Animation and Movie Making Assignment 1

Ethics and Morality in Animation and Movies

A Christian Response To Dodgy Stuff in the Media

As Grade 10 students moving into the age of personal discernment and about to embark on the study of animation and movie making it would seem like a great opportunity to stop and ask some questions about a part of all of our lives that often sneaks out of our critical thought.  We love being entertained so much that we don’t want to have to think about the possibility that some of this media stuff that we fill our lives with could be dodgy, could be actually damaging us and our relationship with God.  This reflection might be a bit uncomfortable at first and maybe even raise more questions than it answers but it will surely benefit us to start to think about what we choose to feed our eyes and our minds and the sorts of things that we would like to be able to make to entertain others.

Murderous violence and sexual immorality among other sins are paraded, depicted, glorified, humourised, and glamourised in our media saturated world.  Nowhere are these themes more prevalent than in the video, movie, game and music industry.  People have an insatiable appetite and seemingly bottomless pockets when it comes to the consumption of “dodgy” media products.  Quite apart from explicit pornography, there are millions of media products that promote violence and sexual immorality (sexual conduct outside of marriage).  The line for what is “acceptable” “mainstream” media content has been pushed miles away from where it stood in the early 1900’s in most western societies.  The reality is that this shift in media content simply reflects the general consensus and status quo regarding the morality (or lack thereof) of our current western society.   Christians, as active members of this society yet called to be citizens and ambassadors of another kingdom face the tension and difficulty of being in the world but not of the world.  Christians are called to be salt and light in a dark rotten world.  In relation to our consumption and production of media products we need to be different.  Jesus Christ died to save His people from the darkness and rottenness of their sins and make them different and set them apart to live a full, rich and good life.  In thankfulness to His ultimate sacrifice His people are called to obey Him, to love Him and to follow Him, to think like Him and represent Him as ambassadors. That being true let’s try to answer the following questions:

  • So what does Jesus command His people to do? 
  • Are any of His commands relevant to what we look at and how we think about others?  Which ones and why?
  • How far does Jesus say we should be willing to go for the sake of His kingdom?
  • What, if anything, do you think Jesus has to say about forms of media like video, movies, digital games etc. that hadn’t even been dreamed of for 19 centuries after his ascension? 
  • What are the heart issues that are back behind murder and adultery as Jesus defined and expanded them in the gospels?  What does this mean in relation to media we watch?
  • Is it possible to consume and create media that has violent and/or sexual content without actually committing sin or causing others to sin?  Think of some of the books of the bible and the gory, violent and or sexual content that these books contain and consider the possible intentions of the authors and effects on the reader.

 

NOW WHAT?

  1. In paragraph form answer these questions to the best of your ability.  You will need to use Bible Gateway (http://www.biblegateway.com) a paper bible and possibly a concordance.
  2. You will need to discuss your answers with each other and with your parents, pastors and youth group leaders.
  3. You will need to refer to the photocopies you have received and because we are dealing with spiritual issues you will ideally need to pray about these issues and questions if you want to get real godly perspective and wisdom in your answers.
  4. Try to summarise your understanding, beliefs and your position on these issues and then make a short animation (no longer than 2 minutes) that explains this using pictures, video, words and sounds to enhance the presentation.
  5. Remember you’re not trying to preach – you’re just making a statement of what you think in relation to what you have found out.  I won’t be marking you on the correctness of your beliefs because in the end you will have to make up your own mind anyway.  This is really just an opportunity for you to do some focused reflection on some very important issues relating to the creation and consumption of entertainment media products.

 http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_books/TATM/chapter1.htm

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2009/4023_Why_I_Dont_Have_a_Television_and_Rarely_Go_to_Movies

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