This is last post in a series of blogs called; "Half A Poison Won't Kill Me: Thoughts on Worldliness."
Defining Worldly Entertainment
In his book Worldly Amusements, Pastor Wayne Wilson describes “worldly entertainment” as that which does at least one or both of the following:
• “[It] promotes an evil message. It presents evil as good. This can be done by celebrating sins, such as lying, stealing, fornication or adultery. Sin is presented in an attractive way.
• “[It] uses an evil method. Regardless of the point of the story, the performers are made to behave in ways that are shameless and immoral. A story may lead to the conclusion that adultery is bad, but if we must wallow through a sea of flesh to reach this conclusion, the work qualifies as worldly.
“No matter how excellent the production or acting is; no matter how true the ‘moral’ of the story, if something promotes an evil message or uses an evil method, the discerning Christian will avoid it.”
How Far May a Godly Person Go?
“A godly man will not go as far as he may, lest he go further than he should.”—Thomas Watson, A Godly Man’s Picture
“That some acts of violence are inherently appropriate public viewing is proven by the biblical approval of divine judgment, the execution of civil authority, and military endeavors. While this may be true, it must never be seen as giving blanket acceptance of violence as a means of entertainment. Violence in life, as in drama, can be the corrupt fruit of sheer exploitation, serving the least-noble passions in a person’s nature. Many people have an inhuman, perverse attachment to violence for its own sake; that is violent acts utterly removed from the noble qualities of enforcing justice, fighting evil, and demonstrating courage.” —Wayne Wilson, Worldly Amusements
Praying Before Watching
“Believers are very careful to pray over their food— something which bears only upon the body. Theatrical amusements are food for the soul. How many believers do you know who pray over what they watch? I suggest you never go to a movie or rent a video without asking the Lord Jesus to help you choose well and worthily. Ask Him to bless your choice. Submit your choice to Him. Tell Him that you desire to honor Him by patronizing only that which is wholesome and consistent with the moral principles of His Word. Tell Him that if you choose poorly, you will walk out or turn it off.”—Wayne Wilson, Worldly Amusements
Symptoms of Compromise in Music Listening Habits
1. Regularly listening to non-Christian radio stations that accept or promote ungodly attitudes and lifestyles without being repelled by the content or culture of the programming.
2. Letting music determine priorities.
3. Allowing music to crowd out prayer, Bible study, fellowship, serving, or other means of glorifying God.
4. Adjusting my schedule to my music desires.
5. Lacking spiritual passion and drive outside corporate church contexts.
6. Looking to non-Christians or worldly Christians to dictate my music listening habits.
7. Listening to music in contexts which tempt me to compromise my faith.
Three Truths about Music
1. Music is a gift from God, meant for our enjoyment and benefit. It exists to deepen our love for and enjoyment of God.
2. Music is a means not an end. Music must never replace God as our source of joy, comfort, and strength.
3. Discernment and skill increase the benefits of music.
Carelessness after Conquest
“Never let us reckon that our work in contending against sin, in crucifying, mortifying, and subduing of it, is at an end. The place of its habitation is unsearchable; and when we may think that we have thoroughly won the field, there is still some reserve remaining that we saw not, that we knew not of. Many conquerors have been ruined by their carelessness after a victory, and many have been spiritually wounded after great successes against this enemy...There is no way for us to pursue sin in its unsearchable habitation but by being endless in our pursuit.” —John Owen
“Fight for us, O God, that we not drift numb and blind and foolish into vain and empty excitements. Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst. Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity. O God, open our eyes to the vastness of the sufferings of Christ and what they mean for sin and holiness and hope and heaven. We fear our bent to trifling. Make us awake to the weight of glory—the glory of Christ’s incomparable sufferings.” —John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ
Scripture for Meditation and Memorization
Psalm 101:3 “I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21–22 “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
1Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”
Ephesians 5:3–12 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.”
Hebrews. 12:14 “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
1 Peter 1:13–16 “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”
Galatians 6:7–9 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.