Can Media Have a Corrupting Impact? Galatians 6:7,8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
Defining “Entertainment” and “Media” • According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language “entertainment” is… 1. The act of entertaining. 2. The art or field of entertaining. 3. Something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or show. 4. The pleasure afforded by being entertained; amusement. • This “entertainment” is often channeled right into our homes and offices through various media sources. • The “media” vaguely refers to those sources by which information is mass produced. • Can the media, our source of entertainment and information, have a corrupting influence in the life of the Christian?
Defining Media Sources • Obviously, entertainment and media sources can come in many forms. • The most popular include... • Television, movies—the average American watches 4 hours of television a day—www.tvturnoff.org • Internet—over 70% of the U.S. population uses the Internet now. • Radio, CD’s, itunes • Newspaper, magazines, books
Defining the Issue • Any of these entertainment mediums can be used for good or evil. • Television and Internet can be used to teach and spread the gospel or to belittle the gospel and teach immorality. • We can now buy CD’s of “spiritual songs” or listen to music that is devoid of spirituality. • Magazines can be bought or borrowed with edifying content or debased filth. • So, we will identify “corrupting forms of entertainment and media” and learn how to confront them.
Deciphering the Corruption • It is not difficult to decipher those forms of entertainment that are corrupting. • Galatians 6:7,8 says, • “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
Deciphering the Corruption Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like…” Galatians 5:22,23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” A Corrupting Media Appeals to the Works of the Flesh
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery…” • Can we find “adultery” on many daytime soaps? • 94% of all sexual encounters on soap operas are between people who are not married to each other! • Is this what we find splattered on the covers of celebrity magazines and newspapers? • Are there songs that glorify cheating and dishonesty in relationships? • Watch, read and listen and the habitual influence will bring us closer to corruption!
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication…” • The word “fornication” is a broad term referring to “sexual immorality.” • It includes pre-marital sex, extra-marital sex and homosexuality. • How many television shows can you think of that flaunt a homosexual relationship? • According to statistics, in TV shows, references to pre-marital sex outnumbers sex within marriage 8 to 1. • On primetime television, TV viewers see a sexual act or reference every four minutes!
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness…” • The term “uncleanness” refers to “sensual impurity” (Wuest). • One of the fastest and sneakiest ways to entertain sensual desires is the Internet. • According to Dr. Robert Weiss, in an article from the January 26, 2000 Washington Times “sex” is the #1 searched for topic on the Internet. • Statistics from Internet Filter Review helps us put this problem in perspective, • “At $13.3 billion, the 2006 revenues of the sex and porn industry in the U.S. are bigger than the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball combined.”
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness…” • There may not be a better example of “lewdness” than the dancing we see in videos today. • It is fully expressed in many of the most popular song lyrics. • Many popular songs are not afraid to talk about sexual acts in the most explicit manner! • If you buy these CD’s, you support their work!
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:…idolatry….” • Barclay says of “idolatry” in his Daily Study Bible Series, • “It is the sin in which material things have taken the place of God” (p. 47). • Anything that takes priority over God makes us practice “idolatry.” • Would staying home from church services to watch the big game, race or our favorite TV show be “idolatry?”
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:…idolatry, sorcery…drunkenness…” • The term “sorcery” comes from the Greek word PHARMAKIA which “signified the use of medicine, drugs, spells; then, poisoning…” (Vine’s). • How many times does the devil tempt you with alcohol every time you turn on a sports game? • It’s all over our music too.
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:…idolatry, sorcery, hatred…murders” • How much hatred must you have to step onto a talk show and embarrass someone in front of millions? • Several rappers have sold millions based on their hatred of another rapper…some have been killed. • One of the most popular video games among young people is Grand Theft Auto: Vice City…in it you can steal, punch and kill. • God is just as displeased with murder today as he was with the first murder in the days of Cain and Abel.
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:…contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath…” • Barclay says of the term “contentions”, • “originally this word had mainly to do with the rivalry for prizes.” • Does that sound like what we are seeing in the modern phenomenon of reality competitions? • Many of these other words describe a people at war with a “survival of the fittest” philosophy.
Deciphering the Corruption • Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:…selfishambitions, dissensions, heresies…” • Vine’s defines “heresies” as, • “a choosing, choice; then, that which is chosen, and hence, an opinion, especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects.” • Heresy creeps in as we offer an alternative to the truth found in God’s Word! • Do we not see this in… • The cable and television documentaries intended to ridicule and create skepticism about the Bible and its accounts? • The increasingly large amount of air time given to alternative lifestyles (homosexuality) and alternative religions (Islam, Wicca, Kabbala, etc.)?
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:…envy…” • “Envy” is a close cousin to “covetousness.” • Covetousness is the desire to have what belongs to someone else. • Envy is the feeling of displeasure toward the person who possesses what we want. • Both are sins (Col. 3:5). • By watching television, our children’s covetousness and greed is appealed to daily. • In fact, in a study, a group of doctors found that as children’s tv viewing decreased so did their requests for toys.
Deciphering the Corruption • “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:…revelries, and the like…” • The term “revelries” refers to “carousing” or “partying.” • How many movies glorify the parties of high school and college kids? • Hundreds of songs make references to partying, clubbing and other sinful pleasures. • When our kids watch and listen to these things, it is should be no surprise they want to do it.
Deciphering the Corruption • If Christians are “sowing” to the “flesh” then what kind of crop is the church going to reap? • It is not just evil that corrupts, but empty preaching. • 2 Timothy 4:2-4 says, • “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
Deciphering the Corruption • The Christian’s mission is to be aggressive. • Our job is to vigorously advance the kingdom. • By listening to idle words we lack that distinctive zeal that Christ expected (Matt. 12:36). • Instead of advancing God’s kingdom, we allow Satan to make advances upon us! • Failing to advance makes us complacent, content with mediocrity and indifferent.
The Detriments of Corrupting Entertainment • Acquainting ourselves with evil entertainment will have consequences. • First, it will affect us if we fail to analyze the evil. • “Do not be deceived: ‘evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Cor. 15:33). • As Bruce Bower writes on belief formation, he says, • “We assume beliefs are under conscious control at all times. But beliefs can be created merely by passively accepting information without attempting to analyze it.” • To destroy dangerous beliefs we need to know how they are formed—evil companions and communication!
The Detriments of Corrupting Entertainment • The Christian should not be addicted to any worldly entertainment. • 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, • “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” • According to www.family.org up to 20% of children are already addicted to video games. • We could find similar statistics for television, Internet and sports…
The Detriments of Corrupting Entertainment • It takes the place of family time, Bible study and destroys social interaction. • Marriages need communication (1 Pet. 3:7). • Children need teaching (Eph. 6:1-4). • Christians need daily Bible study (Acts 17:11). • Yet, the average American watches 4 hours of television a day. • Compare that to the time each week adults spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 38.5 minutes.
The Detriments of Corrupting Entertainment • Most entertainment is vain and meaningless. • Solomon wrote, • “I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure’; but surely, this also was vanity. I said of laughter—’Madness!’; and of mirth, ‘What does it accomplish?’” (Ecclesiastes 2:1,2). • What are you doing to bear fruit for God’s kingdom as you sit on your couch (1 Cor. 15:58)?
The Detriments of Corrupting Entertainment • Evil gets worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13). • “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” • Hollywood is filled with “evil men and impostors.” • “Only 700 people--writers, producers and actors--produce 75% of all TV programming. According to a Lichter-Rothman survey, 86 percent never or seldom attend a church or synagogue; 84 percent say government should make no laws regarding sex; and 95 percent believe homosexuality is not wrong.”
Defeating the Enemy • Despite the dangers of much entertainment it can be defeated. • First, we must be willing to be different and sacrifice ourselves for what is right. • “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1,2).
Defeating the Enemy • Consider your influence. • Romans 14:13 says, • “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” • 1 Corinthians 8:13 says, • “…if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” • 10:23 also adds, • “…all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”
Defeating the Enemy • Pursue purity (Proverbs 10:23). • “To do evil is like sport to a fool, but a man of understanding has wisdom.” • This is pure religion. • “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). • Is your mind focused on good things (Phil. 4:8)?
Defeating the Enemy • Use your “good” conscience. • Would Jesus sit down and be entertained by what entertains you? The apostles? • If another Christian you respect would walk in, would you be embarrassed? • Do you have “second thoughts?” • Romans 14:23b says, “…whatever is not from faith is sin.”
Defeating the Enemy • Subject Yourself to Christ • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, • “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”
Can Entertainment and Media Have a Corrupting Impact? • Yes, so we… • must define and decipher what we are fighting against. • should be aware of the detriments of failing to fight the battle. • should have confidence that this foe can be defeated through Christ (Phil. 4:13).