I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. (Rom.16:19).
Abstain from every form of evil. (1Thess.5:22).
ARE YOU FASCINATED with evil? It’s a strange question to ask Christians, yet there’s a general fascination with evil in our culture.
Just consider all the modern films that depict magic and demonic activity. Bookstores have sections dedicated to the occult. Halloween has turned from childhood fun to big business and gore. Heavy metal and rap music spew out lyrics that celebrate violence and death.And television pumps darkness into millions of homes.
The manifestation of evil has exponentially increased in the media. In the past, one would be hard-pressed to find an occult section at a bookstore, let alone bookstores entirely devoted to that. Explicitly violent or sexual lyrics used to only be found in fringe music, not mainstream. No one would have imagined the types of television series that air now. And films always had evil villains, but rarely with the eerie intensity and darkness that comes forth today. If they were like that they were only in horror films.
In our day it shows up in action films or even films with redemptive values. Bad guys are no longer just bad, they are demonic. Death can’t be left to the imagination, it has to be graphic.
So what’s wrong with a fine story about good conquering evil? Nothing at all, except that we are being conditioned to recognize increased displays of evil. Today there’s a fascination with the twisted. There is growing interest in the wrong forms of the supernatural. And gratuitous displays of blood are applauded for the realism. The stimulation of the senses overwhelms the viewer and little thought is given to what has just happened to ‘the victim’. Thus the regard for life is diminished under the shadow of the thrill.
In the past, violence was usually just a part of the action. Today it almost grips and assaults the viewer as much as those it grips on the screen. Movie-going Christians appreciate the victory over evil that’s often portrayed, yet in the process expose themselves to all kinds of unholy displays.
What’s the problem?
There’s nothing wrong with a little entertainment. We all need a diversion once in a while. If we happen to be exposed to something bad it probably won’t destroy us.
However, entertainment is not just a diversion to most people; it’s an obsession. People tend to identify themselves with their favorite films and celebrities. Millions of dollars are pumped into a godless industry that promotes vice and idolatry. The fact of the matter is most people maintain a steady diet of Hollywood.
The continual exposure to the presence of evil and immorality will have an effect on the soul, as well as society at large. What’s happening here is that we’re being conditioned to view evil and immorality in the extremes. It must be fascinating and stimulating in order to really affect us. Meanwhile, any lesser forms of evil gradually fail to move us.
As a result, we’re less sensitive and less resistant to sin. In our postmodern culture, there really is no such thing as sin- everything is relative. And compared to what we just saw on the screen, our sins seem relatively harmless. Or they don’t seem like anything at all, because we spend so much time reflecting on the entertainment instead of the truths in God’s Word.
There’s a glory in Jesus far beyond any glory that this world can conjure up with all of its tricks and special effects. Multitudes search for life in the next ‘greatest adventure’, while Life eternal knocks at the doors of their hardened hearts. If they only knew the truth about sin, that it darkens their lives, they would rush to Jesus who offers a better way- abundant and eternal life!
Healthy thinking for the Christian
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.12:2).
How does one renew their mind? By being careful what they subject it to. Just as we should be careful about the ingredients we take in our food, we should watch what we allow to go into our minds.
The media has trained our culture not to THINK. Instead it has bombarded us with sensual stimuli, conditioning us only to FEEL.
Setting our minds and hearts on Jesus and the Word of God will produce spiritual health. Paul said we are to be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. Too many are not wise in what is good. They have a surface understanding of God’s goodness, but they fail to tap into the light of Christ. His love scatters the darkness, outshines stars, and fills eternity with awe. He gives foretastes of this now to those who diligently seek Him.
Will we be more fascinated with Hollywood’s latest hit?