The other night I found myself binge watching a couple of popular TV series that came highly recommended from some of my Christian friends, I might add. About eight episodes into the plot I found myself becoming a little disturbed with what I was taking in. The subtle filth began slowly—the heroes of the series killing people—lying and cheating—some mild nudity and even homosexuality being introduced and celebrated. There was also some overt one-sided political messaging. I decided to leave and enter Hulu, a new service I just signed up for, to watch some old movies.
I started watching one of my old favorites that was remastered, Once Upon A Time In The West. I love the opening scene. After a few minutes the first commercial ran. It was for eHarmony, a popular dating and meet-up service. There they were, two rather large men, one black and one white, flirting with each other until finally the scene ended with them playfully kissing. I am sorry but that 30 second spot put me over the edge. I lost it and in fact canceled my subscription to Hulu the next morning. They asked me why I cancelled and I told them—I felt so self-righteous.
Then, during a powerful morning devotional time the Lord got a hold of me with a challenging question. Vince, why did you get so upset over a 30 second commercial yet it took you 8 episodes of a series with far worse messages to stop? WOW! How do I answer that one? Here is my response and takeaway—I got sucked into the story. I liked the actors and I couldn’t wait for the next part of the story to unfold. I was hooked. The excitement of the “story” somehow overruled my values and I succumbed.
The commercial I watched was an interruption of the story and it was like waking up from being hypnotized. The message was self-contained and had an in your face purpose. It was easy to quickly discern how inappropriate the message was given my level of spiritual maturity.
My friend this is a powerful illustration and example of what is happening in our world right now. We are all caught up in our favorite story—or plot. We like our story so much we are willing to set aside or senses and sensibilities in order to keep on following it. What is your story? What are you binging on? CNN, MSNBC, FOX? You getting my drift here? How much of our common sense is put on hold because of our inability or unwillingness to hold the storyaccountable?
Media manipulation today is an artform. Whether a movie, TV series or news-driven political messages, they are artfully constructed to draw you in and turn you into the person they want you to be. You and I are being manipulated and played every day. It is being done in a way that subtly has us laying aside our common sense, morals and even Christian values and just going along with the ride. It is a continuation of the great deceit that started way back in the garden and like sheep to the slaughter we are being sucked in.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James 4:17 ESV
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
Proverbs 25:28 ESV
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
Galatians 5:9 ESV
There is no greater or more effective weapon in the devil’s bag of tricks than deception. So, let me repeat the question, what is your story? Is there something you are tuned into right now that is keeping you from truly being the man or woman God intended? Do you find yourself compromising your standards in order to support your choices of entertainment or narrow world view? My dear Christian friends, we need to wake up from our stupor and understand how much God loves us and wants to use us.
We must not lose heart. We must believe that we will see the goodness of the Lord if we seek Him.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! Prov 27:13-14
Waiting on the Lord here does not mean taking a nap. In this context waiting is a call to action—to more actively seek Him and then be patient until He reveals His love and great peace for us. We must keep our eye on the target and resist everything the world is throwing at us. If for some of us that means un-tethering from many entertainment and social media platforms and reducing our consumption of news…then do it! The stakes are higher than they have ever been.
Finally and always remember this promise:
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6 NIV
WILL YOU LET HIM?
Vince D’Acchioli has a live TargetPoint broadcast every Monday and Friday at 10 AM Mountain time. You can tune in using the links below: