By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher, and Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
Since MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985, we have been teaching media wisdom to the public, especially families and people of faith, to inform them about the influence of the mass media and thereby equip them to choose the good and reject the bad.
We have made great progress in doing just that since then, but there are still millions of people in the United States and billions of people overseas who haven’t heard the message or have heard the message but haven’t taken full advantage, or any advantage, of what MOVIEGUIDE® has to offer.
That said, the more we serve the God of the Universe by teaching media wisdom, the more clear it becomes that our efforts are being hampered by one thing:
Ignorance – specifically, Ignorance about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Ignorance about Biblical Truth.
Thus, the first step in having true media wisdom is to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and begin a personal, daily relationship with the Son of God, who died for our sins and rose from the grave to deliver us from sin so that we can be spiritually and morally baptized, transformed, and sanctified by the power of God the Holy Spirit.
For example, in Mark 1:15, Jesus Christ tells us to repent or turn away from our sins toward God and to believe the Gospel. Then, Peter tells us in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins will be forgiven. And, you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Finally, Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-18, to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” and put on the “Armor of God,” including the “belt of truth,” the “breastplate of righteousness,” the “helmet of salvation,” and the shoes of peace. He adds, “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And, pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
The last part of Paul’s admonition not only focuses on prayer. It also focuses on wielding the “sword of the Spirit,” which is the Word of God, or biblical truth. This brings to mind Paul’s profound declaration in 1 Corinthians 13:6 that “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the Truth.” This, in turn, brings to mind Paul’s inspiring statement in Galatians 5:6 that “The only thing that counts is faith (in Jesus Christ) expressing itself through love.”
From the beginning, MOVIEGUIDE® has been Christ-centered, or Christocentric. In being focused on Jesus Christ, we also have focused our efforts in teaching media wisdom on using biblical principles. Thus, the Bible is how we have defined all the parameters of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s also how we have practiced our personal and public walk with Jesus, including our relationship with the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus Christ promised to send all His followers and that Jesus has indeed sent us.
That doesn’t mean we are perfect, infallible, or without sin, but it does mean that we return again and again to God’s biblical truth rather than the whims and lies of man. Biblical truth defines our Christian walk, it informs our Christian walk, and it inspires our Christian walk. Finally, it helps us express our faith through God’s love. Not how man, or Hollywood, defines love, but rather, how the Bible, God’s Word, defines it.
This is why we try to reward and commend the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the work of this ministry. It’s also why we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and follow God’s Word. And, it’s also why we vehemently oppose the evils of murder, abortion, theft, slander, sexual immorality (including adultery, incest, pedophilia, perversion, and pre-marital sex), same-sex marriage, envy, greed, government theft of private property, government limits on self-defense, and government-run education, which violates God’s command in Deuteronomy 6:4 that parents are the ones who are supposed to educate children, not anyone else, not even the Church.
All this, and more, is true media wisdom. However, it begins with Jesus Christ and biblical truth, which are rationally, factually, spiritually, and morally reliable, credible, and worthy of worship and emulation.
Thus, the writings on our main website, www.movieguide.org, and all that we try to do, begins with Jesus Christ and Biblical Truth. Jesus is the One who will judge us (and everyone else, for that matter). And, Biblical Truth will be the final and ultimate measuring stick or criteria behind that Divine Judgment.
After all, Jesus Christ is the Word Made Flesh who enlightens all men (John 1:1-14). Praise God!
Note: The reliability of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Bible have been confirmed by numerous scholarly works. The following bibliography is just a few of them:
Bruce, F. F. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Madison, Wisconsin: InterVarsity
Bruce, F. F. New Testament History. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980.
Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. Third edition.
Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 2008.
Geisler, Norman L. Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989.
Geisler, Norman L. When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences. Grand Rapids: Baker
Habermas, Gary and Michael Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Grand Rapids: Kregel
Habermas, Gary. The Verdict of History: Conclusive Evidence for the Life of Jesus.
Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1988.
Kaiser, Jr., Walter C. The Uses of the Old Testament in the New. Chicago: Moody
Licona, Michael. The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach. Downers Grove,
Ill.: IVP Academic, 2010.
Machen, J. Gresham. The Origin of Paul’s Religion. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1947.
McDowell, Josh, and Bill Wilson. He Walked Among Us: Evidence for the Historical
Jesus. San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, 1988.
Metzger, Bruce M. The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content, 2nd edition.
Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1983.
Montgomery, John Warwick. Human Rights & Human Dignity. Grand Rapids:
Zondervan, 1986. 131-160.
Montgomery, John Warwick. Where Is History Going? Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1969.
Moreland, J. P. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987).
Meier, John P. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. Vol. 1 and 2. New
York: Doubleday, 1991 and 1994.
Nash, Ronald H. Christianity and the Hellenistic World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan,
Nash, Ronald H. Faith & Reason: Searching for a Rational Faith. Grand Rapids:
Passantino, Bob. “Contend Earnestly for the Faith: How Far Can We Trust the Bible?” Costa Mesa,
Calif.: Answers in Action).
Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence
For Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.
Strobel, Lee. The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on
the Identity of Christ. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.
Strobel, Lee. The Case for the Resurrection: A First-Century Investigative Reporter
Probes History’s Pivotal Event. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010.
Thiede, Carsten Peter, and Matthew D’Ancona. Eyewitness to Jesus: Amazing New
Manuscript Evidence About the Origin of the Gospels. New York: Doubleday,
Wenham, John. Redating Matthew, Mark & Luke. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity
Wilkins, Michael J., and J. P. Moreland. Jesus Under Fire. Grand Rapids: Zondervan,
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