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What Does the Bible Say About..Watching Movies?

I visited my friendís new church last week and it was really good, but there are some things that they said that troubled me. First they said I shouldn't watch tv or go to the cinema at all. I understand that some programs and films are wrong and we should hate the things God hates, but surely not all programs and films! Some are harmless! My other church watches tv and goes to the cinema, so I don't know which is right! Second, they said I shouldn't hug and kiss boys, but Paul said that we should greet each other with a sacred/holy kiss. I always hug my boy mates or kiss them on the cheek when I see them or am saying goodbye, is this wrong? What about boyfriends as well? thanks! (Note: the questioner is female.)

Answer

If this church is going to teach the things you mention, they should be able to show you scriptures to back up their beliefs. I donít think they will find any.

As you say, some programs and films should not be watched because of their content. But to ban all films and television would be like banning all books. They are just the medium by which things are communicated. If they are going to ban films and television, then they might as well ban all books, which would include the Bible. Since television and film werenít invented until centuries after the Bible, they wonít find anything to ban them specifically without also banning other media.

You already quoted one scripture that would show their position on hugging and kissing is wrong. I hug men and women, and can find nothing to say I should not. That is not to say that someone should give everyone a two arm bear hug or kiss them on the lips. Paul did mention a holy kiss, which with some people would be a hug from the side or a kiss on the cheek. To ban hugging and kissing without scripture, they might as well also ban other forms of greeting such as handshakes.

I can understand someone building a wall around scripture, making traditions to keep people as far away from sin as possible. People have been doing that for a long time. That is what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for doing. In oneís personal life it is fine. When one starts binding it on others without scriptural basis it is wrong.