It's time for beauty.
I recently wrote about feeling convicted to throw away my copy of the movie, "Fight Club." I wrote that for years I threw it away only to buy it again. And the post got a lot of responses. People had lots of different opinions about throwing things away in general and Fight Club in specific.
I didn't do a very good job explaining why I might not need to watch Fight Club, but Paul does. Here is what he writes in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Forget Fight Club, I think this verse is bigger than that. I think this changes the filter with which I look at the world. You see, I judge things by their potentional to hurt me. I look at movies and books and friendships and magazines and conversations and think to myself, "Is this poison?" Will this thing or person damage my walk? It's a "how can I not fail" way of looking at things.
But Paul flips that idea on its head. He says I am wrong. He says, the question is not, "Is this poison?" The question I should be asking is, "Is this art?" That is, is this something so lovely, so excellent, so pure that it will elevate my walk with God?
It's not about sorting through the snakes until you find one that isn't poisonous. It's about seeing the sunset and the things that are beautiful and true and powerful and bigger than me.
I like the book Fight Club. I think it says something powerful about men and our needs and where our culture is headed. I recommend that book all the time to Christians. But if I ran the movie, with the nudity and the sex and the violence and the destruction through the Paul beauty filter, what would I find?
I'm not sure.