Are you amazed at all the changes in technology within your life time? It may sound like the dark ages to a younger generation, but when I was a child, our television had two channels in black & white. Now there are cable packages that give hundreds of channels, not to mention the availability of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, and so much more.
As a child, I remember my parents not letting me watch certain television shows because the content was suggestive and lewd. Those programs included things like “All in the Family,” “Laugh-In,” and “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.” Today those shows are commonly seen in the lineup of family programming on retro television channels. Programs currently targeted toward families are full of crude humor, cursing, and insults at things holy. Even cartoons have now become full of “adult” humor, inappropriate subject matter, bad language, and blasphemy.
When are we going to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough? When will we say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” in regard to our viewing of “funny” videos, television shows, and movies? When will we stop finding entertainment in viewing other people behave immorally and irreverently? When did we let our guard down and become so hardened to sin that we enjoy watching other people behave and talk in ways that will result in them losing their souls?
What does God have to say about our viewing habits? The Psalmist said, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3). He also asked the Lord to, “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things and revive me in Your way” (Psalm 119:37). In the New Testament, Paul said to think about things that are pure, lovely, good, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Again in Colossians 3:2, we are told to “set our mind on things above.” When reading these passages with the media in mind, there seems to be quite a contradiction.
Here are a few suggestions to test your media sensitivity:
- Watch your favorite television programs and movies with a notebook. While watching, pay close attention and make a note of every curse word, use of God’s name in vain, crude humor, violent act, blasphemy, immodest clothing, or sexual act/innuendo.
- Look at parent reviews such as Focus on the Family’s Pluggedin or the parent review on imbd.com. Just a little research can give an objective opinion on the content within the movie that you may have missed.
- Read Bible verses about sin and its consequences (Romans 6:23).
- Pray for God to open your eyes to the beauty of holiness (Psalm 96:9).
I cannot count the number of times that I have heard Christians defend a movie or television show saying, “It wasn’t that bad. It just had a couple of curse words in it.” Then with just a little research, I would find that it had a significant number of curse words, ungodly themes, and immorality.
Don’t be guilty of saying, “It doesn’t affect me. It’s not like I’m going to say those words or do those things, etc.” While it may be true that watching these things will not cause you to imitate that behavior, don’t be so naive to think you will not be affected (Proverbs 23:7). I am convinced that media has become one of Satan’s greatest tools. When we become desensitized and not disgusted or when I am hospitable to sin rather than hating it, we callus our hearts. And if we let Satan get into our hearts, we will lose the battle.