Worldly Entertainment (2)

Albert Hull

Some may question the value of such a subject. Some may feel it is needless, after all it all belongs to the world anyway and no Christian should be affected by it. Think again. But some will say, "this is timely!" Read on. Stay alert. Be warned. Be alarmed. Be armed. Follow through. Stay with it. Then judge it and pass it on!

The Source of Drama

What is its source? This subject is extensive but needful in this restless age. Some salient points on this subject may help to readjust our thinking. Let us define Drama! Its source generally is the Devil who knows how to catch the eye and attract fallen nature. If he successfully attracted mother Eve in her unfallen state, where do we fit in?

Most drama has the content of "reacting realities" played by theatrical performance. There are two major spheres: one, the Screen and the other is live drama. The words drama, dramatic, dramatical, dramatize are a visual or physical display that brings things to life by emotions, by imagination, and by appeal. It is a multi-billion dollar enterprise! The theatre has appealed to millions and Hollywood leads the way in this field. What is on the big screen has (according to statistics), been the ruin of family life. The Devilís artful treachery has been at work promoting violence, drug addiction, smoking, drinking, gambling and immorality and much more in this facet of worldly entertainment. No believer should ever be found in such places.

Psalm 2:1 would be a good guideline for all believers. The godly man "sitteth not in the seat of the scornful," meshed into the crowd passing on the downward path to destruction! Take the lid off Hollywood and we have enough corruption and broken lives, (many short-lived), to break the heart and make us weep! We ought, my beloved, to be on higher ground.

Whether it is the movie theatre or the live drama, let us ask the sobering question, "is that the place for me?" Can I honestly and sincerely take my best Friend there, my blessed Savior, my rejected Lord? To be balanced, some drama is neutral and is not defiling, but the Cross forbids me join with the ungodly in their pursuit for satisfaction, which they never find.

History tells it all. Christians loyal to their Savior were used to incite the crowds to laughter as they were thrown into the arena to be torn by wild beasts, some tortured by inhumane atrocities.

This to the ancient Romans was enjoyable Drama! "Of whom the world was not worthy" (Hebrews 11:38). This has never changed. "Friendship with the world is enmity with God." Have we lost our way in this modern world? Does Christ still satisfy? Have our priorities been put on the bottom shelf? Have we become numb to realities? Have we lost the holy dignity of Christ- ones? Has the joy of Lord gone? Can I take part with those who nailed him to the Tree? And where His Name is never named, is that the place for me?

The Subtlety of Drama

What is its Subtlety? There has arisen a greater and more serious and subtle danger today than the movie theatre and the live drama that ensnares the multitudes. To be forewarned is to be forearmed! The "Evil One" has with subtlety and by a master-stroke, infiltrated worldly drama (movies) into the home via the video and the DVD. In Christian homes? Yes! Do I hear a whisper, "easy now, you are touching our private living, we can handle it!" We are masters of our domain! Wait a moment! Pause! Do we not hear the sobs of parents over their children because of that kind of psychology? Where did the sobs commence? In the home where the video and the DVD movies were either permitted or silently brought in! We need to press the troubleshooting button and get to the damage control and apply the remedy. Ah, beloved be not ignorant of the Devilís devices! He has scored on this one! Silently, subtlety and successfully! It has almost gone unnoticed! It has with stealth crept in! When TV entered our world and then entered the Christian home it was hammered (preachers became obsessed in their condemnation of the Box) from almost every pulpit, but it is seldom mentioned now!

But a more devious thing has come upon us and very little is said as to its dangers. Is it too late? We are fully aware that the computer and the video are useful tools in our present world, and to condemn such would only display ignorance. But its abuse is the danger. (Business thrives on both of these inventions.) Is it not time for the "trumpet of warning" to sound? Wise counsel is needed from caring shepherds to teach from the word of God the danger of abuse in the video and DVD. The latter is installed in all new computers, and becomes a miniature TV and much worse.

"What is in thine house" may be a timely question? This is an appeal to the young believers! Avoid like a plague the movies and worldly drama. They are land mines that will cripple and destroy testimony. Beloved, we have too many casualties already! Let the searchlight of the word of God penetrate our hearts and bring us again to reality, for some have been turned aside already. "Search me 0 God and know my heart, try me and know my ways and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23/. Before leaving this subject for "higher ground" it may be timely to give consideration to the dramatizing of Holy things; the "birth of Christ" and the "crucifixion of Christ," etc. This kind of drama should be avoided at all costs. We never need to reduce "holy things" to playacting. Have we become ignorant of the wiles of the Evil One? Keep on reading and make evaluations at the close of this message! Feedback would be appreciated!

The Success of Drama

What is the success? If every business were as successful as the Drama world, we would have many more billionaires. Its success rate is overwhelming. Millions upon millions live for it, spend their money on it, and for the unregenerate it is their LIFE. Think of the hours spent watching drama on TV, on video and DVD! The quote from the Disney World LA, "people love to leave the real for unreal," was the concise answer to the executives of Japan who inquired as to the secret of success of Disney World. This says it all. In stark contrast, the child of God leaves the unreal for the real.

Some will ask, "is there no value in drama?" We want to be fair in evaluation. The need for common sense (which is not too common!) in all matters is important. Is there anything wrong in viewing, "How we got our English Bible," "George Mueller and the orphanages" and similar educational and instructive matter? We need wisdom and balance, discerning what is evil and what is good, keeping in mind the principle "all things are lawful unto me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." (I will not be mastered by anything!)

Again, a good question to ask, "what principle am I violating" in these matters, where it is educational and helpful?" Remember the caption at the beginning is on "worldly drama." Let us be real! Let us be careful! Let us be balanced! Let us be loyal to Christ and obedient to His word! There is always a danger that we are quick to condemn in others what we donít allow for ourselves. Each household is responsible to the Lord and to the word of God. The words of the psalmist would be fitting, "turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity" (Psalm 119:38). I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes (Psalm 101:3). These verses cover many aspects in Christian living, even beyond the ones referred to.

What is the answer for the believer? How can a Christian avoid entanglement? Is there an answer? Let us turn again to the CROSS Was it not Christ that thrilled our souls when first we believed? Was it not Christ that filled the heart with praise when first saved? Was it not Christ that fed us with the heavenly Manna to satisfy? We answer with a ringing "yes." Let the word of God speak: Galatians 6:14, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom (which means) the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world." What a clear answer to us all. "I am dead to all the world and all the world is dead to me."

The Cross CUTS us off from the World, we are crucified to the world and the world to us.

The Cross RESCUED us from this present evil world, claimed by Christ.

The Cross OFFENDS the world, it is a stumbling block, the world is at enmity with God.

The Cross SANCTIFIES, sets us apart to God, for His service.

The Cross SATISFIES the heart of the believer in time and throughout Eternity.

We need again to learn the Truth of the Cross, the Teaching of the Cross, and the Triumph of the Cross. Let the grace of Christ and the love of Christ reside in our hearts and we will never turn to the fair world that constantly stretches out its arms to embrace us!

In closing, a word to the wise. Judge what I say. On a positive note, we are thankful for the many young brethren and sisters who adorn the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a joy to encourage them, for they are the future of assembly testimony. We have been greatly blessed with such. May the Cross of Christ stand between the believer and the world! This, beloved, will produce what rules and regulations could never produce. Christianity is a living display of Christ living in me.

The Cross
Outside the city wall there stood three Crosses,
It was this center one that took my gaze
For there the Blessed Saviour died for sinners,
He died alone, His precious life He gave.

As there I stood, my heart was deeply wounded,
For I had caused "this Man" the awful pain,
In suffering! By Godís mighty hand was bruised,
He bore the dreadful curse and took my shame.

I often stand beneath the Cross to view Him,
The Christ who won my stubborn heart from me,
And as I look, I understand I died, "with Him"
Identified with Him upon that Tree.

Can I then turn from Him, who so loved me?
To join my hand with those that nailed Him there?
Nay! This would pain the heart of Him, who saved me,
Who suffered sorrows deep beyond compare?

O lovely Man! O Saviour-God I love Thee,
I cast my worthless self down at Thy feet,
I give my all to Thee though all forsake me,
I stand in Thee, in Thee alone complete.

A.Hull