“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. or which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it”, Luke 14:27-28, NKJV
I’ve read a few blogs recently that leverage the current pop-culture zombie craze as a Christian allegory. Christians of all levels of calling are extracting Biblical themes from AMC’s The Walking Dead. Christianity Today recently featured an article titled The Zombie Apocalypse:Why are we fascinated with the walking dead who want to eat us? Goldly entertainment is a hard teaching.It can be as ultra threatening and unbearable as a family discussion on increased charity and giving or forgiving someone for something intentional who isn’t remorseful and who haven’t changed. It took me a while to surrender and trust God in this area. It took me a while just to even consider it. Entertainment was one of my false idols. TV raised me and I loved all Science Fiction and Fantasy without applying any spiritual discernment. I thought vulgarity and sexual content added to the artistic merit and realism of music, literature and movies. It was easier for me to fantasize the possibility of a character that was faster than a speeding bullet but I didn’t believe God could cure me of depression. I loved the thought more of a vampire significant other than seeing the value of the blood of Jesus Christ.
I have no condemnation to anyone that truly feels comfortable with the existence of the occult, vulgarity, strong sexual content, over the top violence in their entertainment. But my question is this: How deeper do you want to go in Christ? How much do you want that huge stronghold that you’ve been battling with for years or which has existed in your family for years to be destroyed? Are you willing to pay the cost and pursue only Godly entertainment? Jesus cares about the motives behind actions. It’s the heart of the matter and why you are engaging in a certain type of entertainment that is important. The cleaner the heart and mind the better we can figure out God’s will for our life(Romans 12:2). Answering the following 3 questions and utilizing the discernment power of the Holy Spirit(John 14:6) can place a believer on the right track to Godly entertainment.
- Is the Entertainment a false idol?
In his book the Christian Atheist, Craig Groeschel devotes a chapter to the pursuit of happiness at any cost. The chapter begins with some congregates discussing the movie Wedding Crashers who then dissuade Craig from seeing it because they understood he holds a higher standard of holiness as their pastor. He then states:
“While it is true that God wants to bless you and has great plans for you, we venture into extremely dangerous territory when we start to believe that God’s ultimate plan for us is our happiness…Pursing happiness seems like the right thing to do. If we’re happy then everything is going right for us right? The problem is, what seems right may not always be right(Proverbs 14:12)…Our actions confirm that a disturbing number of us truly believe this equation: better possessions + peaceful circumstances + thrilling experiences + the right relationships + the perfect appearance = happiness…God doesn’t want us to be happy because he wants us to be blessed.“
When entertainment becomes our priority defense mechanism from life’s ups and downs then it is a false idol. Entertainment should be done with a sober mind and treated as an appendix to a already established foundation of Christ as a stress relief.
Is the Entertainment against the Bible?
It’s important to know whether or not the form of entertainment glorifies the following or promotes satanic motives
- The Bible on Vulgarity: But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. – Colossians 3:8, NIV 1984
- The Bible on Sexual Immorality: Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. -1 Corinthians 6:18, NIV 1984
- The Bible on the Occult: And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? -Isaiah 8:19,ESV
- The Bible on Violence: Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” -Matthew 26:52-54, ESV
- Was the openly stated original intent of the entertainment creators to tell a Christian allegory or provide a form of evangelism?
The Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia series are examples of fantasy with intentional Christian allegory. The authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were Christians who wanted to glorify God in their writing. C.S. Lewis from On Stories and Other Essays on Literature:
“Then of course the Man in me began to have his turn. I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralysed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as it if were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.”
It’s worth noting that diving deep into the occult by means of intense horror, satanism, witchcraft, ouija boards, ghost hunting, automatic writing and other forms of demonic activity can result in serious spiritual consequences and unleash spiritual warfare. Check out Bible Knowledge’s website for more information on this.