Several years ago I was exposed to a fairly new TV show that was quickly gaining in popularity at the time. This show had an effect on me that none other has had on me before or since then. The show not only condoned sexual harassment, but it promoted and glamorized it, had no qualms about degrading and devaluing others, had little regard for the possible consequences of such behavior, and had in some way a mocking contempt for any that might try to squelch it in some way or another. It caused very significant nausea within me.
Since that time I’ve heard some Christians being open about liking the show and the laughs they got from it. After all, it’s just entertainment, right? Well, not really. I heard someone say many years ago that a leading philosopher once said, “the barometer for how civilized a people are is by what they think is funny”. Now, I don’t know who that ‘leading philosopher’ is, but when you really think about that statement how can you deny the truth in it? When I hear of civilizations past, namely the great ones, one of the things that appear to be evident in those civilizations is the extreme deterioration of morals, especially of a sexual nature where anything goes and sometimes at the expense of others. For decades here in America, morals have been spiraling down at an ever increasing rate of speed, and it seems that the populace, including in church circles, have no real concern about it and in some ways embraces it. Oh, how far we have gone down this slippery decline in such a short period of time.
Some of the expressions of this decline include not only the sexual as I stated earlier, but also in the self-centered behavior of many. It can be seen in the disregard and disrespect for and towards authority, gender, parental roles, “laws of the land” and regulations deemed “ridiculous” or “unnecessary”, to name just a few. It can be seen when things are said and done at the expense of others, like when we tease, make fun of, and mock them. I’m sure you can think of other ways this is seen.
This dramatic decay in the core values and morals that this country was built upon is evident in most every facet of life, and it’s promoted and glamorized not only on TV, but also in videos, movies, music, games, and written literature of all sorts. This can be seen almost everywhere we look, almost everywhere we listen, almost everywhere we read, and almost everywhere we go. And then we look at each other and wonder what’s wrong with America, or even the world in general. And if this isn’t bad enough, we have professing Christians thinking there isn’t anything wrong with this decline, and while they may reject some aspects of this moral decline they sometimes embrace other aspects of it as though it is okay. Is this something that should be a part of not only a Christian’s life but also of their thoughts and mindsets?
Some may ask, and others have, what could be so wrong with watching, listening to, or reading such things. Many state that it’s just “entertainment” and that they can tell the difference between it and reality, but in time their perception of reality and what is right and wrong begins to look like the very things we “entertain” ourselves with. The Bible talks of a time when what is good is deemed evil, and what is evil is deemed good. We’re living in a time when that is more true than people want or care to admit, but nonetheless it is true. In allowing ourselves to feed upon the many things society promotes, especially in “entertainment”, we have in turn lowered or dissolved, or at best blurred, our senses of what is right and wrong as well as the standards by which we live, promote, or condone as okay.
It’s important for us who call ourselves Christians to use God’s Word as a guide for what should be the focus of our thoughts and mindsets. When we look at Philippians 4:8, Galatians 5:19-26, and I Corinthians 13, we get a pretty good idea of how a Christian should think and act, and in doing so we find what is pleasing to God and what is not. When we read these passages, and so many more, it takes a great stretch of the imagination to rationalize and justify why we can allow ourselves to feed upon the garbage fed to us by society and it’s supposed “entertainment” choices.
As Christians it is our responsibility to represent Christ as His ambassadors to this world. It’s not for us to determine how we are to represent Him as He’s made that very clear in His Word. If we allow ourselves to be fed and influenced by what society says is okay, funny and good, then we are not truly representing the Christ who came to set people free from such behavior and mindsets. Many times, Christians tend to be ambassadors of the world more than ambassadors of Christ. It’s not so much an issue of being perfect ambassadors of Christ, but that our heart and mind is focused on being the best ambassadors we can be as He leads and gives us the ability to be. Acts 1:8 tells us that we would be given, by way of the Holy Spirit, power to be witnesses of Christ to those around us, so it’s not an issue of whether or not we can be, but rather whether or not we truly want to be.
We know that Jesus is coming back soon to take His bride to heaven. It’s what we refer to as the rapture. As we see that time quickly approaching it concerns me that many in the church are not ready for His return. In Ephesians 5:27, the Apostle Paul tells us that Christ will be coming back for a bride “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”. Sadly, many pay little regard to this when it comes to the life they live and their entertainment choices, to name a few. Can we truly say that we are preparing ourselves to be presented to Him without “spot or wrinkle” when we are feeding upon and allowing what the world deems good and okay to be a part of our lives? What are we told in Romans 12:2? “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” In doing so, we begin to think, act, and behave in a manner that truly reflects what God considers good and to abhor that which God considers evil.
Are you preparing yourself to be His bride “without spot or wrinkle”? If not, there is no time like today to begin because quite simply you are not guaranteed a tomorrow. Don’t take your walk with Him lightly so as to not “rock the boat” or offend others, because in doing so you may be found unprepared for Him when He returns, and that won’t be good for you.