by Pastor Tim Burt
Galatians 6:8 NLT "Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit."
How times have changed. How Hollywood has seduced us! Did you know if you put a frog in a kettle of hot boiling water, it will jump out. But, if you put a frog in a kettle of cool water and then turn up the heat, it won't jump out but eventually die. How we've been the frog in the kettle that has been killed by the slow boil without realizing it. The Motion Picture Production Code (also known as The Hays Code) was known as the standard of guidelines that Hollywood was to use as boundaries from 1930 through 1968 until they ended it. As you read this, it will shock you as to how far the standards of morality have declined and slipped into moral degradation.
The Production Code enumerated three "General Principles" as follows:
1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.
Specific restrictions were spelled out as "Particular Applications" of these principles:
• Nakedness and suggestive dances were prohibited.
• The ridicule of religion was forbidden, and ministers of religion were not to be represented as comic characters or villains.
• The depiction of illegal drug use was forbidden, as well as the use of liquor, "when not required by the plot or for proper characterization."
• Methods of crime (e.g. safe-cracking, arson, smuggling) were not to be explicitly presented.
• References to alleged sex perversion (such as homosexuality) and venereal disease were forbidden, as were depictions of childbirth.
• The language section banned various words and phrases that were considered to be offensive.
• Murder scenes had to be filmed in a way that would discourage imitations in real life, and brutal killings could not be shown in detail. "Revenge in modern times" was not to be justified.
• The sanctity of marriage and the home had to be upheld. "Pictures shall not imply that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing." Adultery and illicit sex, although recognized as sometimes necessary to the plot, could not be explicit or justified and were not supposed to be presented as an attractive option.
• Portrayals of miscegenation were forbidden.
• "Scenes of Passion" were not to be introduced when not essential to the plot. "Excessive and lustful kissing" was to be avoided, along with any other treatment that might "stimulate the lower and baser element."
• The flag of the United States was to be treated respectfully, and the people and history of other nations were to be presented "fairly."
• The treatment of "Vulgarity," defined as "low, disgusting, unpleasant, though not necessarily evil, subjects" must be "subject to the dictates of good taste." Capital punishment, "third-degree methods," cruelty to children and animals, prostitution and surgical operations were to be handled with similar sensitivity.
How do we turn back the hands of time to a higher standard of morality more closely aligned with God's heart for righteous living? We pray and repent for allowing our self to slip back in these areas, and then turn from them and become a voice against them. We make a decision and a commitment to what is upright before God. God does not want culture to change morality. He wants morality, established by Him, to keep culture within it's boundaries! Job 31:1 (NLT) says, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman." With God's grace and help, we have to make personal choices to reject listening and watching what we should know is not acceptable to God!
Psalms 101:3 (RSV) "I will not set before my eyes anything that is base. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cleave to me."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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