There is a tendency to over-generalize on certain
subjects. As a result of that, we
sometimes condemn things that should not be condemned. When this happens, those who are convinced
that there is no wrong in the activities wrongfully condemned react by
rejecting everything else stated in the in condemnation. This lesson seeks to balance that danger.
For example, all popular music is not bad or immoral; all
movies are not sinful, neither are all television shows. Preachers ought not be preaching that all
rock music or all rap music is bad; it's not.
However, the hearers ought not reject everything else stated by a
preacher who would so teach, because some of rock and rap music certainly is
bad, and Christians should pay attention to the dangers. We need to be warned about these dangers, but
there is no scriptural basis for placing a blanket condemnation on all of a
certain style of music.
This lesson will largely become a review of our past study
topics in morality with an emphasis on everyday application. The topics we have considered include the
Honesty And Lying
Drinking And Drug Abuse
Immodest Appearance And Indecent Dress
The children's Sunday school song goes, "Be careful
little eyes what you see,… be careful little ears what you hear." What we learn from that song when we were
children comes into direct application as we enter adulthood. The simple truths we might have learned as
children should not be disregarded as we mature. We will never out-grow this instruction.
Power Of Suggestion
The effect that others can have over our minds is
incredible. Things we hear and things we
watch play an important part in our lives.
We hear of murder and rape, crime and corruption, sin and
unrighteousness. Seldom do we hear good
news. That is one reason that each
Christian should spend time with God in study of His word.
The faithful Christian works to live a life which is morally
pure. However, we are constantly bombarded
by the media today through books, radio, television, movies, and the Internet
with things not consistent with a life of purity. Much of what is published today either
depicts or glorifies ungodly living.
These things have an influence on us, whether or not we are aware of
it. We should ask whether a can
Christian fill his mind with ungodly messages and examples and not be affected.
Examine these passages which warn of the dangers of evil
Let's consider two examples of men weakened by evil
example of Lot
Lot chose to live in a wicked city (Genesis
Lot and his family were immersed in a sexually
immoral society (Genesis 19: 5-7).
Lot eventually fell victim to sexual immorality,
no doubt through the influence of living in Sodom (Genesis 19:30-36).
example of Peter
Peter removed himself from Jesus and associated
himself with unbelievers (Luke 22:54, 55).
There, he was comfortable denying Christ (Luke
To keep up his act among them, he even began
cursing and swearing (Mark 14:71).
It is doubtful that Peter would have done those things if he
had been in the company of other disciples or with Christ.
Matter Of Principles
On These Things
In Philippians 4:8, the apostle Paul says to "meditate
on these things."
Whatever things are True
Whatever things are Honest
Whatever things are Just
Whatever things are Pure
Whatever things are Lovely
Whatever things are Reputable
The original word here translated "meditate" in
NKJV is of the same root form as our English word "logic." The meditation implied here is not
unconscious mind wanderings but, as J. H. Thayer would describe it, a computing
or calculating, as an accountant would do, or a taking the weight of all the
Your Mind Pure
We are admonished to expel immoral thoughts from our hearts
and maintain pure ones.
Let's note some ways that our minds can become polluted with
filth and the violation of God's will rather than being of pure mind as the
Media and Morality
Since the 1960's, broadcasting regulations have become
relaxed regarding the content of popular music.
Much of popular music today is not in harmony with a life of
godliness. In particular, the lyrics of
many popular songs have off-color references to sexual activity and
Through the years, some preachers have railed on modern
American and British rock-and-roll music as being immoral in general. Actually, there is immoral content in the
lyrics of almost all music types, not just rock music. Modern American country music, for example,
contains frequent glorification of adultery and drunkenness and the
trivialization of divorce. Through the
years as popular music has become more diverse, there's hardly any style of
music today that does not have some immoral content.
Video technology introduced a new media for music in the
1980's: music videos. Many popular
videos include nudity, murder, blood, sex, adultery, rebellion, violence, and
other similar immoralities. Video
technology also gave rise to a new music form that came to the mainstream in
the early 1990's: rap music, a musical form characterized by lyrics
rhythmically spoken rather than sung.
Though some rap music is of wholesome content, some of it is not.
The mature Christian will regulate the music he chooses to
listen to. Do not think you can exposure
yourself to ungodliness in the music you listen to without restraint and not be
affected by its influence.
A prominent theme of modern movies seems to be illicit sex
and murder. There are few movies anymore
which even worldly standards would not recommend at least parental guidance for
children to watch.
The little screen is just as bad or worse than the big
screen. The most popular shows are those
which expose the most skin. Situation
comedies are often designed to desensitize viewers to homosexuality. People with religious convictions in
television shows are almost always portrayed as being ignorant. We need to learn to shut off the television
when worthless shows are presented.
The televised halftime show during the 2004 Super Bowl
football game generated a lot of controversy when a female performer exposed
her breast. Before this occurred, the
show was filled with lewd dancing and indecent behavior. A Christian sensitive to his needless
exposure to immorality would have turned off that program well before the
Magazines, books, and even some newspapers become
best-sellers depending on how unrighteous, sinful, and sexually explicit they
are. Moreover, p0rn0graphy is largely an
exploitation of women. A Christian
should never read or look at this type of literature. Besides, looking at lewd images and lusting
is clearly condemned in scripture. It is
the fulfillment of fleshly desire in it basest form.
Viewing p0rn0graphy is a source of excitement to many people
similar to gambling. Researchers believe
that such intense excitement can release chemicals called
"endorphins" within the body which have a drug-like effect and
produce a feeling of well-being. This
psychological exhilaration keeps the viewer coming back for more and more
viewing. However, this is no excuse for
pursuing fleshly desires; God calls us to self-control.
2 Peter 1:5, 6
The best advice for breaking a bad habit is to develop new,
good habits to replace the bad ones.
Stopping the use of p0rn0graphy will only be achievable if it is
replaced with other wholesome activities to capture one's time and
attention. Find ways to purposefully
divert yourself away from this thing as necessary. It is a major waste of precious time.
1 Peter 4:1-3
Trade in p0rn0graphic materials on the Internet is a booming
business. Note the following facts
(taken from an article which appeared in USA Today, 1/29/99):
There are 16 million Internet users in the USA
under the age of 17.
There are upwards of 20,000 to 30,000
p0rn0graphic sites in the USA, grossing $700 million to $1 billion/year
(Forrester Research, Mark Hardie, senior analyst).
Of the 56.8 million individuals on the Web as of
December, 1998, 32.3% visited p0rn0graphic sites (according to Media Metrix, an
organization which tracks consumer traffic on the World Wide Web).
While it is a crime to provide p0rn0graphic
materials to a minor, many of these Internet sites have p0rn0graphic images on
their opening screens.
There is also much concern today in certain locations about
the ill effects associated with the legalization of gambling, but it is already
here - in the form of virtual casinos on the Internet open 24 hours a day! Many people today are hooked on the gambling
addiction, robbing themselves, their families, and the Lord of resources that
could be spent on worthwhile things.
Now, the Internet puts this temptation right in the convenience of your
own home, outside the jurisdiction of local gaming ordinances.
1 Thessalonians 4:11,12
Consider the dangers of gossiping. The Internet permits rapid dissemination of
information: accurate or inaccurate, beneficial or hurtful. Gossip works in much the same fashion as a
nuclear explosion or the transfer of disease.
The spread of malicious tales is aided by the tendency of people to
believe almost anything they read. Some
people find it easier to lie about others if they can write it in an e-mail or
say it into a telephone receiver rather than say it to someone's face.
1 Timothy 5:13
Convenience has always been one of Satan's most useful
tools. He is an opportunist, always looking for ways to make it easier for us
1 Corinthians 2:11
The truth is, we who try to live in a godly manner live in a
sinful world. There is a little bit of
bad in almost everything good in the world.
For a Christian to remove from his life all exposure to the sinful
behavior of others, he would have to effectively live a life in seclusion,
surrounded perhaps by only his family and Christian friends. Then, how could we ever take the gospel to
others, or how could the world ever see Christ living in us?
Romans 12:1, 2
Living in the world but not of the world will require us to
make some choices. Sometimes exposure to
the sinful behavior of others is unavoidable; sometimes it is necessary in
order for the world to see the difference Christ has made in our lives. However, sometimes we need to walk away from
and completely avoid that which is unclean in this world.
1 John 2:15-17
2 Corinthians 6:17
It may be difficult to always know when enough is enough,
but by increasing our knowledge of God's word and making a point to take notice
of our situations, we will be more likely to do the right thing.
And Questions For Discussion
Have you ever yawned because you saw or heard
someone else yawn? What does this say
about the influence others can have upon us by what we see them do or hear them
In computer programming an expression is used:
"garbage in, garbage out." The
meaning is that any computation using corrupted data will only result in
corrupted answers. Explain how this
principle applies to what information we put into our minds.
What are the comparable percentages of minutes
per day that you spend on the telephone, watching TV, going to the movies,
browsing the Internet, doing homework, doing household chores, and reading the
Bible? Consider actually making note of
the time spent and calculating the comparisons.
How would your time spent on the most important things compare to the
For another test of exposure, if you are one to
watch TV, select a show and make a written note of each time an ungodly
reference is made, whether it be to homosexual desensitization, unlawful sexual
activity, indecency, foul language, lying, gossip, murder, rape, drunkenness,
or any other immoral behavior. Observe
carefully; it may be happening more often than you are consciously aware.
What is the best way to break old habits?
Read the parable of the soils in Matthew 13:3-9
and its explanation in verses 18 - 23.
What application of the seed falling among thorns can be made to our
study of media influences?
Read the parable of the wheat and the tares in
Matthew 13:24-30 and it explanation in verses 36 - 43. What application of the tares growing among
wheat can be made to our study of media influences?
Does the parable of the seed among the thorns
contradict the parable of the wheat among the tares? Explain the difference and its application to
our study of media influences.