(7) Is is a sin to amuse yourself in, say, a movie theater?


You have an honest concern. Some Adventists do seem extreme in their approuch towards things like these. I would say, that its not that its a sin per'say to do these things, but that they can lead to sin. For example, if I go to the movie theater to watch a movie I think might seem good and innocent, there are things I should consider. First, the theater is a worldly amusment. My bible says that I am not of the world, and therefore should not partake of the things that belong to the world. Second, my time there wont get me closer to Jesus. No matter how I put it, the moral lesson I think I might learn there, I will better learn by reading the bible, for whatever good I will get from the theater will come stained with some type of falsehood, for, it is of the world. The worlds perspective of what seems "good" is not like that as taught in the bible. So I cant trust my mind to it. Remember, everything that comes into your mind will somehow mold your character. This is why we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus, that way we can become more like him. Consider this verse:

"I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes..." -Psalm 101:3.

The simple fact is that there will be "wicked" things mingled with what we think are moral lessons in a movie.

Now I have no problem with a good exercise. I will shoot a ball and play catch with my baby boy. Its good and healthy to work the heart and mind. But there is something important we must consider about sports. Competition. You will never find God ever condoning competition in all the bible. In fact the opposite is true. God would rather we never compete, because such can raise contempt or some other sin within our hearts. I remember feeling bad when I would lose a game of swimming (I used to compete in swimming back in school). Now this might not always happen, but that fact that it "might" happen should raise a red flag. Its not a sin to compete in sports, but competition can cause someone to sin. And thats the problem.

At a theme park we will find no time with the Lord. Our mind must be on preparing for translarion. On removing every sinful habbit and becoming more like Jesus. I try to pattern my life like his. Did he spend his time playing games? Or was he concerned with the mission God gave him to do? Not that its wrong to play games. I would sometimes wrestle with my wife in our home. Its nice to have fun. But there are extremes. What if... while on a roller coaster, there is an accident and you die. Lets just say (God forbid this). Do you presume that you will still be saved, despite the fact that you put your life at risk? If we answer yes, then we commit the sin of presumption, because the bible says that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are not our own, we have been bought with a price. If we mistreat our bodies, and put it at risk... if something happens, its as if we took our bodies away from God. As if we stole what does not belong to us anymore.

The same goes for everything else. Will it bring us closer to Jesus? Or will it bring into our minds things that will mold our characters into being more un-like him? Will it cause us to be presumptous? Is it mixed with error and falsehood? Would Jesus spend his time doing it? These and more should be answered before we make a decision to do any activity for that matter. Remember, we christians are just pilgrims in this world. It is not our home. We are preparing, especially in these last days, to meet our Lord in the air. A better world will come, where we can amuse ourselves all we want, but this time in the presence of our creator.

I hope this helps.

In Jesus, the Solution,
Edwin M. Cotto