Our American culture is one that has developed an addiction to entertainment. We spend billions of dollars on movies, video games and music every year. We spend countless hours in front of the television over the course of our lives. Not only do we put our time and money into being entertained, we find ourselves engaged in the lives of those in the entertainment industry. Whether we realize it or not, this over-saturation of entertainment has an effect on our lives. First, it desensitizes us to sinful activity. Second, it leads to a compromise in our own morality. Finally, our approach to entertainment has a profound effect on our influence upon others.
The biggest problem that comes from the exposure to our world of entertainment is the desensitization towards sin. In this day and age kids are raised as much by the television as they are by the Bible. When you are raised with something from birth, it’s hard to give it up and its influence is profound.
In addition to television and movies, we continue to be attacked with immoral music, and we continue to become desensitized. I’ll admit that this has been a problem for me from time to time. You hear a song, it’s catchy, it gets stuck in your head, you buy it, you listen to it to death, and then you figure out what it’s really talking about. Now you have the dilemma – do I delete the song? Do I just decide I’ll think of it the way I did before and ignore the immoral meaning? Desensitization by entertainment strikes again. May we never let iTunes or Universal Studios define what is sinful and what is ok.
Not only are we desensitized to what is sin and what isn’t, we are reprogrammed to act and think differently. Over the last few years we’ve been made aware of the behavioral changes caused by the video games and TV shows that kids are exposed to. We seem to be fully aware that entertainment can change our sense of morality, but that doesn’t stop us. You may not realize it, but with every second in front of the television your subconscious is being conditioned and programmed in the way that the scriptwriters dictate. Television has been used as the medium for cultural change for decades. Feminism, homosexuality, promiscuity, and countless other cultural and social agendas have gained their social traction through television.
Finally, if we aren’t careful with our entertainment options we can become a stumbling block for both those who have been saved and those who haven’t. Regardless of who you are, you have influence over the people around you. When you go to see movies with foul language, sexual content, and/or gratuitous violence, not only are you sinning by exposing yourself to things God is against, you are also setting a negative example of what a Christian is. When your music collection features songs filled with foul language and sexual immorality, you aren’t giving people any idea that you’re a Christian. Jesus had strong words for those who caused others to stumble (Matthew 13:41; Luke 17:1). Let us never be called a stumbling block over two hours worth of our entertainment.
If we aren’t careful, we will be desensitized to the point of becoming more tolerant of sin, we will have our sense of morality altered, and we can be the cause of stumbling in others. It’s a very tough issue to deal with at times, but we can never fail when we go back to God’s Word to define everything we do and think.