KEYWORDS: movies, lord, movie, things, people, life

Shooting Straight, Part 9--Letter Links: Movies

November 27, 2004

(ML #3513, GN 1101 )

FD/MM/FM November 2004

Happy Endings

ML #802:1-9, 23, Vol.7

1. (Dad:) "LOVE STORY" WAS A BEAUTIFUL MOVIE up until it got toward the end. It was all about romance, but everything took a weird perverted twist at the end. It was about these two kids that met at Yale, ' their love story developed ' it was beautiful. Then they got married, she got pregnant ' they were going to have a baby.

2. BUT THEN SHE GOT SICK WITH LEUKEMIA ' DIED IN THE HOSPITAL! All I remember is that horrible leukemia scene, ' then seeing him out there on the sidewalk cursing his father ' saying, "You don't love me, you never did love me!" ' blah, blah! And one of the most horrible quotes I remember from that whole damn picture was an absolute lie! He said: "Love is never having to say you're sorry!"

3. MY GOD!—WHAT KIND OF PHILOSOPHY IS THAT? Everybody makes mistakes, even if you love somebody. I'm always telling Maria, I'm sorry. I was telling her this morning, I'm sorry. "Love is never having to say you're sorry!"—Isn't that ridiculous? What kind of philosophy is that? My goodness!

4. LOVE IS SAYING YOU'RE SORRY—just the opposite! If you make a mistake or you hurt somebody‚ if you love them you say you're sorry !—What a terrible thing: "Love is never having to say you're sorry"! Oh, that made me so mad!

5. IT'S REALLY A TWISTED‚ PERVERTED ENDING ON THAT "LOVE STORY"!—What a lie! It's really a "Hate Story"! She died in agony‚ ’ he cursed God ’ his father ’ hated life! The whole thing was a blast at God ’ a blast at love ' a blast at life! Somebody wrote that who was absolutely soured on life ' loveGod! It was anything but a love story!

6. IT WAS LITERALLY A HATE STORY, A REAL HATE STORY!: "I hate you, Father! I hate You, God! I hate you, Life! I hate you, Love!" "Love Story" was a misnomer if I ever heard one! Boy, it was a Hate Story if I ever saw one! It's one of the first weird American movies that I ever saw!

7. IT'S BEEN ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO NOW WHEN AMERICAN MOVIES FIRST STARTED HAVING BAD, UNHAPPY ENDINGS. American movies when I was young used to be famous for the "Happy Ending "! They used to criticize the European movies ' drama because there was so much tragedy ' tragic ' unhappy endings in European theatre, ' it was true!—European drama in those days usually had sad endings.

8. I THINK IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH PEOPLE LOSING FAITH ' becoming very pessimistic. They've lost faith in God, so therefore they lose faith in Love ' therefore they lose faith in Life, they lose faith in people ' they lose faith in everything. So how could anything have a happy ending? Of course everything's sad ' everything's tragic ' everything has a bad ending, if you have that outlook on life!

9. BUT IN THE OLD DAYS AMERICANS WERE STILL PRETTY RELIGIOUS ' STILL BELIEVED IN GOD ' were somewhat Christian—formally at least—' churchy. They had a fairly faithful outlook on life: God was in control ' everything was going to work out right somehow.—And all the movies had nice, happy endings. They were success stories or love stories, where the guy finally gets the girl or the job or something or other. Everyone always had all kinds of troubles, but it always finally turned out all right in the end.

23. WELL‚ THEY'VE LOST FAITH IN GOD, SO THEY'VE LOST FAITH IN EVERYTHING. I mean, without God, without faith‚ there's no hope, there's no love‚ there's no God, there's no nothing! (Maria: And evil triumphs!) Yes‚ exactly! You hit the nail right on the head! The principle of the old movies ' the old attitudes was that good —in spite of everything—the good will always triumph in the end. Now the basic philosophy is that, in spite of everything, Evil (or the Devil) will finally triumph in the end!

More on Videos

ML #988:11, 41, 65, 71–73, Vol.8

11. (Dad: ) I'M TIRED OF WATCHING MOVIES WITHOUT A MESSAGE ' without a point, without a moral‚ with no inspiration, that just leave me dead or depressed.

41. EVEN IF IT'S FICTION, EVEN IF IT'S DRAMA, I WANT TO SEE FICTION ' DRAMA THAT HAS MEANING, that's either serious or at least true-to-life even if it's humorous, if it's got some message or purpose or inspiration or education or information. If it's edifying ' good for us, that we need to know, even if it's drama ' fictionalized history, historical fiction.

65. TRUE-TO-LIFE, THAT'S A GOOD EXPRESSION TO USE FOR FILMS I LIKE! Whatever we video ought to be true–to-life, even if it's funny ' humorous, it's true-to-life. You know, the kind of jokes which are not even true-to-life are not the funniest by any means. In fact, the less true-to-life they are, the less funny they are. The funniest humor ' the funniest jokes are those that are very true-to-life.

71. WE NEED MATERIALS WHICH WILL EXPLAIN TO OUR CHILDREN, ' even our own grown-up mothers ' fathers, what life is all about ' what the World is like, both physically ' spiritually, historically ' geographically, religiously ' whatever you want to call it. It should be informational, edifying, helpful, informative, instructional ’ profitable, ’ not something totally irrelevant, totally unbelievable‚ totally unrelated, something you can't possibly relate to or relate anybody you know to, because it's totally unlike life.

72. SO I'D SAY THAT IF YOU WANTED A TOP YARDSTICK GOLDEN RULE FOR THE KIND OF VIDEOS we want to see, it's either got to be real life or true-to-life, ’ if it's not, forget it! It has no purpose meaning or point or message if it is not real life or true -to–life. ... All kinds of movies‚ even science fiction can be true-to-life. It's at least true-to-life enough that it is usually based on genuine science, the kind of science fiction that is really interesting, that which is based on scientific possibilities—what might actually become of it if they let it go too far, etc. It's either gotta be true life or true-to-life, historical fiction, geographical fiction, or even dramatic fiction.

73. IF IT'S BASED ON REALITY ' HISTORY ’ TRUE-LIFE ' TRUE ' BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS or actual characters, then it's worth our seeing. If it's absolutely totally unrelated to life or history or mankind or creation or anything that's important at all, if it's totally unrelated ' totally untrue ' untrue to life ' utterly silly, ridiculous idiocy, I don't care to waste my time watching. I mean, you can have comedy, you could have humor, you could have things that are funny that are very realistic ' very true-to-life, ' the more realistically true-to-life it is the funnier it is, ' I don't mind having a good laugh once in awhile.

Movies for Children

ML #1137:18-21, 32-37, Vol.11

18. (Dad: ) I JUST DON'T BELIEVE IN TAKING KIDS TO SEE ANYTHING IF THERE'S A LOT OF VIOLENCE. I don't believe in it! I think it's even hard on adults.

19. I THINK IT WOULD BE BETTER TO TAKE THEM TO SEE A FUN FILM than some of those things with all that horrible violence ’ cruelty ’ torture ’ killing—they make it so realistic now! (Maria: Don't you think in the Family if we wanted to take our children to movies that generally it would be the best idea for an adult to go the movie first?) Yes. For younger children, somebody be sure ’ see it first to make sure it's all right.

20. I THINK WHEN A CHILD GETS TO BE MAYBE 10 OR 12 YEARS OF AGE MAYBE HE CAN TAKE IT‚ he's nearly an adult. (Maria: Take what?) One of those serious movies like "Ben Hur", "King of Kings" or even "Ten Commandments". ... He's getting pretty strong ' pretty firm by that time ' it's not going to really shock him too much.

21. BUT I THINK IT WOULD ALMOST BE BETTER TO TAKE SMALL YOUNG KIDS THAT AGE TO SEE SOMETHING LIKE WALT DISNEY rather than something with so much horror ' blood ’ guts ' gore ' violence ' cruelty ' torture ' killing. (Maria: And they should probably be briefed beforehand. If you're going to take them to it, you really should prepare them beforehand about it.)


33. I DON'T THINK BLOOD ' GUTS ' VIOLENCE IN MOVIES IS EVEN GOOD FOR ADULTS, MUCH LESS FOR CHILDREN! (Maria: Yes, like what is the point of taking the child to a movie like that when you could give them the actual Bible story from the Bible or in a flannelgraph or some much more peaceful ' beautiful form.) That's why when I saw some of those movies I used to say, why do people want to torture themselves like that?

34. WHY DO PEOPLE DELIBERATELY GO TO SUCH FILMS ' WANT TO SUFFER ' FEEL HORRIBLE ' get up with a stomachache ' nerves shattered ' just revulsed with horror? You're not thinking on good things, it's horrible bad things! I think a comedy would probably do you more good or a simple little travelogue or … something simple ’ light ' amusing ’ funny or merely educational.

35. I THINK THE SHOOT-EM–UP WESTERNS ARE BAD FOR KIDS‚ I think the shoot-em–up gangster films are bad for kids‚ I think the shoot-em-up war films are bad for kids, ' I think the shoot–em-up spy stories are bad for kids. I think any kind of violence in movies or TV is very bad for children. It's hard on them, to say the least, even our own children who wouldn't think of doing those things ' are absolutely horrified by them‚ but they're enough to almost give them nightmares! They are horrors, horrors!

36. SOME OF THESE HORROR MOVIES, monsters ' stuff, are so ridiculous ' ludicrous ' impossible that they're laughable ' they're not even as horrified by those because they're not realistic. But the more realistic the violence ' the pain ' death ' blood ' all that are, the more it's apt to affect them. I just don't believe in taking kids to see violent movies at all.

37. I'D RATHER THEY TAKE THEM TO SEE SOMETHING FUNNY OR AMUSING like "Fantasia" or "Alice in Wonderland" or "Wizard of Oz", anything even beautiful or funny or fantasy like "Sleeping Beauty" or something. It's better than all that horror ' violence! And there are lots of beautiful little movies for children.

Movie Guidelines

ML #2451:2– 5, 11-39, DB 9

2. (MARIA: Do you have any guidelines, like questions our people can ask themselves when they see a movie? Are there some specific guidelines or questions they could ask themselves to sort of help them in judging whether a movie's good or not?)

3. WELL, IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE THE MOVIE FOR. A LOT HAS TO DO WITH YOUR MOOD. Do you just want something light ' happy like a musical, something light ' funny like a comedy?—In other words, you don't feel like getting into a deep ' moving mental or emotional strain.—Or do you want something very deeply serious ' sober ’ realistic‚ that teaches lessons, like something real–life that really strains your emotions ' moves you to tears or inspires you‚ something really heavy?

4. A LOT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU WANT ’ CAN TAKE!—Whether you want something light‚ to just keep you awake a little longer when you're too tired to work, or whether you're in the mood for something deep ' moving ' heavy that teaches lessons ’ that has a real message about something serious. That's what the whole thing is all about!

5. NORMALLY, AFTER A LONG HARD DAY'S WORK ' PLENTY OF EMOTIONAL STRAIN ’ RESPONSIBILITY ' PROBLEMS ' WHATNOT ALREADY, I don't really care for anything that's very heavy. When I'm too tired to work, yet it's too early to go to sleep, I usually want something that's just light ' entertaining ' funny or musical. I like musicals quite a bit.—Of course a lot of them are pretty silly sometimes, but it just depends on whether you're in the mood for something silly or something serious. It depends on your PURPOSE for viewing, don't you think?

11. (MARIA: WITHIN THOSE TWO CATEGORIES—THE LIGHT ENTERTAINING, ’ THE SOBER ' SERIOUS LESSON MOVIES—THERE ARE GOOD ’ BAD ONES.) Yes, of course. (Maria: So how do you decide what's good ’ what's bad? What kind of GUIDELINES should we give the Family? Some of them don't seem to be able to really discern what's good ' what's bad.)

12. THE MAJOR THING IS THAT MOST MOVIES HAVE SOME KIND OF A STRUGGLE PORTRAYED BETWEEN GOOD ’ EVIL, there's almost always the good guys ' the bad guys‚ ’ I would say one of the most important things is that they should show that GOOD always WINS in the end. To show a movie where the EVIL is victorious‚ I think is very depressing. (Maria: It's a triumph for the Devil when they do that, it's bringing out his power, almost like a worship of him instead of worshipping the Lord.)—Yes.—Unless of course the movie is an EXPOSÉ of the evil of the System ' makes a favorable point in that respect.


13. ANOTHER EXCEPTION TO THAT—' THIS OCCASIONALLY IS THE CASE—IS WHERE THE "BAD" GUYS ARE THE "GOOD" GUYS. Maybe they're criminals who are rebels who‚ in a sense, pull one over on the System.—And you're really thankful that they get away with it because you felt like they OUGHT to!

14. IN OTHER WORDS, THE SYSTEMITES ARE THE ONES WHO ARE USUALLY PORTRAYED AS THE GOOD GUYS, but occasionally you run across a movie where the System is portrayed as the evil, ' the typical stereotyped bad guys are the ones who get away with beating the System. I've seen a few movies like that with a surprise ending where the criminals get away with the cash ' you're actually sympathetic with them, you're glad they did, where the System was evil ' repressive or depressive or whatever.

15. OF COURSE, THOSE ARE KIND OF RARE BECAUSE USUALLY THE SYSTEM MAKES THE MOVIES OR HAS TO APPROVE OF THEM‚ ’ they don't normally approve of very much self–critique! That's why you seldom ever find in movies anything that's against their particular set of mores ' morals ' ideas of what's right ’ wrong. So it's a rare movie that challenges their particular set system, their certain types of so–called morality which is NOT true morality‚ ' is even against God's laws.—A lot of System rules which we don't approve of either!

16. SO AN AWFUL LOT DEPENDS ON YOUR PARTICULAR SET OF MORES ’ MORALS. (Maria: And also your NEEDS. Because a lot of our Family does have a problem with being FOOLISH, a really shallow kind of foolishness, so they probably NEED more of the SOBER ' SERIOUS. And our young people pick up on movies, they just pick up everything! So, in some ways‚ we have to really try to be very very CAREFUL ' SELECTIVE.)


17. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY POINTS ON WHICH TO JUDGE A MOVIE, NOT JUST THE MOVIE ITSELF PER SE, BUT THE AUDIENCE AS WELL, WHO you're going to show it to.—Those who are already heavily burdened with serious ' sober problems ' responsibilities, etc., to simply kind of RELIEVE them ' LIGHTEN their load or cheer'm up or make them laugh, get their mind off their problems?—Or is it to a bunch of silly kids that need to be sobered up? So I think you need to consider all those aspects before you can really judge a movie. Adults who are spiritually mature, those in leadership, people who are serious already, they may NEED something light.

18. (MARIA: WHETHER IT'S SAD OR HAPPY, WHETHER IT'S ENTERTAINING OR SERIOUS, if it's a GOOD movie, it should leave you with some kind of GOOD FEELING that you were EDIFIED by it in some way or learned an important lesson or at least that you're happy.) Yes, I wrote something about that in the "Happy Ending" Letter (No.802), I said it's important that it has a happy ending.

19. YOU MIGHT SAY THE FACT THAT THOSE TWO YOUNG PEOPLE IN "LADY JANE" WENT TO THEIR DEATHS, to the chopping block, was an unhappy ending. But on the other hand, you were proud of them that they STUCK to their FAITH ' refused to deny their faith, you were thankful that they preferred death to denial! So in a sense it may not SEEM like a happy ending, but it was. It was the only RIGHT ending!

20. THE SAME THING WITH THE PRIEST WHO WENT TO THE FIRING SQUAD. It may have seemed like a defeat for the good ' a triumph of evil, but actually the good DID triumph in the end because he willingly died for his faith ' was such an example that it converted his main persecutor ' made him volunteer to take his place! So although on the SURFACE it didn't look like a happy ending, it was the only ending that was GOOD. It was a triumph of good over evil.

21. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF JESUS' DEATH ON THE CROSS AS A HAPPY ENDING? But it was the ONLY ending, it SAVED Mankind, ' without that there would have been no RESURRECTION, no TRULY happy ending, no SALVATION, no HEAVEN! So sometimes the ending has to SEEM to be SAD, bad or even evil, in order that GOOD might TRIUMPH!

22. ACTUALLY IT'S A TRIUMPH FOR THE GOOD WHEN A MARTYR DIES FOR HIS FAITH. It's a defeat for evil when the martyr refuses to deny his faith, even if he goes to his death. So there are a lot of different ways to judge happy endings too!

23. IN BOTH OF THOSE MOVIES‚ IT LEFT YOU WITH A VERY GOOD FEELING‚ YOU WERE DEEPLY MOVED‚ inspired‚ THRILLED that they were willing to die for their faith! So I call that a good ending, a happy ending, when it INSPIRES you ' it feels like it ended RIGHT, that's the only way it COULD have ended! So there are a lot of different ways of judging a happy ending too!

24. A GOOD MOVIE'S END SHOULD GIVE YOU THE FEELING THAT THAT'S THE BEST WAY IT COULD HAVE ENDED.—Even though it may have LOOKED like a defeat, a SEEMING defeat, out of that God gets some of his greatest victories, as we've often said. So the escape of the victimized is not always necessarily the best ’ the happiest ending. Sometimes firm conviction ' dying for your faith is far better. To the Lord, that's the happiest ending of all, for someone to be willing to lay down his life for his faith. They get the greatest crown, the MARTYRS. They're obviously greatly honored in Heaven, those who died for their faith!

25. SO THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS OF JUDGING HAPPY ENDINGS TOO. It should leave you with a good feeling that that's the way it SHOULD have ended, the ONLY way it could have ended—RIGHT! You would have been real disappointed if they'd denied their faith, but you were inspired, ' although sad, you were made happy by the fact that they were willing to go to their death still loyal to the Lord.

26. SO PRAISE THE LORD, IT TAKES ALL KINDS OF YARDSTICKS TO MEASURE MOVIES BY—the audience‚ the purpose, the real lesson to be learned from the movie, ' it should always‚ in some sense, be a TRIUMPH for GOOD ' DEFEAT of the EVIL!

27. (MARIA: ONE WAY TO JUDGE WHETHER A MOVIE IS BAD IS IF IT PUTS DOUBTS IN YOUR MIND ABOUT ANY MATTERS OF FAITH OR BELIEF, sort of like "Jesus Christ Superstar," which in some ways LOOKED like it was promoting Jesus, but wasn't!) That was a message of the DEVIL produced by the [ACs] absolutely! It was made to BELITTLE ' make fun of Jesus! But a lot of Christians are so dumb they didn't see it. So there are quite a few movies that are made, even about Jesus, that are made in the long run to vilify ’ pooh-pooh ' make FUN of ' RIDICULE ' cast DOUBTS, etc. (Maria: SEEMING to look good on the OUTSIDE or on the SURFACE.)—Yes.

28. THANK GOD FOR THE TRULY GREAT CLASSICS ON THE BIBLE, many of them made by Cecile B. DeMille, whose father read the Bible to him when he was young. "The Ten Commandments," "King of Kings" ' things like that really glorified the WORD ' the TRUTH ' the BIBLE CHARACTERS, ' ended in real VICTORIES for what was RIGHT‚ ’ defeat of wrong, ' they taught great lessons.—Lots of those, including "Quo Vadis" ' "The Robe" ' many of those classics that showed people who were really willing to die for their faith ' suffer for their faith. I think those were truly inspiring, ' all our young people should see them.


29. I THINK THE CHOICE OF MOVIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE—CHILDREN ’ TEENAGERS—IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS ' SHOULD BE TAKEN VERY SOBERLY, ' the adults should make SURE that it's the RIGHT kind of movie to really portray the right things in the right light ’ with a good lesson application at the end that will stick with them. (Maria: And if the teens or kids can't get it on their own, the adult watching it with them should really bring it out, like you do.) Yes, EXPLAIN the LESSON ' make an APPLICATION that brings out the genuine lesson.

30. WE HAVE THIS TOOL OF MOTION PICTURES, VIDEOS‚ ETC., ' IF YOU SELECT THE RIGHT AMMUNITION YOU CAN REALLY HIT THE MARK A LOT OF TIMES‚ particularly with young people. You have to be more careful with them than anyone‚ especially children ' teenagers. (Maria: Just because a movie has a good lesson or a good ending at the end, it's not worth it if you have to go through too much preaching of the Devil's doctrine.) Too much garbage! (Maria: Yes, or bringing out HIS triumphs through the movie, ' then suddenly have a good ending. What's going to LAST in your mind ' make an IMPRESSION on you ' what you're going to remember is all that came before, not just the one little half-second lesson at the end.)


31. ONE THING THAT MITIGATES AGAINST ANY MOVIE, ' THERE'S A LOT OF IT NOW, IS A LOT OF BAD LANGUAGE IN THE MOVIE. We don't mind so much the sexual references, we're oriented to sex ' we don't consider that nudity ' sex are necessarily anything against a movie, except homosexuality, Sodomy‚ which God HATES!—And there's a lot of it in movies now. I would avoid any movie or series that even TOLERATES Sodomy, like that series "DYNASTY"!

32. I DON'T LIKE ANY MOVIE THAT PORTRAYS ' GLORIFIES SIN AS SOMETHING THAT'S GOOD ' NOT EVIL. Of course, a lot depends on your ideas of sin. If you're like the CHURCHES, ' you consider any kind of SEX at all as evil, even good sex or artistic sex, then, of course, a LOT of movies would offend you. In many of these latest movies you can hardly escape some bad language. I don't consider "hell" or "damn" or that sort of thing as bad language, but I really hate to hear them say "Jesus Christ" all the time. So many … movies now use Jesus Christ as a curse word ' as cursing.

33. SO IF THERE'S TOO MUCH BAD LANGUAGE, ESPECIALLY IF THERE'S A LOT OF FOUL-MOUTH VILE TERMS with really dirty sexual inferences, etc., what is really foul, we DON'T want our kids to get used to hearing that stuff ' then become inclined to use it, so I wouldn't approve of movies that have that.

34. IF YOU DO HAPPEN TO RUN ACROSS SOME KIND OF LANGUAGE THAT YOU DON'T APPROVE OF DURING THE MOVIE, you should make it very clear that you DON'T approve of it, ’ you don't ever want to hear them using those words or expressions.

35. (MARIA: THERE ARE SOME SERIES ’ MOVIES TOO THAT ARE BASICALLY GOOD‚ they have good morals ' good lessons in the end, but they're full of DECEITFULNESS ’ LYING.—And everybody just laughs about it.) Nowadays lying is approved of ’ even glorified! If you get away with it, they portray it as a great thing, you were really smart to deceive your parents or to deceive somebody else. It's approved of ' laughed at ' even applauded. I think that's very very bad‚ that type of stuff. Even some of the most seemingly innocent movies‚ like some of these family type movies with lots of children in them have a lot of that now.

36. I ALSO THINK MOVIES OF TYPICAL AMERICAN FAMILIES, SHOWING THE WAY THEIR CHILDREN BEHAVE—OR MISBEHAVE—ARE HORRIBLE DANDY BAD EXAMPLES because their children are disobedient, defiant, rebellious, fighting ' feuding ' hating each other, calling each other names ' constantly trying to triumph over each other.—As well as using bad language ' manifesting total rebellion! They're HORRIBLE examples! Most of these American movies with American children in them are very bad examples!

37. THAT KIND OF STUFF IS CERTAINLY NOT A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR OUR CHILDREN. Our adults might be able to take it ’ laugh, knowing it's bad ' being able to sort out the good from the evil, but children are not always that perceptive ' not always able to distinguish the difference. (Maria: Even with what used to be a fairly good series like "Love Boat," although in the end the principles ' good lessons are brought out, there's so much LYING ' DECEIT through it. When we used to watch those with Techi when she was little, because of all that lying, SHE started lying, ' we couldn't figure out why! Then finally it dawned on us that it was because she was watching "Love Boat," where lying was so accepted ' everyone laughed every time somebody got away with something or was deceptive! It's too bad.) Yes.

38. THAT SHOW FINALLY GOT TO WHERE IT WAS SHOWING TOLERANCE ' FORGIVENESS—EVEN THOUGH IT WAS IN A CONDESCENDING MANNER—FOR HOMOS. That's when I just about got fed up with "Love Boat"! Apparently the Sodomites have got a lot of influence ' power in getting their propaganda into the movies nowadays. They're even having a lot of influence in the laws of the land! The Sodomites are taking over. … This is the thing that defeated [nations] even as far back as the Bible times, defeated Israel ' the kingdoms ' the kings in those days, Sodomy. The Devil has sure got a tool in that stuff, it's sickening!

39. SO IF YOU'RE GOING TO SHOW ANY SERIES OR MOVIES LIKE THAT TO YOUR KIDS, YOU'D BETTER COMB THROUGH THEM REAL THOROUGHLY ' make SURE it's all right, that it's going to leave the kind of taste in their mouth that you want ' uphold the kind of morals that you advocate, ’ teach the kind of lesson that they need to learn‚ ' is not leading them in the wrong direction. (Maria: And if it doesn't teach that ' they do happen to see it, you'd better really EXPLAIN it!) Amen!

My Kind of Movies

ML #2452, DB 9

1. (Dad: ) I CERTAINLY DON'T CARE FOR THE TYPICAL COWBOY MOVIES OR WAR MOVIES, unless it's a SPY movie that happens to have war involved, something like that. And I don't care for those violent shoot'm up gangster movies‚ nor do I really care much for old-hat History, it's gone ’ done!—Unless it's a real CLASSIC which you can learn something from.

2. MAMA ’ I LIKE ROMANTIC STORIES, ' WE LIKE SOME OF THOSE HISTORICAL CLASSICS. They're especially good for the kids ’ you guys too who don't know much about History. It wouldn't hurt you to see a little bit of History in dramatic, more palatable form. But these modern violence movies with all that violence ' fights ' chases, ugh! The average American movie almost makes no sense at all, it's just a shoot'm-up, a fight‚ a chase! I think it's terrible the way they absolutely ruin good cars. Almost every single stupid idiotic damn American so-called "action" movie is like that!—So watch out for so-called "ACTION" movies!

3. MYSTERIES I LIKE, AS LONG AS YOU DON'T MAKE THOSE A STEADY DIET. WHO DOESN'T LIKE A MYSTERY? It's thought-provoking, it gets you thinking to try to solve whodunit, ' usually in those they've got a lot of lessons to learn.—Don't do this, don't get caught this way or that way or the way he did!

4. YOU CAN LEARN A LOT FROM SUCH MOVIES. If you don't learn what to do, you can at least learn what NOT to do! But I like mysteries, especially if they're intelligent mysteries like Agatha Christie ' some of that stuff. "Death on the Nile" was quite a good movie, it really kept you guessing until the end.

5. THEY'RE REALLY INTRIGUING, ' IT MAKES YOU THINK, ' ALSO TEACHES YOU A LOT ABOUT SECURITY. On some of these it teaches you a lot about being followed, being chased ' what to do ' not do, things like that which we could really afford to learn a few things about. I'm also very interested in SPY MOVIES, as long as they're not too stupid ' not just that senseless "action" stuff.

6. CIRCUS MOVIES ARE OFTEN GOOD FOR THE KIDS. We also like SPIRITUAL MOVIES about ghosts ' spirits ' ESP. But if they get into too much HORROR, that awful horror stuff, vampire stuff, that kind of stuff where it's all scary ' all horror, forget it!

7. I LIKE SOME SCIENCE FICTION BECAUSE SOME OF IT'S QUITE REALISTIC, SOME OF IT IS QUITE INTERESTING. Things about recent World History, atomic war etc. are also very interesting.—Like "World War III" ' some of those movies, how people think things are going to turn out, how they think the war might start.

8. SOME MOVIES ARE ALMOST PROPHETIC! Serious movies with the President of the United States ' Congressmen etc., movies that are supposed to be referring to the important events of today ' the possible outcome of political or social crises ' that sort of thing, are often very interesting or significant.—Serious political movies or even serious war movies, as long as they're not all war ' all action.

9. YOU CAN OFTEN SPOT GOOD QUALITY MOVIES RIGHT AWAY. Number one, they've got quality actors ’ actresses, well-known top-notch stars who will not usually act in a bad movie. Sometimes it's just a pleasure to watch good stars acting‚ even if the movie is not all that hot!

10. WHEN YOU'VE GOT TOP-NOTCH STARS, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD MOVIE‚ AS A RULE. It's going to be a movie that's at least entertaining. It's just a pleasure to watch those guys in action because they really know how to act ’ they usually will not act in a bad movie.

11. IF YOU'VE GOT ONE OF THESE LITTLE ENCYCLOPEDIAS OF MOVIES‚ MOVIE GUIDE BOOKS, they're often quite helpful, ' will tell you who the actors are ’ what the story is ’ everything, so right away you can tell whether you want to see it or not. However, we've sometimes found that if they're thoughtful movies, the author sometimes thinks they're dull ' dead, so he gives them a low rating ' sometimes won't even bother to tell you the story or even who's in it!—So you can't always go by the movie book! But once in a while it gives you a lead ' a hint what it's all about ’ whether you want to see it or not.

12. SOME MOVIES YOU'VE GOT TO GO BY WHO'S IN IT. If they're really top famous stars who usually only make good movies, worthwhile movies—at least entertaining even if it's not necessarily educational or inspiring or historical or whatever—if it's got good stars in it it's bound to be a pretty good movie.

13. SOMETIMES YOU LIKE TO SEE COMEDY JUST FOR A GOOD LAUGH. Mama ' I just nearly split our sides on this funny movie with Dick Van Dyke ' James Garner we saw the other night. I got a real kick out of it, it's really got a funny plot, it's a scream, ' you're just laughing ' laughing all the way through.—Those guys are good comedians, ' they can really give you a good laugh.—And you need a good laugh once in a while, you know? It was a good comedy that, you might say, had a clever plot, a serious comedy. It was a good plot even if it hadn't been funny.

14. OF COURSE, SOME COMEDIES ARE SLAPSTICK COMEDIES, JUST SILLY RIDICULOUS STUFF, idiotic ' sickening, usually because they've got that kind of actors in it ' that's the kind of stuff you can expect from them. Lou Costello or the Three Stooges ' that kind of junk—it's just junk! Absolute JUNK! It's all slapping ' hitting each other ' throwing pies—silly, idiotic, ridiculous stuff. We came upon a tape with one of those on it, ' even our kids thought, "Oh that's silly, isn't that ridiculous?"—Even they were disgusted!

15. I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THEY CALL IT SERIOUS COMEDY OR WHAT‚ BUT A GOOD COMEDY USUALLY HAS GOOD ACTORS ' IT'S USUALLY AT LEAST BELIEVABLE HUMOR.—But that slapstick stuff is unbelievable, it's not natural‚ it's not real, it's not normal! The best humor is what's natural ' believable ' could really have happened‚ ’ you figure that it's pretty close to reality. Sometimes it's a little stretched ' far-fetched‚ but nevertheless it's funny. So I really enjoy a good comedy, if it's good humor ' by good actors.

16. WE ALSO ENJOY A GOOD MUSICAL IF IT'S GOOD MUSIC ’ PRETTY GIRLS ’ DANCING LIKE "CAN CAN," with a good story ' a whole galaxy of famous stars. So try to be a little CHOOSY, ' don't waste your time with stuff that's plain junk or silliness or foolishness, OK? I don't like wasting my time watching something that really isn't believable, isn't human, isn't normal, natural.

17. A LOT OF MOVIES ARE WHAT THEY CALL HUMAN SITUATION MOVIES, MOVIES OF HUMAN RELATIONS ’ that sort of thing, ' they're usually romances, ' they're almost like true stories about relationships between people, ' they're interesting. You can learn a lot of lessons from them.

18. THOSE HOSPITAL MOVIES THAT SEEM TO BE SO POPULAR NOW, I DON'T LIKE THEM AT ALL! Some are good, have got good actors ' all, but why should I go through all that suffering ' gore ' blood ' guts ' junk before I have to!—I hope I NEVER do! So for God's sake‚ spare yourself from hospital movies!

19. THE KIND OF MOVIES WE PARTICULARLY LIKE ARE USUALLY SIGNIFICANT MOVIES, you might say‚ on significant themes of the day like Atomic War or politics or intrigue between nations ' spies, things like that. You know the things we're interested in‚ you've seen them in the WND ' you've seen them in my Letters. You ought to have a pretty good idea by this time of what we think is worthwhile ’ what we think is not. It doesn't have to be a perfect movie, it doesn't have to even be a serious movie, it can even be a comedy if it's really funny ’ it's good acting. I mean you NEED a good laugh once in a while! Just try to use a little discernment.

20. ONE THING I LOVED ABOUT ENGLAND—THEY HAD LOTS OF DOCUMENTARIES‚ travelogues ’ serious political themes ' so on, nonfiction movies. Plus serious historical fiction, serious, thoughtful movies on important themes with good actors ' good dialogue, very little violence, almost none of these car chases ’ shoot'm-ups ' shoot'm-outs ' bang-ups ' blah blah blah fights! They were based on serious themes with lots of dialogue, very thoughtful. Americans hate that kind of movie where they have to think ' they have to listen to someone talking!

21. TAKE MOST OF YOUR BRITISH MOVIES ' YOU'LL NOTICE THEY'RE MOSTLY DIALOGUE. They love to hear their language ' they love to speak it, ' it's beautiful to hear them, those that really know how to speak their own language. And they carry the conversation ' dialogue, sometimes with almost no action, it's totally dialogue, totally conversation.—But it's fascinating to me, I like it! I LIKE British movies! (Prays:)

22. DO HELP THEM, LORD, GIVE THEM WISDOM ' DISCERNMENT IN CHOOSING THEIR VIDEOS. It doesn't always have to be of any great, significant value, because video viewing is often a time when we just want to relax ’ not have to think too hard ' not even be too serious. We often just want to rest ' relax ' be entertained ’ even enjoy something funny.

23. SO DO HELP THEM, LORD, TO PICK OUT THE GOOD ’ ESCHEW THE EVIL. Bless ’ help them ' give them wisdom in their selection of what they watch.—To try to watch things that are worthwhile, things that are encouraging, cheerful, even sometimes funny, to relieve the strain of the responsibility‚ the burdens of the day.

24. HELP US TO USE ALL THESE INSTRUMENTS THAT YOU'VE PROVIDED FOR OUR BLESSING ' OUR HELP ' EVEN FOR THY GLORY, that we might be not only entertained but EDIFIED‚ instructed, educated, even as we try to do with the children's tapes. Some of it's just entertainment, some just funny, some amusing, some just to enjoy‚ but we also try to give them as much educational material as possible, instructional material, Lord, that will be helpful, ' teach them something worthwhile.

25. SO HELP US ALL IN THE USE OF THESE TOOLS THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN US FOR OUR EDUCATION ' edification ' even our entertainment ' our recreational hours.—We ask in Jesus' Name, amen. PTL!—Happy video viewing!

Help from Heaven

ML #3056:129, 133-167, 172, Lifelines 23

129. (Mama:) With the Charter in full swing, it seems that many Homes have gone to the extreme with watching too much TV and movies, or partaking of other System input.

133. Because we've received numerous reports that television viewing and movie watching has gotten out of control, I asked the Lord to speak on this subject‚ to help us get a better balance. Here are some excerpts of the message He gave:

134. (Jesus speaking:) Behold, what a mighty tree!—This tree that stands tall and spreads out her branches to cover the Earth . Though this tree is used to transmit much good, much inspiration, and even helpful knowledge of My ways and My wonderful world, it also transmits much corruption, deception, deceit and lies. Therefore you must look to Me and discern and seek My answers, My wisdom and My guidance. For much propaganda goes out into the world in this final hour, and you must pray and discern and walk in wisdom, choosing the good and rejecting the evil.

135. There is much evil transmitted on the airwaves through this box [TV]. For the prince of the air controls and prospers this industry, and he knows that his time is short. Take a look. Ask yourselves who is behind the industry? Who is behind many of the programs‚ the films, the movies? What is their purpose and what is their plan? You must weigh them in the balances, through prayer and supplication‚ seeking Me, looking to Me‚ that you might discern what is good and what is evil. For just as all that glitters is not gold, so all that seems right and fine and proper and correct is not the truth and is not what it seems.

136. Satan's lies often come in nice packages—not only soothing to the ears, that you might hear and believe, but appealing to the sight, that you might see and want, as he tugs and pulls, playing on the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. He uses the blend of images and sounds‚ pleasing to the eye, melodic to the ear, and sends them out to go round and round the world—to the big cities, to the rural areas, to the four corners of the Earth, deceiving, setting traps, washing the brains and the minds‚ corrupting the hearts of men who are ignorant of his devices.

137. Yes, it's true that I am also able to use such means as television to spread My message, to propagate, to evangelize, to win souls to My Kingdom. But you must remember that Satan is now in his heyday‚ walking about deceiving those who do not discern. This is the modern-day Tree of Knowledge, and knowledge wears two faces—that which is good, which is from My hand, and that which is evil, from the hand of Satan. It is both, and you must choose, receiving the good and rejecting the evil.

138. It is a serious and sober matter to indulge, to immerse yourself, to take in television and movies. It is not for babes and those weak in faith to discern by themselves without the loving hand and guidance of their shepherds.

139. Oh‚ but you say, "Surely television is but an innocent tool, for everyone owns a TV!" Clever‚ clever subtleties! Everyone watches television! Yes, and are not the masses deceived? Are not the masses able to be controlled? Do not the vast robotic masses easily accept without question the latest, the newest, the "in" thing, the conveniences of modern technology? Are not the masses being set up and prepared to receive the Mark of the Beast? Have I not said that if it were possible, even My very elect would be deceived? But to you, My children, it is given to discern the signs of the times.

140. Satan is running loose! He rants and he raves and he seeks to destroy those who would be the greatest threat to his kingdom. I pray for you that you can stand strong and resist the temptations that he sets before you. For these reasons I long to love you and woo you and hold you close in My arms, that you might be full and satisfied and find strength that you know not of for these Last Days. Beware of the decoys! Beware of the red herrings! Beware of the masses of information and the images, the sights and the sounds that are designed to woo you away from My highest and My best.

141. Are you seeking knowledge? Seek the wisdom that is from Above. For this reason I am pouring it on! The floodgates are open and I pour and pour and pour out again and again and again the Words of wisdom and the Words of Truth, that you might find strength and power as you discern the signs of the times. You have but to ask, receive and believe! Listen! Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation! Do you long for pretty sights and sounds? Tune in to My visions, and ecstasies poured out without measure to those who would seek!

142. Take heed that you do not sacrifice your children, your young people, to the gods of Moloch—the god of education! Is not this box an educating device? Do you not learn many things by this modern-day god of Moloch—some good and some bad? You must walk in wisdom, pray, and proceed with great caution and great prayerfulness when using this device, and do not give your children free rein without discretion. Do not turn them loose to be burned by this god, but rather protect them, lead them and guide them in all truth, helping them to discern the right from wrong.

143. Use this tool for the little good it is able to transmit, but pray and seek Me daily, hourly, throughout the day, to know what is worth watching and what is worth rejecting, remembering that you are as sheep in the midst of wolves. Forget not that this is the day of wolves, and the wolf is set at liberty, seeking to devour all in his path.

144. Think not that this caution applies only to babes, to the younger generation who have little experience, who need help and guidance in knowing how to discern. For I caution you all, young and old, to walk in wisdom, pray without ceasing, and strike a balance in these matters. As you watch, answer not a matter before you hear it—in this case, before you hear from Me.

145. In your times of viewing you must stay in constant prayer and communion with Me, seeking Me‚ asking for My protection, for My guidance to know what is really the truth and what way it really is. Be not quick with your mouth to say, "Yes, yes, this is the truth!" Be not quick with your comments‚ but seek Me for confirmation. Weigh up all matters against the measurement, the standard of My Word‚ and discern. For only in My Word—My old Word and My new Word—lies the real truth. If it is not according to My Word‚ set it aside and do not wallow in it.

146. Use this tool of the TV, of videos‚ of documentaries to avail yourself of the good they contain. For I do use these tools to get out My message. I do use these tools as a means of information‚ that you may stay informed and updated and aware of how the Enemy is marshaling his forces‚ that you may see how he is moving and working. I also use these as a means to break your hearts for this lost and lonely and needy world, as you witness and watch and see the horrors that are come upon the Earth, as you see and partake of others' lives, that you may get a burden, that you may pray for them, that you may let your heart break for them. I use this as a means of communication, and even as a means of relaxation and relief from an intense and tiring day's or week's work. Yet in all things through prayer and supplication, I ask you to seek Me constantly as you pass your viewing hours.

147. Let not the pendulum swing too far to the right or too far to the left. And think not that the Love Charter gives license to run wild, wallowing in the ways of the world, with free access to worldly programs and the filth and propaganda of Satan. Open your eyes! Look on My Word‚ and the Words of your father David, and live! For has not David spoken in depth on this subject? Has he not laid down guidelines in detail on what to feed on and how to view? Has he not cautioned you along these lines? Research and review the Words of your father on this vast subject.

148. And I say unto you of the older generation, you cannot expect of your younger ones any more than you yourself are living. If you desire that your teens and young people be not totally consumed with attitudes and images they see in the movies, check your own hearts. How much time and thought and conversation do you indulge in viewing television and watching movies? Do you long to look at the sports broadcasts? Do you spend unnecessary hours in front of the box? How many entertainment films do you seek to watch, and what is your idea of entertainment? Check your own hearts and beware. For Satan asks that he may have you all, that he might sift you as wheat. This is the day of the wolf, and he is seeking his next meal! Take heed that it be not you! (End of prophecy.)

149. (Mama:) Besides television, documentaries and movies being a means to get out His message, which the Lord mentioned several times, He also enumerated a list of the other benefits, such as: You can stay informed and updated on world events; you see the difficulties the people of the world endure, which breaks your heart for the lost; you partake of others' lives and experiences, which gives you a burden to pray for them; and it's a means of relaxation and relief from your busy work schedule. So there are five very good reasons why television and movies can be beneficial.

150. This prophecy also gives some valuable guidelines, and although these ideas aren't brand-new, it's good to have them repeated, as it seems many of you may need the reminders. As the Lord mentioned above, Dad has already spoken fairly extensively in the Letters on the subject of good video viewing, so you may want to read some of those earlier Letters. But for the time being I'll repeat for you here, in point form, the main tips the Lord provides in the above prophecy for happy fruitful viewing:

151. —Pray, discern, choose the good and avoid the evil.

152. —Remember that not all that glitters is gold, and not all that seems right, fine, proper and correct is the truth, or necessarily what it seems.

153. —Watch out for the pretty packaging of Satan's lies‚ as he uses the blend of images and sounds, pleasing to the eye and melodic to the ear, to corrupt and set traps for the people who are ignorant of his devices.

154. —Remember, the robotic masses are being set up to receive the Mark of the Beast, but you know better! You can discern the signs of the times and resist his brainwashing!

155. —Take time loving Jesus, so you'll have the strength to resist the temptations of the Devil.

156. —If it's knowledge you want‚ take advantage of the flood of truth the Lord is pouring out in our publications!

157. —If you're looking for far-out sights and sounds‚ tune in to the thrills of the spirit world! His radical Words, eye-opening revelations, unique word pictures and far-out visions will really send you!

158. —Parents, don't let your children view television without direction, supervision and guidance, helping them to discern the truth, and the right from the wrong.

159. —Both young and old need to be prayerful and find a good balance in viewing.

160. —Don't just drink in what the television says like the poor blind people of the world do, but be wary‚ be on guard‚ check what is said with the Word, and seek the Lord for confirmations.

161. —Research and study the Letters for more counsel on television and movie viewing.

162. —Adults‚ set a good example for the young people.

163. Each Home is responsible to establish the details of their own video and TV viewing policies‚ according to the guidelines outlined in the Charter , which say:

164. "Members should also 'resist the Devil' (James 4:7) by actively striving to minimize the ungodly and unedifying influences in our lives. These ungodly and unedifying influences could be anything that pulls us away from the Lord or pollutes our spirit, mind or heart with 'junk food' of the spirit and hinders our connection with God. This would include the reading of unedifying or ungodly material, or the watching of unedifying videos, movies or TV, or listening to ungodly music.

165. "Undoubtedly our day-to-day work and outreach will put us in positions where we might come in contact with ungodly and unedifying influences, but we should attempt to minimize them by not intentionally inflicting upon ourselves those things that we know to be ungodly or unedifying.

166. "It is recommended that members select movies they view from the Movie Lists published by World Services and follow the advice as to the selection of the film‚ the age group for which the film is suggested, and the appropriateness of the film for the target audience. It is not recommended that you watch a movie that is not on the list, but it's not forbidden.

167. "If you feel that a movie (or portions of it) is suitable for an age group younger than the suggested rating, you may show it to them, provided you have previewed the movie, and counseled about its suitability with a responsible adult." (The Charter, Responsibilities of Individual Members, 1A; Home Life Rules, 9K, pages 1, 133.)

172. (Mama:) What movies or television programs you watch is your decision, but remember, the Lord will hold you accountable for your actions . If there are several Homes in your city or area, you may be faced with some comparing battles or peer pressure, if other Homes watch more or different movies or television programs than you do. You kids might even feel that your Home is really "uncool" compared to everyone else, if your viewing is more restricted. But take my word for it, it will pay off if you stick to your guns, don't water down your convictions, and avoid getting sucked into watching junk on TV or video!

You Are What You Watch

ML #3182, GN 787

1. (Mama:) This GN addresses a subject which might be a bit sensitive for some of you—in fact, I venture to say most of you! I know it's a sensitive one even in our Home at times. I'm sorry that the message I'm about to deliver to you has to be a little hard-hitting, but my job is to give the Lord's Words, and this is something that has been on my heart for some time now.

2. We have received reports of some extremes of this problem—with some of our folks watching some very unedifying and downright devilish movies, taking in the spiritual poison of the Enemy, and letting it contaminate others in their Home through their words and actions. When we brought this problem before the Lord, Dad gave a pretty strong message in which he laid out the facts and gave some solutions.

3. We're not going to suggest you stop watching movies altogether, as I know they are an enjoyable form of relaxation and can be a blessing, if kept in their place and not abused. However‚ I think you would all do well to take this warning to heart, as I wouldn't put it past the Lord to ask us to forsake this liberty if we don't start handling it more wisely. At the moment it's tearing down our spiritual line of defense and letting the Enemy into our lives and Homes, Lord help us!

4. I'm also praying that as you address this subject in your Home‚ it can be a time of uniting against the Enemy, not pointing the finger at each other. One thing which I'm very aware of is the difference between people's personal tastes in movies‚ and this is often particularly true between the younger and the older generation. I know the Enemy would love to use this "call to arms" in this area as a means to divide you. But I'm really praying that as you prayerfully and lovingly counsel and unite together‚ you can defeat the Enemy in this and come up with some good solutions from Dad's counsel which will benefit all of you. Okay, without getting into the subject any further, I'll turn the floor over to Dad.

5. (Mama prays:) Help our folks to take this to heart‚ Lord. You do so much for us, You give us so many of Your wonderful Words‚ and You try so hard to protect us and keep us strong in the spirit. It's really a shame when we open the door to this unchecked assimilation and acceptance of the Enemy's lies and propaganda through movies! Help our dear Family to take this message to heart, and to not only be convicted for the moment, but really be "doers of the Word!" In Your precious Name we ask. Amen.

6. (Dad:) I know you kids have heard all of your lives that you've gotta watch out for movies, that you've gotta watch out what you feed your spirit‚ you've gotta watch out what you feed your soul. I've been telling you that for a long time. I explained a lot of that in "You Are What You Read" (MLs #775 and 776, Vol.6). There have been messages I've given recently in regards to particular movies, and some of those messages have been published in the Grapevine. The Lord's also said some interesting stuff about certain movies that have been put in the Grapevine, and I've said a little bit here and there about the dangers of movies. Maybe some of you folks just don't realize the magnitude of the problem, or perhaps you don't even realize what a big effect movies have on you.

7. I've told you before that movies have a place in our lives because they're relaxing. They help you let your hair down and relax and have a good time, and in that way they have their place and they can be useful. All of you guys work so hard for the Lord on your mission fields, or in your Homes—taking care of kids, witnessing, being a blessing to your sheep, holding follow–up meetings, working in the kitchen, or whatever the case may be.

8. You all work real hard for the Lord, and He wants to give you some blessings and some rewards. He likes for you to relax and have free time after all of the work is done, and so movies do have their place and they are beneficial in that way.

9. But maybe you don't realize what a big influence movies have in your life—and not just in your life, but in everyone's life. Movies have a huge impact on the whole world. Movies and TV change people's minds, and I would even venture to say they brainwash the multitudes. I mean, people accuse us of brainwashing, but I'd say that movies are brainwashing at its highest possible state!

10. Movies basically hammer into you ideals, morals, standards and conclusions that are, sad to say, in most cases totally contrary to the way the Lord wants you to think, to be, to act and to live. If you really think about it, I think you'd see that many movies actually put down, minimize, degrade, and even make fun of most of the things in life that are good and Godly—even the simple yet enjoyable things of life.

11. I guess the easiest way to explain the influence of movies would be to go point by point and share how they can affect you in different areas of your life, or influence you in how you think about different morals or standards or ideas of the world.

Sodomy Portrayed as Just Another Lifestyle

12. Let's take sodomy, for example. So many movies that come out nowadays have at least one sodomite in them. Many movies portray this ungodly sin. The Bible talks about sodomy, and the Lord says very clearly that He hates it. In fact, He destroyed the entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness and their turning their backs on Him and His natural gifts and God-given attitudes towards sex.

13. God hates sodomy! He loves the sodomites just like He loves any other sinner, but He hates the sin! It disgusts Him and it makes Him hot with righteous anger! Now, in the worldly movies, how many times do they portray it as a sin? Rarely, if ever! Most of the time it's portrayed as an attribute, as a good thing‚ as a part of life, as just somebody's choice to live their life that way. Well, I'll tell you what‚ God hates it and I hate it too!

14. Movies breed this sort of wishy-washy attitude which eats away at your convictions, to where you don't get so angry about sodomy anymore. You don't feel that Godly anger well up within you anymore. You start to kind of accept sodomy as a way of life. Or you say‚ "Oh, that's just the way things are out there in the world. That's just somebody's choice. That's the way they want to live."

15. So that's part of the influence that movies have on you. They continually portray sodomy as okay‚ that it's good, that it's just a different lifestyle, that it's just an individual's choice. They add sodomites here and there in the movies in little parts; they're portrayed as good people, as kind souls. You look at their personality and you see that they're good people. You start to actually like the people and think that the sin is not so bad, when really you should be getting steaming mad about it and rebuking the Enemy and praying for those poor people who are oppressed by this vice of the Evil One!

16. One reason the movies are so sympathetic to sodomites is because the movie people check their scripts with them, if you can imagine such a thing! They have an association of sodomites called the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Los Angeles‚ and if some Hollywood studio is gonna make a movie with a sodomite character in it, they let them look over the script beforehand. This association says what is or isn't acceptable, and anything that would encourage homophobia, as they call it, just isn't acceptable today. It's too discriminatory. It's getting to the point where it's almost illegal to criticize them!

17. Now I'm not saying you should never watch movies with sodomites in them. It's hard to avoid them in the movies these days! What you have to watch out for is when they portray them as the heroes or the good, gentle‚ kind souls that everyone wants to be like. Or when they're nice folks being persecuted just because they're homosexuals. That's when kids and weaker folks can begin to identify with them, and when even stronger folks start getting their convictions chipped away little by little. Sodomy is a sin, folks, and although sinners can be nice people, it's dangerous to identify with such a blatant sin! You should love them‚ witness to them and win them if you can, of course. The Lord loves them just like He does you. You just need to keep your convictions strong about what's right and wrong!

18. When they portray sodomites in a comic or funny role, that's not as bad. Well, the sin is still as bad, but its effect upon you as the viewer isn't as serious. Of course, if you don't have to watch such movies with sodomites in them, then you shouldn't, just as you shouldn't watch movies filled with violence, cursing, evil‚ the occult, or any other System slop that's going to have a bad effect on you. They're all bad! You just have to judge them prayerfully and weigh them in the balances, to see whether the good outweighs the bad in each case.

Foul Language and Unloving Speech

19. In movies, there's also foul language. You know foul language is bad. You know that I've talked about it in the Letters. You know that the Lord wants the words that come out of your mouth to be pure. You know that the Lord wants you to speak of the good things. You know that the Lord wants you to choose the good and eschew the evil. Still, with this constant input from movies, through the constant replaying of these words, this unloving speech starts to become a part of you.

20. If you hear foul words long enough, over and over again, they start coming out of your mouth before you even realize it. It starts to become a habit for you, too. At the very least, if they don't start coming out of your mouth, you start to lose your conviction for standing up for Godly ways of speech.

21. This foul language is garbage that defiles both you and those that hear it! And if you take it in continually on screen, you'll find yourself spewing it out in person, like that saying: "Garbage in, garbage out!" So avoid such language, and for God's sake don't use it yourself and spread garbage to others!

Violence Without Consequences

22. Then, of course, there's violence in the movies. I mean, just the other day in the U.S. an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old went to their school and gunned down five people‚ and many others were wounded! And there've been all sorts of cases of young people in Japan knifing their teachers, classmates and even police officers. Where do you think the kids get those kinds of ideas? It's no wonder they have twisted ideas, largely because of all of the violence and killing and shootings and wars on television and in the movies. Movies are very unrealistic, and they never show things the way they really are.

23. They show you the gunfights‚ the wrestling, the buildings blowing up, the cars getting demolished, but they rarely if ever show you the long–term results of such violence. They almost never show you the pain the people suffer. They never show you the guys who are then confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. They never show you the ones who grieve and mourn over the loss of their loved ones. In the movies they don't show what life is really like and what violence really does—how it's ruining the world that we live in and making society a hell on Earth.

24. Most movies not only fail to show the victims of violence and what effect violence has on them, but they also fail to show you the consequences for the perpetrators. In real life you can't kill‚ assault‚ rob, cheat and lie without paying the price, even if it's for a so-called good cause! Yet movie heroes as well as villains do this all the time. If you don't get caught by the law and go through man's justice system, you'll face the Lord one of these days‚ and God's law is sure: You reap what you sow!

Selfish and Unloving Sex

25. Then there's the way they portray sex in the movies. Often people are ruled by lust and by their own selfish desires, and there's not much real lasting love. There's also violent sex‚ ungodly sex, unnatural sex, and this has sadly crept into some of our people's lives. Mama and Peter and I are very sad about that, and so is the Lord, because He intended for sex to be a loving, natural, Godly‚ beautiful experience!

26. The Enemy, through the movies, seeks to destroy everything that is Godly, good, wholesome and enjoyable. He wants to take credit for that which God has made. He wants to screw up the world's morals and turn sex into something that is ugly, even hurtful, and most certainly selfish.

Good Is Bad and Bad Is Good

27. Movies also portray certain sins as good and desirable qualities, which you should strive to attain. Take jealousy, for example. Jealousy tears down love, jealousy is selfishness, and jealousy is an evil root and weakness of the Enemy. We, as the Lord's children, have to fight against this deadly sin of jealousy. As we overcome it, we find the Lord's love and peace that overlooks and overshadows and overcomes our natural selfish feelings.

28. Yet in the movies, they portray jealousy as an attribute. They say, "Hey, it's good to be jealous. It's good to jealously covet the one that you love. Don't worry about ever having to share him or her. Holding back and being selfish is the way to go! You keep yourself from hurt, and you'll usually get what you want." That's an example of something that they portray in the movies which is totally opposite from the way that the Lord wants us to be and what the Lord knows will keep us happy, loving and giving.

Law of Love Not Allowed

29. Movies also eat away at your desire to live the Law of Love. In movies there is rarely any leeway for giving love to another besides the one who is your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your husband or wife. Of course, people out there often cheat on their lovers, but then they either lose the one they love or they're never forgiven for what they did.

30. In the Family we have the liberty to live the Law of Love and to give love to others, even outside of our marriages and our private relationships, but the movies tear down this sort of sharing. They give the subliminal messages: "You can't give like that. You can't love another‚ because it will just ruin your relationship for good. You can't love more than one person. You can't give love to others‚ or if you do, you have to do it on the sly without permission, without honesty and without open heart-sharing communication."

31. This is totally contrary to the Lord's Law of Love. And when you watch movies, instead of having more of a desire to give to and love those around you, you have less‚ because they keep eating away at your mind patterns and the love the Lord has placed in your heart. You can unconsciously start withholding and not reaching out to others as much as you know the Lord wants you to, and as much as you should.

32. Movies just generally have that effect! These constant scenes and images of people saving themselves for one person and then living happily ever after, or of sharing outside their marriage and winding up miserable and ruining their lives and the lives of others, what do you think they do to people? You talk about social indoctrination and brainwashing, or coercive tactics, the System has got it, I wanna tell you!

33. You older folks watch that, but you've read and lived enough of my Letters to know that it's just a fantasy, as unrealistic as most other things they show on film—although it still affects you to some extent. But young people have less exposure to life, and seeing these unrealistic portrayals can cause them to grow up thinking these things are the way life and love are. Then they start treating the Lord's Letters and our teachings on the Law of Love sort of like System Christians treat the Bible—nice words and the ideal, but something from another age that's not really possible to live today. Oh‚ they pay it lip respect, but their obedience is limited because they've been so conditioned that you just can't do it, can't live it‚ can't practice it today. And they see their parents not living it either, being sort of settled down and not wanting to get involved with others, so they wonder why they should either!

Fantasy on Film—Life Is Unrealistic

34. Then there's the fact that movies are so unrealistic; they often have fairy-tale endings and unrealistic scenarios. They can make you start wondering why life doesn't flow as smoothly as it does in the movies. The more you watch movies, the more they rub in this message. "Why don't relationships work out like they do in the movies? Why don't bad situations work out like they do in the movies? Why doesn't everybody always live happily ever after?" It's this fantasy world of unrealism that totally screws up your perspective on life!

35. It can have a lot of bad effects on you. You start getting dissatisfied with the way you were made‚ with the trials and battles that the Lord brings into your life. You start measuring the way you think things should be by the way that movies turn out, by the happy endings, by the unrealistic relationships. You start living in a fantasy world to where your feet aren't even firmly on the ground anymore.

36. How can you fight and give your life to the Lord if you're living in a world that's unreal, continually wishing that things were different or that life was more "perfect"? This is a real inroad of the Enemy to get you to be dissatisfied and unthankful for the blessings the Lord's given you and the beautiful gift of life that He's bestowed upon you to live for Him‚ and to love and enjoy Him with.

Further Fantasy: The Perfect Body

37. Movies can not only make you dissatisfied with life but also with yourself and your body. You women see that gorgeous gal with the beautiful body on screen, and you want to be like her. So you start starving yourself to achieve that same sort of figure, which is unnatural and unnecessary! You get discontent with the body the Lord gave you and you want to be like some Hollywood starlet who's gone under the knife of plastic surgery to get that way, or who barely eats and suffers all sorts of health problems as a result. This not only affects you but it affects your service for the Lord and your ministry to millions of others, as well as the children God wants to give you or has already given you!

38. You men aren't immune to this sort of thing either, so don't get self-righteous towards the women! You see these well-muscled hulks in the movies and you start wanting to be like them. Before you know it, you're off doing push–ups and lifting weights every day in your own quest for the perfect look. It's reverse anorexia—the women want to slim down and you men want to build yourself up! Your muscles are bulging, even though you might be weak in the Word or in spirit and your Word time is fading fast!

39. For Heaven's sakes, folks, what's wrong with the bodies the Lord gave you! If you eat right, sleep right, exercise right and live right, and don't abuse your body by overdoing somehow or other, you'll have the figure the Lord intended you to have. Why go the System route in spending so much time, energy and health in being so overly concerned about how you look? Don't you realize it's the inner you that's most important—the spirit of love for the Lord and others shining from your eyes that makes you beautiful?

Cool Bad Habits

40. Then in movies, they do all kinds of things that are bad for your health. They eat junk food, they smoke like a house afire, they overdo on alcohol and drugs, and these things have a terrible effect on people—but most of the time the effects aren't portrayed realistically. A large number of people in the movies smoke constantly, and that really wears away at your convictions. You young people start wanting to try it out, because movies give smoking a very "cool" image. It seems to be the "in thing."

Getting a System Education to Get Ahead

41. Then there's the constant hammering into you that you have to have a good System education. You have to go to high school, you have to get good grades, you have to go to college. You have to really study hard and get good grades in order to be anything or do anything in life.

42. No wonder so many of our kids these days have it ingrained in them that they have to go to school, that they have to get a higher education. It's no wonder that they think this way, because it's been hammered into them through the movies. It's there all over the place. It's a standard that never changes in the System.

43. They say you can't be anything, you can't do anything, you can't even live a decent life unless you go the distance with your education. Sadly, a lot of our young people have taken on this attitude because they've heard it so many times. What the Lord's said and what's been put out in the Letters has been overruled.

44. Our missionary kids don't need a bunch of head-stuffing in a System high school, and they certainly don't need a college education! They'd be surrounded by the ungodly while the Enemy slowly snuffs out whatever fire or fervor they had‚ while they learn how to drink, do drugs, date and raise hell. Our kids just need whatever education is necessary to serve the Lord and be a useful missionary and soul–winner! Yet now many of them want to do it. Some of them leave the Family for that very reason—to get a "good education." They see through the movies that it's looked down upon to not receive a "full, adequate System education."

45. Although they have sufficient knowledge for the job that the Lord has given them, they feel inferior and think they have to go out there and top up their knowledge in order to be anything or do anything or be of good use to anybody. It's a total lie of the Enemy and something that's passed on through the movies! The Enemy uses this to get our young people to waste their time on studying and accumulating System knowledge, becoming intellectual and educated, when they could be serving the Lord and winning souls for His glory.

Money Madness

46. Movies also portray those "get-rich-quick" schemes and ways to make money. In most movies everything seems to come so easy, so smooth‚ and the people always seem to be successful. They don't show the reality of the world out there and how the big money boys use you and abuse you‚ how big companies use the little people as pawns in their hands, how the System will swallow you up if you're not careful‚ and how making money is just plain hard work, unless you're singin' the right tunes and playin' ball with the big money boys who rule the world!

47. Movies also really encourage materialism! You see people with the latest craze in clothes, electronics, computers, cars or whatever, and you start to want them too. There's the constant subliminal message of "You need this! You've gotta have it!" So you can start to become dissatisfied with what you have, with all the good things the Lord has provided for you.

48. Materialism is how the Enemy keeps folks in check and from doing much or anything for the Lord. After all, if you want to buy those things you need money, and lots of it. That means you either have to slave away at a System job or go into debt up to your eyeballs, or both. System slavery is a high price to pay for material goodies! Watch out for the spirit of mammon!

War Between the Generations

49. And the way a lot of movies portray family relationships —relationships between children or adolescents and their parents—is the opposite of the way that the Lord has designed for us, His Family, to live. The Lord's commandment was for children to obey their parents, yet in the movies children very frequently talk back, being disrespectful and ungrateful towards their parents.

50. Some movies portray huge generation gaps between teenagers and their parents. In the movies, it's just the "in thing" to not like your parents and to not get along with them, to speak badly about them behind their backs. If you get along with your parents, you're looked on as "corny" or "square‚" or they consider you a sissy, a goody–goody or a mama's boy.

51. Yet in the Family, the Lord's showed us how it's possible for both generations to work side by side, to live in unity with each other and to love each other and be close, even though there are physical differences, and even though the younger generation and the older generation have different likes and dislikes and different ideas of what is fun and enjoyable.

52. The influence of movies can contribute to the generation gap that we experience in the Family, because the movies say that it's just natural for kids and their parents not to get along. Therefore, the adults and young people in the Family accept that as a way of life instead of striving to bridge the gap and create unity between the generations.

Attacking Christianity

53. Overall, movies just tear down Christianity! They tear down the morals that are good and right. Every once in a while, a movie will come out that doesn't portray Christians or Christianity in a bad way, but it usually has some other twisted slant to it that's a more subtle attack. The AC always has to get in his propaganda some way or another.

54. Often when Christians are portrayed in movies they're the bad guys, and this gives the world a bad perspective on those who love the Lord and those who serve Him. They'll show murderers or people in prison as professing Christians while they continue their murder and villainy. Sometimes even the child abusers or the sodomites in movies claim to believe in God‚ and this is yet another ploy of the Enemy to eat away at people's faith in God, their faith in the spirit world, and their faith in Christianity.

Constant Garbage Can Wear Down Godliness

55. Well, folks, these are just some of the many ways that movies can influence you! A lot of times you don't see the effects in your own life for a long time. Maybe it will be a few years before you actually see the effect that the movies have on you. Maybe for a while you'll be doing fine, coasting along, not being real prayerful about the movies that you watch. But this constant input, this constant portrayal of morals that are contrary to the Lord and the way that He wants us to think and act and be, really does have an effect on you, whether you like it or not.

56. And it's not just the actions and the attitudes of these movies that can affect you, the words can as well. So don't go mulling over some of the foolish and ungodly things they say and go around repeating them or mimicking them; that just multiplies the foolishness and ungodliness! Beware of these things that eat away at your mind, heart and spirit. It's the little foxes that eat the vine, the little ungodly scenes and sounds that wear down your spirit.

57. Somewhere down the line, these little seeds that have been planted in your heart and replayed in your mind will spring up out of nowhere. Then you'll realize that you have actually lost so much of your faith and your conviction. So much of the input and training that you've received goes to waste, because these ungodly influences eat away so slowly.

58. If you want to preserve your life for the Lord, if you want to stay full of conviction and filled with Godly anger against the atrocities of the world today, the world that's walking down the pathway to destruction, then you'd better be real prayerful about what you watch. Even most so-called good movies can still influence you adversely in some way, whether you like it or not, so you'd better really pray. You'd better really pray that you can choose the good things and eschew the evil. And if you've developed an appetite for the wrong kinds of movies, you should ask for prayer from others or from your Home.

59. Most importantly, make sure that you're getting filled up with the Word to counteract any bad influences that the movies may have on you. I know that movies are a very sensitive topic for a lot of you, and I'm sorry if I sound pretty hard-hitting, but I think you'd do well to take note and listen and take heed to what I'm saying. If you don't, you're endangering your life for the Lord; you're leaving yourself open to these subtle inroads of the Enemy.

60. He's gonna have a heyday in your life if you don't take a stand and lift up a standard against him when he comes in like a flood! These movies can be like a flood—they're a flood of input—and if you don't choose what input you're going to receive and cast away the input that is of this world and that will eat away at your foundation of faith, then you're gonna be sorry.

61. What will you say to the Lord when you come before Him at the end of this life? Will you say, "Well, Lord, I know You gave me all these talents. I know You gave me a lot of training. I know You poured a lot of Word into me. I know You gave me the truth, but I just let those talents get eaten away by the constant flood of movies and their input. I let the ungodliness eat away at my convictions until there were none left"?

62. Or will you say‚ "Well, Lord, You gave me all these talents. I resisted the things of this world, and I invested Your talents wisely. They multiplied in my life and the lives of others many times over"? If you can say that to Him on that day‚ then He'll say to you‚ "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!"

63. Lord, please help us all to realize what a serious inroad of the Enemy movies are. Open our eyes to the spirit world. Help us realize that if we want to stay on board for You, if we want to be useful members of this Family‚ if we want to invest what You've given to us wisely, then we're going to have to guard our souls with all diligence. We're going to have to make sure that we're taking in only those things which are good and wholesome, only those things that are going to strengthen us and sustain us in the days to come.

64. And if we're working hard for You and watch movies for relaxation‚ please help us to choose the ones that are good and the ones that are going to benefit us. Even when we watch these, please help us to be bathed in prayer and choose the good things and cast away those things that are evil and not of You.

65. Jesus‚ this is something that we're going to need Your help with. We pray that You'll help us to wake up! Help folks to wake up and take this little talk to heart‚ 'cause it can salvage their usefulness to You.

66. Okay, God bless you, folks! I'm prayin' for you, that as you take this counsel and apply it wisely, you'll grow and become stronger and be even mightier witnessers for the Lord. I know you can do it! You're my Endtime army and I know that you want to press on to all that is in store for you ahead, without being squelched or hindered by the things of this world! I'm proud of you as you take the stand for good movies and against the bad ones, being counted as men and women of guts and conviction! Don't give any place to the Enemy in your movie-watching! You're not ignorant of his devices now. I love you! (End of message from Dad.)

Summary of Movie Influences

67. (Mama: ) Dad's message warns of the following bad influences of movies:

  1. Movies portray sodomy as just another way of life, and promote an accepting attitude toward it.
  2. There is often an abundance of foul language, which can easily become a part of you. Even if it doesn't become part of your vocabulary, it can tear down your convictions about upholding Godly speech.
  3. The violence portrayed in movies is twisted and unrealistic in that you don't see the pain and suffering, the grieving families, the lifelong handicaps which follow. It numbs you to the thought of committing violence, and is making it easier and easier for people to commit these atrocious crimes, because they've seen them so often on television and in movies.
  4. Often people are ruled by lust and by their own selfish desires, and there's not much real lasting love. There's also violent or ungodly, unnatural sex, through which the Devil tries to take credit for sex, rather than the beautiful, pure, natural experience which God intended for it to be.
  5. Movies also portray certain sins as good and desirable qualities which you should strive to attain—the direct opposite of the way the Lord sees them—jealousy and selfishness, for example. Movies desensitize your conscience—literally "searing it with a hot iron" (1Tim.4:2b).
  6. Movies eat away at your desire to live the Law of Love. They give subliminal messages that it can't be done, so why even try.
  7. Movies are often very unrealistic, having fairy-tale endings and unrealistic scenarios, which can make you wonder or question why your life seems so difficult in comparison, and cause dissatisfaction and discontent.
  8. Movies can also lead to dissatisfaction with your body and physical appearance, affecting both men and women.
  9. Many bad health habits and vices are portrayed as "cool" in the movies—smoking, drinking‚ eating junk food, etc.
  10. The point is often stressed that you have to get a full System education in order to be successful in life.
  11. Movies also portray unrealistic "get-rich-quick" schemes and ways to make money, and don't show the reality of the big money boys behind things, and how they use and abuse and control you.
  12. The way family relationships are portrayed is the opposite of the way the Lord wants us to live. The generation gap is viewed as normal and acceptable. In fact‚ young people are often looked down upon by their peers if they do get along with their parents or adults.
  13. Movies tear down Christianity.
  14. Even so-called good movies often affect you adversely—so pray! Pray and counsel with others about the movies you watch or let your kids watch‚ and "choose the good and eschew the evil!" You are what you watch! What are you watching?

Love, Mama

68. P.S. You can save yourself a lot of problems with bad movies by sticking to those which are rated in the Grapevine and other WS pubs, and carefully considering your audience and age group. Or, if you watch something else‚ then pray over it and be sure to preview it.

69. Of course, as Dad said above, even so-called good movies can still affect you adversely, although we try to select those with the least amount of bad and the most amount of good. So read the movie blurb beforehand to be aware of any possible warnings, and pray for the Lord's protection for both yourselves and your young people! I love you!

Charter Responsibilities

ML #3197:52-61, GN 803

Responsibilities of Individual Members:

1. CM Family members should:

A. Maintain a close connection with God through personal communion with Jesus, personal and united prayer and praise‚ personal and united reading of His Word (both the Bible and the Letters), Scripture memorization, and the minimizing and resisting of ungodly and unedifying influences in their lives; thus exhibiting the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are: "love, joy, peace, long-suffering‚ gentleness, goodness, faith‚ meekness and temperance."

52. (Peter:) The most controversial portion of this clause is the "minimizing and resisting of ungodly and unedifying influences in their lives." This clause has been rather controversial because there is no strict black-and-white definition as to what "ungodly and unedifying" influences are. What one person considers ungodly and unedifying might differ from what someone else considers to be so. This has been a point of contention between Home members, and often between older and younger members.

53. The points of controversy that have been the most contentious have been the watching of violent or unedifying movies‚ listening to System music, playing violent or unedifying computer games, foul language, excessive and unwise Internet usage, and worldliness in general. The attitude of some has been, "Well, the Charter doesn't specifically say we can't watch super-violent movies, and I really like them. I don't think they're unedifying for me personally; I can handle it." … Or, "What's considered unedifying, anyway?"

54. Perhaps the way to look at it is in reverse: "Is this movie or music edifying for me? Does it help me in some way without being harmful in some other way? Is there some information or some moral value contained in it that will help me to be a better Christian or a better person? Does the movie or music promote things or attitudes that we as a Family are for, or does it preach against what we believe?"

55. Of course many movies, even a number of those listed in the Grapevine, are just watched for entertainment. But the question you should ask yourself in your viewing or listening is whether it's edifying entertainment or harmful entertainment. In listing movies in the Grapevine, we try to stay away from entertainment which would be considered harmful. Of course, almost all movies have some measure of violence or unedifying language in them, but there is certainly a difference in the degree of negativity a movie contains, as "You Are What You Watch" brings out. If you have a penchant for violent movies and you are watching them a lot, then perhaps you should ask yourself, "How is this type of movie edifying for me? Are movies like this doing anything good for me? Are they making me a better Christian or a better Family member? Do the effects of these movies draw me closer to the Lord?"

56. When asking the Lord about how to decide if something is edifying, Dad spoke and pointed out that you need to go to the Word on the subject to see what the Lord has said. Dad said, "That's the first way to know the will of God—the Word. You could do a little study on both His written Word and my written word on the subject. Open your Bible and see what it has to say on the subject. If it's not there—and you probably won't find much on music or movies there—then check out the Letters and see what Mama and I have to say on it. Use your Cat Book, your HomeARC‚ your Daily-Dex and other study tools, and 'study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that doesn't need to be ashamed,' because he knows the Word! I dare say if some of you knew the Letters a little better, you wouldn't have to wonder if something is an ungodly influence or not. You may be surprised at what you find—all sorts of treasures you haven't read for years that answer a lot of your questions." (End of message from Dad)

57. (Peter:) A lot has been written on movie watching and music, so if you have a question about your appetite for certain kinds of movies or music, check out the Word on the subject.

58. Dad also said to ask the Lord about it:

59. (Dad continues: ) What do you do if you're not sure whether something is an ungodly influence or not‚ or may be okay some of the time but you want to minimize its influence and not have it affect you adversely? If you have a question, just ask the Lord. Just get quiet and let Him speak to you. And if you're still not sure, a couple of people could hear from the Lord, so that "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word would be established." Then you have to be willing to abide by what He tells you, of course! That's going to be the hard part in some cases, especially if you really want to do something and the Lord says you shouldn't.

60. So follow the seven ways to know the will of the Lord. Go to the Word. Seek His direct voice in prophecy or His written Word. Let it speak to you, and obey what it says. You can also seek confirmations and counsel from your shepherds or others. Remember that burdens are often one of the least effective ways to know God's will in situations like this‚ so you'd better confirm them with the other ways. (End of message from Dad)

61. (Peter: ) So if you are unsure about whether something is unedifying, go to the Word, go to the Lord, counsel with your shepherds and be open to what the Word, the Lord and your shepherds say. And when it comes to movies, if you stick to the ones that are published in the Grapevine and WS movie lists, as recommended in the Charter (Home Life Rules, K.), you're less likely to get off track. Not every movie rated "watchable" is a "top" movie that's going to be really spiritually feeding—but the list is a safeguard to keep you from the multitude of much worse movies out there that are much less edifying or time-wasters or even harmful! But even some of the movies on the Grapevine movie lists may not be for everyone, so you need to be sure to read the blurbs and decide whether you want to watch it or not—whether it's your type of movie or suitable for you or others in your Home.

The Professionals

ML #3399:59, 61-73, GN 993

59. (Peter:) I think most people can discern what's good for them to watch, if they ask the Lord, but whether they will pray with openness and yieldedness and then follow what the Lord shows them is another thing. Some people simply want to watch certain kinds of movies; they might know in their heart of hearts that certain movies aren't good for them and that they won't be rated, but they want to see them anyway.

61. Let's talk about movie rating for a minute. Why does WS rate movies? We rate movies as a service to the Homes—to save the Homes' time by previewing movies for them. If a Home is going to take the time to watch a video, they want it to be something worthwhile, or at least entertaining and enjoyable. It takes time to go to video shops and sort through the hundreds of videos on the shelves to find something that seems like it would be good for the Home to watch. So to help you on the field save time‚ WS preview teams watch movies and publish a list of those they feel are "watchable." Not only does this save the Homes time, but it also lets you know which movies were watched and prayed about.

62. For quite some time we have included the prophecies with the rating, so everyone will know what the Lord or Dad has said about the movie. We've received numerous comments from Family members saying the movie lists are helpful, and that while the lists may not be perfect or fit everyone's preference, they do make the selection of movies for video nights much easier.

63. Now, is it absolutely essential that you watch only movies on rated lists? Let's look at what the Charter says: "It is recommended that members select movies they view from the 'Movie Lists' published by World Services and follow the advice as to the selection of the film, the age group for which the film is suggested, and the appropriateness of the film for the target audience. It is not recommended that you watch a movie that is not on the list, but it's not forbidden" ("Home Life Rules," K, pg.267). The answer is: We feel it's best to show your Home rated movies, but it's not forbidden to watch unrated movies. That's what it says, right? And that's what it means.

64. It goes on to say that if a Home is going to watch a movie not on the rated list, then a committee must preview it before showing it to the whole Home. Why is that? Have you ever gone to the video store and picked out a movie that had a pretty good write-up, that seemed it would be pretty good, but when you watched it, it turned out to be real lame, or worse yet, an insult to your intelligence and spirituality? I know I have. And if you've gotten your whole Home together for movie night and have shown one of these, it's a real bummer.

65. So in order to make sure a movie is not harmful to the Home members, a complete waste of time, or an actual evil film, a committee needs to watch it first. In other words, the committee has the power to decide if an unrated movie can be watched in the Home. You have to realize that WS can't preview every video or see every movie that hits the theaters. We'd have to have dozens of people whose full-time job was movie watching. We can only preview so many movies, which is why the Charter allows the Home's preview committee to make the call on movies that aren't previewed by WS.

66. But what about when someone from the Home wants to go out to a movie—do the same rules apply? No, they don't. Although, if your Home has a Home policy on this, then you need to abide by that policy. But let's say your Home doesn't have a policy in place about unrated movies still in theaters. So, if a new movie comes out and isn't rated yet, but you want to see it, what do you do? Well‚ that is different than showing a movie to the Home‚ where it would need to be previewed first. Your seeing this new movie would be your choice. But it's in this individual choice where your personal test of faith and discipleship comes into play.

67. There are lots of movies that‚ if previewed by WS members‚ would probably be rated‚ but as I said‚ we don't have the time or the personnel to see and pray about every movie that comes out. So some movies playing in the theaters are watchable, while some aren't. When you're choosing an unrated movie to see in a cinema‚ you should use your discernment, prayer, and gift of prophecy. You should also be willing to consider others' counsel.

68. Generally speaking, Family members who spend their money to go to movie theaters usually keep themselves up to date on what's playing and what those movies are about, and they probably know which movies are going to be decent and which aren't—although I admit that sometimes you can be caught by surprise‚ and something that seems to be good turns out to be really lousy, so it pays to ask the Lord.

69. With very little research you can usually find out the general plot of a movie, or at least the genre of movie—action, horror, love story, etc. If it's fairly obvious that the film is dark, evil, full of horror, and glorifies violence, then, as a disciple who is trying to serve the Lord, you should avoid it. If you're pretty certain that the movie is going to be okay, and that, if watched by your Home's preview committee or WS, it would most likely be deemed watchable, then it's probably okay for you to watch it in a cinema, if you get a confirmation from the Lord.

70. The key, as with every other aspect of life, is prayer, counsel, and hearing from the Lord. You should ask the Lord whether it's okay for you to see the film in question, and your partner should too. And it should go without saying that you have to pray and hear from the Lord with an open heart, and be willing to accept the Lord's answer, whether He says yes or no. If you're unsure, counsel with your Home shepherds. Also, ask around if anyone else has seen it and what their opinion is.

71. If you're a Charter member, you are a disciple. As a disciple, you should understand that there are some things that simply aren't good for your spirit. You might like to do those things‚ you might even want to do them, but because you're a Christian and a disciple, a doer of the Word, then you should choose not to do things that are bad for you.

72. We're not against people watching movies‚ within reason. Lots of movies are enjoyable and entertaining‚ some are outstanding‚ most are mediocre‚ and some are clearly bad. If a movie is not good or is not good for you‚ then you shouldn't watch it. The underlying reason for you to not watch an unedifying movie shouldn't be because the Charter says you can't, or because it's "against the rules," but because you know it's not good for you as someone who is living the discipleship life.

73. None of us are perfect; we all have faults and commit sins. Every one of us have things we like to do which aren't good for us, which don't help us in our service to the Lord. The question each of us is faced with is what do we do about those things? If we know that those things don't edify us, if they dull us spiritually‚ if they hurt us physically, if they're not a positive force in our lives, if the Word tells us those things are not good for us, then we have to make a choice. Do we go ahead and do them anyway, or do we try not to do them? As disciples, we should try not to do those things. It's hard—no one is saying it's easy—but trying to live according to the Word sometimes means not being able to do some things that we would like to. That's part of discipleship.

Issues, Part 13

ML #3430:54-80, GN 1012

54. (Question:) Some people say, when they're doing something wrong, like listening to System music all the time, or watching non–recommended movies, etc., "I have the faith for this; it won't do me harm!" or "I'm strong; I can take it!" Many people say this—both young people and FGAs. But from what I understand from the Word, if it's something that goes against what the Word says, then even if you say you have all the faith in the world for it, it's still wrong. And you'll only be saying you have the faith for it, but you actually don't have the faith; you're just using those words as an excuse to do what you want. The Word says that faith is a gift of God. He won't give you this gift to use on something bad for you or others. It's impossible to have faith if you don't obey the Lord. Did I get it right?

55. (Dad:) The Lord has given you in the Family great faith for things that very few other Christians—people who are otherwise wonderfully saved and really love the Lord, and who even believe in living for the Lord and witnessing for Him—could ever possibly have the faith for. You've been given many wonderful freedoms, which the majority of the churches would consider heretical, blasphemous, or at the very least, dirty and sinful. Nevertheless, you have these freedoms, by faith, with very few restrictions and guidelines. Many of you younger ones probably don't even realize how special those freedoms are, because you didn't have to fight for them; you grew up thinking of them as being completely normal and natural.

56. What is it that gives you the faith for these things that so many other good Christians do not have the faith for? What is it that makes the Family so different?! It's your faith in the Word, and specifically your faith in the now famous Law of Love that sets you apart from the rest of the church. Your freedom along these lines is what separates you from almost every other Christian or person of faith in the whole world.

57. Faith comes by hearing the Word and believing it—believing it to mean exactly what it says—and the Family is really strong on that point. But do you want to know something very important? This is the crux of the whole matter. The important thing you must remember is that you can have all the freedom in the world and all the faith in the world, but without love, it's nothing. As the Apostle Paul explained time and time again, real faith must be based on love, and put into action with love—otherwise it's nothing. Read it again in 1Corinthians 13: "Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love)."

58. As Paul told the Galatians, "In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6). In other words, are your actions based on your faith in Jesus, and on your love for Him and for others? Are you doing what you're doing because you love Him, and because you want to please Him and glorify Him in your body, mind, and spirit? If so‚ then there's no Scriptural law against what you're doing.

59. But if what you're doing isn't edifying or loving, if it's selfish and carnal and based upon your own selfish desires and the lusts of the flesh‚ if it doesn't draw you closer to the Lord or to others‚ and if it doesn't fill your heart with good things—with love and the desire to reach out to those around you—then what you're doing isn't of the Lord, it isn't built on the Rock, and therefore it isn't an act of faith but an act of sin.

60. That's right—it's a sin. Does it surprise you to hear me say that? You who have grown up in the Family haven't heard that word much, have you? We've kind of shied away from using that expression and talking about things as being "sinful‚" because it smacked so much of the churchianity system.

61. Many of the first generation had been so put down and put off by the churches' constant sermonizing about sin and hellfire, they were just fed up with it! They'd heard so many warnings about all the things they weren't supposed to do‚ and yet they'd been given no idea of what the Bible and Jesus' love are really all about. "Don't do this and don't do that. Don't dance or drink or enjoy life. Don't have sex. Don't masturbate. And for God's sake, don't ever be tempted to become some sort of religious fanatic!" And if by any chance someone happened to miraculously be moved by the Lord's Spirit to actually do something for Jesus‚ they were looked on as a complete freak, a weirdo.

62. So when the Lord, in His love and mercy, broke us free from the chains of churchianity and from the System's religion of don'ts, He turned us on to a whole new religion and a whole new way of life. Jesus didn't say to us, "Don't do this and don't do that." He told us‚ "Go to it! Go into all the world, and do whatever it takes to win the lost and make disciples of all nations." He said, "Brother and sister, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! I've come to set you free, and whom the Son has set free is free indeed!"

63. Many of the first generation were so jazzed to have finally found the truth and be set free from the hypocrisy and lies of the System, they latched on to that freedom with everything they had and ran with it!—And the world criticized and condemned them for it.

64. But unfortunately, some of your parents lacked the experience, maturity, and the spiritual depth to know how to use the freedoms they were given wisely‚ and as a result, some of the things that were done in the name of freedom were not necessarily done in love; therefore they were wrong, or they bore the wrong fruit. They didn't fulfill all the conditions that were laid out in the Lord's Law of Love, and sadly, some were hurt by their actions.

65. And, of course, as I've said before, I should have put more conditions on the Law of Love myself, more restrictions and rules, so people wouldn't be hurt. So I'm responsible too, because I didn't anticipate the problems that could have come up, and did come up. I warned people to be ruled by love rather than lust, but that just wasn't enough.

66. Let's learn from the past, beloved. Please don't ever use the liberties the Lord has given you as an excuse to do your own thing, or as Peter put it in 1Peter 2:16, "Not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."

67. Jesus' love and grace and forgiveness have set you free from the law of sin and the flesh. But He didn't give you those freedoms just so that you would drift along, gratifying your own selfish desires and weaknesses. He gave them to you so that you could be a happy and loving bride, able to show the world a loving and understanding God.

68. "Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Gal.5:13-14).

69. Love—that's the standard. If it's not loving, if it's not full of love and full of the Lord's Spirit‚ you're not at liberty to do it. Part of your love for the Lord is manifested in your obedience to Him. So even if something doesn't look harmful to you, if it's something that the Lord has told you not to do, or that the rules of the Family do not permit, it's just love to be obedient—plain and simple. There is so much written in the epistles to the Early Church that makes this point very clear, and it's still just as true and as important today. Some of it might be a little hard to understand‚ but if you pray and read it with an open heart, the Lord's Spirit will help you get the gist of it.

70. Read through it and listen to what the Lord has to say to you. Just because you want to do something badly enough doesn't mean it's faith that's driving you‚ and it certainly doesn't make it right. In fact, the things that some people are doing and saying they have the faith for are dead wrong. Some of these things are not only bad for you and for your spirit, but they're bad for your testimony, for your work, and for your high calling of winning the world.

71. I'm talking about listening to the wrong kinds of music, and watching the wrong kinds of movies—music and movies and other worldly input that is slowly poisoning you and contaminating your spirit. You might deny—even to yourself—that these things are affecting you. You might say you have the faith for them, and you might even think you have the faith and the freedom to do them. But the truth is, you're not free at all, because you're trading away your God-given freedoms for a measly mess of pottage‚ allowing yourself to be overcome by the temptations and the pull of the Enemy.

72. You're giving up the waters of life in exchange for broken cisterns‚ wells without water‚ clouds that will be carried away by the storm. Read 2Peter 2:19-22: "For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ‚ they are again entangled therein, and overcome … it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

73. "You are a chosen generation," folks, "a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that you might show forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. … Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against your soul" (1Peter 2:9‚11).

74. "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you" (Romans 6:13-17).

75. Does that sound old-fashioned and out of date to you? It's not. It's more important today, more real, more true today than it has ever been before! It's a war of the spirit, and if instead of putting on the armor and the new weapons which the Lord is making available to you, if instead of yielding yourself to Him completely as His obedient servants, you're filling your mind and spirit with the pollutants of the Enemy, then it won't be long before you'll be completely defeated and useless as one of the Lord's emissaries.

76. I could go on and on with scripture after scripture, confirming that it's impossible to have the faith for something that's wrong, regardless of how much you want to do it. But I think I'll leave it up to you to dig into your Bible and read the rest for yourselves.

77. How could something not be wrong if it's not right? If it's not something good, if the spirit of it isn't good‚ if its message isn't good, if its purpose isn't good, then it's not good, and its fruit will not be good, and it will not be good for you.

78. So come on! "Fight the good fight of faith‚ lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called" (1Tim.6:12). "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him Who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2Tim.2:4). "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph. 5:11). "Be ye separate‚ saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (2Cor.6:17).

79. And if you feel yourself weakening in your convictions, or if you've already allowed yourself to become contaminated by the Enemy's poison, it's not too late. Let God's Word strengthen and help you. "Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you" (John 15:3). "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11). "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are spirit‚ and they are life" (John 6:63).

80. There is no excuse for disobedience, beloved. It's inexcusable. It will weaken you and sap you of your faith and your light. Don't let that happen to you. Stay on the wall! You'll be much happier and stronger‚ enjoying the freedoms of the Spirit which will last forever, than merely enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. (End of message from Dad)

Issues‚ Part 14

ML #3442:23, 66-75, 126-142, GN 1026

23. (Jesus: ) Both books and movies can be hazardous to your spiritual life and walk with Me, and that's why I'm repeatedly emphasizing the need for you to minimize these worldly influences. It goes without saying that some movies and books are better than others, and that's why you have to be in tune with Me, constantly checking in with Me to make sure you're doing the right thing, watching the right thing, or reading the right thing, whatever the case may be. Only I know what's best for you personally, and I'm more than willing to reveal these secrets to you when you call upon Me with no will of your own. (End of message from Jesus.)

Keeping first things first

66. (Staff member prays:) When rereading "The Shakeup" and "More on the Shakeup," I was convicted that I should pray further about my own life, about worldly influences and nonessential pursuits, and ask You, Lord, how I'm doing and if there are areas I need to pull up my socks in. I've decided to start asking You before watching movies, and in general not watching them as religiously as I always have; also, to discontinue reading novels, at least for now; and pray about the other recreational activities I enjoy, such as card playing, and ask You if that's the best thing to be doing at the time.

67. Those are the obvious types of things, and even in them, it's not like I'm always so faithful and prayerful yet. I'm sure there are other attitudes and things that I need to improve in. I'm sure You'll continue to show me more as time goes on, and just being stirred up in the spirit and trying to keep the right attitudes and priorities is going to help. Yet I know You must have something to say to me personally about all this and about ways I could do better. In general, how's my attitude? What's right and wrong about it? Is there anything that I should forsake that I'm not aware of?

Text box:

From "More on the Shakeup":

(Jesus:) I don't mean for you to give up everything that I've supplied for you. I don't mean for you to forsake watching movies, eating decent food‚ having showers, or listening to music. But the question you have to ask yourself is, "Would I be willing to give all of that up if the Lord asked me to?" If your answer is yes‚ if you would drop everything if I asked it of you‚ then that's a safe attitude to have, a godly attitude.

If you put anything in first place before Me and My Word, if you consistently—in fact, almost all the time—enjoy other things more than you enjoy Me‚ then that's a danger sign. You need to get back to the basics‚ back to the beginning, back to the beauties of loving Me and being on–fire for Me.

I'm talking about that revolutionary, do-or-die spirit! I'm talking about being drunk on the Spirit! Yes, I can allow you to watch movies or do whatever it is that you enjoy, but if you put that before Me or you always like it more than you like spending time with Me, then that's the time to forsake it‚ at least for a while, and get back to your First Love.

If there comes a time when you realize that something in your life is more important to you than Me, then you should right away, without delay, forsake it. Only by putting Me first and keeping Me in first place above everything else—your desires, your ambitions, your work, your relationships, your fun and entertainment—will you keep that revolutionary spirit‚ that "I-could-lose-the-whole-world-cause-I-have-Jesus" heart, soul, and spirit (ML #3262:255,258,259,264, GN 863).

End of text box.


68. I'm very happy, My darling, that you're willing to take a serious and earnest look at each little corner of your life and yield anything that's not fully yielded to Me. I know that some of these forms of entertainment that come from the world are very special to you in a way. They haven't gotten out of hand in your life to the point that you spend more time with them than with Me, or that you give them more priority than the work you have for Me. Your loyalty and dedication are sound, and you're a good, faithful worker, and diligent to take time with Me every day. Nevertheless, even if these things are not way out of place‚ the way to keep them that way is by acknowledging that I am most important to you, and that you want to get anything that would keep you from Me, or from receiving all that I have for you, out of the way.

69. The ideal would be if all My children were so tuned in to the realm of the spirit and so high on Me that you didn't need so many carnal forms of entertainment. Yet, just the same, I am the One Who made your mortal frames weak and only able to contain so much spiritually, and I know that you need times to wind down, to relax, to get your mind off your work. Not that you should just zonk out and go into neutral and totally get off a spiritual wavelength, but you can and need to turn down the level of intensity to some degree at times; otherwise your mortal mind and body would not be able to withstand the constant charges of spiritual and mental energy that come through when you're totally tuned in to Me and focused on your work, or even on being fed through My Word.

70. There are many ways to meet this need for diversion and relaxation, and the most edifying and uplifting ones are those that involve My Word‚ or loving Me, or songs of love to Me; or that involve fellowship and interaction with your brethren‚ getting to know and understand them better. This could mean dates, walks, just talking‚ or even relaxing and chatting together‚ bantering and playing.

71. Sure, you occasionally get a little silly, and I know you might wonder how that could be more edifying than a good movie. Basically it's because it's human interaction, and in a way a form of affection and communication. Of course your times with your friends should be balanced‚ with times for deeper communication, loving Me together, and enjoying the things of the spirit, and should not all be light or frivolous. Just remember, though‚ that fellowship with others of any kind—with the exception of sharing your doubts or negativity with each other and not bringing out the lesson or positive side—is generally the most productive way to spend your free time.

72. I'm glad that you've decided to set aside novel reading. There are some edifying ones, like the last one you read, that had a good message. I understand that reading is a special form of entertainment for you, because you find it fascinating as well as educational, and I won't say that there will never be times when it won't be appropriate to read a good book. But the emphasis should be on good book—and not just good because it's gripping or fascinating, but good because it's not going to pollute your spirit or impart bad attitudes or pictures.

73. As for movie viewing, while you haven't cut down drastically in the amount you watch, there's been some degree of de-emphasizing the importance you place on it. I'm happy with that, and would encourage you to continue in that direction. You haven't been so quick to make up a missed movie‚ and have considered or done other things, like having a date or fellowship instead.

74. It's not that movies are bad; it's just that they, being one of your "hobbies," can tend to take on too much importance if you get too into it. Whereas by distancing yourself a little bit—and especially by praying and asking Me before viewing—you'll keep it in a better perspective.

75. Here are the cardinal rules for you to keep:

  1. Put Me and My Word first, and don't even consider these other things unless you've had good Word time.
  2. Keep My work as your priority and don't get into recreation or entertainment to the neglect of something important at hand.
  3. Ask Me everything. Check in with Me, asking Me to help you to be open and willing to receive whatever I want to tell you, and you can't go wrong. (End of message from Jesus.)

126. (Mama:) Here's an interesting message, although somewhat off the subject, of some recreational alternatives to movies or books, which you might find helpful. Earlier the Lord said that anything which involves fellowship with Him or your mates is generally more fruitful and a higher priority than watching movies or reading books. He gives lots of ideas here, and I'm sure He has more which would be perfect for your situation, if you'll ask Him.

127. (Question:) What can we do during free time that would be recreational, relaxing, and fun, while at the same time is of Your Spirit? Like someone said, "It's not like I love watching movies so much; there's just nothing else to do." And sometimes it's easy to feel like our recreational options are limited. What are Your solutions to this problem?

128. (Jesus:) Where there's a will, there's a way. If you were stuck in an environment where System movies and books were not just rare but nonexistent, would it mean you'd skip having free time for lack of something to do? Probably not. So think creative, think different, think fellowship, think laughter!

129. Here are a few ideas, and while some entail a little more effort than plopping down in front of a movie, you have to remember that by doing other things together you're investing in your unity. In unity there is strength. Unity pulls down My blessings. Your unity will make you a force to reckon with in the dark days soon to come.

130. Okay, so here are some ideas:

131. * Have one evening a week when whoever is interested meets in the living room and you read through a long spirit story. You can assign characters so that the reading stays lively and it's easy to differentiate who's who.

132. * Have a "game" night, taking suggestions from your Home members on enjoyable ones to participate in, or play charades acting out the Letters. Invite everyone who's interested to come! This gives you an opportunity for interaction, to exercise your mental capabilities, and just have some fun.

133. * Have more dates! Just think how much more love I'd be getting if you were reaching out more to share with others. How many times have you had to postpone a date till another week because you simply couldn't fit it in on top of your late night spent watching some movie? It takes work to reach out to others, but it's well worth the trouble.

134. * To go along with that idea, have some night in the month where you just decide to do something fun with someone you don't normally fellowship with, and it doesn't have to be sexual. That's living the Law of Love.

135. * When the weather permits, sit outside for an evening based around star-gazing and fellowshipping. Here I provide you with nice places to live, with My creation visible in the sky, and instead you choose to burn your eyes out in front of a TV screen watching videos.

136. * Designate a night every once in a while when you all have a slightly more special meal. Make a point of having a relaxing meal‚ with music playing, and sit around and just chat and fellowship. Mealtime is one of those things that you have to have, so take advantage of it. Make dinner time slightly later on that night; everyone can work up till dinner, then knock off and have a dinner party! Feed the children separately or earlier, and let them watch a video while the adults fellowship. Or people can take turns being with the children. Where there's a will‚ there's a way!

137. * Have short praise time dances. It doesn't have to be long; it could just be half an hour after your special meal where you dance a little with everyone and praise Me for each other. It'll strengthen your unity and can provide a little fun.

138. * Have testimony nights, where you have a fun snack and someone who's been prepared in advance gives a testimony about their life. Or put a bunch of fun questions in a hat and people can take turns pulling one out and answering it, since it's easier to share something about yourself when you actually have a question to answer. Then everyone gets a sprinkling of everyone's stories, and it's fun and lively and upbeat.

139. * Organize a little variety night for a special occasion party or just for fun, where everyone brings a little something to the evening, whether it's a short story they received‚ a poem‚ a funny joke, or a card trick—anything entertaining and fun.

140. There are so many more things you can do, but this is a start and could keep you busy for months if you wanted. But keep coming to Me, and don't just assume that there couldn't be anything more fun than watching a movie or reading a book, because it simply isn't true.

141. And here's something far–out to top it off: Have some night where you gather together and decide you're going to ask Me to take you on a spirit trip! Then get real quiet and see how I provide everyone with a tiny piece of the puzzle, a little description of where I'm taking you. That kind of experience is quite a rush, because you're all humbling yourselves before Me and enjoying Me together. It's like reading some fascinating novel, only it's a virtual reality prophecy experience and you're the ones who make it happen!

142. Okay, get started with those [or ask Me for others specifically tailored for your situation], and as you humble yourselves to join in on the fun and fellowship, to love one another and accept each one regardless of their age or personality, I will melt you together. You will be amazed as to how it's possible to have so much fun without some kind of movie [or book] in front of you! If you're yielded enough‚ open-minded enough, and really give Me the chance that I deserve, I can keep taking you places you never imagined, and showing you things you never dreamed of! (End of message from Jesus)

It's only a movie?


By Mona Charen

In Paducah, Ky., 14-year-old Michael Carneal entered his high school during the pre-school hours carrying five guns. He found the room where a group of his friends were holding a prayer meeting and began shooting to kill. Three girls were shot dead. Another six were wounded. One is permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

How could a normal child commit such a despicable crime? How could he shoot down his friends in cold blood? While the absolute number of crimes is down, the nature of crimes committed, particularly by the very young, continues to shock and dismay us.

Normal teenaged girls have given birth in toilet bowls and then left their offspring in trash bins. Other normal kids have lured strangers to their homes—in New Jersey it was a pizza delivery man—for the pure pleasure of killing. In New York, two middle–class teenagers killed a wino they had met in Central Park and then attempted to mutilate his body so that police would be unable to identify him.

The streets of inner cities are pock-marked by the sites of casual murders; murders for sneakers, murders for clothes, murders over basketball games and murders because someone "dissed" someone else.

Michael Carneal says he was inspired by the movie "The Basketball Diaries," which features a dream sequence in which a kid who is teased gets revenge by killing his classmates with a shotgun.

Our kids are marinated in violence from an early age. The images they see and hear—from Nine Inch Nails to Marilyn Manson—are so grotesque that they dull the senses.

Clearly, the causes of violence are complex. There have always been tormented teenagers. But only recently have they thought it reasonable to blow their classmates away with shotguns. If I were a Hollywood producer who put before the eyes of impressionable kids images that glorify violence, I would find it awfully hard to sleep at night.

(Dad:) A nation that has forgotten God, and now they reap the whirlwind! They have sown violence and will reap violence. "Where did we go wrong?" the parents ask. "How could my little darling do this?" Very easily. There are lots of kids out there who are really tormented by the Devil and his minions, but because their parents are not there for them and don't take the time they need to comfort and take proper care of them, they're pushed over the edge and end up doing such horrible things. They're the product of a nation that has forgotten just where their values are meant to come from. They have turned to money, power and Hollywood for answers, and have been found wanting.

It's time for parents to wake up to the plight of their children! It's time for parents to see just where they are letting their children go by means of their selfish interests and by not taking time for the kids! Let this be a lesson on taking the time needed to minister to your kids. They are the greatest mission field there is, and if you neglect them, this is what could happen. Don't let it go till it is too late, like these poor parents did! Do something now, today! Teach and train them today and protect them from the effects of such evil movies.

Movies are a tool, and it all depends on who is on the other end of it. If the Lord is there and it is inspired, they can be an uplifting experience. But if the Devil and his demons are on the end of that tool, they can really screw things up. This is why we have movie guidelines and rules. You should really pray about what you're subjecting your audience to.

Some movies are inspired by the Lord, and many are just made for the sake of making money. But there are also those that are direct inspirations of the Devil‚ made to instill fear, hate and horror. These movies are evil, insipid‚ vile, Satanic and horrible! Some of our own youth have gotten into some of these and it hasn't borne good fruit. You are called and chosen to be God's Endtime soldiers of faith, so don't subject yourself to the filth of the Devil. Avoid such things at all costs. You can't say, "I can take it. I'm strong." It's like saying, "I can eat this sewage. My stomach is strong." Nonsense!

This is no game we are playing, this is a war of life and death, and unfortunately the Devil seems to be winning it in the world right now. Stand up and fight against these attacks! You are what you watch!

Scary movies

END 18

(AP) Still scared of the water all those years after "Jaws"? Researchers say you're not alone. A survey of 150 students at the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin found that one in four had some lingering "fright" effect from a movie or TV show they saw as a child or a teenager. The younger children were when they were frightened‚ the longer the reaction lasted. Some people who saw the 1975 thriller about a man–eating shark never went into the ocean again, said Kristen Harrison‚ a University of Michigan communications professor who co-wrote the study. Ninety percent said they were scared by a TV or movie from their childhood or adolescence; 26 percent said they still experience "residual anxiety."

End of File