After posting my vacation photos a few hours ago, I had no intention of blogging again for awhile, but I felt prompted to post about this so here goes:
Buying a ticket to see Bruno* is paying to grieve God's heart.
*The link includes a detailed, stomach-churning description of the movie. I glanced through it enough to get an idea of the content. If you're planning on seeing the movie, read through the description to be an informed consumer. You need to know what your money is supporting, and more importantly, the kind of material you are opening yourself up to.
As I type this, I'm sitting a few feet away from an antique wall hanging inherited from my Grandma that says, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God." The full verse in Ephesians 4:30 reads like this in the Amplified, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin)."
In one sense, it's incredible to me that we finite human beings have the ability to grieve God's heart. In another, it's so clear: God gave His Son to secure not only eternal life but our ability to live a holy life, walking in victory over sin and the ways of the flesh. When He sees His children--those who claim to have accepted the work His Son did on the cross--opening their hearts to the wickedness and depravity of the world rather than seeking to "be holy as He is holy," it grieves Him. I can imagine Him saying with a crest-fallen look, "Is this, this what I sent my Son for?" as Christian after Christian settles into their theater seats to watch Bruno.
I may get angry comments about how I'm judging, moralizing, etc. and please understand that is not my intention or my heart. I type this with tears in my eyes, knowing that I have friends who will choose (and have chosen) to watch this immorality in action on Saturday night and wake up the next morning to attend church service. The verse that comes to mind for me is James 4:8, "Purify your hearts, ye double minded."
Those that can indulge their senses in the corruption and filthiness of the world and movies like Bruno without remorse one day and yet claim to know God the next, those are the double-minded. It grieves God's heart, and it grieves mine because I know they are either wilfully or ignorantly rejecting God's command for their Christian walk in order to fulfill their own want of temporary amusement. Ultimately, there is no true satisfaction, only sadness and destruction, at the end of this choice. (I've been there. I know. But, praise the Lord, I'm not there anymore!)
Consider the words of Psalm 101:3: "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." And, the oft-quoted Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
Does choosing to "entertain" yourself by attending a movie like Bruno fit the criteria of the above verses? (If you have any doubt, clink the link at the top of the post. Also note that an entire country, Ukraine, just banned the movie, stating it was "immoral.")
I have heard Christians describe this movie as "hilarious." But is something really funny if it's grieving God's heart? That's a serious, serious assertion to make. So serious I doubt any Christian would dare to actually make it in so many words. But individual after individual are choosing to make the statement with their actions when they purchase a ticket to Bruno (and movies like it) and add their implicit approval with laughter. It's a statement I wouldn't care to account for on judgment day.
Please understand, this isn't just a tirade against Bruno. It has much broader ramifications that extend generally to a Christian's entertainment choices and even more generally to the state of a believer's heart and spiritual health. I prayed a few months ago that God would give me a tender heart towards Him. That He would make me sensitive to how things made Him feel--not how they made me feel.
This hit home with my blog. A few months ago, I was writing some things that were "funny" to me, but they were in direct contradiction to Ephesians 5:48, "Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God]."
My coarse talk, the off-color topics, those things "vexed" and "saddened" the Holy Spirit. Yikes. As loyal readers will have noticed, my blog has changed. Is it as "funny"? Nope. Is God happier about that? I think so. I think He was happy, too, when I bulldozed through my movie collection a few weeks ago. All of my favorites--gangster films-- they're gone. My favorite Dave Chapelle stand-up routine? History.
I tell you that not because I want you all to conclude, "Hey, look at how holy she thinks she is!" It's so that you know I'm not just blowing smoke with words here. I'm living what I'm talking. I have an intimate understanding of what pursing God and holiness with all you've got can do to a person's life: It can 180 your direction. I'm living proof.
If you're considering seeing Bruno, you may be tempted to write off everything that I'm saying as moral proseltyzing. Maybe that would make you feel better, but if you claim to have given your heart to Jesus, then you are, as I Corinthians 6:19 says, the "temple of the Holy Ghost." When you pay your $12 for a two hour verbal and visual barage of graphic sexual perversion, obscenities, and a mockery of all that is right, just remember you're not alone.
The Holy Spirit will be walking into that theater with you. And, while you're laughing, He will be grieving.
If even one Christian reading this realizes the tragedy of exposing their heart, mind, and the Spirit that lives within them to moral degradation under the pretense of "entertainment" (not to mention wasting precious time and resources), then the hour of sleep I just lost will be worth it.
Of course, I'll never know who reads this or what they choose to do. But God will. And, in the end, that's all that really matters.