During a recent flip through the channels in a quest to find something worthy of watching, I stumbled across an old fav from my youth-Three’s Company. I thought “Hey, I could use some good ole fashion slap-stick comedy, some harmless fun, and nothing too racy or crude.” Ummm, yeah, not so much. My memory had obviously failed me. The show pushed the envelope of decency on so many levels that I grabbed the remote, flipped the channel, and continued my quest.
As I thought back, I was struck by the thought of how tame Three’s Company seemed in comparison to some of today’s “popular” sitcoms and movies. Sex before and outside of marriage has become commonplace, romanticized, and even presented as a wise option to “test drive the car before you buy it”. Not to mention the explicit drug use, violence, language, etc. How has the line of decency migrated so far in the wrong direction? And why in the world do we allow it, consume it, and expose our kids to it?
An old urban legend comes to mind: if you put a frog directly into a boiling pot of water, it will immediately jump out. But, if you put it into a pot of warm water and slowly bring it to boil, it won’t recognize the danger and will eventually be cooked to death. Wow! How true is that of our culture right now? The sin and evil of this world continue to rise and rise, and like that stubborn and clueless frog, too many refuse to jump out and be saved.
We wonder why so many people are rude and sarcastic, and yet we feast on a steady diet of trash tv and vulgar videos, writing it off as harmless entertainment.
We wonder why violence seems to be on the rise, and yet we flop down, kids right beside us, and watch MMA fights where two people pound on each other until one is knocked out or has to “tap out” because of the pain.
We wonder why there’s a declining interest in Jesus and the church, and yet we regularly consume any and every kind of spirituality without nary a thought. We don’t think twice about dabbling in witchcraft and the occult by buying our kids cute little Pokémon cards or watching movies about witchcraft or watching zombies kill and eat everybody.
Let me tell you something you already know; what goes in, is going to come out. Garbage in – Garbage out. I can hear some of you right now, “Hey there, lighten up, you’re being a bit overly dramatic”. Am I? I give you full permission to write this off as an aging pastor who is losing touch with the culture. And to that I say AMEN and AMEN! I pray that you, too, would lose touch with it – – just as Scripture calls us to do. Listen to this paraphrase of Romans 12:2 (MSG) “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you”.
Friends let us fix our attention on God and feast on what he provides, and not the poisonous counterfeit the world is offering.
~ Pastor Mitch