The Source for Youth Ministry

Jonathan's Answers to Tough Questions


Dear Jonathan,

I'm in the youth ministry as a care-group leader to teenage girls ranging from 13 - 17yrs. Last week a few teens were with the technical guy who was setting up a new video projector in church and when he asked for a VCD to test the new projector, they promptly produced the only one that they happened to have with them which is a really spooky film. The pastor found out and the teens got serious counseling for bringing in abomination items into the church and flashing abomination pictures onto the screen in the church sanctuary. The youths concerned was led in a prayer of repentance. Yesterday during prayer meeting the issue was brought up again and this time pastor led the whole church (as in those who attended prayer) to a prayer of repentance too. Now the youth are asking me, "what is considered abomination?" since they did not realize what they did was so serious although they understand it's not good and they won’t do it again. If they cannot bring it to church, does it mean they cannot watch it as well? If they can’t, what exactly can’t they watch?

Valerie, Malaysia



Thanks for the email.

First let me say that no one is ever going to agree on what is appropriate and what is not for viewing. And most people who do state what is appropriate, state it as a fact. You can find my 2 cents on this issue on my video clips page where I talk about my thought on R-rated films and discernment:

And I must say, you raise a good question. "If something isn't good to play in the church ... is it good to watch it anywhere?" Again, people's traditions are different regarding their "sanctuary." Many churches today use gymnasiums or school facilities for church gatherings, a pretty casual atmosphere, where videos and skits are allowed to stimulate thought or discussion. Others have a designated Sanctuary that is "Sacred" and is meant strictly for worship. Much of the worship styles people use today might be an "abomination" in many of these sanctuaries. So the answer isn't simple or one we all will agree on.

Bottom line- we should use discernment with what we feed in our heads. And when we go to worship God, our focus should be on Him. We should avoid anything that distracts.

Hope that is a help.

God Bless,
Jonathan McKee


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