Moving Pictures – We call them movies now. We get to see actors on a theater’s movie screen, and now on our own TV’s. We see movies broadcast on TV and replayed over and over. Then there are the VCR’s, DVD’s, & Blu-Ray players that we can watch those movies on our TV’s with in the comfort of our homes and we can watch them on the internet, our iPhones, and in the back seats of our vans (the moving movie theater).
All this has brought aspects of the world into our lives that we might not have encountered otherwise than in a news report or passing conversation. Love scenes that we saw in the 1940’s and 50’s that were considered risque’ then are thought to be so innocent now that the idea that there might be sexual tension or sexual activity to follow is laughable. The violence depicted back then is so mild that it’s hard to imagine it was really considered violent when compared to our contemporary society and what Hollywood produces for us now. As the worldly part of sexual sin and violence and murder are brought into our daily lives through movies and shows, we become desensitized to it and in fact develop a craving for it. That’s worldly.
And quicker communication through electronics. Morse code used to be the big thing, then it became wireless. Then thetelephone entered the culture with lines going everywhere. Now we have cell phones, wireless communication devices not too far removed from those used in the 1960’s TV show Star Trek. We can call each other, anywhere and any time, and text, write electronic notes that are immediately received. We are in constant contact with each other and it can be very annoying at times. I can be reached as I drive, or if I’m hiking in the woods, and probably if I were on the moon, at least real soon. There’s no time to yourself. There’s no time to do what you’re supposed to because the calls and the texts keep interrupting even our sleep. There is nothing inherently wrong with cell phones and those type of devices, but they can be used in very sinister ways as well as keeping us to busy. I’m thinking of the “sexting” trend. Teens mostly, taking promiscuous pictures of themselves and sending them to other teens and sometimes, adults, which are usually sexual predators. At least people are still bothered by this trend (cf., this report on sexting; http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/15/national/main4723161.shtml).
We can’t overlook the computer and the internet. The computer has changed our lives. I graduated from high school in 1975. I know, that’s a long time ago. As I remember, we were the fifth largest school in Indiana with almost 2000 students. The main office had a computer. It was the only computer in the school and I think it was only used to keep data files, student records and such. No one I ever talked about computers with ever imagined that the computer would have such control of our lives. Just think of Y2K to get an idea of how big a part of our lives it is. We can’t seem to survive without computers. I’m sitting at one now as I write this. Computers like cell phones and just about any other technological device are useful tools, but the ability to communicate and pass information so immediate and widespread can be troublesome to say the least. Computers are also used in worldly ways.
I could cite video games, music and the little devices that play them back to us (record players, tape decks, CD players, MP3 players and whatever else there is like them) and I’m sure I could research and find more to talk about here.
The issue is not that this technology is here and available. Like I wrote earlier, there is nothing inherently wrong or sinful about these devices, but they do a couple of things.
1) They like anything else, can be used in sinful ways or as the means to tempt people to sin.
2) They brings things into our lives with regularity that we might barely encounter otherwise.
If this is making you feel guilty about any of this stuff, don’t just run out and throw them out. That’s not my point whatsoever. I want to point to the fact that Jesus came into a world that is rotten with sin. Our culture for the past century has been advancingtechnologically at a huge rate. And these technological devices can be tools of the devil.
Jesus came to save us from sin. Christians, you have a message that is simple and clear. The devil will use any and every means to keep people from hearing or believing and drawing believers away.
- Be faithful
- Be focused
- Be gracious
- Be truthful
- Be evangelistic
Tell this world about the Christ whose birth we just celebrated to not offset, but overcome the influence congruence of the devil.