Our church recently launched a college/young adult ministry on Wednesday nights called Watershed, and this past Wednesday I started a discussion series called “Talk The Walk.”
‘Cause sometimes we “walk the walk” of our Christian lives based on what we assume, what our Western church culture implies, and what seems to be just a little more righteous than the world’s way of doing things.
But we rarely take a step back and question our walk.
Is it actually the path that Jesus calls us to? We have some good discussions on Wednesday nights, and last Wednesday we opened it up by talking about the Christian response to media and entertainment.
Some scripture that we highlighted:
- Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind …
Which verse not only charges us to not be like the world, but implies that the turning of our minds dictates the development of our persons.
- Luke 11:33-34 discusses the concept that when your eye is “clear” (i.e. “single, simple, sound”), your whole body will be full of light. Jesus introduces the idea that Paul expresses in Romans 12:2.
- Philippians 4:8 tells us what kinds of things to meditate on and consider. (Very few of them are found in movies.)
- Matthew 12:34 tells us that what’s in our hearts will come out of our mouths, and Matthew 15:18-20 tells us that the evil that comes out of our mouths is what defiles us. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence … probably for this reason.
But we live in a world saturated with media. We’d have to become hermits to avoid it entirely. We’d have to become very strange people to never engage with television or movies or secular books, etc.
The verse that comes up here is usually this:
- 1 Corinthians 9:20-22 – I became all things to all men that I might win some.
So what’s the answer?
Some ideas that came out of the dicussion:
- We have to go where people are if we’re going to see anyone saved. That means being able to talk to them about their world, and not coming off as “too good” for their lives.
- What’s innocent for one person may be a serious stumbling block for another, so you can’t really make hard and fast rules.
- Purity is a direction, not a line.
- As we’re renewed in the Spirit, we lose our taste for a lot of worldly entertainment anyway. It becomes less about, “I’m not allowed to,” and more about, “I don’t really want to.”
- People all over the world give up WAY more than movies and television for their faith. Sometimes sacrifice speaks louder to the unsaved than anything else.
Thoughts? Does media affect us, or is it really “just a movie”? Is it about setting, intention, timing and/or balance? Is it ridiculous to abstain from secular media, or do we just think it is because we’re Western (probably lukewarm if we’re honest) Christians?