Fine Arts Bible Study 7- When Faith and Art Collide

Should Christians see R rated movies? Throw that question out and you’re likely to get a variety of responses. Actually, that variety of responses is a good thing. It shows Christians are thinking.

There was a time in church history when going to R rated movies was considered sinful. There are, in fact, plenty of senior citizens who can tell you stories about how their families and/or churches restricted them from going to see any movie because it was considered sinful.

Since movie cameras are a modern invention, most Christians over the ages haven’t had to wrestle with that issue at all. However, drama and theater have been just as maligned, sometimes for good reasons, and sometimes for not-so-good reasons.

Is drama bad? Is the theater evil?

The relationship between Christians and the theater began as a difficult one. The Ancient Romans used to torture and sometimes even kill Christians as a spectacle. At first, dramas and mimes were performed that showed Christian holy sacraments indecently, and it turned public opinion against Christians. Later, Christians were actually forced to act in such shows before being publicly castrated or even killed.

Because of this, the theater has been a popular whipping boy for Christians from Christianity’s beginnings. Tertullian (155-220 A.D.), a North African early Christian theologian, denounced the theater because drama told untrue stories. He made converts swear to stop going to the theater as a condition of baptism. Throughout the ages, different Christians and Christian groups have taken up the cause of boycotting the theater. Famously, the Puritans during Shakespeare’s day felt strongly enough against the theater that they tried to have the British government shut it down. In 1642, just twenty six years after Shakespeare died, they managed to shutter the Globe Theater forever, and in 1644, the theater was razed and tenement housing was built on the spot the theater once stood.

It should be no surprise to Hollywood or to Christians that the relationship between Christians and the movies is tenuous, since Christians have always had a difficult relationship with the theater.

However, does all of this mean that Christians should shun the theater and/or movies? That brings us to our Bible study and questions.

Ezekiel 4:1-8
1-3 "Now, son of man, take a brick and place it before you. Draw a picture of the city Jerusalem on it. Then make a model of a military siege against the brick: Build siege walls, construct a ramp, set up army camps, lay in battering rams around it. Then get an iron skillet and place it upright between you and the city—an iron wall. Face the model: The city shall be under siege and you shall be the besieger. This is a sign to the family of Israel.

4-5 "Next lie on your left side and place the sin of the family of Israel on yourself. You will bear their sin for as many days as you lie on your side. The number of days you bear their sin will match the number of years of their sin, namely, 390. For 390 days you will bear the sin of the family of Israel.

6-7 "Then, after you have done this, turn over and lie down on your right side and bear the sin of the family of Judah. Your assignment this time is to lie there for forty days, a day for each year of their sin. Look straight at the siege of Jerusalem. Roll up your sleeve, shake your bare arm, and preach against her.

8 "I will tie you up with ropes, tie you so you can't move or turn over until you have finished the days of the siege.


1. What should be the relationship between Christians and the
theater or Christians and the movies?

2. Historically, many people would be shocked and offended with today’s churches that use drama and skits as part of the sermon. What do you think God thinks of using drama and skits as part of the sermon? Can you find anything in the Bible to back up your claim?

3. Do you feel like the current movie rating system helps you to make wise
decisions about what is o.k. for you as a Christian to watch?

4. In this area, we have Lifehouse theater, which does very good and professional
productions that are wholesome for the whole family. Should Christians support
this theater company and others like it to send a message? If so, what message
are they sending and to whom are they sending it?

To read Fine Arts Bible Study #1 click here.

To read Fine Arts Bible Study #2 click here.

To read Fine Arts Bible Study #3 click here.

To read Fine Arts Bible Study #4 click here.

To read Fine Arts Bible Study #5, click here .

To read Fine Arts Bible Study 6, click here

No comments: