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forrests
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Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: Amen, Mark - and Ravenhill on Entertainment.

Amen, good word Mark, and thanks for the encouragement and exhortation.

Here is another good one:

"Most of our joy is clapping our hands and having a good time and then afterwards we talk all the nonsense of the world. We're overboard on laughter and happiness. There's an old saying in the world, "Laugh and the world laughs with you." I change it and say, "Laugh and the Church laughs with you, but weep and you weep alone.""

"Because there isn't enough real joy in the house of God, we need entertainment. Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy. Because there isn't enough power in the house of God, people are always looking for something to take its place. We point the finger at the world, but we need to turn to the Church and say we'd better all get sackcloth and ashes and humble ourselves and say "Almighty God!" When I see the Church in the New Testament, they didn't have stately buildings or paid evangelists or a lot of money. (They couldn't get on television and beg!) But I'll tell you what they did - they turned the world upside-down!

"Have you ever seen the little plaque that reads,

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last?"

Well, that's not what the poet wrote. The poet wrote this:

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I'll be, if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee."

Do you think all Christians die happy? Not on your life! Some of them die as miserable as sinners. Why? Because they've misused their time and wasted their lives. Many of you have laid dying on a hospital bed and prayed, "Lord, if You would only spare me, I'll do this, that, or the other." Well, have you done it?"

~ Leonard Ravenhill;
in: "The Judgement Seat of Christ", a sermon.

http://www.ravenhill.org/judgment.htm


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~ Forrest

 2016/8/23 16:02Profile
forrests
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Posts: 301


 Re:

Quote:
by TMK on 2016/8/23 12:58:53

Forrest-

Perhaps you can give some examples of what you mean by "vain amusements?"

I picked reading because I like to read.

Is it all sports, all movies, all TV, all hobbies?

If I have free time and I am not reading the Bible or praying, am I engaged in vain amusement? Or is free time in and of itself vanity?

I do a LOT of crossword puzzles- the harder Sunday sized ones. Is that a vain amusement? After all, I could be reading the Bible instead.



Do you realize that you are sort of misrepresenting what I am saying? I don't recall making so much of Bible reading...you are. Let me try to answer you (take note of the -->words between my arrows and compare and contrast them<-- ) :

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, -->denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,<-- looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, -->zealous for good works."<--
~ Titus 2:11-14

Amusement (according to Google):

I. the state or experience of finding something funny.
"we looked with amusement at our horoscopes"

synonyms: -->mirth,<-- merriment, -->lightheartedness, hilarity,<-- glee, delight, gaiety, joviality, fun; enjoyment, pleasure, high spirits, cheerfulness

"we looked with amusement at the cartoon"

II. the provision or enjoyment of entertainment.
"an evening's amusement"

synonyms: -->entertainment, pleasure, leisure,<-- relaxation, fun, enjoyment, interest, -->diversion;<--

"I read the book for amusement"

III. something that causes laughter or provides entertainment.
"his daughter was an amusement to him"

synonyms: activity, -->entertainment, diversion;<-- game, sport

"a wide range of amusements"


I would say that there are a lot of things that can be done in lieu of bible reading: prayer, worship, meditation on the Word, good works, evangelism, things which are good for you and for all, things that can help to keep your mind sharp and exercised (such as crossword puzzles), family time (I played "scategories" with my wife and kids the other night!), quiet meditation (such as solitary walks, enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the sun set or the waves roll), etc, etc...

I would say that most TV and Movies (of a fiction genre) are vain entertainment in my estimation. Sin? I didn't say that. But prayerlessness is sin. So is selfishness. Poor stewardship and hiding of ones talent seems to be... Gross idleness likely is. Being a friend of the world is. Loving the world and the things of the world is...

Amusement is that which "draws you away" from soberness and thoughtfulness. I know, many will claim it is very thoughtful to watch TV, but I have children who watch TV and I can tell you that they are doing anything but thinking when they do (including a bit of drooling at times).

I like how Spurgeon recalled a "man of God" putting it in regards to the woman finding pleasure in thinking about the play before seeing it, and watching it, and thinking of it after, and telling her friends about it as well:

"Ah," said the man of God, "and there is another pleasure you have forgotten."

"What is that, Sir?" asked the lady.

"It is the pleasure of thinking of it on a dying bed, Madam."

Is it something that we won't regret having done on judgement day? Is it a good use of our time? Is it something that was approved of God and not injurious to His glory? Better still, is it something that was conducive of the revelation of Jesus Christ in you and in the world through you to the glory of God the Father? Is it something that helps and blesses others? Is it something that will bring you comfort on your death bed (if you are so lucky as to have such a thing)?

Is it what Jesus would have you to do with His body and with His time (for you are not your own)?

This expresses it a bit more poetically:

1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art -
thou my best thought, by day or by night;
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

2 Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father; thine own may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.

3 Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always;
thou and thou only first in my heart,
high King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

4 High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Or this one:

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Thy precious time misspent, redeem,
Each present day thy last esteem,
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great day thyself prepare.

By influence of the Light divine
Let thy own light to others shine.
Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

In conversation be sincere;
Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
Think how all seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.

All praise to Thee, who safe has kept
And hast refreshed me while I slept
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
I may of endless light partake.

Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of Thee.

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew.
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

I would not wake nor rise again
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
And I in hymns to be employed.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


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~ Forrest

 2016/8/23 16:34Profile
forrests
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Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: Jonathan Edwards

Here are some things a believer can do in lieu of entertainment and amusement (and attitudes we could pray to have in all sobriety):

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; “knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.”

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-resolutions-of-jonathan-edwards

Edit: add link.


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~ Forrest

 2016/8/23 16:48Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5379
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 Re:

Jonathan Edwards didn't have TV and internet. ;)


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Todd

 2016/8/23 17:06Profile
forrests
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Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re:

Quote:
by TMK on 2016/8/23 14:06:50

Jonathan Edwards didn't have TV and internet. ;)



"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man..."
~ 1 Corinthians 10:13a


That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which it may be said,
“See, this is new”?
It has already been in ancient times before us.
~ Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

I'm sure he had his own distractions and temptations in his day that could be compared to ours...


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~ Forrest

 2016/8/23 17:15Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5379
NC, USA

 Re:

Well, my comment was made tongue in cheek.

But it is undeniable that in simpler times there were far, far fewer "distractions."

**I am not saying that is an excuse for us today**, but it is just plain fact.


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Todd

 2016/8/23 17:32Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
"I believe that amusements were created by the devil to take the minds of dying men off of their dying. I believe that entertainment and amusements are the work of the enemy to keep dying men from knowing they’re denying and to keep men who are enemies of God from remembering they are enemies..."



Amen, that is a very powerful quote by A.W. Tozer.


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 2016/8/24 0:12Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2000
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 Re:

Quote:
Perhaps you can give some examples of what you mean by "vain amusements?"

I picked reading because I like to read.

Is it all sports, all movies, all TV, all hobbies?

If I have free time and I am not reading the Bible or praying, am I engaged in vain amusement? Or is free time in and of itself vanity?

I do a LOT of crossword puzzles- the harder Sunday sized ones. Is that a vain amusement? After all, I could be reading the Bible instead.



We are not to be consumed by anything but God. But this is a far cry from being bound by the thought that no matter what I do, I could have been reading my Bible instead.

I matters little what I do in life, I could always have spent that time doing something else, and that is where there is a fine line between pursuit of God and entrance into condemnation of the enemy.

If I were a person who watched two hours of Andy Griffith on television a night, I think, and rightly so, that I should be convicted about how much time I am wasting. I am not redeeming the time. Instead, I am spending almost two work days sitting in front of what is probably worthless entertainment. But if my wife and I watch one or perhaps two episodes a week together when we have an evening free, I do not feel like I have wasted my time, especially if that is part of an evening together in what is usually precious little down time.

If I waste $40 a week going to movies and am always caught up on the latest features, I would question my stewardship of time and resources. But if I carefully select a clean and wholesome movie (I know it is hard to do that, but occasionally there is one.) and watch one or two a year on a date night with my wife, I have not been a poor steward though I technically could have spent that time studying the Bible.

By the way, the only Biblical guidance I can think of on this topic is that we are to be stewards of what God has given us, we are to be about the Master's business, we are not to be slothful, we are to look on and think on things that are pure, and we are not to love the things of the world.

Oh, I love scrabble. I LOVE scrabble. It is not a worldly amusement. It is simply a mental exercise, and it is enjoyable. But, if it interferes with what God wants to do in my life, if it becomes out of balance and I find myself spending hours in it a week, then I probably need to eliminate it from my life.


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Travis

 2016/8/24 7:54Profile
forrests
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Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: twayneb

Well put. Thank you. That is a very sober and non-legalistic way to approach this issue.


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~ Forrest

 2016/8/24 8:25Profile
forrests
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Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301


 Re: C. H. Spurgeon

This is beautiful, and I like to think I know a bit of the experience myself (though not nearly enough, if you ask me):

"And may I tell you what I think is the means which God often uses with his people to restore and quicken them, and take their eyes from vanity? I think it is a sight of Christ!

"At any rate, my personal witness is that I never know the vanity of this world so well as when I see the beauties and the perfections of the Lord, my Master. That true man of God, Dr. Hawker—I am told by a friend of mine who visited him one morning—was asked to go and see a military review that was then taking place at Plymouth. The doctor said, "No." My friend pressed him and said, "I know you are a loyal subject and you like to see your country's fleets—it is a noble spectacle." The doctor said, no, he could not go and, being pressed until he was ashamed, he made this remarkable answer, "There are times when I could go and enjoy it, but my eyes have seen the King in His beauty this morning, and I have had so sweet a sense of fellowship with the Lord Jesus that I dare not go to look upon any spectacle lest I should lose the present enjoyment which now engrosses my soul."

"I think you and I will have felt the same thing, in our measure, when Christ has manifested Himself to us. What? Look on vanity, my Lord, when Your pierced hand has touched my heart? What are the grandest buildings of this world, with all their pomp of architecture, compared with You, You Great Foundation Stone, you Chief Cornerstone, elect and precious? What is the music of this world, with all its swell and roll, compared with Your name, Immanuel, God With Us."

~ C. H. Spurgeon
In: "Vanity Deprecated", a sermon
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/spurgeon/sermons53.vii.html


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~ Forrest

 2016/8/24 8:38Profile





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