Sex. Violence. Language. Do you care? Do you even think about what you are putting before your eyes? Or what is playing on your ipod? Somehow there has grown a serious disconnect between our entertainment choices and our walk with God. I am not sure how this happened, but I am certain it is connected to our taking some scripture very much out of context. Something to do with not being under the law but under grace and skewing that to mean I can watch or listen to whatever I want. It has gotten to the place that even pastors use films filled with things that God hates as examples to draw people in. Again, I ask, how have we gotten to this place? I cannot quite wrap by brain around it.
We have been subtly tricked into believing it doesn’t matter. But it does matter! So, maybe you are asking why does it matter? Why can’t I do what I want, if I am free in Christ? May I suggest a few reasons why it DOES matter–
~If we are Christians, we are beloved sons and daughters of Christ. Just like a young child wants to please his earthly father, so we, too, should want to please our heavenly Father.
Ephesians 5 tells us: 1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know,[a] that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Read that list again: fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, coarse jesting. Think about the last movie you watched. Did it have any of those things in it? It has been my experience that almost everything coming out of Hollywood is filled with these things. Of course, there are some exceptions. But not many. The Bible says we are to be imitators of God as dear children. I have a hard time believing that God would watch or listen to anything that is filled with the things He hates. Let’s fill our minds with entertainment that is “fitting for saints”.
~We are to set nothing wicked before our eyes. Psalm 101 says:
3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.
4 A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will not know wickedness.
On the other hand, we are to meditate on good things. Philippians 4:8-9 says:
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
I know that when I watch a movie that is filled with things that are displeasing to God, my mind is not filled with good thoughts. I am not leaving the theater praising my heavenly Father if I have filled my mind with filth. Sometimes there are even movies that have great moral themes and yet they are still dotted with bikini-clad women that tempt men to lust or they are filled with unnecessary violence or bad language. We truly need to be discerning in our entertainment choices. We need to ask ourselves if this choice I am making will encourage me or hinder me in my walk with the Lord.
~Do you cringe when the character on the screen takes your Lord’s name in vain? Or is dressed immodestly? Or when there is a passionate, private moment between two unmarried people? Or how about the blood and guts that horror films are filled with? Do you cringe, if you choose to fill your mind with these things? Or has your heart grown hardened? You see, the more often we set unclean things before our eyes, the more hardened we become. Perhaps, you don’t even think about it anymore.
Charles Finney says in regards to hardening hearts:
Sinners often harden their hearts by indulging appetite. For example: they are accustomed to the use of tobacco, or intoxicating drinks; or they are accustomed to indulge in the use of various luxuries. Now if the claims of God are presented to them, those claims come directly into competition with appetite. For example: I heard of a man, who, through the use of intoxicating drinks, was likely to lose his eye-sight. His physician told him that he must abandon the use of intoxicating drinks, or entirely lose the use of his eyes. Upon this information he girded himself instantly, and said, “Then fare you well, old eyes.” Thus he settled the question, hardened his heart, and probably lost his soul.
While we are not addressing the use of alcohol here, I think the same principle can be applied. When we fill our minds with the things that God hates, we are basically saying we don’t care about what He thinks. That we are going to do what we want. And, all the while, we grow further and further from holiness and purity.
In conclusion, I leave you with these verses from Romans 12:1-2–
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Let’s run away from ungodly entertainment, instead of embracing it! Let’s remember our high calling! To present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Pleasing God with ALL that we do. Which includes how we spend our time and fill our minds.
May God bless you as you ponder these thoughts…
2 thoughts on “SVL”
Thanks for this great reminder of the standard we should be setting. How do you deal with the violent video games the kids are all playing these days? Do you let your kids play them? If not, how do you help them deal with the social fall out?
What a great question! Do you have time for a quick testimony on this?? We only have one child who was passionate about playing video games and we had upheld a very high standard for a long time. And then we caved. All of his good friends were playing this particular, violent game..they could play together over the internet…if he didn’t play he would be left out, etc. When we allowed him to bring this violent game into our home, we noticed a big change in him. He grew more aggressive and angry. NO good fruit came out of this decision to allow this in our home (although he tried to convince us it helped him be a better shot!!). I started praying and asking the Lord for direction and finally my husband and I came to the conclusion…17 or not, it was still our home and we had a responsibility. I removed the game one day when he was at school.
The Lord was very good to us and right about the same time my son’s soccer coach asked them to sacrifice something for the Lord during the soccer season. The whole group of friends decided to fast from this violent video game. It was an amazing testimony to God caring about my son and the little things. With his friends not playing, it wasn’t such a big deal. And when his friends picked it back up again, we stuck to our guns. I might add that we had LOTS and LOTS of discussion with our son on the question of “does this game please the Lord?”. I told him if he could find some verses to back up why he should be allowed to have this video game, I would allow him to go buy it. But they would have to be verses in context, not just pulled from anywhere without context. One day he came home from school and said “Mom! I found a verse!” My heart sank and I started preparing myself for a mental battle. I said, “Yes??” He made me laugh when he said, “But it is against the game!”
God has been so good and I guess if I can share anything about this experience, it is that God will make a way if you are convicted to make a change in your family. It will not be instant, but He is faithful. I would also say that if there are teens involved, it is absolutely necessary to make sure they know that they are accountable to God and His standards, as written in His Word. If they have a heart for the Lord, the Holy Spirit will help them see the Truth.
I guess that was a long testimony, wasn’t it? As I sit here and wrote it, I realized anew how merciful God was to me in this situation. While my son still has a desire to play that game on occasion and may even play it at friends’ houses occasionally, there are no more arguments about bringing it into our home. And the anger and aggressiveness has waned. He will always struggle with his temper…but the video game exacerbated it considerably.
As for how they deal with the social fall out, I would suggest two things. First and foremost, they need to know that it is priority to please God first with their decisions. If they can learn that now, it will go a long way in preparing them to stand strong for Jesus in the future. And the other is to create a very loving, caring, communicating environment at home. We talk about everything. Our kids know that, even if they feel alone at school or church or anywhere else, there is a family that loves and cares about them waiting at home.
That was a very long answer to your question. I hope it was helpful!