I just finished reading a book by Francine Rivers called A Voice in the Wind. It's set in Ancient Rome and takes place several years after Jesus' death and resurrection. The main character is a young Christian girl who has lost everything, including her family, and has become a slave in Rome. I could not put this book down and can't wait to get the next in the Mark of the Lion Series. It's fiction but it's also biblical and historical. As I was reading, I was so disgusted at how the Roman's lived. They were so hard hearted. The way they lived was reviling. They felt they had the right to live however they wanted and that it was wrong to deny themselves what their nature desired...no matter what it was. Infidelity, promiscuity, homosexuality, etc...they were proud of practicing those things and for tolerating everyone's preferences. They went to the arenas to watch the "games" which consisted of lots of bloodshed, while people profited greatly from running and sponsoring the "games". They worshipped many gods and if you dared to say there was only one true God, you would be thrown to the lions in front of a bloodthirsty mob.
As I made my way through the book, I started to realize that we are not so different...me included. Selfish, jealous, greedy, sinful by nature. That's me! I hear people talk about the shows they are into and they can't wait for the next season to come out. Those shows are filled with immorality. The latest one, I won't name...I really wanted to watch. It's exactly the kind of show I love to watch. Well, just a little ways into the show, two men start passionately kissing. I was so disappointed! I thought about just continuing to watch. But, I was so convicted. How could I? The Bible is so clear about this behavior. It should shock me! It should disgust me like it does my Father. If I believe what the Bible says about these things...why do I think it's ok for me to watch them? I have to think about all of the things I watch...how many immoral situations are in them? How much crude humor is in them? How many children disrespecting their parents? How much gory violence? Things that should make us blush, but, no longer do? Have I allowed myself to become desensitized to these things? I teach my children Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life". I really believe that this includes what we're watching on tv. The Romans went to the arena...we turn on our big screens or buy a ticket to the theater. Our children turn on video games where they are picking up prostitutes and killing people. Guard you hearts! Guard the hearts of your children! As I read the story of the young Christian girl in Rome...it wasnt' easy. She was tempted by the same things they were, she had the same passions rise up in her, but, she was more interested in pleasing her God than her own desires...or the desires of those around her. We live in a society where it's all to easy to take part in things we shouldn't. All too often, the church looks just like the world. We watch, listen to and take part in the same things. Things that break our Father's heart have become our entertainment! If we are entertained by these things, are we going to be motivated to minister to people in these situations the way we're called to?
I Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character.
Ephesians 5:4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.