Entertainment

The Chosen: Is It Biblical?

A few years ago a series about the Bible came on the scene called “The Chosen” and quickly became extremely popular. They even had a Christmas special this past year that many Christians enjoyed. My oldest daughter, Jess, watched it but became more than a little concerned when she noticed the ecumenism (a coming together of faiths) during the special.

She decided to do some research on the show. I believe you will be thankful that she did. What she found is important information for anyone who is truly dedicated to God and His Word. How important that we value truth and biblical accuracy over being entertained.

So today we will have a guest post by Jess, explaining what she found and why she has decided this show is definitely not biblical and should be eliminated from our list of entertainment options. I might add that I whole-heartedly agree with her conclusion. (You can find out more about Jess at the end of this post.) So here is why both she and I will not be watching The Chosen

The Chosen TV series has recently taken the Christian world by storm. Do a quick google search and you’ll be hard pressed to find any criticism of the show. Instead, raving reviews come from those both inside and outside of the church. So I am aware that my own critique of this show will not be a very popular one. I believe, however, that it is a necessary one and I’m going to propose to you three reasons why I think it’s best that we avoid watching and endorsing The Chosen. 

My first concern is the subtle (or not-so-subtle) Scriptural inconsistencies. The most blatant one is the way the show pushes a feminist agenda. We first glimpse this when Jesus asks Mary Magdalene to lead in prayer and Scripture reading before a sabbath dinner. This is a historically impossible scenario and totally inconsistent with first century Jewish culture. Mary Magdalene is also seen throughout the show as “the 13th disciple” and travels around with Jesus and His disciples. It would have been both culturally and morally inappropriate for a single woman to travel around with a bunch of men. And if she had, her virtue and the intentions of Jesus and the disciples would have been called into question. And finally, in episode 6, we see Tamar and Mary Magdalene carry the paralytic man through the crowd. This is in direct contradiction to the story in Luke 5 where it clearly states “some men” carried the paralytic man (see verse 18). The writers are clearly trying to appease the feminist American culture even at the expense of changing the words of Scripture.

Another error is found when Jesus is conversing with Nicodemus and asks him, “what does your heart say?” I can tell you– beyond a shadow of a doubt–Jesus never would have said that (Jeremiah 17:9). They also portray Matthew as having Asperger’s Syndrome. You can’t find any proof for this scripturally and, again, it feels as though they’re simply pandering to the current American culture.

My second concern is that this show will affect the way people approach Scripture. The writers obviously take a lot of liberties with the story of Jesus, the disciples, and other biblical characters to create a multi-season series. You might think it’s not a big deal; that it’s just entertainment. But this show adds details, attributes, and circumstances that aren’t in the Bible to Bible characters and Bible stories. Don’t you think that those things might paint an inaccurate picture that will affect the way you read God’s Word?

Quotes like “I came to know Jesus better through this show” and “I feel like I’ve been reading my Bible in black and white all these years and now it’s in color” have been circulating on social media by both the creators and fans of the show. The creator says he’s “trying to tell God’s stories in a fresh way” and “enhancing Scripture”. Those are all incredibly dangerous statements. Do you need something other than God’s Word to know Jesus? No. In fact, God’s Word is the only way we can know Jesus. Do we need anything to enhance God’s stories or tell them in a fresh way? Absolutely not. Only the Bible is the inspired Word of God and it needs no enhancing or modern re-telling by fallible men.

My final concern is with the creator of the show himself, Dallas Jenkins. Before I share my own thoughts, I think it might be best to allow his own statement, in an interview on a LDS (Church of the Latter Day Saints or Mormon) radio show, to speak for itself:

“So I can honestly say, it’s been one of the top three most fascinating and beautiful things about this project – it’s been my growing brother and sisterhood with people of the LDS community that I never would’ve known otherwise and I learned so much about your faith tradition and realizing, gosh, for all the stuff that maybe we don’t see eye to eye on…that all happened, that’s all based on stuff that happened after Jesus was here. The stories of Jesus we do agree on, and we love the same Jesus. That’s not something you often hear…sometimes it’s like, oh they believe in a different Jesus than we do. No, it’s the same, I mean I’ll sink or swim on that statement. I know that’s controversial and I don’t mind getting criticized at all for the show, and I don’t mind being called a blasphemer, I don’t like it when my friends are. I made it very clear that if I go down, I’m going down protecting my friends and my brothers and sisters and so I don’t deny we have a lot of theological differences but we love the same Jesus.” 

This is one of many examples of him stating that Mormonism, Catholicism, and Christianity simply have minor theological differences. He calls them “different perspectives” that are “exciting to explore, not dangerous”. He consults a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and an evangelical christian after writing each episode to make sure they are “biblically accurate”. You can find him saying many times that we all believe in or that we all love the same Jesus.

But do we? Both the church of LDS and Catholics believe in a combination of works and faith. Mormons believe that God attained His supreme status by righteous works and that Jesus is a created being and not equal to God. I could go into more details behind the errors of the Mormon and Catholic faiths and what makes them false religions, but I’ll save that for another day. However, the differences between the true Christian faith and the Mormon and Catholic faiths are essential, gospel issues and not simply theological differences we can brush over. And the bottom line is this: If Dallas Jenkins believes what he’s saying then he doesn’t understand the true Gospel. The Gospel that says there’s only one way. The Gospel that says we are forgiven on the merit of Christ alone and not of anything we can do. The one and only Gospel that is founded on the belief that Jesus is God incarnate.

And do we really want to watch a show about Jesus and the Gospel that is created by a man who doesn’t even understand the Gospel? I’ll let you make that decision, but I, for one, cannot.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jess is a wife to one of my favorite son-in-laws and mom to three boys. She loves the Lord and values truth. When she’s not busy being a mom, she enjoys researching things as she compares them to God’s Word. She has recently decided to start a Facebook page and Instagram account dedicated to running popular philosophies, movements, entertainment, authors, and teachers through the grid of the Bible. You can find her Facebook page here. Her Instagram is @anchor.for.the.soul.

 

A REMINDER: If you’d like to continue hearing from me, should I be censored, I am asking you to give me your name and email address if you haven’t already done so. You can do this by simply replying to this email. I am trying to find a censorship-free platform to use for my subscribers and will only add those that actually value the content posted here and want to be added.

 

The Odd Disconnect

This summer has to be one of the wettest on record in our area. And not only the wettest but, for the last eight weeks, also the most humid. There are certain diseases and fungi that are inevitable when your lawn is wet, humid, and without sunshine for days on end, no matter what kind of Turfcare program or fertilization you use.

Customers are calling us, “What is wrong with my lawn?” and they are frustrated because they have paid for a Turfcare program and it’s not working. And we have to tell them that even our best Turfcare plan isn’t designed for such unusual conditions as these.

And this got me started thinking about entertainment.

Just follow me. I know it’s a big switch.

I think some of us Christians do this same thing. Our Turfcare program is our Bible reading and church attendance. We believe we have ourselves protected and covered. And the wet, humid weather pattern is our entertainment habits. We engulf ourselves in the evil of this world, by filling our brains with books, music, TV shows, movies, and video games that blaspheme God, that are filled with violence, that promote sinful sexual relationships, that use crude and profane language, and that teach ungodly philosophies.

We seem to think that because we read our Bibles we are somehow immune from the effects of these things.

But we aren’t. The ugly fruit that is born in our hearts from our sinful entertainment habits is told in the current Christian culture that is now starting to teach that homosexuality isn’t a sin. This is just a natural direction to go for professing Christians that have already been hardened to couples living together and rampant divorce. It’s a natural progression for a Christian culture that has accepted almost any sin known to man via the little screens positioned strategically all over their homes.

Christians find themselves weak and powerless and prayerless. And they can’t understand why. But I propose that it is a natural outcome for people who have soaked themselves in sorcery and witchcraft at unprecedented levels. For people who watch other people having sex on a screen and torturing, maiming, and killing others in cold blood. For people who hear their precious Lord’s name taken in vain and no longer even cringe. It’s a natural outcome for people who have filled their minds with all that God hates.

No amount of Bible reading or church attendance can withstand that deluge of evil coming into your mind.

This is why God has commanded us to be holy and pure (2 Timothy 2:22; James 3:17; I Peter 1:15-16). Growing in Christ includes both filling our hearts and minds with God’s Word, as well as eliminating evil influences.

I confess I don’t understand the really odd disconnect in this area of entertainment. It is like we have the rest of lives and then over here in a little box we have our entertainment. It is the one box we don’t even consider submitting to God.

But why?

May I challenge you today to start purifying your life in regards to your entertainment. May I encourage you to submit this area of your life to God without reservation? If you don’t feel convicted about this then I would suggest that you start digging in the Word in regards to this specific topic, asking the Lord to open your eyes and show you the truth about what you have been reading, watching, and listening to.

Too many of us are the lawn with the great fertilizer program and yet find ourselves full of disease because we have been submerged in the world’s philosophies and sinfulness. By choice.

Somehow that makes it worse. We choose to put ourselves in this condition. Unlike the weather that is outside of our control, what we fill our hearts and minds with is our choice.

God wants all of our hearts. He desires that we live in purity and holiness. He calls us to repent and leave sin far behind us. This is hard under the best of circumstances, but it is almost impossible when we are filling our heads with all that we are supposed to turn away from.

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk c]”>[c]properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 11:11-14

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. I John 2:15-17

What No One Wants to Talk About

sshhh

On Sunday, as we left east Texas to start our long journey home, just a few hours away the unthinkable was happening: An unsuspecting country church congregation in a small Texas town gathered for worship and were gunned down by a madman with a vendetta.

Last night, when I was finally able to catch a bit of news coverage, I heard a reporter say this to a local man she was interviewing–

“There are those on the far left who say the blood of these people is on the hands of the Republicans because they haven’t changed the gun laws.”

His answer was perfect. He assured her that had we had stricter gun laws, the man would have probably gone on to kill more people. Gun laws won’t keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists and madmen, they will keep them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens who desire to protect themselves. And yet, this is always the cry in the wake of something like this–

Gun control! Gun control! Gun control!

But is this really going to solve anything? Or is it far deeper than simply keeping a weapon out of their hands?

Proverbs 4:23 tells us this–

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

Should we be at least considering if there is a connection between violent, occultic entertainment and evil actions?

The other day, as my husband pulled up next to a car at a local gas station, loud screamo music reverberated throughout the parking lot from its sound system. Evil, mind-numbing music. When he got home he expressed how that music must have some affect on its listeners, as it made his spirit feel angry just to listen to a few seconds of it.

And, all across this nation, people are filling their minds with this kind of music. Music that is filled with lyrics encouraging them to kill, to commit suicide, to shoot, and to commit all other types of evil.

And no one says a word.

Meanwhile, playing on TVs and in movie theaters across this nation are such evil things we could never have imagined. Dark, demonic pictures fill the minds of the masses.

And no one says a word.

Video games rated “M” (as if somehow that will keep impressionable children from playing them) are played–where the whole goal of the game is to shoot, to kill, to maim.

And no one says a word.

Even those who claim to be Christians enjoy these things. And if you dare to say a word, you are branded as the evil one.

I confess that I find myself perplexed beyond measure.

But please tell me this: If we can’t eat a steady diet of junk food and come away unscathed, why do we think we can fill our minds with horror, violence, and the occult and come away unscathed?

And why isn’t anyone talking about the dark, evil entertainment that fills the minds of so many of these shooters? Why isn’t anyone looking for that link?

It’s easy to answer that question, of course. It is called political correctness.

The other day, one of my daughters sent me Taylor Swift’s latest video because she was so appalled. In this dark, evil video, Swift–the innocent sweet 15 year old that hit the music scene not that long ago–appears to be singing about killing someone as she prances about, filling the minds of her audience with all kinds of disturbing images. But no matter how dark, how evil she has become, she is still praised, featured, and promoted by the media. (Perhaps that was the plan all along–to drag more naive, unthinking teens down a dark path while their parents do nothing to stop it.)

Things are so dreadfully wrong with the entertainment industry it is hard to comprehend.

And no one says a word.

Look– I am not implying that this is the only factor in any shooting. Nor am I even implying that it is a factor at all. What I am asking is why isn’t this ever considered? I am not implying that most people will crack under the mountain of evil entertainment they feed their minds. But is it worth considering that some minds will not withstand the pressure?

But no one will ask the questions. And so we are simply left with a hurting, mourning nation, one half crying for more gun control and the other half asking only to be able to defend ourselves in the onslaught of evil attacks that is starting to reign in this nation.

I know that this post will change nothing. It was really just a few thoughts about what is going on. But I do hope that if it changes anything, it will encourage you–as Christian parents and grandparents–to know what your teens are listening to and watching. That you will be proactive and intentional in what goes in their minds, instead of naively believing it won’t affect them. May we lead our families on a path that moves closer to Christ in these dark days. May we not ignore the power that worldly entertainment has in the lives of our own dear families. And may we be brave enough to stand alone in this fight, because–trust me–no one wants to fight this battle. This is one area where you will often stand alone. As Satan targets our kids and grandkids in this area, most will sit idly by. And if you dare to speak up, you become most unfavored and unpopular. So be prepared for this.

Oh, what an upside down world we live in. We can’t change what’s outside our own walls, but may we be tenacious in protecting and caring for those who are under our care and in our circles of influence.

 

Learn to Discern: Reawakening the Conscience

Learn to Discern (with blog name)

So some of you are going to really hate today’s post. You may decide that I’m a little crazy and never read anything at Growing4Life again. But I’m willing to take that chance. Mostly because I have seen this all play out in my life and in the lives of others around me. I will share about that a bit further on in the post. But here is my premise–

When we fill our minds with worldly entertainment, we deaden our consciences.

Let me explain. Sometimes I wonder how so many who call themselves Christians cannot see what is going on within the church. How can they not understand how ravenous wolves–posing as sheep–are changing the very mission and vision of the church?? As I was thinking about this the other day, I realized that it’s because many of them have so deadened their consciences, that they aren’t even willing (or able?) to call sin sin. Not only can they not tell the difference between true and false, but they are starting to fudge and rationalize about the differences between right and wrong. And when we lose our ability to discern right from wrong, our ability to discern what is true from the false has already left us.

So you may be asking: How does worldly entertainment affect my discernment? I have an answer for that and any thinking person will have to admit these are true. Worldly entertainment changes us in the following ways–

1. It keeps us from our Bibles. While this may not be true 100% of the time, it is certainly often true. How many times have you heard someone say that don’t have time to read the Word but they will somehow have had time to watch TV?

2. It keeps us immersed in the goings-on of the world. When we think of worldly entertainment, we often think of the bad things, but I would submit to you that even the news and sports can steal our affections if we aren’t careful. While these things aren’t bad in and of themselves (most of the time), they will keep us immersed in the culture and, instead of separating from the world (as we are told to do in James 1:27 and James 4:4) we become fascinated by it.

3. It changes our values and hardens our hearts. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they can watch anything they want on TV because they know right from wrong and it doesn’t affect them. That they can listen to worldly music espousing sex, drugs, and alchohol because they aren’t going to ever do those things. Besides a stance like that begging the question why any believer would desire such entertainment (why would we–as a believer–want to fill our lives with the things God has clearly said He hates? Galatians 5:19-21), it also does have to be acknowledged that these things do change our values. They make us less sensitive to sin and harden our hearts.

4. It makes us more susceptible to needing the world’s approval. When we become immersed in the world the approval of the world can be all-consuming. When we love the world, we want to be loved by the world. But this, carried out to its fullest, will keep us from salvation. In John 12, this very thing happened, when we are told that some of the Pharisees believed but they so feared man’s opinion, rather than God, that they did nothing. John 12:43 simply puts it like this: for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. When we fill our minds with the world, we become much less interested in truth and much more interested in popularity.

5. It keeps us from caring about what matters in life. Entertainment is meant to entertain. Its goal is to distract us from real life for a little while and give us some refreshment. It is not a bad thing in and of itself. But we have become so enthralled with being entertained that we are distracted from our real lives much of the time. With our smart phones, our tablets, and things like Netflix and Youtube, we are constantly entertained. Many of us can’t even stand in a line at a grocery store or sit at a booth in a restaurant without pulling out our phones. This has exponentially compounded our interest in the trivial, while eliminating interest in the serious stuff of life at the same time. How many Christians do you know who ever discuss God? Or heaven and hell? Or the Bible? When serious matters do arise, most arguments are based on popular opinion rather than the Word of God. I believe this is in much part due to our obsession with entertainment.

So why do I say this? What proof do I have? Let me share three different testimonies about this–

First, I want to share something my brother, Pastor Dean, has shared with me. Shortly after college, he made two decisions. He stopped watching football on Sunday afternoons and instead read the Word. And, second, he removed all rock music from his life (including Christian rock). He credits these two decisions with changing his life completely. He says it was like withdrawing from a drug (if you have ever tried to give up rock music, you will find that it is extremely addictive) but that it was a life-changing decision. These two decisions not only strengthened His walk with the Savior, but also deepened his love for the Word and his hatred for the world.

Second, I want to share my own testimony. Mine is a little more like one of those jagged lines that goes up and down and all over the place. While I have always been conscious that worldly entertainment has great potential for evil in my life, I have not always been as careful as I ought. And I have had stages in my life where it has drawn me into its snare. And let me say this: It does change me in all of the ways listed above. I have seen these things in my own life. I know it is true.

And, third, I want to share the testimonies of two of my children. Both have told me this at two separate times. But let me back up a bit. When my kids became teenagers, we loosened up our standards a bit. Oh, not near so much as most of their friends, but we didn’t want them to look like complete losers and not be aware of anything in the world and so we caved. At that time we allowed secular rock into our home, as long as it didn’t have “bad lyrics”. We regret that choice. Even if one song of a particular artist doesn’t have bad lyrics, the others probably do. And, to add to that, the artists’ lifestyles are rarely anything we want modeled. About five years ago or so, I just started pleading with God that my children would love righteousness and hate evil. And He has answered this prayer in incredible ways! One of those ways was that two of my children decided–on their own–to eliminate secular music from their lives. And both have told me (in two separate conversations, without the other one’s knowledge) what a difference this has made in their own discernment and spiritual walk with God.

You have to know this: What we fill our minds with does affect our discernment. But there is good news! We can reawaken our consciences! It is not too late. If we start eliminating or drastically reducing (in the case of things like news and sports) the world’s entertainment and filling our minds with the Word of God, we will find our consciences will get back to work, informing and enlightening us about not only what is right and wrong, but also about what is true and false.

Okay, so now I have given you several ways our conscience is affected by worldly entertainment and I have given you three real life examples of how this has happened. As you read, you probably found yourself in one of four places and I’d like to speak to all four.

First, you may be one of those who doesn’t really have strong feelings about entertainment. You may like to watch a show or two, but you aren’t addicted. You may have a pop station on in your car but it’s just there. I would like to encourage you to continue to purify your life and to deepen your desire to please your Savior and to worry less about being “cool” in the eyes of the world.

Second, you may be one who is truly addicted to Netflix binges or your smartphone or to rock music. You realize you should change but you just don’t really want to. You enjoy your addiction and to change it now seems completely overwhelming. I want to suggest to you that you start praying that God would give you the desire to change. Or you may know you need to change and want to start now. Pray for strength and guidance. You cannot do this alone. God is faithful and He will answer these prayers!

Third, you may be someone who thinks I am completely crazy. This post makes you genuinely angry and you honestly believe that I am wrong. If you are one of these, then I ask you–beg you–to go to God’s Word to research what I am saying. Turn away from the viewpoints of popular authors or speakers and turn to the Word of God before you make your final determination.

And, fourth, you may agree with me. You may have witnessed this dynamic in your own life. (If that’s true, I’d love to hear your story. Please share by commenting below.) I would ask those of you in this group to share this unpopular message with your family and friends as the Lord gives you opportunity. So many of us Christians love the world. But this love is stunting our growth and keeping us from discerning. It is removing our effectiveness as a witness for Christ and it is making us so vulnerable to wolves who are invading the church in droves now. If you see this and you believe it, please don’t be afraid to say it. This is the time to be brave and speak up!

God bless you as you continue to learn to discern. Be in the Word, basing all your views on what you find there. And take all your concerns regarding the learning process to the Lord in prayer. He is so faithful and He will answer.

You can find all the Learn to Discern posts here on this page.

Reviewing Fuller House

Fuller House

 

A few weeks ago a new show called Fuller House hit Netflix. After hearing mixed reports about the new show from many Christians, I decided to sit down and watch a couple of episodes myself.

Let me preface this by saying first that, yes, our family did watch Full House. And yes, even so long ago, there were some things in that show that shouldn’t have been there. They were subtle and vague but they were there.  And we Christians–myself included–overlooked them. The show was cute. It was mostly wholesome and family-friendly. We still watch the show occasionally.

I really had high hopes that this spin-off would carry on its predecessor’s traditions and believed it would since–

a) It was advertised as a family show.

b) Candace Cameron, an actress who has declared she is a Christian very openly, is on the show.

c) The original show was pretty clean and family-friendly, overall.

 

But times have changed. A lot. And I should not have had such high expectations.

As I watched a grown-up Stephanie make a crude joke about her barely covered breasts on this series advertised for “families”, my heart sank. This was not for Christian families. It was for a culture that has become totally obsessed with sex.

My heart sank further as I watched. After watching two episodes, I made the choice not to continue watching the series. However, others who continued watching shared with me that future episodes have D.J., played by Candace Cameron, getting drunk, using bad language, and dressing inappropriately. The fact that Candace does these things and also claims to be a believer should be rather disturbing.

Now before you start rationalizing why she may or may not have chosen to do these things as an actress, please don’t. I don’t care why she did them. The fact is she shouldn’t have done them. She shouldn’t even be on a show that contains them.

Why not?

Because the Bible says–

Ephesians 5:8-11: For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

It also says–

James 1:27: Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

These are just two verses. There are so many more verses that not only encourage but command Christians to live a sanctified and holy life that is separate from the world. What do we Christians think “the world” means exactly, if not its sexual crudeness, its bad language, and its lusting after wealth, power, and a good time?

I have no idea why Candace Cameron made the decision to be part of such a show. She may have really good motives. We all make mistakes and she is in the lime light, with hers for everyone to see. I am not judging her personally, but this does not change the fact that she has made a poor choice to participate in a show that is inappropriate for families. And the plain fact is that she will drag a bunch of well-meaning, undiscerning Christians with her into believing this kind of entertainment is okay.

It’s not okay.

It is not okay.

What have we come to that this is accepted for family viewing by Christian families? I know this show is mild compared to many on TV. And probably some of you are rolling your eyes about now. I can almost hear your muttering and grumbling as some of you reflect on how ridiculous you think I am being.

And, honestly, I can understand why. It is because most of us Christians are like the proverbial frog in boiling water, accepting more and more and more worldliness, until we are up to our eyeballs in the filth of this culture, right along with everyone else.

But when do we say enough is enough? What will be disgusting enough to make us turn the TV off? When will we value pleasing our heavenly Father more than we value our own desires?

Look, life is about choices. And this includes what we allow in our homes on that box. The TV in and of itself isn’t evil. But we have a grave responsibility regarding what is played on that screen.

I’ve made many bad choices when it comes to that box. More than I can count. In fact, I almost made another one yesterday.

I sat down to watch a movie I’ve seen many times before. It’s one of my favorites from the 90s. As I started watching, they used my Lord’s name in vain time after time in the worst way possible. And that’s when I realized–I couldn’t keep watching this.

I turned it off. The temptation was to rationalize as to why I could keep watching and I did spend a few seconds doing so, but then–

I turned it off.

And guess what? It wasn’t really that painful. Once the decision was made, I didn’t give it another thought. We can turn it off. When a show gets offensive, we can turn the TV off. We don’t have to keep watching. Our kids don’t have to keep watching.

I hope that this post will give at least some of you a reason to stop and think for just a moment about the TV shows you allow in your home. I hope that at least some of you–even one of you–will rise up and say enough is enough and stop the influx of worldly values and unrighteousness streaming into your home through that box.

Let’s stop joining this pagan culture and enjoying its fruit, but instead be the ones that stand against it, striving to live holy and righteous lives in this perverse generation.

 

Love and Snakes

SNAKE

Once upon a time there was a young husband. His wife hated snakes with a passion. Deeply. And fully. This young man told his family just how much he loved his wife. He told his friends how much he loved his young wife. And he told his wife how much he loved her.

But one day the young wife came home to find a small snake statue sitting on her coffee table.

“What is this?” she demanded.

“Oh, I know you don’t like snakes but honey this is just a tiny, little statue. It’s not a big deal,” He rubbed her shoulders as he spoke, whispering the words soothingly.

The young wife relaxed a bit, still eyeing the statue doubtfully. She spent the next few days trying to ignore it. But every time she walked by she saw it’s beady marble eyes staring at her and she shivered. And that was when she started to doubt her husband’s love just a little.

Over the course of the next year, the husband brought more and more snakes into the house, rationalizing and explaining them away to his young wife, until one day he wall-papered their bedroom with photos of them.

The young women, unsuspecting, walked into the room after a long day and gave a little scream of shock. Her husband’s argument had always been that he doesn’t have any live snakes in their house. But no matter how he rationalized with her, she now realized that he didn’t really love her at all, but only said he did. The snakes covering their bedroom walls made that perfectly clear. For no man who truly loved her would make her live immersed in and surrounded by something that she abhorred.

That wasn’t love.

The end.

My brother, Pastor Dean, gives this illustration to explain the inconsistency of saying with our mouths that we love the Lord and yet then filling our hearts and minds with the things He hates.

My dear readers, I have a heavy, heavy burden over the entertainment blindness that is in the church. As if somehow entertainment is excluded from our call to purity and holiness. How has Satan so tricked us into believing that we can say we love the Lord and yet fill our eyes, ears, brains, and hearts with the things God abhors?

We find these things in Galatians 5:19-21–

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

And Colossians 3:5-8–

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

There are many more places in scripture that show us the things we are to eradicate when we become saved. We have left the darkness and walked into the light. So why do we think it’s just fine to bring the darkness into our homes and cars and lives, as if not doing the actual sin ourselves somehow makes it all okay? Why do we want to?

Sorcery

Sexual Immorality

Violence

Crude Language

Funny thing is–or should I say the tragic thing is–not only are Christians watching these things but they are defending them under the guise of Christian liberty. They are are actually rationalizing and explaining away why it is okay to fill our minds with the things God hates.

This has been one of the biggest puzzles I have tried to understand as a believer. How can godly people who are in a good solid church and in the Word on a regular basis justify such evil entertainment?

I think it has something to do with the hardening our consciences. See, as the young husband filled his home with snakes, he became rather inoculated to them. He stopped thinking about the offense he was bringing to his wife. Oh, his conscience was pricked once in awhile–kind of like ours is after a sermon or blog post about entertainment is pricked, but not enough to actually make changes. After all, he could enjoy the feel of snakes–the look of snakes–and his fascination of snakes without having a real snake.

Let’s continue our story for just a moment. Let’s say that the young man saw his wife’s distress and, finally faces what he is doing to the relationship. Instead of rationalizing it away, he recognizes his lack of love towards her in one eye-opening moment. He starts removing the snakes from the house. As he does so, they start to lose their appeal. He eyes the statue in his hand and starts to wonder what his fascination was to begin with. As he turns it over, he recognizes it for what it is. As the weeks slip by, he finds snakes here and there but he is quick to remove them in his desire to eradicate all snakes from his life. Not only as a sign of love for his wife, but because has grown to hate them like her.

I’d like to share a quick story from my own life about this. I’ve shared it before but it’s been a long time. In the mid-90s my husband and I had a favorite TV show we liked to watch. We’d turn it on and for 30 minutes we could forget the world and just laugh. We enjoyed that and never really thought that much about it. Fast forward 15 years to when the show came back on in re-runs. Keep in mind that in that time, we were making an effort to purify our entertainment and to live out Philippians 4:8–

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.

And Psalm 101:3–

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.

So one day I sat down to watch the show. And I was appalled. It was terrible. It was filled with fornication, crude language, envy, and a number of other things that all made me cringe inside. And I realized something–God was working in me! I was growing towards Him and away from the world.

I’d like to say I never struggled with this area of entertainment again, but of course I did. Of course I do. It’s a really tough area of life to navigate.

But may I suggest that we give this area of our lives to the Lord?

The other week I decided to look at the lyrics of the Top Ten pop songs chart for a Bible Study I was doing. Can I just tell you that it almost made me sick? Literally. And yet this is what Christians play on their radios, filling their minds with all kinds of evil. Allowing their kids to fill their minds with all kinds of evil.

Why don’t we care? Why doesn’t it bother us as believers? Those are the questions that I still have no answer for. However, from my own life, I have recognized one thing–

Our entertainment choices and spiritual growth are directly correlated.

Until I really gave an effort to purifying my entertainment, my spiritual growth was stunted.

I know that I am pretty alone on this issue. Our family has learned to take the criticisms and ridicule we regularly receive at not going to the popular movies filled with immorality, watching the TV shows filled with crude language, or ignoring the bestsellers that are full of sorcery. And, honestly, sometimes some of us cave to the peer pressure. It gets really old always having to be the odd one out and sometimes we blow it.

Someone accused me yesterday of thinking myself to be so righteous. At first, I was taken aback. I never want anyone to believe that about me. So let me be clear here– I am not righteous in any way, which is clear to me on almost any given day. I am just a wicked sinner saved by grace who loves her Lord. And I believe that my love for Jesus has to shine through all areas of my life–including my entertainment.

I hope that you will consider opening the entertainment room of your heart to the Lord.

 

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: