Monday, August 13, 2007

Whatever is Pure

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure…think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

Pure gold. Pure water. Pure…fiction?

That last one doesn’t seem to quite fit, does it? After all, the first two are compliments, often used to endorse the high quality of the gold or water. The third we usually use as an insult.

But all three exemplify what pure really means: Something is uncontaminated by foreign particles. Pure gold is 100% gold. Pure water contains only H2O molecules. Pure fiction lacks any facts.

Of course, that definition isn’t exactly the one I had in mind for the application of this fourth principle. What, then, is fiction that is pure?

Perhaps it would be easier to think of this in the negative: Pure fiction lacks contamination. What contaminates? Sin. How does sin contaminate fiction? By producing the same (sin) in us, for the actions and words that come from the heart of man is was makes him unclean, i.e. contaminated. (Matthew 15:18-19)

This demands we not only know how fiction squares with Scripture (compliance to “Whatever is right”), but also we be aware how movies and novels affect us personally.

For example, there is nothing wrong, per se, with a graphic sex scene between a husband and wife. Sex between a man and a woman within the bonds of marriage is proper and right, even sanctioned as holy within Scripture.

However, because of the sexual desires aroused by such a scene, fantasizing, lust, and other impure behavior could be evoke, especially in a single like me. For Matthew 5:28 states that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Fiction causing that kind of response can hardly be classified as pure.

Therefore, pure fiction does not stir up thoughts or attitudes that might cause contamination—sin—should it escape out of our hearts and into our lives.

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