the world. I had been brought up in a Christian home and a good Sunday school, but when I reached my teens and started going to the movies regularly I fell in with very worldly companions and started to smoke, to dance, to keep late hours, and so on. My sister had the same experience. She had been genuinely saved and filled with the Spirit, and never had tasted the pleasures of sin until she began going to the movies; but it wasn’t long until she was backslidden and deep in the things of the world—and now she is married to an unbeliever. We read: “All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” When I read that verse after I was saved, I thought at once of the movies. In them are combined all three of these ele ments of that forbidden realm called “the world.” Don’t movies cater to the lust of the flesh—that is, to the desires of our carnal nature? Obviously they do. Do they cater to the lust of the eyes? Yes, they portray before the eye nearly everything an unsaved person desires to see. Do they foster the pride of life (osten tation, vain boasting or glory) ? Surely they do; the gorgeous clothing, the luxurious homes, the deeds of heroism that are shown in the movies create a love of display. Of all things that can be considered worldly, I am convinced that the movies come first. And God says: “Young men, ‘love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.’ ” The third thing I would like to mention about movies is that T h e y B r ing Y ou U nder B ondage I was in bondage to the movies for several years, until I was converted. I was in my teens when they got their grip on me. I worked at a grocery store after school and on Saturdays. This gave me my own spend ing money, and it seemed I could not go to the show often enough. Sometimes I neglected my job in order to go. Often I skipped school. When Mother asked where all my money was going, I lied; then I stole money so that I could go to the show without digging so deeply into my earnings. I hated to lie and steal, but I did it for the sake of the movies. That shows how they fasci nated me! It is easy to slip into a movie, sit down in comfort, and quit thinking. For two hours the movies will do your thinking for you. It is a complete escape from reality. It appeals both to the laziness of the human mind and the unwillingness of human nature to face the grim realities of life here and hereafter. I loved the movies. When I was saved they were the hardest thing I had to give up, but I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that I could not go on living for Christ and at the same time feeding upon the carrion of the movies. So I quit the movies—for the sake of my exam ple, yes, but primarily for my own soul’s sake. As I went on to know the joy, the victory, the thrill of a life surrendered to the Lord, I lost all desire for the movies. The new life crowded out the old. Though the Lord delivered me from the fascination of the movies, the effect left upon my mind and heart
was net undone immediately. For the movies C orrupt t h e M in d an d H eart It is here I make my strongest criticism. The movies did more to corrupt my thinking and provoke tempta tion than any other influence upon my life. I do not believe any teen-age young person can sit through hun dreds of Hollywood’s lust-laden dramas, as I did, and fail to get a perverted outlook along sexual lines. My life was in the formative stage: and by going to the movies I exposed it to the devil, who laid hold upon those natural instincts which God has put in every young person and did his worst to pervert them. It was only through the mercy of God that I was saved before THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME Prov. 18:10; Acts 4:12; Phil. 2:9, 10 O what is Jehovah El Shaddai to Me? My Lord, God, and Saviour, Immanuel, He; My Prophet, Priest, Sacrifice, Altar and Lamb; Judge, Advocate, Surety and Witness, I AM; My Peace and my Life, my Truth and my Way; My Leader, my Teacher, my Hope and my Stay; Redeemer and Ransom, Atonement and Friend; He's Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End. Yes, more is Jehovah El Shaddai beside— Avenger and Shepherd, and Keeper and Guide; My Horn of Salvation, my Captain in war; My Dayspring, my Sun, and my Bright Morning Star; My Wonderful, Counsellor, Wisdom and Light; My Shadow by day and my Beacon by night; Pearl, Ornament, Diadem, Treasure untold; My Strength and my Sun, in Him I behold. All this Jehovah El Shaddai and more— My Bread and my Water, my Dwelling, my Door; My Branch and my Vine, my Lily and Rose; Rock, Hiding Place, Refuge, Shield, Covert, Repose; My sure Resurrection, my Glory above; My King in His beauty, my Bridegroom, my love; My all and in all in Christ Jesus I see, For God hath made Him to be all things to me. Now say to thy soul: "What is He to thee?" — Rev. John H. Sammis I got too deeply in sin or married an unsaved girl. I know the effect the movies had on me. I know how I had to battle against wrong thoughts, because of them. I know how hard it was, after I was saved, to think only on “whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely”—things in which there is “ any virtue,” as the Bible says we must do. I know how worldly wise they made me, how they crowded Christ out, how they brought me under bondage, how they led me to lie, to steal, to harbor wrong thoughts in my heart. But the past cannot be undone. Only the future can be changed, and I hope that by writing these lines I may help spare other teen-agers from having to learn by bitter experience the harmful effects of the movies. First Editor of the King's Business
Reprinted by permission of Herald Press Tracts, Scottsdale, Pennsylvania.
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