Cumberland Times-News

February 28, 2008

Learn about God, check out a good church Sunday

David Sandvick, Columnist

The Academy Awards have come and gone. What? You say you didn't know that? It's true. Last Sunday night, the fewest people in the 80-year history of the Academy Awards cared enough to see what movies and performances were being honored.

I didn't care. I didn't watch. For me, Hollywood seems out of touch with what I and probably most Americans find entertaining. Oh, I know they say those small, independent films have all the good acting in them, but let me remind you of some other past winners that people did care about.

"Gone with the Wind'' won in 1939 and a few years later, "Casablanca'' won the coveted statue. Who could forget "My Fair Lady'' and the "Sound of Music'' winning in back to back years in the sixties?

What about "Patton,'' "the Godfather,'' and "Rocky'' in the 1970's? Even movies that lost to those mentioned include "The Wizard of Oz,'' "Stagecoach,'' "Mary Poppins,'' and "Cabaret.'' It seems that even the losing efforts of the past are often better than the winners of this era. My humble opinion, of course.

As people of faith, we must be discerning about what the world tells us is good entertainment. Just because a movie critic who receives his salary from the entertainment industry tells us it's okay for us and our children to watch a certain movie, does not mean we should or that it's even worth viewing.

We cannot let the entertainment industry decide what is appropriate and good for us. God must do that. We can learn what God thinks about many of the current issues depicted in today's movies by reading his word and learning about him in a good church. Check one out this Sunday.

As for all those movies I don't care if I ever see, I'm content watching movies that I've seen many times like "The Ghost and Mister Chicken." It didn't win an Oscar, but it made me laugh.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.