The Choice for R-Rated Movies

When I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, I heard about that the Star Wars Episode II was going to be showing on the local IMAX. I was very excited because I was (and still am) a HUGE Star Wars fan. Our church planned to go see the movie as a group. I was very new to the church and only knew a couple of members, so this outing was a chance for me to meet the other members of the church.

When I arrived in the church parking lot (where we chose to meet beforehand), I learned that we would not be going to see the movie. The reason? One of the members had sworn off all movies with a greater rating than G.

I was slightly perturbed, not really fully understanding the logic behind such a decision. During a Bible study this weekend, I finally somewhat understood the reasoning behind such a choice when it comes to Christian decisions.

Romans 14:5 – Be Convinced In Your Own Mind

There are many things that are left out of Biblical scripture simply because they weren’t around at the time the Bible was written. Movies were one of those things that had yet to be invented. However, what is the basis for someone to say that they won’t watch certain movies? One of the Biblical reasons is that of Romans 14:5.

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.

If you are convinced in your own mind that it is bad to see a movie greater than G, then so be it. However, I would warn against trying to impose what is “convinced in your own mind” on others.

Romans 12:2 – Do Not Conform to the World

As Christians, we must do our best to not conform to the world. Some will use Romans 12:2 as justification for not seeing movies rated PG or higher.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

What’s ironic and somewhat hypocritical of using this scripture to justify not going to PG rated movies is that the MPAA is a secular organization. One is not conforming to the world by not watching a movie based on the ratings given by a worldly organization called the MPAA?

Choose for Yourself

I personally choose to go the Romans 12:2 approach. What scripture doesn’t point out explicitly, I convince myself of what I think is right or what I think is wrong. If I decide that going to R-rated movies is wrong, then so be it. But who am I to judge those that go to R-rated movies?

I still go to R-rated movies. I still listen to secular music. But I have decided what I am willing to tolerate in R-rated movies and my music.


If I could go back in time to that church parking lot, I would have honored the man’s decision to not watch the Star Wars movie instead of being aggravated for what I thought was a stupid choice. Any thoughts?

2 thoughts on “The Choice for R-Rated Movies”

  1. It must have been quite frustrating to go along to a arrangement made by church members and find that the whole thing had been called off because of one person who thought it wasn't right.

    2 Corinthians 1:24 comes to mind, "Not that we are masters over your faith." I'm all for making our own decisions based on what our conscience will or won't allow, but this is one's own decision, and it's questionable whether it should be imposed on others – fairly risky I would think, as it can lead to frustration.

  2. Rory,

    Yeah. It was frustrating, not only because I didn't get to see Star Wars on the IMAX, but because I also had the beg the girl at the IMAX box office for a refund because it was "against my religion."

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