Even kids’ movies can be harmful

A Powerful Testimony of One Parent’s Perspective

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As a young girl who grew up in the home of believers, our television time was always limited, and what we watched was always previewed by our parents. Unlike today, in those days, we didn’t have cable television, and so the variety of the films and DVD’s available to us were from the video library which we had managed to collect. Of course, when there is a pre-determined choice of videos, it is much easier to control viewing habits, but nowadays kids, most of whom own cell phones and iPads, can freely download whatever they want from the Internet.

Today as a young mother, I am exposed to many of the new children’s videos that are out in the marketplace today. From a cursory viewpoint, they look very innocent and harmless, but if you really take a deeper and more comprehensive look into the content of these films, you might, as I did, find that there is much spiritual danger in so many of the symbols, storylines and characters – not to mention the well-crafted plots.

More than ever, I am grateful for the spiritual discernment which God has given to us as believers, to really be able to differentiate between good and evil. It is, therefore, my firm belief that we, as believing parents, have been given the responsibility by the Lord to raise our children in the ways which He has set down in His Word.

For as long as I can remember, it’s always been difficult for me, personally, to view films which contain elements of witchcraft, sorcery, magic and violence, because I believe that the Lord has placed in me a sensitivity to avoid these dangerous subjects which are completely against the Word of God and spoken of as the fruit of rebellion.

Just a few months ago, I was searching for a good and suitable film for my daughter who loves fantasy and especially anything revolving around a princess. It was during this particular search that I discovered that each and every one of the films in this genre contained one of these forbidden subjects. I actually I came across the film, “Rapunzel,” the well-known story of a girl who was kidnapped as a baby, imprisoned in a tower and grew extremely long hair. As I watched the film, I felt that it met my standards, with the exception of a few objectionable scenes both in the beginning and the end.

Consequently, I decided to let my 4 year-old daughter watch the film, together with me, while I fast-forwarded those particular scenes. My daughter was very excited and enthusiastic about the film and decided to watch it three more times that week. What was really strange to me was that once the film ended, she would begin to cry uncontrollably and misbehave, which was quite unusual for her. It then began to occur to me that there was something spiritual in all of this, and so I decided to dispose of the film and not allow it to be shown any further.

What became clear was that even though I was fast-forwarding the objectionable scenes, there apparently was a bad spirit which accompanied the movie and somehow influenced my daughter’s behavior in a way which I had never before witnessed.

After speaking with a few believing mothers about my own experience and perceptions, I quickly discovered that their children had similarly acted in the same way as my daughter had. What was the common denominator? All of these films were new releases from Disney Pictures. One mother told me that her own daughter began to take on the personality of Elsa in the film, “Frozen” to the extent that she began to have serious nightmares that were terribly disturbing to her. It wasn’t until the family and others who knew them began to pray for this situation to change that their life went back to normal.

Another incident occurred when we saw a new film entitled, “Moana.” The story is based on a little girl who was born with special powers to save her entire tribe from an evil goddess with a Satanic look. Throughout the film, there are so many demonic images, faces and alphabetical symbols which greatly enhance a very mystical background. My husband and I personally found the content very disturbing and decided against allowing our children to see the film.

Believe it or not, we felt the same way about the film, “Beauty and the Beast,” even though in the end, the beast turns into a handsome prince. For us, we objected to our daughter being exposed to a prototype of a beautiful young girl being attracted to a beast. The film also had a fair amount of spells, magic and other such elements throughout the storyline.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that these things happen to each family, and I am also not promoting a boycott of Disney films, but I am feeling the need to warn other parents that we must all be very diligent and extra careful in terms of protecting and guarding the souls of our impressionable children.

The best way to do that, I believe, is to guard their ears and eyes from the wrong images and sounds. This requires a bit of work, and, for us, it means that any film with which we are not acquainted must first be previewed by us and determined whether or not it is appropriate for our children.

My husband and I have also made a decision to watch more adult appropriate television shows, only after the children are asleep. Although we enjoy watching television, we also have made a concerted effort to curb the amount of television we watch and not allow it to control our lives.

I believe and recommend that every believing parent should carefully monitor what is being viewed by their children, even older ones, and that may actually necessitate moving the television set to a more centrally located place so that you are able to hear and see what is being viewed. I truly believe that if you ask the Lord to give you discernment, that the Spirit of God will, all the more, guide you and help you to recognize even subtle things which may be so hidden and cunningly weaved into the plot but which are, nonetheless, cleverly designed to grab the hearts and minds of your children.

Sadly, in today’s world, there are little hints and innuendos even in many children’s films where homosexuality and being effeminate is presented in a way which is natural, accepted and even totally normal. The idea is to already indoctrinate young minds that the world has changed and that they need to change along with the times. Yet, as believers who stand on the principles and values of the Word of God, there is no way that we can be neutral about these things. We must choose whether to accept God’s standards or allow the enemy to introduce a new standard into the next generation.

It is my prayer that we who have been charged with the task of raising up this next generation of believing children will seriously do all we can to point our kids in the right direction, help them to make the right choices and seek the Lord in all they do, say and even view.

Written by a Makor HaTikvah Parent

This article originally appeared on Makor HaTikvah and reposted with permission.

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Makor HaTikvah, presently under the auspices and supervision of the Anglican International School of Jerusalem, has a mission to provide an alternative source of education for the children of Israeli Messianic Jewish families as well as temporary or long-term believing families who desire that their children become an integral part of Israel’s society during their stay in the Land; to provide them with an excellent Hebrew education that is both academic and spiritual, with an emphasis on the shared culture, history and values of our people; to promote a love for God and His Word, to encourage a personal walk with Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, respect for others and accountability for one’s actions; and finally to equip our students for higher education, giving them the foundational skills and values necessary to live their lives as Jewish believers in the land of their forefathers.