In a recent Bible study, our group came across the following verse:
2Ti 2:4 No one serving as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of this life, so that he might please the one having enlisted him.
The very next verse infers that we are to be like athletes who compete for the prize, like those who run the race.
Then Romans 12 came to mind — that we not be conformed, but rather transformed.
I had to reflect on how deeply some parts of my life are entangled in the affairs, the business, and the entrapments of the world — Whew !! — not a very pretty reflection.
Rewind 20 years:
Some friends of ours always kept their TV in a closet and only got it out when the Olympics were on or maybe to watch the World Cup Finals. They would occasionally allow their girls to ‘buy’ a hour of so of TV on a weekend. But for the most part they were ‘soldiers’ — refusing to get entangled in the affairs of this life, and one way they did this was by keeping their TV ‘put away’ and thereby keeping the world from intruding via televised media. Instead they would play-act bible stories, sing songs, read novels aloud, walk, play board games, draw, do puzzles, etc. But they did not fill their minds with endless hours of worldly, often profane, mind-numbing, anti-kingdom ‘preaching’ coming from TV.
Like athletes, they avoided ‘eating’ an unhealthy diet of Hollywood morality, knowing that it would make them unfit, selfish, and lazy (out of condition); and in the end, it would even make them feel burdened by kingdom work, eventually making them resentful of the commanding officer, who would begin to appear as a killjoy when compared to what TV was telling them was the ‘real’ good life. Their commander would soon seem to be like one who is asking them to put off all the ‘good-stuff’ with which TV whetted their appetites. They seemed to know that such a diet of television would make them desire the wrong things rather than the kingdom things (which really matter) and they were extremely cautions of this — especially with their young daughters. So rather than allow TV to steal the true joy of His service, they just kept the TV stowed away in a closet.
I believe they knew that endless hours of drinking in the preaching of the world (via TV) would slowly conform them to the world’s mold and eventually make them unfit and/or uninterested in kingdom service.
The vast majority of Americans just pay ole’ the cable bill, thereby pumping multi-millions each month into an industry that does not and, in fact, can not have our best interests in mind. The television industry is a non-Christian enterprise (dare I say anti-Christian enterprise) bent on dumping 99 hours of entrapping and enslaving sludge into our kids minds for every one hour of what we might call decent programming. All this does is entangle our minds and the minds of our children so that we begin thinking more and more about ourselves and this false, non-kingdom world order, while at the same time, we begin thinking less and less about our true commission as ‘soldiers’ and begin to forget about the true, lasting joy it produces.
We justify it by saying how good the sports, history, nature, or discovery channels are or we talk about the educational value of an occasional special series. But in reality, more and more and more of the counter culture creeps in through the cable wire and before we know it, we are indulging endless hours of inappropriate programming. Does it not have a price? Are not even the best of us are effected as we burn hours, days, weeks, months, and years in front of the tube?
Soapbox thoughts from a Dad………….