Entertainment: moral choices

"I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it." -- John 17:14-16

The following is adapted from material produced by Focus on the Family

Some years ago Francis Schaeffer wrote a book titled How Should We Then Live? The question that book title asks is a good one. If we believe what we say we believe, then how should we live, particularly as it involves our entertainment choices?

  • Do those beliefs which I affirm in the Apostles' Creed impact how I live?
  • Is "holiness" something that can really be lived?
  • How do we navigate the entertainment world of our culture with integrity, discernment and even boldness as a believer?

A good starting point:

How would I feel if Jesus were to physically come to my dorm room or home? Would I feel pride or embarrassment at having Jesus see my videos and/or video games collections?

  • What can I watch?
  • What can I listen to?
  • How do I know what is pleasing to God regarding the media?

Here's some guidance

  • Is this entertainment choice acceptable?

    1. Does my choice of music, television program, or movie fit the pattern and/or requirements of Philippians 4:8 and Psalm 101:3?
      • "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- think about such things." -- Philippians 4:8
      • "I will set before my eyes no vile thing." -- Psalm 101:3
    2. Would Jesus watch or listen to my choices in entertainment? If the answer is "yes," what are the reasons why I believe this? If the answer is "no," or "I don't think so," what should be my next course of action?
    3. How have I determined the standards I presently have regarding entertainment choices?
    4. Do my standards need to be altered to more in keeping with the character of Christ?

  • Is this entertainment choice sending healthy messages to me?

    1. Are the thoughts and ideas in the music, video or movie consistently wholesome and positive?
    2. Does the song or video promote sex outside of marriage, drug use, violent behavior, rebellion or anti-Christian messages? Does it assume that one or more of these behaviors is acceptable?
    3. Are courage, self-control and good judgment encouraged?
    4. Will harmful consequences come out of the the words or actions being promoted or assumed?
    5. If I were a parent, would I want my children listening to this song or watching this program or movie? If not, how would I communicate this to them?
    6. Has a song, a film or a television show changed my opinion, influenced my thought life or caused me to act in a certain way?
    7. How can I set and maintain high standards for acceptable entertainment in a world that seems to be constantly lowering the bar on what is deemed "in-bounds"?

"War declared on hell!"

Click hereMore than a century ago the first Church of the Nazarene in Los Angeles put up a sign declaring war on hell. [ see the sign ]

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