My first memorable instance of not being allowed to see a movie was in 3rd grade when Spice World came out. It was the Spice Girls Movie and my parents (understandably) didn’t want my newest role models to be these sexualized pop stars. Thanks, mom and dad! This continued through all of my teen years, and I didn’t always go down with a smile and a “Thanks.”. Yes, eventually their decision on what was appropriate became my personal conviction and even in college when my roommates would watch a movie in the living room I didn’t agree with, I’d go to my room and do something else. All that to say, I’m really careful about what I watch. I’m sensitive to what’s wrong, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

A huge bummer for me though is to hear about an awesome story line, and then to find out it’s rated R, or it has some seriously questionable scenes or language in it. Honestly, sometimes I have decided to suck it up and look away, or cover my ears, or cover my eyes but this was very rarely and I never felt good about doing that after the movie was over. It was never worth it.

For anyone reading this thinking, “She’s clearly naïve. She’s sheltered. Wow, can you say ‘holier than thou’?” I just want to kindly point out some scripture for you that I’ve been teaching our youth this week. I’m not judging you for your entertainment choices of the past. I’m not condemning your parenting. You may be slightly offended at this topic, but I want something FOR you, not FROM you. I get nothing from writing this and in fact it’s taking me way longer to write this than I thought it would! I’m passionate about purity – mind, body, spirit – and I know God is too.

Here we go.
Matthew 6:22: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”
Psalm 101:3: “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.”
Proverbs 4:23: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Philippians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Okay. So now we know the goal. We know the standard. But we still have the problem of being in this culture and not being able to avoid everything horrid unless we live under a box right?

– Enter VidAngel –

And then this week I found out about VidAngel through, of course, a regular Facebook advertisement. I guess those work! (Hey VidAngel, do I get paid for this article? Lol). VidAngel is a website where you can buy a movie for $20, apply filters to the movie (nudity, violence, language, drugs, opening credits), watch the movie and then sell it back for $19. You pay $1 per day of ownership and they do all the filtering for you after you select what you don’t want to see or hear.

I will say that you still need to be smart about the movie. I’m not going to go watch a movie with a horrible main message just because they edited out some parts. This isn’t an excuse not to use your brain, and I’m not really reviewing VidAngel seriously. I don’t know everything about it but I love the way I can choose to have language bleeped out, or sex scenes or nudity completely gone! Sometimes, that’s all a movie needs for me to feel like it’s appropriate. I just want to spread the knowledge of what I’ve seen to be a great service as far as cleaning up the content.

Anthony and I watched Spectre this week (the newest James Bond movie) and I was able to filter out some of the more intense violence, language, and the instances of nudity. It only cut out 2 minutes of the movie total, and we felt like we didn’t miss a thing at all! I’ll be using this website until something better comes out. I’m thanking God for whoever invented this!

Do your own research on the website and please comment to add some other resources you’ve found that have helped you determine what is going to be pleasing to God or not.  Hope you enjoy your next movie with your family!