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Investing in values: Support for biblically sound and pro-life films

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What is the mark of a really good movie? As the Oscars draw near, our nation’s gaze turns to Hollywood to tell us what the “best” movies are. And yet, we’re subjected to all kinds of morally questionable material, familiar degrading lead characters, and ungodly content from too many films.

What happened to the movies with their compelling storylines, respect for morality, and definite depictions of good versus evil? What changed? Movie standards did, for one thing. The Hays Production Code, in use from the 1930s to 1966, emphasized that Hollywood “films should not lower the moral standards of viewers.” As we say, those were the good old days.

Today, what defines “good” in the film industry? Consider this: which secular movies earn nominations, chosen by whom? Who exactly are these decision-makers? Do they share our faith?

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“The eyes are the windows to the soul” speaks volumes about the profound impact of what we see. Once witnessed, images linger, shaping our thoughts with either godly or ungodly influences.

Luke's Gospel echoes the wisdom of Jesus, affirming this truth:

“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness” (Luke 11:34–36).

Therefore, it's essential to safeguard our eyes, both physically and spiritually, from exposure to damaging imagery that devalues human dignity, particularly in movies portraying abortion and pornography as morally acceptable. Christians understand how Hollywood’s offerings can negatively influence our thoughts, behavior, and moral compass. To protect ourselves and our children, we look to Scripture for guidance. Corinthians reveals that the truth is veiled for those who do not have the light of Christ. And that veil is drawn tightly around the eyes of unbelievers in Hollywood.

“…And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:3-5).

Since 1966, the increase in nudity, sexual content, and violence, particularly in streaming movies, underscores the inability of those whose minds are veiled from truth to accurately depict human beings with the dignity and respect intended by God.

Those who disregard morals and decency while advocating unrestricted freedom of speech have harmed our culture significantly. A cursory glance at the news exposes our society's erosion of respect and order. Movies promoting abortion, glorifying extramarital sex, and sensationalizing violence and crime are prevalent, contributing to cultural decay. Urgent action is needed to prevent further deterioration.

Interestingly, amid those ungodly films are others that have the power to transform hearts when used to show the truth. Pro-Life films like “Silent Scream,” “Unplanned,” and “Gosnell,” have shocked and awakened audiences by exposing the reality of the abortion industry.

I experienced that shock, along with my wife, Bonnie, when we saw “Silent Scream” in our church. This is when our eyes fully opened to the power of film, and it got me off the sidelines. I have worked in and supported the pro-life movement ever since, including chairing Florida’s Life Chain.

Our deepening faith and clear understanding of abortion spurred the establishment of Timothy Plan, an investment fund tailored for Bible-believing Christians, in 1994. This marked the inception of Biblically Responsible Investing. We pledged then, and still do, that not a penny will be invested in companies that facilitate or support abortion, pornography, anti-family cultural trends, or other practices that violate biblical values.

For almost a decade, Timothy Partners, Ltd. advisor to Timothy Planhas championed inspiring storytelling in film, particularly those that echo a Christian foundation rooted in the principles of the Ten Commandments. Timothy Partners has secured theater screenings for impactful pro-life films like “Unplanned” and “The Sound of Freedom,” underscoring our commitment to supporting causes aligned with our values.

Our motivation stems not from seeking praise but from our dedication to obeying our Lord and Savior. I share this to inspire others to leverage their resources and influence to steer us toward a truly pro-life culture where all lives are deemed sacred.

While we won't be tuning in to the Oscars this year, our hope for the future remains steadfast. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:16, “When one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” Instead, we invite you to join us in celebrating faith and values in Hollywood at the 2024 Movieguide Awards. Tune in on March 7th at 8 p.m. EST on the Great American Family network for a joyous evening honoring uplifting storytelling. This cherished event has attracted renowned talent like Dolly Parton, Jim Caviezel, Jennifer Lawrence, Dennis Quade, and many more over its 30+ year history.

Our fundamental belief is simple: Live your life in alignment with biblical principles, safeguarding your eyes and mind from the pollution of mainstream entertainment, and stand alongside those dedicated to producing morally uplifting films. After all, who doesn't appreciate a genuinely good movie?

Art Ally is the founder of the Timothy Plan family of Biblically Responsible Investing funds.

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