When I was a teenager, it was common to take your date to a movie. Of course, you knew that there would be a happy moral ending to the film, and it would not contain anything offensive or violent. How the entertainment industry has changed!
As children, we devoted much of our free time to such things as “Capture the Flag.” It was a neighborhood game where each side had a flag, and the other side tried to grab it. It was outside and mainly involved running. If you got “tagged” while trying to get the other side’s flag, you were a captive until one of your teammates could free you. There were rules that everyone obeyed, and no one got hurt. A twisted ankle would halt the game, and both sides would focus on the injured person.
Today children walk around with their faces in their smartphones, watching people getting ripped to shreds by dragons. There are “fake” wars where superheroes kill many people, and violence occupies most of the presentation. Adults watch movies with a great deal of killing, violence, adultery, nudity, and pain. “It is not real” is the answer given to those who question all of this. But, the bigger question is what message the entertainment industry is giving to those who immerse themselves in things the Bible refers to as sin.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:14-23, we see the inspired writer talking to Christians about life. “Now we exhort you brethren to admonish the disorderly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak and be patient with all. Take care that none of you ever pays back wrong for wrong but always follow the kindest course one toward another and toward all. … Bring everything to the test and cling to that which is good. Reject everything that has a look of evil about it, and may the God of peace consecrate you through and through. I pray to God that your whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless at the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is time for Christians to stop supporting an entertainment system that makes killing, suffering, violence, and abuse “entertainment.” I know this is an uphill battle because the entertainment industry is so embedded in our culture. However, one has to hearken back to the words Jesus Christ spoke to those who aspire to be his disciples: “It is you who are the light of the world … Let your light so shine before men that they may see the beauty of your life and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16).
— John N. Clayton © 2021