Sunday, February 21, 2010

Media Choices: Part 3

This topic has been something I've been mulling over a lot lately.  Sometimes I want to run from it.  It's controversial.  Sometimes I wish I lived 100 years ago...then I remember that we'd be dealing with different issues but still the basic human sins.  It's a topic that comes up frequently with our children.  They constantly are faced with decisions in this area.  I struggle with the fact that Christians can come up with such different practical applications in this area.  I want to understand God's heart in this area and not just make up my own rules or live by what I'm used to or comfortable with. 

But I think this topic is relevant and it matters.  It matters...because the way we live isn't isolated from the fact that we've been bought with a price....from the fact that we no longer live our own way. 

Some Scriptures I've encountered while reading the bible and have jotted down in regard to this:

Proverbs 4:23  Above all else (Wow!  I'm stopping here to let those three words sink in for me), guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Psalm 101 :2-4 I will be careful to lead a blameless life - when will you come to me? 
I will walk in my house with blameless heart. 
I will set before my eyes no vile thing. 
 The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. 
Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; 
 I will have nothing to do with evil.

Psalm 141:4  Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil,
to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers;
let me not eat of their delicacies.

Romans 13:12-14  The night is almost gone, and the day is near.  Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

I Cor. 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

One thing that can seem difficult is that there weren't movies and tv and such back when the bible was written.  But we know that the principles written and God's heart and His holiness are the same today as then.  The following verse actually speaks to the mind and I think it's pretty powerful!

Ephesians 2:3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Of course, reading the verses around these specific verses paints an even clearer picture.  Pretty incredible when you stop to think about it!

Ephesians 5:3-12  But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among the saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks...Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth, trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;  for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 

I do think that verses like these can help us gain a perspective as to what the attitude of our heart should be towards evil and ungodliness.

 I don't think these verses tell us everything.

For example, one verse says, "I will set before my eyes no vile thing."  Now wait a minute!  The Bible itself speaks of many vile things, even many stories describe hideous sins.  If you can think of a sin, it's probably in some story in the Bible...sexual perversion, violence, occultism, and the list goes on.  There are some Bible stories I'm uncomfortable sharing with my young children because of the content. 

Furthermore, how can a story (be it a novel, movie, or tv show) be developed without a villain...without some "bad" fighting "good."

What I do believe is that there needs to be some struggle and tension as we read these scriptures, examine our lives, and observe the modern media trend.  How can me make these all line up to be pleasing to God? 

How can we use the Bible as the most excellent and supreme model?  I certainly don't believe the Bible contradicts itself when it has scriptures such as the above ones and at the same time having stories of Tamar and Judah (II Sam. 13), David and Bathsheba (II Sam. 11), or the murder of Amasa (II Samuel 20).  In fact, using the Bible as a model for how good and evil are shown in our entertainment has been a huge help to me.

So instead of saying, "If there's anything bad, I won't watch/read/listen to it" doesn't quite make sense.  We'd have to stop reading the Bible.  And that's obviously not the answer!!  So how can we use the Biblical examples of evil as a guide to how evil and sin are shown in entertainment today? 

Still thinking on this myself...


In The Potter's Hands said...

Love this article Christy!! Some very good thoughts and some scriptures I hadn't thought about or come across for a very long time. It is great to be reminded of them. I was asked to submit an article to the Voice and cannot think of anything to write about. Every time I read your, or Abbi's blog I think, they need to send these in to the Voice for publication. If they haven't asked you maybe you could send it in my place. I'm sure they would appreciate more articles. :) God Bless and thank you for sharing!! You are an inspiration to me!

Wayne Cobb said...

Christy, I really appreciate your writings. As I read though Part 3, a thought came to mind: There is a big difference between reading about a sin and seeing it in living color in magazine pictures or movies. It is one thing to read about David and Bathsheba or seeing it acted out in a movie. Just some thoughts!


Christy said...

Thanks, Michelle. You are always good at encouraging others!! I to want to cause others to carefully consider their choices, but I think I mostly write this for my own benefit as this is an area I've been pondering over for quite some time and it helps me to put it into writing.

Dad, I agree that reading and seeing can be two different things, but not altogether. There are many books that describe scenes in such a way that they can be almost more descriptive than a movie or TV (able to describe thoughts and feelings in greater detail). So even books need to be scrutinized according to biblical guidelines. Does this book 1. show sin to be condemned, 2. does this book show sin to have consequences, and 3. does this book show too many graphic, unnecessary details. Thanks for reading my mommy blog! :)) Love you, dad.

Wayne Cobb said...

Dear Christy, you are absolutely right! There are many books in which people write in such a way, that is not true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8) that cause you to think on things of the world rather than those things that are above.

God bless you!