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Wednesday, May 08, 2013 | Comments (8)

by John MacArthur

As new creatures living under the authority of Christ, believers have been rescued from the corruption of sin and set aside for righteousness (cf. Leviticus 20:26). Our new nature is no longer compatible with the world—the transforming work of salvation makes us aliens in a lost and dying society, at odds with the very things we formerly loved. The lordship of Christ forces us to denounce the impurity and worldliness that once informed our character and occupied our hearts.

Ephesians 5:3-4 has excellent words in this regard:

Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

Those two verses alone rule out much of what passes as entertainment in our world today—sexual immorality and impurity, dirty jokes and silly talk, and anything that promotes greed or undermines the giving of thanks. In fact, that list is a pretty good summary of what is wrong with much of contemporary American media.

Movies, for example, are usually rated according to language, violence, sexual content, and thematic elements. Many of them are not just non-Christian, they are anti-Christian. I don’t mean that they openly attack the Christian faith. But at least in some cases they might as well. They employ filthy language and lewd humor (Colossians 3:8, Titus 2:6-8); they glorify violence rather than peace (Titus 1:7, 1 John 4:7-8); they glamorize lust and immorality rather than holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 1 Peter 1:16); they instill feelings of discontentment and desire rather than thankfulness (Ephesians 5:20, 1 Timothy 6:6); and they promote worldviews that are antithetical to biblical Christianity (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Does that mean a Christian should never watch movies? Not necessarily. But we must be discriminating about the things we allow into our minds. We are called to renew our minds (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:16). When we continually fill our minds with the filth of this world, we do ourselves a great spiritual disservice.

(Adapted from Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong.)


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#1  Posted by Dede Loshinsky  |  Wednesday, May 08, 2013at 6:05 AM

Thank you so much for this series. It dovetails nicely (as is always God's timing) with what we are discussing in our Sunday School class. We have been sharing this with our class and with other believers in our company as well.

The words are backed up by Scripture and therefore cannot be refuted - so when we are convicted as we read - we must then make changes in our lives to make sure we line up with Scripture in every area.

The impact of this blog is far reaching and we praise God for your faithfulness to stand true and firmly to His Word!

To God be the Glory!

#2  Posted by Joyce Smith  |  Wednesday, May 08, 2013at 7:43 AM

This blog was very encouraging. The Lord convicted early last year concerning the movies I would watch. I discussed it with my then fiance, now husband and ever since we have been miinful of what we watch. I live in miami and the culture down here is all about fashin, money, and success. There is almost NOTHING safe here. We went bowling one evening and they were showing a music video with half naked women. Everything has been corrupted and defiled. Even now, we find it hard to go out and still enjoy our surroundings. What do you guys suggest?

#3  Posted by Charles Williamson  |  Wednesday, May 08, 2013at 8:51 AM

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#4  Posted by William Fitzgerald  |  Wednesday, May 08, 2013at 10:12 AM

Joyce Smith, if it bothers your conscience, you should seriously consider removing yourself from the environment that troubles you. Our consciences are powerful tools given us from God. I would read one of the previous GTY blog entries ("Principles for Living to God's Glory: Endangerment") which discusses this principle in depth.

#5  Posted by Harry Shainian  |  Wednesday, May 08, 2013at 11:49 AM

Thank you Dr. MacArthur for reminding us of what is taking place in our culture at-large and for pointing us to the Scriptures to help us examine ourselves (as we always need to be reminded). Your blog is very helpful and I do appreciate how you are using the NASB to take your Scripture quotations. As I look around me and see what is taking place in our culture, I see more and more decadence, moral compromise and even distain for the things of Christ and of God. People are so pre-occupied with the latest electronic gadgets (iPhones, iPads, Bluetooths, etc.) that it seems that no one ever actually sits down and reads a book anymore. Witness all the bookstore chain closings. I proposed to my wife that we should not have a t.v. in our home because of the lack of any wholesome programming and I am so very thankful that she agreed with me on this issue. When I sometimes see what is coming out of the mouth of 'actors' who are supposed to be providing me with 'entertainment' these days all I can hear is 'beep', 'beep', and more 'beep' ...

#6  Posted by Dominic Bonasio  |  Wednesday, May 08, 2013at 3:50 PM

Amen and thank you.

#7  Posted by Keith Stokes  |  Thursday, May 09, 2013at 5:41 PM

What really troubles me is the professing Christian going the way of the world. It is expected that the "World" will live in the muck and mire. But one can hardly distinguish a Christian and non believer when it comes to the worlds so called entertainment. They like the same shows on television we have no business watching, same musical artists, same movies etc,. Another disturbing trend where I live is the Christian radio. There are times, if I didn't know what channel I had on, would take me a minute to realize it was Christian. These stations have gone the way of the world trying to relate with the youth and culture and besides throwing the older people under the bus who supported them for 40 years or more are trying to attract the lost by appealing to there tastes of shows, silly jingles and obnoxious humor. I also find they are pulling more and more sound bible teaching programs like Grace to you and replacing them with trendy "cotton candy" watered down programs or some talk show talking about soccer moms and baking cookies with no mention of God at all. Thank the Lord for Dr. MacArthur who does not back down in the culture we live in. Christians may find themselves fighting just being able to have freedom of speech on Christian radio.

#8  Posted by Ferris Ryan  |  Sunday, May 12, 2013at 10:59 AM

Great move in discarding the TV! I myself have thought about this quite a bit but have not yet done it. Having a TV in the home, for any serious-minded Christian involves tremendous discipline in the use of it. It certainly takes true and abiding love for Christ - as evidenced by a sustained walk in the Spirit - to bolster and support such discipline. I venture to say that most of us Christians fall short on such discipline. In such cases, discarding the TV should definitely be taken very seriously. I assume that you now 'thrive' on reading. Do you read the news online? If you do, are you not still bombarded with all kinds of ungodly images while doing so?