The Life of JaWS

A blog by Jason Sansbury

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Discernment or Boycotts?

Discernment or Boycotts?

It is an interesting thing to me to watch the approach of the church in regards to controversial issues.  Obviously this week all around the world the Christian church lived in terror that the bad theology and history of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code movie.  So many folks encouraged a boycott of the movie.  (Because obviously, when Jesus said He would build His church and the gates of hell wouldn’t overcome it, He meant unless Opie Taylor was behind the camera and Tom Hanks with a bad mullet was acting.)

One of the things that I think is a major responsibility of anyone shepherding young people is that we have an obligation to help students discern, not boycott.  For example, if the church tells everyone to stay away from the movie The Da Vinci Code, people show up, as the 224 million opening weekend demonstrates.  So knowing that students are going to be some of those dollars, we need to teach discernment as the primary way we engage the culture.

So how do we do that?  Here are some of the things that I have done:
  • Take students to the movies or show videos and then break down the subtle messages of films.  Infamously, I did this with some of the female students for the film The Notebook.  It didn’t go well, mainly because I have a tendency to be heavy handed.

  • Ask to borrow student’s favorite music currently.  Tell them you want to listen to what they are listening to.  For church kids, they suddenly have to think about the lyrical things they are putting in their minds.  And when they pass on their music, I sometimes go out of my way to walk them through the things that I find lyrically on their discs.

  • Browse their ipods.

  • Read the magazines they bring on trips.  When you are suddenly reading to them some of the stuff in Seventeen or Cosmo, they suddenly realize how ridiculous it is.

  • Visit their rooms and talk about what is on the walls and why it is there.  Students and their rooms speak volumes about what is important to them.


At 12:16 PM , Anonymous Turff said...

This reminds me of a rather good commentary I read about a recent movie dealing with amorous sheep farmers. The article was lauding the manner in which the "Christian community" ultimately decided to deal with this controversial film. By and large, the film was mostly ignored. As a result, they denied the studios of tons of free hype, and subsequently, ticket sales. As the scripture you reference states, if the church is doing its job, they have nothing to fear from the likes of a fictional tale of symbology.


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