The other day one of my congregation came round to chat and while we were talking he noticed that I had a copy of Sin City on DVD. He was surprised that I owned it and said that he didn't think 'an evangelist' would own a film like this. This got me thinking and subsequently Sam put me in the direction of his response to whether we should spend time in Sin City. Here are my musings...
I believe with all that I am that if Jesus were here now He would be on the streets with the drug dealers and the prostitutes, talking to them and transforming them. Because Jesus would be there I am called to be there. I am called as a follower of Christ to spend time in Sin City. I am not called to be out of the world, I am called to be in it and to be salt and light. Yet equally I am called to be holy. While I believe I am called to be in 'Sin City', is it right that I spend time watching films that may in some way reflect society yet ultimately are not society. Should I fill my mind with films like this?
I don't know but I do know need to know what this Sin City society is like if I am going to preach the good news to that society. It saves me from bouncing around in a church bubble.
What intrigues me was that this guest of mine was somewhat 'disappointed' that the evangelist owns Sin City, yet did not seem bothered by the various 'teen rom coms' that my wife enjoys. For me, while Sin City may paint a violent a brutal society on screen, it does so with a grasp on reality. For there are places in the world I am sure are worse than Sin City. What these 'rom coms' do is paint an unrealistic picture of life and presents a way of life that builds hopes and dreams in peoples lives that will never become a reality. There is no redemption at the end of these films, there is only the lust for sex, fame and unrealistic relationships. Those who watch these films can be sucked in to thinking that this how people really should be and a result could be brokenness, failure and a greed for something more, always something more. I believe Sin City presents sacrifice and selflessness. Rom coms present take, take, take!
Should I spend time in the world of the 'rom com'? Never! For here I become self-obsessed and blind to my weaknesses and failings, believing I should always be getting something.
I am called to think about pure, holy and honourable things. I am called to be holy as God is holy. I pray for the mind of Christ. Therefore should I avoid certain films while still walking the real streets of 'Sin City'? Should I spend time in Sin City? I don't know but I cannot throw a stone for my sin is no worse than the sin on the streets of Sin City.
Search my heart O God and find any offensive way within me.
Lead me into the way everlasting.