFlix is pretty awesome, by the way.

  3. Finding wholesome entertainment certainly has become a major challenge. When our kids were little, we usually resorted to going back to old classics. For budgetary reasons, we’ve never paid for cable, but have tried Netflix on occasion. It hasn’t been a bad thing to be forced to choose our entertainment intentionally rather than scrolling through all the options. Our public library also has a wealth of DVDs we can borrow for a week at a time. This has been helpful because we can choose what we want to watch ahead of time, place a hold on it, then pick it up at our convenience. So we’re not watching things “by default”. Honestly, I think that’s been the #1 factor in helping us choose wisely.

    • Yes, Rebecca, it can be a tough topic. And while I try to write with objectivity and transparency, I’m never 100% satisfied with the outcome.

  4. It is sooo hard to find quality Christian shows that don’t make a person roll their eyes at the terrible acting, or over the top preachiness. I’ve been happy to see some Christian shows are coming out that have some half decent acting, that show (not tell!) the forgiveness of God. When it comes to family tv time, I do what my mom did so well, and ask questions about what we’re watching. Why isn’t that okay? What problems is that sin causing in that persons life etc etc. It can open doors to wonderful conversations.

    • Love you point, Katrina. There is no replacement for open communication and interest in what our kids do and watch. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  5. It’s true- it’s hard to find TV shows that reflect Christian values. I don’t watch much TV anyway but this sounds like a helpful resource.

    • The less TV watch, the better off we’ll probably be. However, PureFlix streaming is a great Christian resource!

  6. There’s so little on TV for kids these days. My daughters seldom have the TV on for their kids … and if they do, they are shows that have been carefully screened.

    I think I’m glad I raised my kids 30+ years ago! The temptations and addictive devices like phones and tablets and games are incredibly alluring … and hard to manage.

    • I agree, Linda. The amount of devices available to kids today is unbelievable… and very hard to manage as a parent. Unless we’re going to stick our heads in the sand, we’re going to have to get Savvy as parents.

  7. Plus, Christians should fight back for the minds of young ones especially, being polluted by this wickedness called entertainment, these days. We could pray for God to raise labourers (writers, filmmakers, etc) that provide wholesome entertainment that actually works. Thanks very much for this post Tiffiney. Blessings to you!

  8. It truly is hard to find a show without some storyline or character dipping into ungodly waters these days, Tiffiney. I’m with you on how important it is to guard our hearts and the hearts of every family member. I think moms and dads stand as the guardians of what our families view, so it sounds as if you are doing a wonderful job there! I’ve heard about pureflix, but haven’t checked it out yet. Thanks for bringing it to our attention and I’ll be pinning this one for sure!

    • Beth, I’m convicted just writing this post. And I love the way your comment pointed out the importance of guarding our heart and the hearts of our kids. I’m with you there. Thanks for stopping by, my friend! I’ve got to visit you soon. Leave on the porch light for me. 🙂

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