Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Must-See TV?

A while ago I read a book titled Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of the Fallen World. It was a pretty interesting read. It really got me thinking about what I watch on television and in the movies. More recently I've been more aware of the things that I am viewing and do have a desire to be more intentional with my viewing. There's always an opportunity for a lot of wasted time staring at nothing (which is also applicable to computer time).

This book reminded me that I should watch things that honor God and are beneficial. It really caused me to consider the shows I currently watch regularly. Does the content show actual consequences for behavior? Does it applaud a behavior that God does not condone? What is the language like? Are any of the characters hostile or derogatory toward God?

I do desire to please God in all that I do. There are shows that I currently follow that do have questionable content. They are prime time shows that are witty and entertaining but sometimes the things that are shown as okay are not okay according to scripture. The hard thing is that I really enjoy these shows and am "hooked" on them. It is much easier to decide not to start watching new shows with negative content rather than to stop watching current shows with this content. It would be somewhat easier to do so if they were shows that only I follow. But I talk about them with others. I know that I could survive without these shows - really without a t.v. period. But part of me doesn't want to. So I know what would be best for me and am struggling with myself to do it.

I know that it should come down to loving God more than my own enjoyment and that I can find enjoyment in other things. I'm definitely not all the way there, but I am determined to make smarter choices in future movie and TV viewings. I would recommend this book and will share a few quotes from it.

What does it look like when the blood of Christ governs the television and the internet and the iPod and the checkbook and the neckline? P.11

Maybe, for all it's simplicity, we're not exactly sure what it means. What is the author, John, getting at here? What does it mean for a Christian - what does it mean for me - not to love the world? Does it mean I can't watch MTV or go to an R-rated movie? Do I have to give up my favorite TV shows? Is it okay to watch a movie as long as I fast-forward the sex scene? How much violence or language is too much? P.16-17

Whatever the reason, this verse (1 John 2:15) makes you uncomfortable. It invades your personal space. You're afraid if you get too close, these ten little words might come between you and the things in the world you enjoy. You're reluctant to discuss "worldliness" because then you might have to change. P.18

Promoting an evil message is presenting sin in an appealing light. P.61

Whether we're aware of it or not, each of us has a set of beliefs and assumptions about ourselves and about the world we inhabit. Through the lens of these beliefs and assumptions - our worldview - we interpret our experiences, draw conclusions, and make decisions. Ultimately, our world view determines how we live. P.141

We're all plagued by the tendency to compartmentalize some aspects of our lives as spiritual, good, and holy and others as unspiritual, unimportant, and amoral. Perhaps you're familiar with this impulse: "God really cares about my devotions, my church involvement, my tithe, and my sharing the gospel. Those are important. But my work? Just a necessary evil. Home responsibilities? They've got to get done. My free time? That's my time (as long as I don't sin)." Such thinking demeans Christ's lordship and impoverishes our spiritual life, rendering our faith irrelevant to 98 percent of our daily existence. No wonder so many lack passion in their Christian lives. P.155-156

All of life affords one long opportunity to experience God, to serve God, to be used by God, as we receive from him our gifts, callings, and opportunities and the power to utilize them for his glory. P.161

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