(Radio, Television, Movies, etc.)
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. – Philippians 4:8
This chapter is effectively a continuation of the previous chapter (Changing Your Worldly Habits). Like the last chapter, the advice in this one can be unbelievably hard to follow through with in daily life. It is only through the grace and strength of God that you can overcome. With that introduction, let me state the recommendation upfront and then talk through it.
I strongly recommend that you abstain from watching 99.99% of what is on TV (and Netflix, YouTube, or whatever your favorite sources are) and the movies (so-called entertainment) produced by the entertainment industry. In summary, there is nothing whatsoever morally pure about anything that is produced by the worldly entertainment industry at large. Their “entertainment” simply appeals to “lust of the eyes,” “lust of the flesh,” greed, idolatry, and other corrupt fleshly desires. Furthermore, nearly all of the so-called “Christian” movies are based on the false teachings outlined in this book, so beware. This “entertainment” is at worst completely corrupted, fallen, sin-laden productions from start to finish, and at best, they are a means to deceive you when they appear to be promoted as “Christian” films (and books, etc.), but they are replete with false teachings.
The entertainment of the world is only designed to appeal to the carnal, fleshly, lustful, sinful, prideful, selfish man, and it is the primary means by which you are brainwashed, dumbed-down, and made to take your eyes and focus off of Christ. It is simply staggering how blatantly corrupt, immoral, sexually explicit, sexually innuendo containing, demeaning, and blaspheming of God the things that are produced for TV and movies have become, in nearly all instances, on all channels, all genres, at all times. I suppose you might find a wholesome cooking show, but I think you get the point. Yes, this sinful, fallen, fleshly world with its lustful pursuits generates a staggering amount of noise each and every day, desperately trying to drown out the goodness of God and of His Christ, and the good news of the gospel, and God’s Word in total. If you let it, even as a Christian, you run a great risk of backsliding, apostasy, or worse.
The same recommendation applies to other forms of entertainment as well, such as your music choices. Without getting into a debate about musical styles and tastes, it must be said that discretion is required even when listening to modern so-called “Christian” music (yes, there’s the word again in quotes), because it seems to focus more on self-justification, self-worth, happiness, the “feel good” gospel and glorification of self than anything else, and it is also not always performed in a reverent (respectful) manner to a Holy God.
You might argue: hey, it’s still okay to watch nature shows, documentaries, etc., right? Such material might be educational and informative but be especially alert and aware that even this content is created to intentionally deny God as Creator and to implement the constant and endless bombardment/brainwashing of the “theory of evolution” and “millions of years” false teachings on which they almost always base their so-called “science.” God is not to be found among these shows.
The hardest area of all for me has been sporting events. I’m pretty active in sports and have found them to be healthy and good in large part. But today, I find that even when I watch sporting events, particularly football which is my favorite, the advertisements are so sexual nowadays that as a Christian, I cannot simply sit there and watch them any longer. It seems to be just an endless parade of advertising for beer, trucks, the latest Hollywood entertainment flick, and a whole host of other items which only appeal to sinful, lustful fleshly desires.
I pray that the Spirit will be with you and guide you in this area. If you are not careful, your entertainment choices can lure you back into the world very quickly, and it will do so in a very silent and insidious manner; and before you even realize it, you will find yourself walking in, partaking of, and wandering among the fleshly carnal world again. It is prudent to remember what God told Cain: “sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you.”
FALSE TEACHING(S) YOU WILL ENCOUNTER:
RELATED SCRIPTURE: (see prior chapter verses also)
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. – 1 John 2:15-17
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. – Colossians 3:1-7
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. – Philippians 4:8 [Note: There is very little of anything that meets this criterion in modern Hollywood entertainment!]
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. – James 4:4
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” – Matthew 16:24
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” – Galatians 2:20
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” – Genesis 4:7
Anderson, R. John. "5.7 Changing Your Entertainment Habits." EachDay.org. Access date: February 7, 2023. https://eachday.org:443/part-v-next-steps/5-7-changing-your-entertainment-habits/