Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Would Christ Do It?

     I am always having to be on guard against "entertainment."  Oh, how it grips me, if I am not careful!  How it seduces me, and causes me to err!
     I know there are various forms of entertainment.  However, it has been my studied opinion that I must ever be vigilant to not abuse it.  What do I mean by "abuse it?"
     Well, I can end up spending too much time entertaining myself, rather than being productive.  I can slip into forms of entertainment, (by starting with something "innocent"), that God abhors.  I seek to reconcile my lusts with "liberty in Christ."  However, Christ is pretty clear about not using our freedom in Him for an occasion to sin:  "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. "--Romans 6:15
     It is well-known that many forms of entertainment are created to keep you wanting more.  Just watch the average t.v. show or movie, and you will be craving (lusting) for more!  How else will the ratings improve, the viewer count increase, etc.?
     Naturally, these methods of entertaining one's mind is geared toward the lusts of the flesh and eyes.  What ever tittilates the flesh will draw viewers back for more.  Thus, money is continually reaped, masses are effectively shepherded, and minds are controlled.
     I know these things.  I have learned over the years how things are propogated in order to reach people, for whatever the reason(s).  I know what is expected of me from my Lord.  King David of Israel said it well: "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. "--Psalm 101:3
     "Abstain from all appearance of evil."--1 Thessalonians 5:22  If I, as a born-again soul, am to abstain from all appearance of evil, why watch it?  Why listen to it?  Why view people doing things that "appear" wholesome, yet by their very doing of it, they are disobeying God?
     Is it okay for a man to kiss another man's wife?  Is it justifiable for a woman to kiss another woman's husband?  How about for the sake of "godly" entertainment?  How about for "family friendly" values?  After all, they are depicting a faithful husband and faithful wife, with children, trying to live according to God's will...
     Would I do it?  Would I kiss another man that was not my spouse?  Would I lie in bed next to him, pretending to go to sleep with my "movie-husband?"  Would I be alright if my husband was the actor, with another woman pretending to be his wife, for the movie's sake?
     I came to this conviction long ago.  It is pretty clear that Hollywood is not okay for me, by God's standards.  What about the Christian alternative?  I have not yet found one that I can wholeheartedly stand before God, and be justified in viewing it.  There are some documentaries, some reality programs, some educational pieces, some preaching, I have found to be safe...But nothing else.
     Why do I say all these things?  Because I struggle, still, with what my flesh wants.  It wants that drama.  It wants that entertainment.  It wants the rush that all those things bring!  And, yes, I still find myself succombing to that which I detest!
     Oh, how I wish that I never had a desire for that which God abhors!  I wish I had stronger character.  I wish that I would not waver in the convictions the Lord has placed in my life.
     Well, in myself, I will never amount to anything worthwhile.  My unredeemed flesh is still exceedingly sinful.  Yet, in Christ, I shall be victorious!

Romans 7:14-25
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

     So, I must daily remember that it is through Christ that I will be victorious in this battle!  I must avoid yielding to any temptations that come my way.  I must flee to Christ when they come!

Ephesians 4:17-24
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

     So, I seek to find other ways to fill my mind.  I seek other ways to "have fun."  I seek other ways that will be enjoyable, but yet unoffensive to Christ.  I try to find ways that I know that if the Saviour were physically here, He would participate.
     I am trying to keep my mind in the Scriptures, to remind me of what God has already taught me on the matter.  I am trying to remember that when the yearnings to stray from God's holy living comes, to immediately pray, remember what He has said, and to do according to His will; not that of the flesh.  Every time I do yield to God, I see the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
Colossians 3  
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."

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"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6

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