I was listening to Leonard Ravenhills "Choosing rather to suffer". In that sermon, he points out a few things that are ATTACKING the body of Christ in the United States and probably other places as well.One was how Satan uses Entertainment as a counterfiet for the JOY of God. Consider how entertainment sows and gratifies the flesh contrary to the Joy of the Lord that is a Fruit of the Spirit of God.Entertainment consumes large blocks of your precious time so you do not Study the word of God, pray, fast, worship, fellowship, evangelize, teach, praise, sing, write and meditate on the Word of God.I sincerely believe the entertainment industry is the biggest single weapon against the body of Christ in the United States. The time we waste indulging in "being entertained or "kicken it", relaxing or what ever you want to call it is keeping many from heaven and leading them straight to HELL. If you have any doubt remember the measure that Jesus used KNOW them by their FRUIT. Video games, movies, entertainment events, cable TV, dining out the list of entertainments is endless. Mature Christians need to speak on and preach against a condition that is preventing many pre Christians from knowing Christ. NOW many will be offending by this but just consider where you would be IF you had an Entertainment Fast for ONE year and used that time to KNOW the Living God. Consider Pray and meditate on the Living Word.Worse case scenario is when the Church falls victim to this need for entertainment and develops a program that must run on time, and plays more like a Vegas lounge act than a fellowship of the body of Jesus Christ. Beware of pastors and preachers who tickle your ears and never preach about Hell or Repentance.
Amen brother,Canada can be included as well.Martin
Hi macbug,I certainly feel your concern. I hope the following will help balance it all though.I must say, I wondered if you meant that 'dining out' was something we should avoid? I would caution here that some extreme measures will serve the enemy more than God. The enemy loves to provoke us to extremes. This can be dangerous. I often tell my youth that 'fun' is a cheap substitute for joyl but I am not- 'anti'-fun. Nor do I believe it is realistic to think that a person can stay in full-on meditation 24-7 or a mixture of ministry and meditation. You need to spend quality time also with your family (especially the wife and children) doing things that are [u]not[/u] sinful. Some people are so extreme they think going camping and the like is somehow 'compromise'. They are in more bondage than those they are trying to reach and have lost the ability to express their faith in any other real way than [i]extremism[/i]. In time you will discover the writers such as Finney and Wesley (some of my heroes in the faith BTW) who were seriously hard on these things. Finney thought it a 'sin' to eat for any other reason that to sustain yourself. No salt or sugar on the food! Others rejected flowers as they 'cumbereth the ground' and planted vegetables in their place. Early in Finney's ministry he preached against chewing tobacco because of the spittle in meeting house floors and on the benches; but later he preached against it as a waste of the Lord's money. Believe it or not, they could call a person's salvation into question over these things. What happened? In time as the fire died down it was nothing but dead religion. Men preached their personal convictions and not the Word of God. Old ladies were told it was a sin to drink coffee, so they warmed water and added cream and sugar. Others were inconsistent- defending their 'thing' while condemning everyone elses. An old story my holiness pastor (who is in his late 60's) tells is of a preacher asking another; "When you get to Heaven where are your going to spit while your chewing that chaw?" The other preacher retorted, "I guess I'll spit it in your coffee cup."
_________________Robert Wurtz II
Our culture has become entertainment crazed, no doubt but Robert raises some good points.The bigger question is whether or not I'm following Christ. If I am, then surely this will lead to self-denial."Luke 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."What does this look like in a practical sense? I don't believe it looks exactly the same from person to person. Once I codify the things the Holy Spirit has dealt with me on and apply them to others, legalism will ensue.I'm not talking about known sin, which is wrong. The question is whether I'm obedient to Jesus with my time, my finances, etc. As we were bought at a price, our lives are no longer our own. The "self" life has to die and I'm finding this process to be painful, yet glorious.This hymn came to mind when I read this post...1. Must Jesus bear the cross alone, and all the world go free? No, there's a cross for everyone, and there's a cross for me. 2. How happy are the saints above, who once went sorrowing here! But now they taste unmingled love, and joy without a tear. 3. The consecrated cross I'll bear till death shall set me free; and then go home my crown to wear, for there's a crown for me.
Ravenhill did hit this very hard. I think his analogy of sport being king (ouch have to work on that one myself as aa football fan -- but these days the only time I really enjoy it is when I watch my two sons play) and the queen is entertainment. I am constantly amazed at certain comments I get from people as a pastor -- " I dont have time to study my Bible and pray", but they will then rattle off the results of their favorite sport or entertainment and you know it must have taken up 4 hours of their time to know all that". Don't have time or not willing to drop something of the flesh to make time?Blessings.