Wholesome Entertainment

Understanding Our Humanity

Genesis 2:7-8 tells us that God formed man out of the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit), and man’s soul came into existence. The existence of man’s soul gives him the ability to think or reason, feel physically and emotionally and respond in actions as a result of a will. It is fair to conclude that the soul is expressed by intellect, sensibility and will.

Unlike the other species of God’s creation, man is much more complex and expresses needs that are physical, spiritual, mental, social, and emotional. Careful note should be taken that though created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, man is human and not divine. While God is self-existent (Jn. 5:26) and completely satisfied within Himself, man is not. To exist adequately, as God intended, man will seek activities to pacify these needs.

Unfortunately, this inward void, which is a result of man’s fallen state, is capitalized on by the Devil. By providing carnal activities that cater to man’s fleshly lusts, Satan has successfully brought the majority of this world under his control. But the carnal mind is “enmity” against God and results in death. (Rom. 8:6-7).

However, God gives to man the scriptures as a guiding principle to assist in man’s recovery. The Psalmist David states, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”. (Ps. 119:105). It is God’s intention that His Word becomes a principle that measures every activity that touches the lives of His children. Obedience to God’s Word brings man’s fallen nature under God’s control and assists in man’s redemption.

God’s Word as Priority

When confronted by the Devil on the simple idea of turning stone into bread, our Lord showed God’s Word as a priority in sustaining life. Food is a necessity for human existence, just as a job and other activities are. But, when these affect our service and dedication to God, they become questionable activities and may have to be eliminated. For “Man doth not live by bread only but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:33, Lk. 4:4).

The Psalmist David sees a man as ‘spiritually prosperous’ when he “walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord…” (Ps. 1:1-2). As children of God, we must understand the real purpose of the Word, whether written or preached. Knowledge and truth that remains in our heads will not save us. It is obedience to God’s Word that matters. As we seek to satisfy our human desires, may God’s Word never be violated. Holiness should never be compromised for happiness.

Sanctification From The World

Our Lord’s prayer in John 17:14-17 is requesting a sanctification of His disciples from the world. The word sanctify simply describes a ‘separation’. Jesus understood the need for His disciples to remain physically in the world, but His desire was that they should never be overcome by the evil. Evil is subtle. It is necessary for the child of God to become spiritually sensitive to evil as it exists in our society. To walk in the Spirit and not yield to the desires of the flesh, as Roman 8:4-7 exhorts, the believers must have their “senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14).

The Christian must not be “conformed to this world” but be “transformed” by the renewing of the mind. (Rom. 12:2). We are not to love the world “neither the things that are in the world” if the same would affect our dedication to God. (1 Jn. 2:15-16). Friendship with the world makes us enemies of God. (Js. 4:4).

The Apostle Paul describes our conversion process as being translated out of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s Son. (Col. 1:13). We are children of “light”, not of the night or of darkness. (1 Thess. 5:5). As such we should not enjoy or be entertained by that which is designed to satisfy the needs of a carnal mind. A child of light will lose light if continuously exposed to darkness. “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14). “For ye were sometime darkness but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” (Eph. 5:8).

Godly Entertainment

By turning stone into bread our Lord Jesus would not have violated God’s Word, but obeying the voice of the Devil to do so would have made it evil. It is impossible to be a witness for Christ in this world if we hibernate and physically remove ourselves from society. The problem starts when the world infringes upon our dedication to God. Paul exhorts us to use this world but not abuse it. (1 Cor. 7:31). We can enjoy a lot in the world but never at the expense of our salvation.

Looking back at the past, we label the Romans as ‘pagans’ for their barbarism. We view their arenas and bloody gladiators as brutal entertainment, and condemn them while we, sitting in our air-conditioned living room, surrounded by modern electronics, satisfy a greater lust. In addressing Christian liberty, the Apostle Paul declares “all things are lawful but…not expedient.” (1 Cor. 6:12). This puts the responsibility on the child of God to carefully examine, with the help of the Holy Ghost, all forms of entertainment and leisure one is engaged in. There is much safety in seeking “first the kingdom of God” in preference to all other activities in our lives. (Mt. 6:33).

Many activities such as fishing, camping, boating and touring may be engaged in if done in moderation, and not at the expense of our religious commitments. When the Lord Jesus becomes our role model we will discover that our mind would only feed on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praise worthy. (Phil. 4:8).

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16).