I did a quick Google search for the definition of “entertainment”. I found several suggested definitions, but the first one that came up was a good culmination of several that used the same types of words: “the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.”
When I am entertained, I am being provided with amusement or enjoyment. What entertains you? What amuses you? What do you enjoy?
A quick glance around would show that we are entertained by music, movies, TV shows, social networks, books, relationships, food, …and the list goes on. We are entertained by much! We are not lacking in the entertainment department (yet, we are probably bored much of the time, but that’s a whole other post!).
I’m specifically concerned with our media entertainment. By “our”, I mean Christians. You. Me. Us, who claim to follow Jesus.
I’m bothered. I’m bothered that Christians seem okay with cranking up the latest profanity laced, sexually promiscuous, sin glorifying music and being entertained by it. I’m bothered that Christians are quick to endorse TV shows or movies that contain graphic language, sex, violence, without so much as batting an eye. I’m bothered that Christians are reading and passing around scandalous novels that are brimming with explicit sex and calling it okay, for the sake of entertainment. This bothers me. This should bother you, Jesus follower.
(Now, before you get all in a huff and start spouting “Judger!”, please stop for a moment. Please go read this, and consider what God’s Word has to say about accountability and speaking truth to one another, as believers.)
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” -Philippians 4:8
I think that Paul’s exhortation here in Philippians sums it up nicely.
Whatever is honorable. Whatever is just. Whatever is pure. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is commendable. Moral excellence. If there is any praise. DWELL on these things.
Ouch. The radio station that comes on in your car when you start it up. Is it honorable? The movie that you rented last night. Is it pure? The book on your nightstand. Is it of moral excellence?
I can hear some of you now…
“I don’t listen to the words. She sings well, the song sounds awesome, and she is a fabulous dancer.” Okay (let’s call it like it is). Let’s sacrifice our calling as believers for the sake of entertainment by a good dancer, who dishonors God and condones impurity.
“I don’t agree with the content on that TV show (or movie), so it’s no big deal that I watch it. I’m surrounded by it every day at work anyhow.” Do we not desire to be removed from sin, whenever it is possible by our own doing? Did I mention that you are indirectly supporting the content, just by supporting the show? Networks will not keep shows that no one watches.
“It’s just a book…words on a page. It is a good story! Oh, and it keeps me interested in sex for my husband.” Yes, they are just words on a page. Words that you are reading. Words that you are tucking away in your mind and heart. Ladies, this is no different than pornography. You are bringing impurity into your marriage. You are condoning impurity in your marriage.
Friends…can we really say that we are following and desire to follow Jesus, when we are so wrapped up in the sin of this world? Can we be entertained by sexual immorality, crude language, horror, lust, etc. and still call ourselves followers of Jesus? Scripture says that we are made new, that we are a new creation, when we trust Jesus and have His Spirit living in us.
Are you being made new?
Are you resting in the freedom found in Jesus?
When we encounter God’s grace and love, we will naturally not wish to continue living in darkness. The very things that Jesus went to the cross to pay for, we are condoning through our entertainment choices! The very things that are destroying marriages, families, and lives, we are supporting through our entertainment choices! Our hearts and minds are holding on to things that our God despises, because we are choosing to inundate ourselves with it.
How might our hearts change and be stirred with greater affection for our Creator, if we overhaul our entertainment choices?
Oh, it might mean that you give up the TV show that you so desperately adore. It might mean that you abandon your favorite hip hop artist or rock band. Perhaps your radio dial is permanently dialed in to a God-honoring radio station. Maybe, it could mean that your movie choices are changed so drastically that you feel like you have nothing to watch any more. It could mean that you throw out your novels, and in doing so, lose a couple of friends who don’t understand your choices. Perhaps, after a time of elimination, your entertainment tastes, preferences and desires will no longer be what our culture deems as “good”. Perhaps, you are so desensitized to sin, you need a media fast to bring back a God-honoring focus in your life.
What does this look like for you? For your family? How might we choose truth, honor, justness, purity, loveliness, commendableness, moral excellence, and things that are praise worthy? Is it worth it?
Praying for each of you and your families, as you strive to honor God with your lives. Remember, your entertainment choices matter.
I will close with Hebrews 10:19-39 (HCSB):
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
26 For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries. 28 If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the One who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge His people. 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
32 Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings.33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to taunts and afflictions, and at other times you were companions of those who were treated that way. 34 For you sympathized with the prisoners and accepted with joy the confiscation of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves have a better and enduring possession. 35 So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised.
37 For yet in a very little while,
the Coming One will come and not delay.
38 But My righteous one will live by faith;
and if he draws back,
I have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.