Psalm 16:5

The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

God's Warth is Coming... Are You Ready?

You had better listen to the words of Jesus, “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter, but he that does the will of my father in heaven.” If ye by the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live. If you live after the flesh, you’ll die! The cross does not give us a minor shift or two with regard to a few of our ethical and religious values. The cross radically disrupts the very center and citadel of your life from self to Christ. And if the cross has not done that, YOU’RE NOT A CHRISTIAN! My Friend face it, young rogue, you’re not a Christian until the cross has radically disrupted the very center and citadel of your life! And brought you from a life of commitment to serve self…What are the focal points of the reign of your self? If you’ve gone to the cross in union with Christ, it’s been shattered!"
- Al Martin

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Redeeming the Time - Declaring War on Entertainment

"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Ephesians 5:14-21

I realize I just made a post a little while ago, but it was short and this issue to which I now speak has been heavy on my heart tonight. Really, I have come under a lot of conviction of things I have been allowing to waste my time.

In the above passage, we have a verbal snapshot of the life of a believer. In every time and age, the devil fights this way of life with everything he has - lulling believers to sleep with whatever means he can. Paul sends a jarring command into our lives to wake us up and make us understand the way of the Lord: "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."

The result of this light is that we walk circumspectly, and not as do the fools, redeeming the time for the days are evil. In other words, fools do the opposite of that. They do not redeem the time. How then does the current drive for entertainment jive with this? It means we are fools much more often than we realize. It may be that some piece of entertainment is entirely lawful in itself. There may be no inherent sin in the actual thing. But does that mean by default that it is not sin for the believer to participate? Maybe in some circumstances. But if the entertainment begins to cause the Christian to live in a way other than commanded by Paul in these verses, then it is sin to him, though lawful in and of itself.

Further, the use of lawful entertainments often causes an appetite to be born for more entertainment - the flesh lulling the Christian into useless sleep. Amusement (a = not; muse = to think. Amuse, to not think.) begins to steal the Christians time, remove deep thinking about anything serious (makes him lazy because he would rather not think than have to do the hard work of actually being productive in the thoughts of his mind), and render him impotent in the kingdom of God.

Not only does entertainment thus steal a Christian's time and cause him to walk in ways contrary to Paul's admonition, but it also opens the doors to innumerable evils. I have seen this in both personal experience and in others - we think that a particular piece of entertainment has enough "redeeming value" to justify watching the sin that is displayed with it. We think, "Oh, it is just a little. The movie was so good and there was only one bad part. The Name of the Lord was only used in vain a couple times." Little by little we allow more and more sin into our entertainment, our conscience being dulled by the repetitiveness of the small sins we allow. Our appetite is whetted to be entertained and we love our sleepy pleasure - the laziness and lack of responsibility that entertainment allows. We do not even realize it but we are feeding the lusts of our flesh.

Soon, we are allowing things in our entertainment that are shocking to the awake Christian. Immorality, immodesty, shameful speech, blaspheme, rebellion. Our drive for entertainment is sending us directly to the world - but the love of the world is not the love of God. For he who would be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. This "good entertainment" we allow into our homes is in a subtle - or not so subtle - war against Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God and has been the means of the destruction of a whole generation of Christian warriors.

How about the push for epistamologically self conscious Christian movies as espoused by groups like Vision Forum and the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival? The Devil seems to be lurking here as well. First, we see him rearing his ugly head in the movies being endorsed within the movement: the rise of movies from yester-year which are "clean".... but Godless. These movies present to us a life that can be lived without the power of God. So the Lone Ranger does not swear and he doesn't go out with the girls (assuming - I haven't seen a lot of the Lone Ranger films), but he lives a life apart from Jesus Christ. The movies are inherently atheistic in their make. Satan first took God out of the entertainment and then once that was done, morality was removed years later when there was no foundation left for it.

When we play movies like this for our children, we give the subconscious view that life is great without God or prayer. You can be a hero and not love Christ. You can be successful and not advance the kingdom of God.

Then we have the result of the drive for Christian film making which does not have at its heart a repudiation of useless entertainment and a drive for redeeming the time. I spoke with a couple young filmmakers in this movement a couple months back about a new film that was recently released. Expressing subtly my desire to have the same footage turned into a more indepth film extolling the greatness of the creation more fully, they said that they thought the film was too dry already and that the point of a film is to be entertaining and if it isn't, it isn't any good. In my personal opinion, the film to which they referred was geared to much toward being entertaining and was a royal flop and an overall waste of money for that reason. However, their comments revealed to me the ugly head rearing up in this movement. We are creating a generation of young people who want to get into film making because they love entertainment. It is simply a way to feed their drive for entertainment. It is not redeeming the time and the fruit down the road is most likely to be much worse than we have imagined it would be.

Christian, be not unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. Awake from your entertainment induced sleep and begin to redeem the time. Those movies you think are of no harm - but which are of no value in encouraging you to walk in the way of faith - trash them. Is the name of God taken in vain? Trash them. There is no way to redeem such a thing. It is an abomination to the Lord your God. Is foul language used? Let no corrupt thing proceed out of your mouth. You would not let your children say those words. Neither let your computer or TV. Trash them. Is there immodesty? Would you let your daughter dress that way? God says that we are not to go by the way of her street corner. Don't invite her in! Trash them. You will be no worse off than Christ who had no movies to watch. Put out the evil from among you. Get rid of these things which are subtle means of your destruction. The time is short, shall we waste it on these frivolous things?

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