I would say, the concept or medium of film in and of itself is not sinful. It is a powerful medium for comunicating information and when wisely used, for influencing thought and practice. I think content has a lot to do with whether this is a worthwhile pursuit, i.e. going to see a movie. Oftentimes, it seems the content is driven by such themes as would debase the thinking and desensitize to things of spiritual value.
That being said, it is evident that the place is not an issue since as pointed out, E.G. White had no qualms using the building for spiritual dialogue. So then the next criteria to me would be the subject matter of the movie. I think there are at times things of worthwhile consideration, though few and far between. sml.
Mostly I would caution against the subtle, conditioning influence of secular movies. But I do think this medium can be used effectively and is becoming more seriously looked at and utilized within the christian community. In fact, I'd say its about we gave the adversary some competition! lol What we have to offer if tastefully done and culturally relevant will undoubtedly counteract the influence used pertuate destructive norms and destroy lives.
Before Jesus left to head home, (He had some work to do getting the place ready for us sml.) He gave us this commission, " Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen! (Matt 28: 19,20) The commission still stands.
In Jesus' day, as I understand it, Information was disseminated through conversation, itinerant speakers, and writings primarily reserved for the learned. In our day, much has changed! We now have many avenues of communication: internet, film, radio, tv, books, public speaking, phone, etc. When it comes to reaching the world for Christ, we have incredibly effective instruments at our disposal!
I could be wrong here, but I do think that God is willing and able to bless whatever medium used, given genuine intent and effort to rightly represent Him. As was pointed out, to each has been given a talent and to rightly harness the creative prowess of those acquainted and skilled in this arena I believe, can only yield untold blessing. In fact, I see this as a largely untapped media perhaps because we have feared becoming "contaminated" or losing our way (and understandably so) in what has been largely a less than God-focused environment.
But if this were to be pursued by Christian actors and directors, it seems to me, that the audience and influence that could be tapped for Christ is immeasurable. As was earlier stated, this has been one of the choice instruments of the adversary and why so? It has obviously been effectively used by Him to shape culture and thinking, norms, values, lifestyle, beliefs and through all this desensitized a society to violence, encouraged maladaptive human relations of all sorts, by glamorizing and sensationalizing such behaviors. What if we decided to say no to this slop designed to tranquilize our reason, quiet our consciences and weaken our resolve to taking right action?
What if we utilized one of His choicest tools for reshaping our culture and reaching men and women for Christ? Another rendering of the great Commision is found in Mark 16: 15-18. Here protection is promised to all who believe. See all Luke 17: 17-20. It is just my belief that we are not to be conformed to this world but to be transfomed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12 - the whole chapter is excellent!) and isn't it wonderful to be part of the process by which God helps men and women to be transformed..." sml. "Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good."
MsMS, your point is well taken. I do believe that this is true, that Satan has assumed ownership of certain things. Actually he thinks he is the god of this earth. It seems for the longest while, God had shielded and protected His people until the coming of HIs Son. For Satan had through deceit and false witness a.k.a. lies, taken control of earth after his encounter with our first parents in Eden. But then Jesus came and took back all that this rebel being had stolen. What was God's to begin with was redeemed by the Son, whose death though orchestrated by Satan, proved futile to destroying the rightful owner of earth and it's inhabitants. It is an amazing story!
So as to movie theatres, it is true that he has long peddled his wares of mindless drivel to the masses. And it is true too that he had gained control of certain territories as was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. But we needn't be intimidated by him. I am not suggesting that we take lightly his powers of decption, his desire to destroy and think ourselves impervious to his lures. But we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind! (II Tim 1:7).
I am saying that the very medium that he has used to decieve, we can use to enlighten! To me the value of film as with any other medium is determined by the nature of it's use. I would caution both for reasons you have shared(location being taken over by him), as well as viewing content to guide our decisions as to where we go and what we see. But the world in my mind no longer belongs to the adversary but to the Son who purchased our very lives with His own. We don't need to be pushed around by Satan. The commision still stands. God has promised to protect and I have found HIm faithful!
it's not just the movie industry but this earth is Satan's territory so why are we pointing so much that Movies are sooo bad. there are good movies too where we can learn something good and inspiring if you ever happen to watch one.
the point is if we are always restricting SDAs to do this and that, many will surely leave the church as they'll think it's boring and too closed. isn't it the most important to do is to live a life which is pleasing to the Lord? not judging one another but lifting other believers in faith?
watching movies aren't bad at all as long as we watch only good movies. there are even movies of the life of Christ and his examples, joseph, moses, and other man of God. from them we can learn a lot.
Like anything, its what you watch that can determine whether its harmful or safe. Like Ellen White once wrote, “by beholding we become changed”. If we are watching slasher films and find enjoyment in it, we become changed, if we are watching super hero films and we find enjoyment in that, we become changed. But not all movies move us away from God. When I was first turning my life around, there was a man who I worked with that was ready to help me become a Christian. He bought me books to read and answered all my questions to the best of his ability. One day he brought me a rental move called Jesus of Nazareth. I found that movie to be very moving as well as helpful.
We all need to eat and drink but even this can be done to our own destruction. The same goes for movies. We all just need to use some common sense.