Mennonites and Movies

You can pass this off as just another one of stonehousescribblings’ little rants or not as you wish. I am not writing this to impress you with anything about me. I am just attempting, from my own small and sheltered world view, to blow the whistle on something that I happen to think is important.
Les Miserables and The Hobbit both hit the theatres this month. It is a Christmas traditions to have new  movies or shows come out this time of year. I haven’t seen either of these shows, to be perfectly honest. I heard some of the buzz about them and ran into previews or reviews of them. Why would I notice or be interested?
Actually, I am not interested. Initially, when I would hear about the new movie or show coming out; I would be mildly curious because I like literature and don’t like to miss out on something worthwhile.  But in listening well and looking into this stuff I find mine fields and pit falls galore.
I am worried sick about the values taught or presented in movies to our not-quite-so-sheltered children today.  Why is it now ok to view violence, immodesty, immorality, rebellion, and the occult? And the  standard answer, “Oh, yeah we had to skip over that part.” Really! Do we Mennonite parents really know what our children are watching? The proof of this watching will be in tomorrow’s pudding.
We don’t need to use movies to be informed or well adjusted people in our world.  Some of us made it all the way to responsible, mature adulthood without them. And I would like to have done that again for our children. Since it’s too late for that, I just want to say here that there are a few parents left out here who are unashamedly creating some lines in the sand and providing some push-back about movie selections.
So, Les Miserables has a great story line. If to know that particular good story line is important to you; I’d recommend reading the book, although I believe it will be a bit of wading and maybe even through a slough now and then, at that. As far as Tolkien’s yarn goes, you can read that, too; although you might find it dark, wearisome and somewhat boring. Better yet, read something to “grow your soul”, this Christmas, aloud to the family around the hearth and skip movie night altogether. 

8 thoughts on “Mennonites and Movies”

  1. There may be things out there that are worth seeing, but I haven't seen any movie made within the last 15 or 20 years that I would consider a net positive. Even “Christian” ones. You've heard about lipstick on a pig? ~GB


  2. Don't just blow the whistle…go ahead and make it a trumpet!! Agree with you 'big' time! Ivan and I watch more movies than our children do for sure, and even the 'best' of them seem to have to put a suggestive scene in! Not worth it! (Ivan doesn't do much reading, and I like to pick out true stories to help him get some history…am I bad?) We did watch one recently that was good tho'…called the 'Snowmen'. Hope our children didn't take any 'quotes' to school!! 🙂


  3. Amen, Arla, AMEN! And I am not ashamed to say it. As a teen I babysat/nannied and was appalled at the immorality/language in “harmless children's movies.” And they pick it up, you better believe it. Elsie Hoover once told me she thinks that movies are the trojan-horse into the Mennonite church. I agree with her, too.


  4. Arla, this is to the point and thank you for saying. And again where are the men? why don't they speak up? the tojan-horse of the Mennonites. Family time of watching movies but why not family time with family devotions; in God's word. I have learned to appreciate C. S. Lewis but I think he was influenced from the author of the Hobbit. My question again is why should we not teach the real of life and not imaginary characters and weird stuff. Both books you mentioned: I tried and I think I waded through Les Miserables but the Hobbit I just could not get into such foolery. This is your mom writing but this possibly will not take anyway, because I do not do it right.


  5. …oh the quotes I commented about were good clean quotes on the Snowmen…Like 'stretch your brain Lucas, I don't wanna trip over my ears'…said by the little boy from Jamaica, with his Jamaican accent!! 🙂


  6. Amen. I love the technology and the potential for good that movies involve. I do not like what the carnal minds that make these things do with that potential. I really think we'd all be better off just going back to the position of conservative Christians of a generation ago and saying no secular movies. It isn't just a Mennonite thing. Other denominations have made the same compromise, only in most of them the enemy has already jumped out of the Trojan horse and into our open arms.


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