Making any decision in the 21st century is a challenge, especially if, as a consumer, you are not enlightened to the intense research that goes into marketing products. Many people may not even consider entertainment to be a product, but there is a very real reason it is called show business. Regardless of the form it takes, entertainment is not created only to entertain — there is a bottom line that must be met.
The Motion Picture Association of America has the daunting task of assigning ratings to movies that have enough appeal to a particular market to bring in the bucks but also satisfy conservative groups. However, movies are only one form of entertainment and the determined consumer can find unedited versions of just about any form media takes.
Faith-based decisions are a bit more challenging in that most all forms of entertainment, from satellite TV to Saturday afternoon ballgames, incorporate advertisements that may not have a thing to do with the content one is intending to view but sends a subliminal message to buy more of that product. To avoid the existing pitfalls, be aware of the world around you, study the Word of God, and be led by the Spirit of Wisdom. Proverbs 3:6 is a great guide for those seeking God’s Wisdom: In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.
Beverly Mattox, Word Alive International Outreach
Anything can rob us of our relationship with God
Unlike any other time in history, we have billions of books, films and music choices available in seconds via the Internet that we should take advantage of.
What I like will probably not appeal to you. I heard one Christian country band say during a performance that only country songs are played in heaven. Not so bad for me, but eternity is a long time to listen to music that doesn’t appeal to you.
I went to see a film once and, while I liked the genre, the film was riddled with curse words. I left because I didn’t want my entertainment ruined and my spiritual life hindered. Our choice of entertainment must be guided by our own inner core and the Holy Spirit. Only you have the power to choose.
We should also consider how our choices can impact our spiritual health and growth. Anything can rob us of living life to the fullest in Christ if it takes us away from our relationship with God. Philippians 4:8 says: “Whatever things are noble, true, pure, think on these things.” For myself, I judge my entertainment choices by asking whether this will make me a better person or push me across thresholds I don’t want to cross.
I’m encouraged by the increase in films about the stories found in scripture. People want to hear about these timeless stories of real life with real people, hence, our sermon series “The Story: A walk thru the Bible.”
Peter Hawker, First United Methodist Church, Anniston