Ah…here is a touchy subject indeed! The ‘Christmas Entertainment Season’ is upon us:
Let’s look at the definition of the word entertainment: “a diversion or amusement, something affording diversion or amusement, esp. a performance.” The word entertain has interesting definitions also such as: “to admit into or hold in the mind; consider.” Another definition of entertain is: to give admittance or reception to; receive.”
I’m sure that you have all heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, have you not? Well…if we expand upon that, how many words would be contained in a movie of say…one and half hours? Since I am not a mathematician, that calculation is way beyond me, but I think you can see my point. There is nothing wrong with words being held in the mind (definition of entertain) but what kind of words or ideas are being held in our minds? As Christians, Paul warns us, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5. I wonder how many times during an “entertainment performance” that we accomplish this goal, of taking every thought captive and examining it before the Word of God and Christ? I would say that we would be so busy doing this during any secular media event, that we would be unable to enjoy the performance, let alone even understand what the plot is or what is going on at all.
I have heard my brothers and sisters say that it is OK to go and watch a movie with cursing and scenes of sex in it because “they are redeemed by the blood of Jesus” and these kinds of things don’t bother them. What rubbish! I have seen pictures from Bible school dorm rooms where the students are holding up beer bottles toasting to who knows what. What is going on?
We are not talking about going around dressing in sackcloth and ashes and mourning all day long, no! We are merely asking why God is so boring that we need a diversion from Him? Has God lost His luster and become dated? I heard of one pastor who as a visiting speaker, was picked up at the airport by the hosting pastor and quickly whisked away to play golf, which is one of his enjoyments in life. I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with that, do you? While teeing off, the visiting speaker started to share what God had been doing in his life and the hosting pastor said, “Oh no brother, let’s not talk shop out here, we are here to get away from all that.” Now do we see the problem? It is like money, which is often misquoted in the Bible as being the “root of all evil” This is a misquote, as it is the “love of money” not the money that is the root here. Golf is fine, but not if it is to “Get away from God”.
What about television, movies, video games, secular entertainment, secular music and such? What can be wrong with all of that? Someone said that today’s mainstream TV is yesterday’s pornography. What would our grandma and grandpa’s say about today’s mainstream entertainment? They would be appauled! We have been slowly duped into accepting so much immorality and violence as OK. It’s like the story of the frog who is put on top of the stove in cold water and the temperature of the water is raised one degree per hour until suddenly the frog explodes. The frog was unsuspecting until ‘suddenly’ it was all over. We have been de-sensitized through years of accepting the ‘norm’ in our entertainment culture to the point we have reached today. The world has a phrase, “Garbage in—Garbage out” We Christians would do well to take heed to this very saying. Sometimes the world is wiser than we are in certain aspects. Of course many of us are concerned about what we eat and drink. We get up in arms over someone building a garbage dump too close to our house, but what about the media moguls who are getting rich on our inactivity? We are still too carnal! We can see the physical stuff but the spiritual stuff, we are often blind to.
I heard last week about a youth group that takes the young adults out to see a movie once a month or so just to give them a break. (A break from what?) He said that a couple of the movies that they are watching are: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Lord of the Rings. Let’s take a look at these seemingly harmless movies. I think that Turtles is self explanatory, but what about JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings? He was a Christian, right? So what? I read these books when I was in high school, as an unbeliever, and they are full of magic and sorcery and all manner of evil. Why is this OK? I said to the young man who was telling me this story, why don’t you just take them to see Harry Potter? I said, it’s not much different? Where is the discernment in “The Church”? We are being taken down the garden path to our destruction folks! Where does the “taking every thought captive to Christ” come in here? God instructed us to be in the world, not of it! I’m not saying that you’re going to hell over this, but what about your anointing, and your discernment? Do you sense that they are dulling within you compared to how it used to be? Smith Wigglesworth said, “If you are not closer to God today than you were yesterday, you are backsliding!” So…let’s admit to backsliding and repent and get right with God. He is faithful to forgive!
How hard is it to remove the images that are ‘given admittance’ into our minds through this polluted entertainment? It is almost impossible! Even things that you watched 10, 20, or 30 years ago are still running around in your mind, and become aroused by an association. Our imagination is like Grand Central Station with trains arriving every minute going to numerous destinations with multitudes of people clamouring for trains to too many places. So much activity, so much confusion, and so little peace. God promised to give us ‘peace, love and joy’ in the Holy Ghost. Why is this not enough to overcome our addiction to the next entertainment phenomenom? Our lust for this stuff needs to be stopped if we are to move ahead in the things of God. Try fasting TV for a week or a month? Try fasting secular music for the same period of time? See what happens? I challenge you to rid your house of entertainment media for a week. See if your mind (train station) does not come to rest. God speaks to us in these times so intimately. We can get quiet enough to hear ‘His still small voice’ and watch our lives start to ramp up for take-off. This is what you have been praying for and hoping for. We are to love the things that God loves and to hate the things that He hates. If our discernment is dulled, how will we know when He disapproves of something we are doing or watching? We need an evacuation of our spiritual ear canals, to re-sensitize our spiritual ears.
Satan has a grand plan to keep us distracted and pre-occupied with so much stuff that is useless for the kingdom of God’s purposes. Would you take Jesus with you to every entertainment activity? Do you every ask Him if these things offend Him? Do you ever consider the Holy Spirit who accompanies you in everything you do? How does He feel about all these things? I think it’s time to scrape off this slime from our lives brother and sisters of the Lord. We are walking into a ‘cleverly designed trap’ destined to take us out or our marriages, relationships, churches, and our intimacy with our “Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, Comforter, Restorer, Adversary, Lifter of our Heads, Our Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ”
As we approach this Christmas Season with a super abundance of choices to entertain our weary bones, please make choices that take every thought captive to Christ and do not attend anything that will offend the Holy Spirit and take you out of fellowship for even a few hours. We need to meet our God and see that when our intimacy is in tact with Him, there is no lack and His contentment is GREAT! Hallelujah!
Rob and Jody