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Plugged In

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 3)

Would you regard entertainment as a friend of foe? It would probably be easy to find supporters or opponents on both sides. In a generation that is being raised by television and popular culture, it is a very important question for Christians to address.

The Enemy is hard at work in the world, and it can be very difficult to know what is ok for our children and even ourselves! How do we stay informed without telling our children “watch what I say and not what I watch”? How do we stay informed without being corrupted ourselves? Thankfully, the Lord has given the calling and ability for Plugged In to be a voice for our generation.

Director Bob Waliszewski (Photo courtesy of Plugged-In.)

Quietly flying under the radar of most of popular culture for 20+ years, this ministry is one of the many great outreaches through Focus on the Family. What started as a seminar, brought about a newsletter, which developed a magazine, and ended up as an online resource for parents. Plugged In will tell you exactly what to expect in new movies, TV shows, DVD releases, video games, and even books. All reviews are cataloged and made available at any time on www.pluggedin.com.

Did you realize that one mainstream movie released in September of 2012 contained at least 325 f-words and around 20 misuses of God’s name? Did you realize that another mainstream movie released in September of 2012 contained full-frontal nudity of a roomful of women and several graphic sexual scenes? Did you realize that several hit albums in 2012 had racial and misogynist slang blinded in the mix of profanity and sex? Did you realize that one video game from 2012 had a “blood spill statistic” to track how many gallons of blood were shed as the player decapitated, impaled, hacked, and smashed their opponents? There are a lot of things that we may not realize about the entertainment world.

Each form of entertainment that is reviewed is thoroughly combed through to reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly. The amount of profanity and misuses of God’s name in movies can especially be surprising. Plugged In Director Bob Waliszewski points out, “How many times have you walked out of a film and you’re listening to the couple in front of you… One turns to the other. ‘Oh, if only there had just been… more profanity in this film… It would’ve been the kind of film I would’ve really enjoyed.’ Nobody comes out of a film hoping, asking, wishing for more profanity! Yet, Hollywood certainly doesn’t get it.”

All the language, sex, and violence is detailed in the online reviews (with cuss words censored), but Plugged In also points out the redeeming qualities (if any are present) of what is being put out. For example, behind the violence and language of The Dark Knight Rises lies many Christian and spiritual connotations. Other positive elements of humanity and upstanding virtues can also be found in many movies and songs.

The thorough reviews provided by the staff of eight at Plugged In take many hours. Movie reviews often take 12-16 hours, music reviews take around 7 hours, TV shows take around 5-8 hours, and video games can take 12-40 hours!

War is not a pretty scene, and the team at Plugged In are often presented with a very ugly spiritual battle. As adults, we need to be careful what we allow to influence ourselves as well as our children. Prayers lifted up by the staff for protection and prayers from the countless number of brothers and sisters in Christ carry the ministry from day to day. “Not to say it’s not hard. It is hard… It’s rough… especially as Hollywood gets courser and courser… There’s also something else that goes on. Everyone on my team can say no to an assignment. Nothing’s ever forced.” says Director Bob Waliszewski.

God’s protective wings overshadow Plugged In as the Lord shows them the abominable things that are an ingrained part of our culture. Much like God allowed the prophet Ezekiel to see the debase and vile things that were taking place in his temple so as to warn the people (see Ezekiel 8-11), there is a mighty mission at hand.

We must guard ourselves against the attacks of the Devil. Realize that there is a battle being fought to destroy your witness, your walk, and ultimately your joy. We must protect and prepare our children. Realize that if you don’t train your children up in the way that they should go, the world will do it for you.

Plugged In is a wonderful tool for your whole family in the fight to keep ourselves pure. Take some time to explore its wonderful reviews and features including: blogs, video reviews of many movies, and even a family room section that features Bible Studies that are setup to be used with particular movies.

There are still good forms of entertainment being produced, and there are still many options to protect your family. Many parents enjoy the ClearPlay DVD player that actually censors profanities, sexual references, and the misuses of God’s name with regular DVDs. The censorship is enabled through editing signals within the software of the DVD player. Updates can be downloaded regularly from a computer for new releases.

Ignorance is no excuse for God’s people. We cannot say truthfully that God does not allow us access to a bevy of information. Just within God’s Word, we have access to His character and revelations to man. Commentaries on the Bible are also readily available to us. Plugged In is a commentary to entertainment. Do not take for granted what God has made available. Continue to pray for this ministry, pray for our children, and pray for this culture!


From: Volume 1 - Issue 3


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