God is Clean. How About Our Entertainment?

IT’S NOT YOU, BABY… IT’S ME. WE’VE JUST GROWN APART. - WALKING AWAY ALWAYS HURTS.


Have you ever turned a movie off in the middle of a good story? It is extremely frustrating. You want to know the end of the plot. You feel like you wasted your time. You have a sense of disappointment because you were hoping to have a nice relaxing event and enjoy being entertained, AND NONE OF IT HAPPENED.

I have been there; over and over. My journey concerning the question of entertainment is not a new one. I remember inconsistencies all over the place growing up.

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  •  One family would not GO TO the movies, but they watched movies of questionable character at home.

  • One family fought over the idea that ALL MOVIES were “wicked” but than watched romantic TV shows.

  • One family banned HALF HOUR SITCOMS because they were degrading towards fathers but allowed James Bond movies.

  • One family would never allow the word “gosh” spoken by their children, but allowed profanity stream through the living room without the bat of an eye, because they “didn’t even notice it any more.”

I remember one day after I had conquered the battle of swearing sitting down to watch a movie with a Christian family and after the first “GD” and “F-bomb” I just couldn’t handle it any more. Hadn’t I just come out from this because it wasn’t good for a Christian and now I felt like a “holy roller” or an over-zealous freak because I was itching to get away from this movie? I knew if I got up to walk away that they would think that I was being judgmental or that I thought I was “better than them.” That wasn’t it. I just couldn’t handle the filth.

This was a whole new ballgame for me. I had watched the nastiest of films and some repeatedly. When people said that they “heard swearing and seen immodesty all around them, therefore it didn’t affect them on TV” I nodded my head in agreement. YET, I WAS WRONG. Just because I didn’t FEEL THE AFFECT didn’t mean that it wasn’t affecting me.

A LITTLE LEAVEN LEAVENETH THE WHOLE LUMP


If there is one thing that I know is true it is that THE BIBLE IS NEVER WRONG. When it says something, it is true. When God repeats it, it is important AND true.

1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Gal 5:7 - 9 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

I have prayed about this truth concerning “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” a lot recently and I have pondered how far it reaches, and I can’t say that I have all the answers. Yet, here is WHAT I DO KNOW.

1. I know that God hates the lukewarmness of Christianity today.

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

2. He hates mixing the world’s sin with Christian lives.

2 Co 6:15 - 17 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

3. I know that two times He said that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

4. I know that He tells us to put off the old man

Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

5. I know that He not only tells us to put off the old man and its filth, but that He tells us to put on righteousness and holiness.

Eph 4:22 - 24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

6. I know that part of putting off the world and putting on the new man has to do with the renewing of our minds.


7. I know that the renewing of our minds is THE KEY to being transformed into a living sacrifice and that sacrifice is considered REASONABLE SERVICE.

Rom 12:1 – 2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

8. I know from deductive reasoning that putting off the old man and therefore having our minds renewed is what keeps us from conforming to this world. Therefore, the little leaven of the world, whether we feel like it affects us or not, is causing a conformation to the world and keeps us from fully transforming into the new man “WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS.

OPEN MY EYES THAT I MIGHT SEE”: TRUE HOLINESS - (I sing this line to an old hymn often)


A preacher came to our church recently and he said that the big thing that churches had to fight for when he first got out of Bible College (in the 50’s) was the doctrine of the second coming. Later on in his ministry he had to fight the fight for God’s preserved word, the King James Bible. Now he says that the fight the churches need to fight for is holiness.

I remember praying a while ago that God would open my eyes and the pastor’s and Christian’s around the country so that we could see sin as He sees it. I truly desired to be holy. I wanted to be salt to the earth. I desperately wanted to be a “vessel fit for the master’s use. What’s funny is that I am married and don’t struggle with the same temptations of dating, music or even swearing, but I knew that my life was not “purged” or HOLY.

2 Ti 2:21- 22, If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Well, my goodness I went to my closet one morning and I know without a shadow of a doubt that God told me to get rid of three shirts and one dress. They weren’t even that bad. I had had compliments on them from people at church, and my husband hadn’t even mentioned anything. Yet God said, “Get rid of them.” I replied, “Seriously?!!!! I won’t have anything to wear. I JUST GOT THESE AND DON’T HAVE ANY MORE MONEY.” Off they went.

Then came my entertainment. We as a family decided a long time ago that if the TV Guardian (a language filter) did not work on a movie, we would not watch it, and if it said ANY FORM OF NUDITY (even funny nudity, old lady nudity, male butt nudity, brief nudity or partial nudity) that it would not come into our home.

(Isn’t it crazy?! Some of you would gasp that nudity would have EVER been in the home of a Christian, and some of you would gasp that you can’t believe that funny male butt nudity would be such a big deal.)

Pro 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

Pro 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

Pro 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.


We had been our own judge and have not looked through the filter of God’s Word, now God was opening up our family’s eyes to the truth. The truth may make you free, but freedom always comes with a price.

By purging our entertainment, we have had to:

  • Feel alienated from some friends and social events

  • Have those uncomfortable conversations with other Christian’s about why we haven’t seen that movie or why we would appreciate it if we could just play a game instead.

  • Make new friends that understood the “clean home” idea.

  • Miss the ends of a few “favorite” TV series because of what they contained.

  • Miss many exciting movies and TV shows that peeked our interest.

  • Find new things to do for fun (this is a hard one)

  • Examine ourselves and our motives so as to not just jump on the “NO TV” bandwagon because the extreme is always easier than discernment.  BUT DID I MENTION IT WOULD BE EASIER.

  • Start a movie and have to frustratingly stop it halfway through because the rating description on the back and the reviews of people were not quite accurate.

  • Sacrifice old favorite movies that we wanted our children to watch when we realized the subtlety of Satan (and sometimes not so subtle) in children’s programming.

  • Feel like social rejects (no jokes please)

Before I continue, I want to ask you two questions, as I did in my series on music.


First, if there was any inclination that something that you were viewing was not to God’s liking or was shown to lean towards the works of the flesh, would you:

1. Err on the side of going the extra mile to please God and sacrificing maybe a little more than might be necessary, OR

2. Keep your entertainment because in your opinion it’s not as big of a deal as people make it out to be.

Second, what would you say is more important in your life: your entertainment or God?


THE PURIFYING PROCESS: STEPPING TOWARD A RENEWED MIND
STEP ONE: EDIFICATION


Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

1Co 10:22 - 23 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.


Not all movies or television programs are sinful. The best description I have heard concerning what is good to watch is this: EDIFYING. Does it edify the spirit?

What I did not ask was this. Do you enjoy it? Was it fun? Do you feel convicted after you watch it? That is irrelevant. Many people have seared consciences concerning sin (especially after years of being desensitized to it by this exact thing.)

By edifying, I mean;

  • Do you feel encouraged in the Lord?
  • Are you just as clean after you watched it as you were before you watched it?
  • Have you had to compromise with sin to be entertained?

STEP TWO: GOD’S FILTER: THE WORD OF GOD

A. I WILL SET NO WICKED THING BEFORE MINE EYES

You know what I love about God and about the King James Bible? You can count on EVERY WORD. God is as contemporary now as He was thousands of years ago. God knows history before it happens. He knows the heart of man (and woman) and gives us Scripture to combat sin.

Here, David, a man after God’s own heart, makes a commitment to God concerning his eyes. This is especially poignant after he fell into adultery because of his eyes.

Psa 101:1-3 A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

I want to take note of a few things.



1.  The word “set.”  Our television is called a TV SET.  It is because we set it in front of us.  When I first pondered this verse, I mentioned to my husband how no Christian man in his right mind would SET a picture of an immodest actress on his dresser.  Even if he shielded his eyes or “fast forwarded” past her in the morning, it would not change the fact that he SET her there.

Why is it wrong to SET something sinful in front of you?  Because GOD SAID SO, and HE KNEW ONE DAY YOUR FLESH WILL WIN!

Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Job was another man esteemed highly by God and he said, I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Job 31:1

Job’s boundaries / commitment / precautions are WISE. (“ I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way”)

2.  David HATES THE WORK OF THEM that turn aside.


The only way a Christian can win the battle against the sin in entertainment is to recognize it as an enemy and hate it.  Just as God wants to spue the sinful lukewarm from His mouth we need to develop a distaste for NOT JUST THE WORLD, but THE WORKS OF THE WORLD.

This reminds me of the passage in Romans 1: 

Rom 1:28  - 31, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:”
Rom 1:32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Now as you read this passage, it is easy to see that most of Hollywood fits into the description in V28-31, but did you see yourself in there.  I know that I did.  It was in verse 32 where it said “have pleasure in them that do them.”

David HATES the work of them and we HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM; their acting, their production, and their plot lines that display their sins and the fruit of a corrupt tree.

3.  David said that the work of them WILL NOT CLEAVE to him.

This is the point in which I found myself.  It was not easy giving up so many movies and TV shows.  It physically altered my mood.  I felt sad.  I felt annoyed.  Breaking up was hard to do.  The entertainment was CLEAVING to my flesh.


2Co 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

How ridiculous this seems, but HOW TRUE IT IS.  If you don’t think it has cleaved to you, then I challenge you to take the next step.  I would dare say that you may feel like the classic alcoholic that says, “I can give it up any time I want.  I just don’t feel like I need to give it up.”

B.  BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM.

Mat 7:16 - 20  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.   A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

I could go into the fruit of Hollywood and their screwed up lives.  I could talk about the influence of demons in the work of an actor.  I could talk of the wicked people in the entertainment industry that don’t allow their children to watch TV because THEY KNOW IT IS WICKED AND BEARS NO GOOD FRUIT.  Yet, not everyone knows the lives of all of the actors and actresses.  Not everyone knows the motivations behind every movie written. 


What we can see is the fruit (the actual program) that is a result of these writers and actresses.

HERE GOES.  Take a deep breath, because this REALLY STINKS when you are taking the big plunge into how GOD VIEWS OUR VIEWING HABITS.  This IS NOT EASY.  It seems ridiculous, pharisaical, legalistic… every excuse the flesh will throw at you and with which peers will accuse you is going to come into mind.

Gal 5:19 - 21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Here are some questions to help you see this in a practical light.

Should a Christian:

1.  Be known as a Peeping Tom and watch other’s “doing the deed” or foreplay?
2.  Partake in “swinging” or “swapping?”
3.  Allow two unmarried people or teens in the church make out in front of them?
4.  Allow two married people in their church make out with some one else’s’ spouse?
5.  Appreciate their pastor, friend’s or friend’s children saying, “O.M.G.” or some other form of the Lord’s name in vain in front of them or on facebook?
6.  Listen to worldly music or attend their dance parties just for fun?
7.  Tell or stand by listening to perverted jokes?
8.  Allow their children to have friends or frequent influences that back talk or have a rebellious attitude toward parents?
9.  Allow an Ouija board in their home?
10.  Watch a live séance or attend a satanistic ceremony?
11.  Attend parties where alcohol is being served?
12.  Get to know a serial killer or child molester?
13.  Be discontent with what they own because they keep looking at what other people have?
14.  Invite a person who is known for wearing immodest clothes over every week for dinner?

Because I know the flesh, I know that some Christians are cheering “BRING IT ON.  AMEN” and others are rolling their eyes saying, “Yeah!  I’ve heard all this before.  Give me a break.”

BUT TO THOSE TENDER IN HEART WHO ARE EARNESTLY SEEKING THE TRUTH, here is what I learned.  If you determine in your heart not to allow it to CLEAVE to you, your LIVING SACRIFICE will seem a little more REASONABLE.


  
THIS IS HOW MOST CHRISTIAN'S JUSTIFY THERE TELEVISION STANDARDS. YET, GOD'S WORD IS THE ONLY VERSION OF TRUTH.


THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD.  This is where prayer, discernment, honesty and a yielded heart need to guide you.  When you meet these situations, you need to look at them in light of the filter of God’s word and ask God’s help to strengthen your resolve against the works of the flesh. 

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

1.  You hear any swearing or suggestive / perverted jokes and innuendos. (Filthy communication)
2.  If it is the type of a show that will allow the Lord’s name in vain
3.  There is nudity. (Fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness) God tells us clearly that we are not to look upon anyone other than our spouse.
4.  There is immodesty, which GOD COUNTS AS NUDITY. (Uncleanness, lasciviousness) I know this pretty much rules out almost everything.  It especially seems irrelevant when it is not blatantly sexual; like on reality / competition shows. Yet, IT IS SIN and A CHRISTIAN HAS NO PLACE SETTING IT BEFORE THEM. 
5.  There are any homosexuals. (Unnatural use of the flesh) This is increasingly difficult, because Satan pushes this agenda through any avenue possible.  It is in almost everything and we are desensitized to it, especially in forms of humor.
6.  There is any teen sex.  We have come to expect teen romance, drama, immodesty and even girl on girl kissing.  We almost view it as hum-drum or roll our eyes at the “obvious agenda” of Hollywood, but we rarely actually stop watching a series because of it.
7.  The show is promoting an “anti-hero.”  A story that magnifies the mystery or mind of a serial killer or child molester. (i.e. Hannibal Lector, Charles Manson, Law and Order S.V.U.). (Prov. 6:17, 18; Prov. 8:13)
8.  There are unmarried / married actors being intimate.  This includes touching, petting, taking off clothes, making out, kissing, dancing erotically or intimately, laying on top of each other, pressing together against a wall, and etc. (fornication, adultery).

(I am not yelling here;  Just emphasizing words of importance.)


I want to take a little time to explain this, because we are SO DESENSITIZED to this.  THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT MARRIED.  I don’t care if they are married in the story line.  THEY ARE NOT MARRIED.  Hollywood is full of broken homes and marriages because WE WATCH THEM COMMIT ADULTERY and PAY TO WATCH IT. 

Not only should we NOT WATCH IT because it is none of our business to watch any couple’s intimacy, but we should not watch it because we are PAYING PEOPLE TO PIMP THEMSELVES.  We PROMOTE BROKEN HOMES.  We promote TEENS wanting a relationship that has romantic moment’s LIKE THE MOVIES.  We promote an avenue for kid’s and husband’s and even women to feed the flesh and its desire toward porn.  ALL they seem to be are romance novels: WITH PICTURES.

8.  There are witches partaking in realistic spells and magic or that promotes and focuses on demonism and “dark” themes.  (Witchcraft, emulations)  This “power” has a strong pull; especially for young imaginations.  It takes innocent fantasy and imagination and draws children into a dark preoccupation with the power and mystery of Satan.

Pro 4:26 – 27,  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.


As I said earlier, this journey concerning entertainment is not a new one for me.  GOD HAS LED ME STEP BY STEP.  He has asked reasonable sacrifice of me and as I have submitted each step, He has strengthened my path.  It is not all or nothing.  IT IS A JOURNEY: a step by step yielded journey.  Ask God what He wants of you.

CONCLUSION: UM, SO WHAT CAN I DO FOR FUN IN THE MEANTIME?

This was my big question.

This is why Christians are known for gluttony.

People think that Christians / God take away everything fun and the only thing left to do is eat and “fellowship.”  Yet, Television Addiction isn't just happening to Christians.


This is my conclusion.

Satan’s way is always the “easy” path.  He seems to give you everything you want without waiting; sex, nice cars, big homes, parties, music, expensive clothes, and entertainment.  You name it.  He’s got it.  What he doesn’t tell you is that your flesh is never satisfied and that you will always want more and you will never REALLY find happiness.



God’s way comes with a cross.  He promises tribulation.  His way is narrow.  His way takes study and time.  His way is a race that is to be run; not watched on the sidelines.  His way takes prayer and discernment.  His way takes effort to “press” toward the mark.  His way takes courage as a soldier for the cross.  His way requires good stewardship and investment.  His way leaves no way for waste.

It takes effort, but the payoff is amazing.

  • When it comes to how you dress, it takes more effort and money.
  • When it comes to your music, it takes effort to avoid the bad and find the good.
  • When it comes to eating, it takes effort to plan ahead or say “No thank you.  I’m full.”
  • When it comes to sex, it takes effort to avoid temptation and pitfalls.
  • When it comes to your marriage, it takes effort to communicate and meet someone else’s needs FIRST.
  • When it comes to your children, it takes effort to train them properly.
  • When it comes to soul winning, it takes effort to open your mouth.
  • When it comes to your free time, IT TAKES EFFORT to do it WITHOUT COMPROMISING WITH SIN.

Ecc 3:13  And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Ecc 5:18 -19 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.  Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

It is not wrong to kick back and enjoy what God has given you.  It just seems that God’s way takes effort.

1.  Games
2.  Clean books
3.  Athletics
4.  Hunting
5.  Horse back riding
6.  Gardening
7.  Walking
8.  Sailing
9.  Clean Movies and TV
10.  Blogging J

More IDEAS...

All of these things require involvement in some form.  They are not A-musement.  They are recreation. 

That is what I have seen as the major difference.  Satan’s main form of controlling our time stewardship and desensitization / conformation to the world is through entertainment.  It has cleaved to us and has taken more time from us than we would like to admit.  We choose it over our devotions, over friendships, over our children’s innocence, over our consciences, and sometimes over our families requests, AND IT’S EASY TO DO SO.

I encourage you to take the narrow path.  God’s ways are ALWAYS the better ways.  They have benefits to your heart, your mind, your spirit, your health and your family.

Gal 5:22 - 23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


2 comments:

Beth said...

amen! We've only watched a select few dvd's for a long time now. Same convictions. Wonderful, wonderful job on this article and exhortation. Thank you for taking the time to post it for us!

Willie J. said...

ok not be rude or anything but you must admit that all of this stuff is your opinion. while this may be what you believe in, it is not the way everyone should act. just because a movie / tv show / music contains profane language or sexual content does not mean it should not be watched. if you were to look deeper than the things you object of, you may find a good meaning to the form of media. now like i said this article was your opinion and i am just expressing mine. everyone has the right to their own opinion.