United Church of God, ia
Portland Oregon/The Dalles Oregon

Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

The Mesmerizing Spell of Self-Absorbed Entertainment

The apostle Paul wrote of a major trend in the last days in which mass media plays a major role.

"But mark this," Paul wrote shortly before his death, around AD. 67: "There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4, New International Version).

Does this sound familiar? Each of these awful traits can be found in the daily menu of American entertainment devoured by two billion minds focused on televisions around the world. Welcome to the age of crude amusements and pandering to lust-24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Lust for violence, self-glorification, sex without the commitment of marriage, vicarious indulgence in forbidden fruit without the consequences-these are the themes of the comedies, soap operas, dramas and talk shows that constitute the moral equivalent of a sewer flooding human minds. It's reminiscent of the sated ancient Roman crowds all over again watching the doomed die in the Colosseum.

The motive for so much filth is simple-money. Delivering eyes to advertisers is the primary objective of network executives. Programming that most effectively hooks the largest audience features fast-paced content centered on a mesmerizing diet of sex, lust, greed and irreverent and profane humor. It's a sure bet to keep an audience glued to the tube. Produce such material and you make money.

If you own the movie and TV production rights to sex, lust and greed, you make more money. If you own cable and satellite systems, online video distribution systems and magazines, you make even more money-lots and lots of money. It's no wonder we've seen so many mergers in recent years as media providers seek greater control over what consumers see, hear and read.

God says to any who are caught up in the end-time materialistic system, mindset and culture that pervades the world, "Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4).

The way to come out is to recognize where our materialistic, self-obsessed entertainment and media are leading us. Turn off the consumption; turn away from the self-obsessed way of life promoted by our global media system. Instead, turn to God and His Word, the Bible. Remember, God recorded these warnings to us for a reason!

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