by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
This is a follow-up of sorts to my previous article, "Challenges for Christians". It follows the same trail and then branches off onto a slightly new one.
There are Christians who complain that their spiritual lives are not what they should be. Worse, when attacked by atheists and evolutionists with various "Gotcha!" challenges, they don't know what to say. Well, don't blame God, Pilgrim.
What are you putting in your mind?
|Image credit: Pixabay / johnhain|
People are giving their money and attention to movies with gratuitous sex and violence. Now, we all know the violence done with special effects, CGI, and so on, and people usually aren't hurt for real. Still, we seem desensitized by the storyline. "Sure was a great dinosaur flick. I loved the scene where the buy was bit in two and then each part fell on..." Movies range from one-on-one personal violence, all the way up to monster and giant robot flicks where, again in the storyline, millions of people would have been killed. Maybe I'm the only one that doesn't like large-scale death in stories.
Television shows have fornication, adultery, profanity, violence, and much the same as in movies, but on a smaller scale. The show Dexter was about a guy who had a hobby of killing people, but only those who "deserved it" while taking an introspective approach. It was a big hit, violent, and about Dexter's own vigilante justice. Who is he to decide who "deserves it"? Like atheists who attack Christians because our worldview "deserves it", even though they have no consistent moral standard for their views; such a decision is arbitrary. The Dexter lessons are — what? Are they consistent with a Christian worldview? I've read posts from professing Christians about how much they like Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and other shows for which I'm rather startled to learn of professing Christians expressing enthusiasm.
Christians especially need to be careful what we're feeding our minds. No, I'm not saying we have to be Pollyannas. Sometimes some violent things, or possibly even sexual, are worth watching. In 1971 or thereabouts, my father took me to see The French Connection, which had an "R" rating in the US (no one under 18 permitted without parent or guardian) because of the anti-drug subject matter. There are some rough films or television shows worth watching. I suggest you hear this free Matt Walsh podcast. Hold on, before I give you the link, I want to tell you something. If I linked to the podcast itself, there's no download or listen options. Instead, go to this page and look for "Dear Christians, We Need to be More Careful About the Shows We Watch" on 10/28/16.
Two "D" words apply for what we listen to, the shows we watch, the games we play, and even the people we hang around with: Discretion and Discernment. I want to add that we should be associating with people who are not negative, but uplifting. Even if the way was "associate" with some people can be by listening to their recordings or watching characters on a screen. Scripture is clear on what we need to be dwelling on (Phil. 4:8, Eph. 4:29, Acts 2:42, Col 3:16, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 13:9), and we must walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)
Even if what we spend our time and intellectual energy on isn't actually harmful, it still takes time away from what is important. Christians cannot have good spiritual lives, respond to atheists and evolutionists, have confident walks with God, if they don't spend time in the Word and get solid biblical teachings. (Sometimes I feel, "Thanks for slapping me down in the love of Christ, Dr. MacArthur, and you don't even know I was here". Or other teachers. You get the idea.) In the video embedded in that last article that I linked to up top, Dr. White made a reference to a term that Mohammedans use for Christians and Jews: People of the Book. He said, "The People of the Book often tend to be more of the People of the 'Net". How much time do we spend on Tweetbird, Bookface, forums, playing games, or what have you?
My challenge to you is to examine yourself and see how much time you're spending on things that are contrary to God's Word, and how much time you're spending with God. I suggest you take some time off from some things and replace them with God-honoring material. See the improvement in your spiritual life.