Once again, I’m late to the party, but I can’t just ignore this one. It seems that Lifeway, formerly known as Baptist Bookstores, has pulled the movie “The Blind Side” from its shelves because of language and racial slurs. Our new SBC president has applauded the decision.
Now, hear me on this. I don’t think we should promote “racial slurs” and I think we ought to be very mindful of promoting foul language. Whether or not you think this particular movie is offensive enough in those categories to be removed from Christian bookstores is a matter of opinion.(This is especially interesting when you consider that in 2009 Baptist Press released a review calling this "one of the best of the year", and in which the reviewer actually says the rating for the movie was too harsh.)
However, Lifeway has long had a reputation of selling less than orthodox books and material. Walk into any local store and you’re likely to be greeted by a large display advertising Heaven is For Real. Or walk down the aisles and find several books by T. D. Jakes who denies the Trinity. And yet we somehow think a movie like “The Blind Side” is so much more harmful to the average Christian?
More damage is being done to the body of Christ by selling heretical teachings than will ever be done by folks being exposed to a couple bad words. People have this notion that because they “bought it in a Christian bookstore it must be good” and so they swallow anti-biblical tripe like The Shack and various trip to heaven books and Word Faith health and wealth teaching. They read this stuff and their view of God is altered to become something less than biblical, and yet we’re ok with that. But for heaven’s sake, don’t say a bad word.
This is not only hypocrisy, but it smacks of moralism and legalism at its worst. We’re focused on the outward things (language, etc.) and not at all concerned with the inner reality (sound theology, etc.). Wake up, folks.
Again, please let me re-emphasize. I’m not condoning offensive language and so on. We regularly edit our movie watching list based on content such as that. And yet, if we are truly worried about Christ honoring lives and God exalting language, Lifeway had better clear its shelves of a lot more than this movie.