I'm ready to boycott modern entertainment

I’ve never been particularly interested in watching sports. It can be enjoyable, but I don’t really follow any teams of any sport closely. I prefer to play. That said, what little interest I have in watching professional and college sports is evaporating quickly as the leagues get more and more politically active.

The NCAA is utterly corrupt, browbeating states into going along with today’s sexual anarchy. And we’ve already seen stuff with the NBA and NFL and race in the past. Now this:

I don’t even know if the law is good. I just know what little interest I had in watching MLB is all gone.

Now let’s talk about movies…

Start with this article subtitled “Modern Action And Superhero Films Fetishize The Body, Even As They Desexualize It.”

(Joseph’s rating: Rated A for content, R for language, and mature themes, L for being Long.)

I sent it to Jake and Nathan and Ben before I had watched The Philadelphia Story, but before I had listened to the Sanity at the Movies episode on it.

And now I’m here to say what they aren’t willing to say. Stop watching new movies. Seriously. Just stop. Nothing would make me happier than if the Sanity at the Movies supporters all stopped watching movies. The resulting lack of support for the podcast wouldn’t trouble me in the slightest. I’d be quite happy, in fact.

It’s not about supporting corrupt Hollywood. It’s not about the money at all. It’s about the poison you keep drinking in and watching as your children drink poison.

You want to know why nobody in the PCA bats an eye at this?

It’s because they’ve become accustomed to sexlessness by their entertainment, and their pastors have never told them to stop watching movies. We shake our heads in sad humor at the old Fundamentalist rule of no going to the theater, never giving a thought to whether they might have been right.

Even non-Christians can see it. The article above laments it and certainly isn’t Christian. And what of Christians? Here’s how Jake and Nathan responded to the article:

Jake: “Chris Hemsworth as Thor is a god among men in every possible way. And Humphrey Bogart is short and ugly and has more sexual verve in his left pinky.”

Because the one place Hemsworth is not a god is that he is safe. And Humphrey Bogart is not safe. He’s a man.

Nathan: "We also talked about the perverse and calculated sexlessness of modern Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars in one of our WandaVision things.

The latest Star Wars trilogy didn’t even have a love story because they would have had to either do a woke gay thing (which doesn’t play well in China), or have Rey choose which man has conquered her heart. Which is anathema. Instead the men are nonaggressive boys and everyone is in one big friend zone. And the movies lose a ton of narrative fun and tension."

Frozen doesn’t have a love story except some asexual friendly dude who’s not the main relationship in the movie. Neither does Raya from what I understand.

Jake: “And because they dissociate what people are fighting for and what actually motivates people to fight they’re just attacking sex and the family. And it’s what makes it all hollow and empty”

Nathan: “Radical ideology is wiping out basic narrative building blocks that used to make these stories fun and interesting and relatable.”

To which I can’t help but ask: “Why in the world do you guys watch this crap? Seriously. How can you stand it?” Their answer was basically “All the Christian college students are watching WandaVision. We need to help them see it for what it is.”

I don’t think so. I think it’s time for pastors to just tell people to stop. The Church used to be authoritative in such a way that it provided a filter for the world and what you consumed. Now we laugh at the idea, and we’ve given over the filtering to Facebook to decide what Christians will see.

Which brings us to social media… the final form of entertainment today. It’s time for Christians to get off Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and all the rest of them, too.

The cost/benefit analysis of modern entertainment is deep in the negative territory. Convince me I’m wrong.

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I continue to go back to my fundamentalist roots time and time again. And then, as I read old dead guys, I realize the fundamentalists were not new to the anti-party.

This came to the forefront for me last week. My wife and I don’t watch much other than a weekly movie with the kids. It’s usually a musical or old Disney or Pixar. We have watched some of the Marvel movies but cared so little for them that we just skipped to the last one to see how the big baddie got beaten. It was not worth the watching.

Back to last week. I’m over at a house meeting and talking to the local Young Life folks about possibly being a Bible study leader with them. Cue the “learn from a movie” cliché.

They put on The Way, Way Back. It, admittedly, has a pretty good plotline about a boy in need of a father-figure. And a father-figure who begins to realize it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be a father.

But…it is set on the beach and in a water park. It is bikinis, drugs, and everything that comes with it the whole movie through. It was awful to watch. I should have stood up and left. I regret not doing so.

We’ve got to be ok saying that godliness is of great gain (when paired with contentment). “Say no to ungodliness and worldly passion as you live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.”

I’m with you, Joseph. Just say no to the movies. And most other nonsense entertainment, too.

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I’ve talked to @jacob.mentzel about this, Joseph, and our response is basically the same.

You make a strong, solid case, and we don’t begrudge anyone who listens to you. Jake’s family has more or less tapped out on Marvel at this point. My daughter is four days old but I doubt I’ll be introducing her to any of this stuff anytime soon.

That being said, on Sanity at the Movies we’re not introducing people to this stuff. We’re helping people process things the world has already introduced them to. Process and deprogram. If they choose to take the off ramp at any time, we’re happy to see them go.

I don’t resent the Josephs of the world calling them to the off ramp. At the same time, I hope that the Josephs of the world don’t resent us educating people in the history and uses and abuses of a medium that

a) is ubiquitous in our culture and not going anywhere,
b) people are woefully uneducated about and susceptible to, and
c) I really love and think is great. Which I do. It’s a great medium. Yes, there is a ton of dreck and filth. To me, the gems that emerge are worth it. Just like Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy are worth the filth and dreck that have universally comprised 70% of all novels ever written (statistic made up but you get what I’m saying).

And if patrons want to help us do that work, I hope you don’t begrudge them. Personally, I hope they continue to do it and continue to grow. I genuinely believe this is one of the most important podcasts we do. If Christians and society as a whole had been better educated about this stuff from the beginning maybe we wouldn’t be at a place where the off ramp looked so attractive.

In short, the Sanity at the Movies crew can be genuinely grateful for you beckoning folks to the off ramp. Conversely, I hope you can be genuinely grateful for us helping people who don’t believe that’s the right choice navigate the twisty road. My goal is to help them gain control of the car, and I’m happy to leave it there. In fact I think for many people that’s where they will leave it and where they should leave it. But if some of them get control of the car and decide to take the first ramp off the highway, more power to them.

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Sidenote: Much congratulations, @nathanalberson. Fatherhood is amazing.

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Sounds like a Sanity at the Movies episode with guest Pastor Joseph Bayly to discuss this very topic would be valuable for all.

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Don’t let them ban you. Ban them first.

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I was struck by J.C. Ryle’s warnings about novels in Holiness. Novels. What would he say about movies? Ryle was not a fundamentalist per se, just a Puritan Anglican bishop. I think it shows that faithful men of the past thought more deeply about our affections.

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This mlb thing is sad. Do they have to ruin everything? I guess the answer is yes.

One of my foundational anthropological principles of that everyone is religious, right down to the bone. And if I think everything should be subject to Christ, it only makes sense that others would want everything subject to Muhammad or the federal government or some vague idea of social justice (which, with some exceptions, does not seem just at all to me).

The same religious people are making the movies too.

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Yes, congrats on baby Theo! She’s lovely.

I think the fundamental problem in this discussion is that we are addicted to entertainment, and that addiction is an extremely powerful force for evil. I really don’t think we take seriously how corrosive it is. We don’t take seriously how corrosive commercials are, let alone the movies and TV shows and music and, yes, books, we consume. As I mentioned recently in another thread, if our thoughts and feelings are dominated by secular entertainment that is evil, then our religion is really just an interesting hobby we keep in the garage and work on on the weekends.

A healthy Christian (mind, heart, and body) needs good food to live, and the sooner Christians take the off-ramp from secular entertainment, the better.

So, then, let me start in my response with some encouragement. I admit up front that, unlike you, I don’t love the medium of TV. If all TV went away I would not shed a single tear. But you and I both, @nathanalberson, do share a love for the written word. And I have appreciated the Bookening. I have read books because of your recommendations and have been helped by your discussions. In fact, Remains of the Day is now one of my favorite novels. As cheesy as it sounds, I think it helped me grow as a person. And I could list other books that I read and was helped by because of you guys.

But I don’t feel the same way about Sanity at the Movies. I’ve mostly ignored the show because I don’t want to watch any of the movies you guys review.

You say in your response,

I wish you had said, “Process, deprogram and show them where to take the first exit.” After all the analysis, the most helpful thing we can say to people about Marvel or Star Wars is, “at the end of the day, just skip it.”

You make a distinction in your response between the medium itself and the garbage content that gets produced. That’s good. You should make me and other legalists like me think about the medium more carefully. I shouldn’t be able to get off so easily.

But then you need to actually help me see that there are movies I can watch with my family that don’t make me gnash my teeth. And I do think that’s your job - you’re the one who knows the medium and loves it.

Recently, you reviewed The Philadelphia Story and My Neighbor Tortoro. Those may be the first movies I’ve seen in your list that I feel I could watch with a clear conscience. I’ll watch The Philadelphia Story sometime with Hannah and check out your review.

Here’s another angle to try to demonstrate where I’m coming from. The Daily Wire has made a name for itself in the conservative world, and Andrew Klavan is a writer who has had a fair bit of success in the secular world producing content. He became a Christian, and now he wants to help Christians to fight back in the culture war with content that is compelling (i.e. not trashy Christian imitations of Hollywood). But this is the first film they chose to distribute: Run Hide Fight. Parents guide to the film here.

When I see that, I just think, I’m done. This is how we are going to win the culture war? Check please. I’ll head back to my fundamentalist camp now.

Love you, brothers.

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Except you won’t head back to your fundamentalist camp. Not really. You’re not going to never watch another YouTube video. Or make no use of social media. Or never use some product or service that has ads play before it. Maybe you will prohibit all modern movies from your home, but eventually one of your kids will see one at a sleepover. Or turn eighteen.

If we define modern entertainment as broadly as we should, including video ads, billboards, pop-ups, Planet Earth videos that get shown at elementary school when teacher wants the afternoon off…

Short of building an Amish community, you aren’t escaping those things. I’m not sure which of the fundamentalist groups of the second half of the 20th century who kinda sorta tried it you would point to as a rousing success? The Bill Gothardites?

Yes, I know that’s a cheap shot. :kissing_smiling_eyes: But in honest, practical fact, I can think of almost no private individuals, public figures, or institutions that have embraced Strict Aesthetic Prohibitionism and come out looking good. Their children always end up as prigs and Pharisees, or gluttons without self control or discernment.

The current aesthetic decadence of places like The Gospel Coalition didn’t come out of nowhere. I don’t have much actual data on this, obviously, but my sense is that many of the current evangelical leaders who most idolize art come from restrictive homes where art was marginalized at best, and transformed into glittering forbidden fruit at worst. They’re swinging hard away from it, into wickedness.

Maybe that’s not true, and they come from homes which were too permissive. They still didn’t come from homes that taught them to think.

But let me return to my main point. Short of building an Amish community, you aren’t escaping everything that constitutes “modern entertainment.”

Your boys aren’t escaping having to make choices about whether to look twice at the glamour magazines in the grocery isle. Your girls aren’t escaping having their fashion standards dictated by some celebrity ingenue, even if it’s Christian school girls doing copies of copies of copies. Most people are going to use the internet, one way or another, or watch some form of visual media that uses all the modern gimmicks and tricks.

I understand the distaste bordering on abhorrence that you guys have for modern Hollywood, among other institutions. Probably there are ways I feel it more keenly, since I have a clearer vision of what those things could be.

But, with sincere respect, this distaste is the only thing you’ve managed to communicate in this thread.

You haven’t actually suggested a solution. You haven’t defined your terms, and you haven’t set prohibitions that you or your children will be able to follow with any consistency. Does this thread count as modern entertainment? Do all of my podcasts, even the ones that aren’t about movies? They’re modern, and sometimes by God’s grace I like to think they’re entertaining. They’re distributed through conglomerates that pump out much of the filth we so abhor.

If this thread was “Christians should boycott Disney” or “Christians should boycott Coke” or “Christians shouldn’t watch action movies”, I think we could have a good discussion. If this thread was “the church needs to rise up and disciple + discipline people in the area of modern entertainment”, awesome. If it was “we should die to the addictions we have to modern entertainment”, great.

But “we should boycott modern entertainment” is too sweeping of a generalization to be helpful. As sweeping and general as the poison in modern entertainment is.

We are moderns and we are surrounded by entertainment. We must learn to navigate it. There actually isn’t a complete off ramp. We have to learn to drive or we will crash. That doesn’t mean we can’t avoid giant swathes of dangerous roads. By God’s grace, we can and should. But in order to even do that effectively, we have to learn to drive.

You may say I’m a cynic. You may say God calls us to true holiness, not pragmatic acceptance of the world as it is. You may say that you (as men who have never been addicted to this drug) have a clearer view of its evils than a recovering user such as myself. You may say that even if your statements are somewhat sweeping and general, until we’ve established a baseline of abhorrence, we can’t begin to discuss what resistance looks like.

That last one in particular is a wonderful argument for your rhetoric, imho.

But I still think you modern entertainment abolitionists should have some sympathy for us modern entertainment incrementalists. We have the same goals. I don’t despise you for calling what is evil evil. Please don’t despise me and my podcast comrades for trying to find real world solutions to a problem that’s not going anywhere.

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I’m heavily leaning in the Joseph camp, and seem to be driven further there each year. I used to like Star Wars, now it kinda makes me sick. Can’t watch Star Trek anymore. Marvel sucks. Almost every new piece of media is garbage. I wouldn’t feel bad about it but it seems there is nothing /new/ being produced which is true, good, beautiful.

I’m pissed, but I don’t despair. Less media is probably a good thing. There’s also a market to be served by this, which is why I keep asking for the Ville to come back :smiley:

There’s also Loor coming up. I know that they also don’t want to be what they would call “puritanical” as it relates to blood/sex, but I think they are going to offer a crowdfunding solution which means we can source things we want to see. So there will at least be an option.

But less media still probably better.

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I’ve been saying this for a long time now, but The Ville is coming. My baby had to come first. But we have 3 episodes almost done, and plans for a lot more of that, plus Chip and Lance and other things.

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This is your cheap shot. Just a straw man.

This framing is absurd. We aren’t talking about outlawing movies. We are talking about whether we as Christians should be getting our kicks from androgeny and other denials of the most basic things God has revealed in general and special revelation. Incrementalism in this case means “I will personally not watch porn, but will watch Reservoir Dogs, because even though it is wicked of me to be entertained by this, it’s not as wicked as being entertained by porn. So cut me some slack.”

Sure, my original post mixes in a lot of things. Sports has totally different reasons (some of which I didn’t mention) why I am ready to drop it. Social media is different, too.

But the choice is clear. Are Christians better or worse off for having watched Marvel and Star Wars movies? Are they better for having given themselves to what Hollywood has produced in general this last year? Not absolutely. Generally. Should we start with the assumption that we can and should watch anything unless we read the parental guide and find it has certain elements we deem verboten? Or should we start with the assumption that a Netflix show is utter crap, bad for us, to be avoided, and we won’t watch it until we have real evidence to the contrary?

You posture me as somebody who can take or leave TV and movies. Not true. I enjoy watching them. A lot. I’ve never been into a franchise enough to get deeply nerdy about it. But I enter into the stories. And I can tell you two times I had my thinking transformed completely about movies.

The first time was when I was in college and watched Reservoir Dogs on the recommendation of a random student in my building who also let me borrow it. I realized that I wanted those two hours of my life back. I was utterly sickened by the whole thing. The nihilism. The violence. All of it.

The second time was when I watched Walk the Line. As I watched the movie I wanted Johnny Cash to be happy. I wanted him to become a Christian and leave his wife and commit adultery.

Great stuff.

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The early church ‘boycotted’ the games.

The Puritans ‘boycotted’ the theatre.

It’s not only quasi Amish fundamentalists who have said enough is enough. No more.

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This is not what any of us are advocating for. Even as pastors who call people to shut off their tvs for the sake of their kids (and their own) souls are not advocating for a Gathardite commune.

History is pretty clear on this - Christians have advocated for abstaining from the world’s entertainment for as long as recorded history. It is all through the Old and New Testament. Church history makes no sense without this abstaining.

But we modern Christians are much too hip for that. We can be discerning. We can teach our children to be discerning. “It’s out there” is your argument - and?

I grew up not being allowed to watch all kinds of stuff, (Care Bears, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Smurfs, to name a few) and when I decided to begin disobeying my parents I deadened my conscience. Movies like Reservoir Dogs did not make me flinch when I first watched them because I had spent years amping up the violence and language. I’m not sure I could get 2 minutes into that movie today. Why? Because I decided years ago to follow the example of my parents, grandparents, and fathers in the faith and just not watch the stuff. Now that my conscience has been repaired it is very sensitive.

Advocating for abstaining doesn’t mean there are no risks to our children. It just means that we are protecting the conscience God gave them as long as possible so that they have the greatest chance to be repulsed by sin when they see it, whether in themselves or in others.

It would be an exceptionally rare thing for a church to formally discipline a parent who lets their kids watch Marvel - but it would be an exceptionally unwise pastor not to say a thing or two to those parents. I think that is what Joseph is saying - just call it like it is, garbage. And tell men and women that it is garbage and don’t give it a warm light saying “if you look below the stinky shell there is some redemptive value here.” There isn’t. Garbage is not worth redeeming. Garbage is fit for the landfill.

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P.S. I don’t want Sanity at the Movies to go away. I want it to be more like The Bookening. Tell me more about movies that aren’t trash, rather than what are popular. Imagine if 90% of what you read for the Bookening came from this months NYT bestseller list. Ugh.

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You post title was " I’m ready to boycott modern entertainment." As I outlined in the previous post, I’m not sure what that means or if that’s even possible. If it possible, we need to figure out what we mean by it.

But the answers to your question is yes … we should start with the assumption that Netflix (or whatever) shows are utter crap and bad for us. If that’s what you were arguing for, I heartily agree. As Joe says, pastors should declare it from the pulpit and privately exhort their parishioners. As Lucas says, people are addicted to this stuff, and they need to be called to repentance.

I’m sorry I postured you as something you weren’t. (Hard to make clear in text form, but that is not sarcasm.)

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We’re moving in that direction.

And I’m only human. If you’d started by saying that, I’m sure you could have got a more measured reply from me. :slight_smile:

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It would be refreshing to have to discipline someone under my care for being too rigid about entertainment. I probably wouldn’t discipline him but, rather, stand back in awe of his self-control (or wonder if he was just a hypocrite). It would be refreshing, too, to see in myself more awareness of and sensitivity to the danger of consumption.

Think about this example from Chrysostom. Now, he struggled with lust and so isolated himself in a cave for several years during his younger days, so we moderns are quick to dismiss him as a legalistic whacko. But our entertainments—or rather, our fierce commitment to those entertainments—have made us into the kind of men who think it is their Christian duty to mock this kind of preaching to the conscience. I find it extremely convicting…

Why do I talk about the theatre? Often if we meet a woman in the marketplace, we are alarmed. But you sit in your upper seat, where there is such an invitation to outrageous behaviour, and see a woman, a prostitute, entering bareheaded and with a complete lack of shame, dressed in golden garments, flirting coquettishly and singing harlots’ songs with seductive tunes, and uttering disgraceful words. She behaves so shamelessly that if you watch her and give consideration, you will bow your head in shame. Do you dare to say you suffer no human reaction? Is your body made of stone? Or iron? I shall not refrain from saying the same things again. Surely you are not a better philosopher than those great and noble men, who were cast down merely by such a sight? Have you not heard what Solomon says: “If someone walks onto a fire of coals, will he not burn his feet? If someone lights a fire in his lap, will he not burn his clothing? It is just the same for the man who goes to a woman that doesn’t belong to him.” For even if you did not have intimate relations with the prostitute, in your lust you coupled with her, and you committed the sin in your mind. And it was not only at that time, but also when the theatre has closed, and the woman has gone away, her image remains in your soul, along with her words, her figure, her looks, her movement, her rhythm, and her distinctive and meretricious tunes; and having suffered countless wounds you go home. Is it not this that leads to the disruption of households? Is it not this that leads to the destruction of temperance, and the break up of marriages? Is it not this that leads to wars and battles, and odious behaviour lacking any reason? For when, saturated with that woman, you return home as her captive, your wife appears more disagreeable, your children more burdensome, and your servants troublesome, and your house superfluous. Your customary concerns seem to annoy you when they relate to managing your necessary business, and everyone who visits is an irritating nuisance.

The cause of this is that you do not return home alone, but keeping the prostitute with you. She does not go visibly and openly, which would have been easier. For your wife could have quickly driven her away. But she is ensconced in your mind and your consciousness, and she lights within you the Babylonian furnace, or rather something much worse. For it is not tow, naphtha [not sure of the words here] and pitch, but her qualities mentioned above that provide fuel for the fire, and everything is upside down. It is just like people suffering from a fever, who have no reason to rebuke those who attend them, but because of the affliction of their illness are unpleasant to everyone, reject their food, insult their doctors, are bad tempered with their families and furious with those who care for them. Just so those who suffer from this dread disease are restless and vexed, and see that woman at every turn. What a terrible state of affairs! The wolf and the lion and other beasts when they are shot at flee the huntsman. But a man, though the most intelligent, when wounded pursues the woman who has wounded him, so as to receive a much more deadly missile and revel in the wound. What is most sickening of all, is that he makes the disease incurable. For if someone does not hate the injury and does not want to be free of it, why would he summon a doctor? Therefore I lament and am in torment, because after receiving such a brutal outrage you return from the theatre, and for the sake of a small pleasure you undergo continual pain. For even before the punishment of Hell, you demand the ultimate penalty here. Tell me, does it not merit the final punishment, to nurture such a desire, to be constantly enflamed, and to carry everywhere the furnace of unnatural love and the condemnation of your own conscience? How will you climb those sacred steps? How will you touch the heavenly table? How will you hear the sermon about temperance, when you are full of such injuries and wounds, and your intellect is the slave of your passion? Why should I say anything else? From what is now going on amongst us it is possible to see the pain of your intellect. Now just as I am speaking these words I can see some people beating their foreheads, and I am very grateful to you for being such a compassionate people. In fact I think many of those who have never sinned are beating themselves, because they suffer pain from their brothers’ wounds. Therefore I lament and grieve, because the devil is tormenting this flock. But if you want to we can quickly block his entrance. How and by what means? If we could see those who are diseased becoming healthy. If we could unfurl the nets of our doctrine and go around seeking those who have been captured by wild beasts, and snatch them from the lion’s throat. Do not say to me “There are only a few who have been taken from the flock.” Even if there were only ten, it would be no ordinary loss. Even if there were five, or two or one. That famous shepherd left behind the ninety nine sheep for the same reason, and ran after the one sheep, and did not return until he brought it back with him, and completed the defective number of one hundred through the restoration of that one which had wandered away. Do not say “It is only one.” But consider, it is a soul, on whose account everything that can be seen came into being: laws, penalties and punishments, and countless wonders, and the infinitely varied works of God. On that soul’s account he did not spare his only-born son. Consider what a price has been paid even for the one man, and do not undervalue his salvation, but go away and bring him back to us, and persuade him no longer to fall into the same mistakes. Then we have a sufficient defence. But if he should not give in, either to our advice or to your entreaties, then I shall thereafter use my power, which God gave us not for destruction but for construction.

Therefore I make this proclamation, in a clear and loud voice, that if anyone after this exhortation and teaching deserts back to the unlawful disgrace of the theatre, I shall not receive him within these precincts, I will not let him share in the sacraments, I will not let him touch the sacred table. Just as shepherds separate the sheep that are afflicted by mange from the healthy sheep, so as to prevent the rest from catching the disease, so I shall act in the same way. For if in ancient times the leper was ordered to sit outside the camp, and even if he was a king, was expelled along with his crown, so much more should we expel from this sacred camp the one who has leprosy in his soul. Just as in the beginning I used exhortation and advice, so now after all this exhortation and teaching it is necessary from now on to deploy exclusion. For it is a year since I entered your city, and I have not ceased from frequent and constant reminders to you about this. But since some have persisted in the putrefaction, well then from now on we should introduce exclusion. If I do not possess an iron sword, at least I have a word which is sharper than iron. If I cannot touch fire, I have a doctrine which is hotter than fire, and can burn more fiercely.

Do not scorn my decree. Although we are worthless and most pitiable, nevertheless we have been granted a status by the grace of God that can achieve these things. Let such people be ejected, so that those of us who are healthy may become more healthy, and those who are sick may restore themselves from serious illness. If you shudder when you hear this decree (and I see that you are all looking gloomy and flinching), let them repent, and the decree will be cancelled. For just as I have received the power to bind, so I have the power to release, and to recall them back. I do not wish to excommunicate our brothers, but to dispel the disgrace of the Church. For as things stand even the pagans will laugh at us, and the Jews will mock us, when we overlook our own members sinning in this way. But in the other case they will greatly praise us, and admire the Church, and respect our laws. So let not a single one of those who remain in this prostitution set foot in the church, but let him be censured by you, and let him be a common enemy. For if anyone, as it is said, will not heed my word set out in my letter, mark him out and do not associate with him. But do this: do not share conversation, or receive him into your home, or share your table, or your going out or going in, or visit the forum with him. In this way we will easily win them back. Just as hunters chase their difficult prey not just from one direction but from all sides, and so drive them into the net, so too shall we herd together those who have been driven into a frenzy, and quickly hurl them into the nets of salvation, we on one side and you on the other. In order that this will happen you too will share our anger, or rather suffer pain on account of God’s laws, and soon retrieve those of the brethren who are diseased in this way and breaking the law, so that you will keep them for ever. For it will be no ordinary charge against you, if you ignore such destruction, but you will be subject to the greatest penalty. In men’s households if one of the servants is caught stealing silver or gold, the thief himself is not the only one punished, but also his conspirators and anyone who did not report him. So much more does the same thing happen in the Church. For at that time God will ask you: “When you saw no silver or gold vessel being robbed from My house, but temperance itself being stolen, and the one who had taken the venerable body, and shared in so great a sacrifice, departing into the place of the devil and committing such sins, how could you keep silent? How did you tolerate it? Why did you not report it to the priest?” And you will be subjected to extreme chastisement. For that reason I too, though it will cause me pain, will not fail to use any of the more grievous penalties. For it is much better that we should suffer pain here and be freed of the coming judgement, rather than use indulgent words here and be punished then alongside you. For it is not safe or without danger for us to tolerate such things in silence. Each of you will give an account of himself. But I am liable to account for the salvation of all of you. For that reason I shall not cease doing and saying everything, even if I have to cause you pain or appear hateful, or tiresome, so that I will be able to stand before that awesome tribunal, without a stain or a blemish or any such thing. May it be with the help of the prayers of the saints that those who have been lost may quickly return, and those who have remained unharmed may advance towards greater propriety and temperance. In this way you may be saved, and we may rejoice, and God may be glorified now and always, and for unending ages upon ages. Amen.

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Fair enough, but your argument against that is in some ways fair and other ways not. It certainly doesn’t mean not going to the grocery store and not seeing billboards. Of course those things exist. I didn’t say I was going to leave the world. I was trying to say I don’t want to be of it. I’ve never bought a tabloid, though I’ve seen them hundreds of times at grocery stores, and at times I’ve been entertained by the covers with pictures of alien babies or other outrageous headlines and claims. And tabloids and gossip rags certainly affect the world and the people I interact with, and thus me, indirectly. But that doesn’t mean I need to buy them (or review them.)

It’s also worth saying that I only brought up Sanity at the Movies and said I’d be willing for it to die to demonstrate how seriously I’m beginning to take this. Because I (hopefully obviously) start from a position of supporting our shows. If so many Christians gave up watching movies that the show wasn’t viable anymore, I wouldn’t shed a tear. Just as I wouldn’t shed a tear if all Christians got off FB and we had no use for the social media share buttons on our site. I’d rather they were unnecessary, just like the (current version of) the show. I personally don’t have much use for either one of them, though I know they serve a purpose.

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