Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Whatever is true. As most of you know, I love to read J.C. Ryle. He was an Anglican pastor in the 19th century in England. His books Holiness, Practical Religion, Knots Untied, Old Paths and others are gems. Listen to this quote taken from his article entitled “Love” which is in his book, Practical Religion:
The delusion which I am trying to combat is helped forward to a most mischievous decree by the vast majority of novels, romances, and tales of fiction. Who does not know that the heroes and heroines of these works are constantly described as patterns of perfection? They are always doing the right thing, saying the right thing, and showing the right disposition! They are always kind, and amiable, and unselfish, and forgiving!
And yet you never hear a word about their religion! In short, to judge by the generality of works of fiction, it is possible to have excellent practical religion without doctrine, the fruits of the Spirit without the grace of the Spirit, and the mind of Christ without union with Christ!
Here, in short, is the great danger of reading most novels, romances and works of fiction [And today we would add, movies]. The greater of them give a false or incorrect view of human nature. They paint their model men and women as they ought to be, and not as they really are. The readers of such writings get their minds filled with wrong conceptions of what the world is. Their notions of mankind become visionary and unreal. They are constantly looking for men and women such as they never meet, and expecting what they never find.
Ryle, J.C.. Practical Religion (Kindle Locations 2698-2708). Kindle Edition.
We are bombarded with the notions and doctrines and opinions of famous movie stars who act as if they are authorities on about any current subject. And yet, as Ryle notes, they are purveyors of fantasy. Their lives are masked with fiction. In reality their lives are disasters, sinful, wicked, and filled with misery. If we immerse ourselves in their fictions, we will crash along with them. Our notions of mankind and life and of God and eternity will be, as Ryle says, “visionary and unreal.” If we are careless, we will become people who “are constantly looking for men and women such as they never meet, and expecting what they never find.” (Ryle)
So-called “Christian” movies and novels are very often guilty of the same kinds of fantasy. The victim just keeps on enduring evil and sure enough, in the end, their abuser repents and is radically changed. But that is a fiction. A fantasy. For myself, I would rather watch Batman than a movie produced by a professing Christian company.
I know Batman is a fantasy.