Sunday, July 20, 2008

What are you “Plugged-In” to?

I find it ironic that one of the most popular “Christian” entertainment sites is called “Plugged – In.” I guess their name is descriptive of what they are all about – helping Christians get plugged-in to this world.

To be fair, the Plugged-in website states that their purpose is “designed to help equip parents, youth leaders, ministers and teens with the essential tools that will enable them to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which they live.” This sounds honorable, but when a movie is reviewed and it uses the Lord’s name in vain or shows gratuitous sex, why doesn’t the site just flag it as completely inappropriate. Instead we get a detailed dissertation of the “positive elements” and the “negative elements.” So, if there are enough good qualities it could outweigh the bad.

Yes, we are “in the world, but we are not supposed to be “of the world.” Why do we Christians so quickly justify our participation in the world and our consumption of the filth this world produces? We watch trashy TV and movies that take God’s name in vain, promote lust, glorify violence, and highlight lifestyles that are completely contrary to the kingdom of God.

I am not saying that every Christian should get rid of their TV’s and never go to another movie for the rest of their lives. I know there is at least one small handful of wholesome entertainment produced each year. But, be careful little eyes what you see.
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. – Luke 11:34
I am sick and tired of the argument that, “if we are going to reach this fallen world, then we need to engage it and understand it.” Give me a break. Jesus didn’t need to fill his eyes and mind with the trash of this world in order to authentically minister to the sinner. The gospel message is not bolstered a single bit because you have seen the latest Hollywood movie or because you are up to speed on the latest TV episodes.

I think that the fascination and participation of American Christians with the entertainment of this world is an indication of our errant belief that we can serve two masters; that we can follow Christ while still partaking of the world; that we can be Christians without repentance; that we can become citizens of heaven while keeping our citizenship in the world. This kind of thinking is very dangerous and not characteristic of a disciple of Jesus Christ. We are called to go all-in and forsake all others for Him. Let’s stop thinking we can have it both ways.

Lord, help us say no to the enticements of this world. May we honor you with the things we choose to listen to and watch.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

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