Thursday, January 3, 2008

Let's not get taken captive

O.K., I'm a bit cranky as I sit down to write this. I was on the elliptical, trying to burn off my Christmas candy fat and get back on track, while watching some daytime T.V. Do you realize how much garbage is on during the day? Dear saints of God- turn off the T.V. Other than some selected sporting events, Sponge Bob, and American Idol- it's a cesspool of empty deceit! What a time-sucking, mind-warping, life-waster this miserable thing is.

While flipping through, ironically and in a related way, I saw evidence of the anemic state of Christian thinking. I just watched an interview with some well-meaning Christians where they were unable to see the harm in having their horoscopes read. Who knows how many fragile Christians gain confidence in their error by seeing others, who profess like faith, add horoscope reading to their tools of discernment? Next, I flipped to some political discussion where a professing believer was arguing there is no significant difference between Romney's Mormonism and Huckabee's Christianity. Again, instead of picking up their bible or searching for an accurate comparison between the two very different religions, a lazy person might just have their own ignorance bolstered by such an erroneous assertion. I think more Christian's have their minds warped by the barrage of human philosophy and wrong-headedness that permeates television than we might think.

Consider this rough analogy- one of the biggest fears for a parent is to have their child abducted. You have probably seen the various video clips that have circulated where we witness children being kidnapped by strangers in department stores, malls, and parking lots. More recently we have witnessed the luring and harming of children by predators on the Internet. So, what do we do from the time our child is small? We warn them not to talk with strangers, to not go somewhere with someone they do not know. I tell my young ones, "no matter how nice a person might act toward you, if you do not know them, do not get too close and by all means, don’t let them grab you or get you in to their car". Scary stuff to think about isn’t it? Yet, regularly, children are stolen right from under their parents’ noses. In a rare piece of valuable television, I saw a reporter disguise himself as a stranger-type and visit parks where kids were playing with their parents conversing relatively close by. Still, even with the parents nearby, he was able to talk children in to coming with him on several occasions. When the children were quizzed after they went with the stranger, they seemed to know they should not have gone-but did so anyways, kind of in a trance. It’s so easy, in just a moment, to be taken captive.

Keeping children safe from such a horrendous thing is a sober subject. No less sobering in our need to “see to it that no one take you captive by philosophy and empty deceit” as the Apostle warns in one of my favorite portions of the New Testament, which I preached not to long ago:

Colossians 2:8-15 [8] See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. [9] For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, [10] and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. [11] In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, [12] having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. [13] And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. [15] He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Just as children are kidnapped every day in this country, so also many followers of Jesus Christ are kidnapped by philosophy and empty deceit, steered away from Christ as it were, because they were not realistic and cautious about all the ideas, beliefs, and values circulating out there- especially on the television. I'm no prude, as you all know, but I'm struggling to find much redeeming on daytime television and life is too short and valuable to waste on the elemental spirits of the world. Since I can never get back that 60 minutes, I'm thankful I at least had a good workout.

Rant over.


GUNNY said...

So true!

Apart from Jerry Springer, what else is there?

Frontier Forest said...

Pastor Tony, like you, we seldom watch regular TV. But this past Tuesday evening, while Cheri was upstairs getting ready for bed, I was downstairs, waiting for the nightly movie on our wonderful Hallmark station. I turned on regular, primed-time TV, and first up was the sit-com, “According to JIM!” (Jim Baluchi is the so called, “star.”)
I was shocked at the sick story play, but decided to watch it all the way through to see if it got better or worse. Why was I surprised when it went from bad to disgusting? The entire story was based on the main star’s depraved moral values, trying to influence and persuade his brother to play his own hand in deceitfulness, at home and in the work place. Baluchi’s lust for sexual promiscuity, manipulation planed-out and lies to told his wife, even talking her into flaunting herself in a revealing dress in front of the of a restaurant Matrede so they might be seated first, so I guess is funny and entertaining in the world‘s eyes? So I would surmise, this episode of the “SICK-COM,” “According to Jim” was no worse than the rest of the garbage on TV? And this is HUMOR!?!?!?!
Why are we surprised at the behavior of children and the sick direction our culture is headed? This sit-com made fun of God by referring to “archaic moral ideas of yesterday.” Taunting the absurd values of monogamous, and faith-based relationships. And deciding that man’s chief purpose in life is not to Glorify God, but for mankind to fulfill whatever evil desires of the flesh may come there way! I am certainly glad we have no young children at home. And I pledge myself unto the Lord to being the best model for Christ to our 8 grandkids as well as the precious little ones the Lord has placed in our path at Redeemer.

Kampfgruppe-H said...

The Bible is clear about the "wrongness" of divination. We are surely experiencing post-evangelicalism; flabby minds- they hold up the Joel Olsteens as the epitome of Christianity rather than turn to the Word of God.

rgmann said...

Next, I flipped to some political discussion where a professing believer was arguing there is no significant difference between Romney's Mormonism and Huckabee's Christianity. Again, instead of picking up their bible or searching for an accurate comparison between the two very different religions, a lazy person might just have their own ignorance bolstered by such an erroneous assertion.

Unfortunately, the real problem is even worse than that -- it’s the wolves in sheep’s clothing who “masquerade as ministers of righteousness” within the church (2 Cor. 11:15). Just a couple of Sundays ago, Joel Osteen (“Pastor of the largest congregation in America”) stated that Mormons are Christians, and that Mitt Romney believes that Jesus Christ is his Lord and Savior, just like he did! I kid you not. You can hear the audio at the YouTube link below:

The entire interview can be seen at the FoxNews website, under the “Fox News Sunday On Demand” heading:

AJF said...

I am absolutely staggered by the Osteen clip.

malcolm said...

In a crazy way that's why cable is better. I can take refuge in Turner Classic Movies where everything is g-rated, and, yes I know it's owned by the infamous Ted Turner...ugh. And, being a total dork I watch the Golf Channel a lot. The Discovery Channel has a lot to offer, especially Dirty Jobs. The history channel can be very good. And, Tony, there are some great shows about dogs on Animal Planet. Two channels up you can see population control on the outdoor tv channel. Lots of killing of large antlered animals is shown here. I watch virtually no network TV. I stick with re-runs of Mash, the Beverly Hillbillies and the Andy Griffith show. Looks like Woody is sticking with his chick flicks on the Hallmark Channel. Hey Woody, scroll on up to the Oxygen channel for chick flicks 24/7

Frontier Forest said...

Malc, doesn't the Oxygen channel really push the enveolope on R ratings to a mild X? That's what I have heard, so we pass it by. But if it's mild chick station, I can weep and cry with the best of the ladies!

dbusenitz said...

Interesting article. While the TV certainly is a secular medium, I wander if sometimes we buy into a worldly (and certainly not Biblical) philosophy that safety and protection reigns supreme.
Growing up in a sheltered home was a blessing for sure. After all, TV and movies were quite limited and about all we watched was sports and a few good shows. So, you can imagine that leaving home and entering the real world was a bit stunning. And in some ways, I was unprepared for it.
Now, many years later I work and live in the inner city, a place about as evil and depraved as you will find. Apart from the call of God on my life, I would probably would not have chosen to live here. However, God's call has shown me that God is present and active even in the most unbelievably evil and totally sick situations.
I don't claim to have all the answers on this and in many ways I am still learning what it means to have a Christ-centered home in an evil environment. And I do not have kids yet and I look forward to the time (if and when the Lord blesses me with them) that I can demonstrate to my neighbors that it IS possible to raise a Christian family in the inner city. If and when I do have kids, I do plan on working to protect them from the evils around them. However, I plan on working just as hard (if not harder) at equipping them with the knowledge of God and His word and the reality of the spiritual battle that rages in all areas of life so that they may also be a strong, confident, and powerful witness to the grace and mercy of Christ, even when entering a "Jerry Springer House".

AJF said...

Killing your TV isn't "shelter", it's good sense. I in no way suggest sheltering anyone from reality. That's the problem...TV isn't reality. Further, TV concentrates and compounds sin and gives it to you in a massive, quick dose. Nothing good about that.

Like all things "gray", it needs to be thought out and moderated. There are good things on (i.e. Sports, Sponge Bob, and American Idol), but one has to be pretty careful.

If we are out in the world taking the world for Jesus, we'll see plenty of stuff to alert us to depravity (heck, check your own heart, you'll see Springer there), but adding TV doesn't seem to be necessary to be relevant or aware in the inner city.

Finally, part of the problem with TV is evidenced by the ignorance and messed up world view it produces in lazy Christians. That was a big part of my point. Too much exposure to empty religion and vain philosophy ain't good.