“Titanic”: Phenomena or Failure

By Rodney Pitts

Back a few months ago, I watched for the first time much of the Academy Awards. Although this is quite uncharacteristic of me, I became a bit interested in just how many awards the movie “Titanic” would receive. And, not to disappoint, Titanic received, I believe, eleven awards for its ground breaking special effects, cinematic presentation, and close eye for detail and accuracy in many areas. This was a director’s masterpiece. No other movie has ever presented this tragic voyage with such feeling, flare, and realism. In addition to this, the ill-fated cruise liner provides a backdrop for the also tragic (but fictitious) “love story” of Jack, a “third class street urchin” and Rose, the rich, but “socially chained” soul. It seems that all the pieces were present and carefully put into place. And, entertainment hungry Americans responded appreciatively by turning out in droves, filling the theaters night after night, week after week, with audiences both young and old alike. And, de- spite being the most expensive movie ever made, I believe “Titanic” now holds the coveted position of the biggest money maker in movie history, surpassing such “giants” as “Star Wars” and “Jurassic Park.” No one can deny that this movie has made itself a place in entertainment history.

Of course, it is not with the technical and cinematic qualities of this movie that this article is concerned. It is the content that I would like to address. Because I have heard Christians rave about how wonderful this movie really is, I thought it might be nice to watch it myself. Be- fore I would do that, however, I decided to take a look at “Screenit.com” on the Internet to see what parts, if any, this movie contained that were objectionable. “www.Screenit. com” is a wonderful site, by the way, for those who are concerned about the moral content of the movies they view. In other words, it is a site tailor-made for Christians. As I logged on the site and looked up “Titanic,” what I saw was less than encouraging. What is a cinematic wonder is also a moral debacle. And, its success is a sad commentary on the loss of our society’s, and a large number of Christians’, moral compass.

It seems that most of the hoopla surrounding the movie centered on the “love story” between two characters named “Jack” and “Rose.” Although most of us can and do enjoy a love story at times, I am truly concerned that Americans, and especially Christians, became so enthralled with the portrayal of a romance so full of sin and immorality. The whole force of this story is how Jack’s “Bohemian” influence “frees” Rose from her “stiff” and “confining” societal rules and leads her to the “freedom” of a life filled with drunkenness, lasciviousness, and fornication. What a wonderful message to imbibe for Christian parents and children seeking to follow God’s directive that “. . . as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15). What are we thinking?

In addition to this, Screenit.com pointed out that there are several scenes where Rose is nude and another where Jack and Rose are shown in the very act of fornication. And, al- though no total nudity was shown during this last mentioned scene, does that really matter? Also, nude paintings of Rose are clearly displayed and talk is made between Rose and the crew concerning whether any sexual activity had happened between her and Jack. Brethren, when our children are young we have them sing “Be careful little eyes what you see . . . Be careful little ears what you hear . . .” Is that no longer true for Christians today? Has not the Lord warned us to “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23) and that       “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28)? Are we not commanded to “abstain from every form of evil” and to “have no fellow- ship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (1 Thess. 5:22; Eph. 5:11)? Surely viewing a movie like this, no matter how “wonderful” the setting might be, cannot be God’s desire for godly Christians.

And, if the above mentioned immorality were not enough (and it is), Screenit.com also points out that the Titanic contains a wealth of profanity and vulgarity. According to the statistics, Titanic contains some 49 words/phrases of profanity, seventeen of which take the name of our Almighty God, Creator, and judge in vain. And yet, the examiners admit that “with all of the panic and pandemonium toward the end, there may be more exclamations (especially of the religious variety) than noted.” Also, Rose is said to have made an obscene gesture with her finger to one of the other passengers. Brethren, is this what we should “pay” to go and see at the theater or “pay” to have piped right into our living rooms? And, more importantly, is this the kind of behavior we would like to see mimicked in our lives and the lives of our children? God forbid (Rom. 6:1-2; Matt. 5:16).

Now, if you have read this and have simply dismissed it as the ramblings of a “moral alarmist,” then ask yourself this question. Would you allow these same people to come into your living room and talk in the same fashion, remove their clothing, and commit the same acts of fornication in front of you, your family, etc., as they have done in front of you on the “silver screen”? If not, why not?

In conclusion I would like to make one last observation. Although I realize that “Titanic” will continue to be lauded by the world for it technical wizardry and dramatic presentation, the focal point of its morally degenerate plot leaves much for the godly Christian to desire. Its success, therefore, is less a phenomena than real evidence of a moral failure for all Christians and our society that willingly chose to patronize (especially repeatedly) such an ungodly portrayal of “love” set before the backdrop of such a tragic event.