Across Pacific & Asia


By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®

HOLLYWOOD, CA (ANS) -- Recently, people have commended us because, now, even the head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) admits that family movies do better at the box office and on home video. Calls and emails have congratulated us on our years of economic benchmarking. To give credit where credit is due, our editor Tom Snyder has a lot to do with that.

Hollywood has gotten the message. On two consecutive days, the Los Angeles Times published major articles about reaching out to the church audience. According to the Times, more and more film companies are setting up divisions to do just that, and TV networks are even getting into the act. Of course, those who are consistent readers of MOVIEGUIDE® will recall that this process of positive change in Hollywood has been developing for the last few years.

This good news, however, brings up another issue: the critical need for media wisdom in the church. One of the movies that the Los Angles Times said is being marketed to the church was given a “minus 4” acceptability score by MOVIEGUIDE®. Some of the other movies they mentioned have seriously questionable or obscene material.

To avoid being the targets for the multimillion-dollar marketing of questionable movies, we the church need to realize that the most powerful person in Hollywood is the person who buys the movie ticket. If we exercise media wisdom at the box office and vote for the good, then Hollywood will try to make more good movies and TV programs. If we allow the entertainment industry to palm off questionable entertainment products on us by supporting the bad at the box office, then we will be corrupted, and they will continue to use and abuse the church.

In this regard, enamored of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, one wonderful Christian group told us that they wanted to partner with Hollywood. We begged to differ with them. The church must be a voice to Hollywood, speaking to it. The church should commend the good and reject the bad. But we the church must not be unequally yoked and so, as noted, let Hollywood use us and abuse us.

Media wisdom is the key. Although the principles of teaching media wisdom are very well known, it takes effort and industry. It is a process of discipling. Recently, some parents of high schoolers demanded simple tools for teaching their children media wisdom. Well, the tools of teaching media wisdom vary with age and susceptibility. Furthermore, each period of development requires comprehensive understanding to deal with what is being taught. If the church wants to be media-wise, it’s going to have to seek more than instant solutions. Even after three years of discipling the apostles, Jesus found that the apostles didn’t quite get it. Just so, developing media wisdom takes time and determination.

Only a few churches understand the need for media wisdom and are willing to invest in THE MEDIA-WISE FAMILY™ training. Some churches are willing to consider the teaching – if offered for free. Many churches gravitate toward “anything goes.” Still others don’t want to hear anything about media wisdom at all.

Don’t Shrink Back in Fear

Hollywood is starting to listen. But, to solve the problem of our corrupted culture, the church must be willing to learn how to be media-wise. Otherwise, our progress in transforming a media-oriented culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ will end, and the church’s problems – and the problems within our families – will multiply exponentially, again.

For more information about Christian Film & Television Commission™, the oldest Christian advocacy group in Hollywood, MOVIEGUIDE®, and Dr. Baehr's MEDIA-WISE FAMILY speaking engagements and seminars, please call (800) 899-6684, or write to P.O. Box 190010, Atlanta, GA 31119, USA.

Parent's Note: If you want to train your own family to be media-wise, call 1-800-899-6684 in North America, to order the, book, video or audio version of THE MEDIA-WISE FAMILY, Dr. Ted Baehr's latest teaching guide. Also, MOVIEGUIDE® now offers an online subscription to its archives, at Founded by Dr. Baehr in 1985, the magazine, which comes out 13 times a year, contains many articles and reviews that can help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers. MOVIEGUIDE® also regularly broadcasts several international TV and radio programs hosted by Dr. Baehr.

(c) baehr, 2005
NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr: For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest MOVIEGUIDE® magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at MOVIEGUIDE® is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. MOVIEGUIDE® now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers. MOVIEGUIDE® also regularly broadcasts several international TV and radio programs hosted by Dr. Baehr. Also, if you want to train your family to be media-wise, call 1-800-899-6684 in North America to order the book, video or audio version of THE MEDIA-WISE! FAMILY, Dr. Ted Baehr's latest book. © baehr, 2001

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