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Whatever Things Are Pure

By Watchman | November 3, 2009

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.  (Philippians 4:8)

     I love TV.  I love stories brought to life before my eyes.  I love the relatively new technology that allows me to rent or buy movies and watch them whenever I wish and however many times I wish.  I love being able to watch comedies when I need to laugh and tear-jerkers when I feel the need of a good cry.  I love being able to watch preachers anytime my heart is weary and news shows whenever I need to bring myself abreast with all that is going on in the world.  What a blessing!  But like most other things in our world, this blessing can–and does–carry an equal spiritual curse.  Unfortunately, the curse is so insidious that most people–even Christians–remain unaware of its existance.

     A million years ago, when I was a child, there were rules as to what could be shown  or said on network TV, and many of these rules grew out of a knowledge that God should not be publically offended.  Although many actors, producers and directors even in the early days of the entertainment industry did not live by the standards set by God for His people, it was widely acknowledged that the Judeo-Christian standards should be followed on both the large and small screens.  Though “adult” features might contain a mild swear word or two, the name of the Lord was rarely allowed to be used as an oath and NEVER in conjunction with the word “damn.”  Bad guys could and did appear on the scene, but evil was never allowed to win, and it was never allowed to look particularly appealing.  So-called “horror flicks” were always portrayed as good-versus-evil skirmishes, with the good (sometimes even God) finally winning the day.  And how many of us of my age can forget Lucy chastely keeping one foot on the floor when she and Ricky got into bed at night so that no one in the audience could accuse them of impropriety or inflaming passionate ideas in the heads of young people watching?  This last gives us all a good laugh when we watch these “retro” shows today (with good reason!).   The picayune minutae of these rules can be fun to see in light of today’s standards of free expression.  What is more difficult to see and properly put into perspective is the way in which the media has been used to adversely affect change our attitudes, our morals and our Christian beliefs.  It is said that theater reflects real life and society, but the truth is that life and society now take their attitudes more from the theater than from what have always been accepted norms of right and wrong.

     I don’t know exactly when the change in what was acceptable speech on TV began, but my first memory of it was in watching “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”  In this family-oriented sitcom, America’s sweetheart Mary Richards’ favorite tag line was a long, drawn-out “Oh, my goooooooood!”  And suddenly, neither my friends nor I saw anything particularly wrong in taking the name of our Lord in vain.   It became an accepted part of TV and movie lingo–and now generally goes unacknowledged, even when it appears (as it often does) in movies aimed primarily at children.  Somewhere in the late 80’s and early 90’s it became acceptable to call others by opprobrious names often associated with female dogs or the children of unwed mothers. 

      I don’t know if most people are aware of it or not, but Christianity has been taking a real beating on both sitcoms and crime dramas.  In sitcoms, Christians are portrayed as both overly-pious and hypocritical; in crime dramas, should a Christian be at hand he will most likely be portrayed as a serial killer or rapist, or the parent of one.  In Hollywood’s eagerness to present and promote the homosexual agenda, Bible-believing Christianity has been deemed to be their enemy; therefore, Bible-believing Christianity must be neutralized in the minds of the audiences.  To some extent, this has been a noticeably successful campaign.  On the other hand, the popularity of such movies as last year’s “Fireproof”  and the series based on Jeanette Oke’s Christian pioneer romances are encouraging reminders that many people are hungry for wholesome or Godly entertainment. 

     So how does God see the things that we view in our quest for amusement?  Consider what Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:21:  “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”  We cannot say “I am Christ’s” and then say “What I feed my spirit upon is unconnected with my faith in Christ.”  There is a reason why Paul also declares that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.”  (Galatians 5:9)  When we allow these unacceptable notions to be filtered into our conciousness, we draw farther away from the Father.  As I have mentioned before, the Holy Spirit and evil spirits cannot coexist.  When God has commanded us to avoid blasphemy, what part of “You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain” should be set aside in order for us to enjoy our TV viewing time?  When He has time and time again warned us against fornication, homosexuality and adultery, why do we tend to accept all of these in movies with a shrug and a “but this is a movie, it’s not about Christ.” 

     I’ve heard some Christian pundits say that as Christians we should not allow TV or movies into our homes.  I disagree, but Christians must be aware of those things that they allow to infiltrate their hearts and minds and spirits.  Pay attention to what is being allowed into your home.  If ideas or words that you would normally not allow make their way into a program you are watching, use them as a teaching tool for your children–discuss what is wrong and why.  Avoid programs that you know in advance are in direct opposition to what the Lord has revealed to us in Scripture.  In other words, “…be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Peter 5:8)  And beloved, he will use whatever tools he can.   In these last days, it is so important that we understand the need to be completely grounded in the word of God; that we try to live completely in His truth; that we set our minds upon those things are “true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely and whatever things are of good report…”




Topics: A Special Word for Today, Kingdom Living | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Whatever Things Are Pure”

  1. Shirley Says:
    December 1st, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you for reminding us of how easy it is to get off-track in our Christian walk.