15 May Wielding Authority – Be A Slave or A Master?
At a frenetic pace in which the world is moving, for a Christian to strike a balance between legalism and antinomism is the biggest challenge. The same holds true with entertainment too. Legalism is the scrupulous keeping of the law with the idea of showing oneself righteous before people and before God (self righteous) and antinomism is a total disregard and disrespect for the law (lawlessness). Both these guidelines are not to be used in areas of entertainment.
In addressing issues such as recreation, one always runs into a risk of being charged with legalism or worldliness. Others say that a failure to stop certain forms of entertainment (movies) is a compromise of holiness. The Bible clearly throws light on this Movies, television show, pornography, novels, magazines exalt that which is depraved and debase that which is exalted. Shows with sexual presentations, violence, horror, bloodshed, blaspheme against the holy God. Depictions of violence often glamorize vicious behavior. They offend the Holy Spirit and make you less sensitive to the needs of others. Sports too has a strangle grip on people. Sabbath days see churches empty but stadiums full. Their gods become their players and the praising of God turns to become the praise of man and his abilities.
Music is a peril for young people. CD’s released by youngsters, encourage young people to use dope, engage in promiscuous sex and exalt sex. Their heart and soul are into it as numerous youngsters sing such songs in huge concerts. Video games on shooting, stunts and terror strikes make it hard for students to demarcate between the real and the virtual world. A student in the US is said to have shot his school mate the reason being the inability to discriminate between the real and the unreal world as he was a video game addict.
What may begin as a curious indulgence can become a destructive habit that takes control of lives. An average adult spends 30 minutes on facebook everyday. They sell their data online making privacy almost impossible. A thirty minute internet consumption turns into 2 hours, watching 1 movie becomes watching 2, tweeting is done every day, downloading apps has become a growing fashion. Smart phone users live in an electronic world and are unaware of the real world around. Everything may start as an experimentation and later lead to an addiction . Beware! for you are being enslaved into an enchanting world of entertainment.
Romans 6: 12- Do not let sin reign
in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Romans: 6:17- 22 speaks about being slaves to sin and impurity if there is no room for the righteousness or God.
Proverbs 14:16 says that a wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but the fool is arrogant and careless.
Master of Entertainment
Entertainment is not a Sodom and Gomorrah to flee from neither is it a land flowing with milk and honey to reside in. A Christian needs to see the world through the eyes of the Word to strike a balanced view with regards to entertainment. Entertainment can never be divorced from our calling as Christians to serve God. The values of the entertainment industry require scrutiny in the light of Christian faith. There is certainly a legitimate place for entertainment in a child of God’s life. He can go on a vacation, a jolly ride, picnics, crack jokes, watch a match or a TV show, etc. A Christian also needs to be aware of the danger of exercising ones liberty which may become a stumbling block to another (1 Cor. 8:9).
Paul uses his freedom in Christ in an amazing manner and whenever he used his freedom it was for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must be willing to join with Paul in saying that, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” (1 Cor. 9:19- 23)
Entertainment and fun time are gifts from God and God gives us such times to be renewed in Him and grow in faith. As James 1:7 says we must remember to thank God for good gifts. Practise Philippians 4:8 and have the courage to say no when entertainment doesn’t build you. Wield your authority and make it your slave.
These are few questions that we can ask ourselves regarding entertainment
Does it cause others to stumble in their faith because I do it or watch it? (1 Cor. 10:23-33)
Does it cultivate inappropriate fleshly appetites in me?
Does it violate my conscience? (Rom. 14:22,23)
Can I glorify God in my body while I do it? 1 Cor. 6:19,20
Will it put me under evil influence (1 Thes. 5:21,22)
Does it jeopardize my priority? (Matt. 6:33)
Is it legal to watch? Does my country allow it?
Does it violate my parent’s wishes? (Eph. 6:1-4)
Am I a slave to it? Or have I mastered it?
Does it distract me from serving God?
Sarah Susannah Anji
The author and with her husband Anji are is UESI Staffworkers in Uttarakhand.