Phil Boatwright on What Christians Can Learn From the Diminishing Worth of the Oscars

I love movies. Always have. When I was 8 years old, I would come home from school and watch the afternoon movie on a local TV channel that ran the same film five days in a row.

I’d see the likes of “The Bride of Frankenstein,” “Hondo,” “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” “Them!” and countless others. I didn’t realize at the time, but I was studying the art and construction of movies. Little did I know that this practice would serve me as a film critic one day.

Year after year since those childhood days, I have dutifully taken note when Oscar nominations are announced and the Academy Awards are telecast. Those nominations were announced today (Jan. 22); the 91st Oscars presentation will air Feb 24 on ABC.

Five R-rated films are among this year’s Best Picture nominees — “BlackKkKlansman,” “The Favourite,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice” — while three are PG-13 – “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Green Book.”

Over the decades, I’ve seen John Wayne win his Best Actor trophy for “True Grit” (being an unabashed fan of the Duke, I was quite happy that night). On other telecasts, I watched such moments as Sacheen Littlefeather rejecting Marlon Brando’s Oscar in protest against the injustices to Native Americans and someone other than George C. Scott picking up that year’s Best Actor statuette, when he refused to accept it believing that award competitions corrupted an artist’s work.

Amid Oscar’s glamour, I’ve heard countless acceptance speeches that put aside “thank-you’s” in favor of setting us all straight about this cause or that. In recent years, a disdain for conservative values and sometimes even religion has permeated these artistic celebrations. And while I believe in justified outrage and standing up for the oppressed, these days it seems only a far-left viewpoint is allowed a voice in the entertainment industry.

There are a lot of good people in the cinematic colony; like any caring citizen, they seek ways to enrich society. But many in that community search for change and justice via a secularist perspective — one that ignores biblical principles.

On my spiritual path I’m increasingly troubled by the media’s abuses, often exacerbated at award ceremonies. Whenever consumption of movie secularism distracts me from biblical directives, I can’t escape the Bible’s words in Ephesians 5:11: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Perhaps it can be argued that Christians should watch the Oscars. After all, the first step by any general before battle is gathering information for strategic decisions. Knowing the philosophies of world leaders and the divisiveness of local anarchists helps us combat a secular worldview, and it reminds us to pray for our lost world. Certainly I promise to pray for our lost world, but to paraphrase screen legend Bette Davis in “Cabin in the Cotton,” I’d like to watch the Academy Awards, but I just washed my hair!*

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Source: Baptist Press