Probably very little.
If you have ever lived in a city, you know that there is a ton of light pollution that keeps you from seeing the stars clearly. However, if you go out to the country, you will find that the pollution is either very small, or does not exist. The stars are in beautiful array and it seems as though you can see for millions of miles!
In his presentation called Convictions or Compromise, Phillip Telfer equates media with light pollution. The more we fill our lives with media, the harder it becomes to “see” God. In my own life, the amount of media I consume is more than ought to be. Staggering is the amount of time people actually spend watching tv, movies, playing video games, and surfing the internet. When added together, the AVERAGE person spend 25 or so years of his life consuming media!
I have not before realized that the media we consume, has an immense impact on my worldview. Americans, and even Christians, have become desensitized to grotesque violence, sexual themes, and corrupt language that is so prevalent in our society today. Should this be what influences our lives, even if it is on a small scale? Phillip gave a wonderful illustration of the power of media. He said:
Every song is a sermon
Every movie a message
Every TV a teacher
Every word is a weapon
And a picture is worth a thousand words
There are people who are sitting behind these productions who have an intent for doing every thing that happens. There is a message in everything, and it is not always the ones we want to influence us. Phillip warned us that the devil has more of an influence on the media that we realize. He said that we as Christians love to quote the verse in James 4:7 that says:
“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Yet, we quote the last part of the verse without following the direction of the first part of the verse. If the devil can get us distracted by different media, then we will be less likely to submit to God, and therefore have no power to resist him. I can testify to this because times of temptation are stronger when I have been watching a movie or playing a video game, and submitting to God in order that I might resist that temptation, is much more difficult.
Charles Finney, in his book “A Power from on High”, said:
“Again, no amusement can be innocent that involves the squandering of precious time, that might bebetter employed to the glory of God and the good of man. Life is short. Time is precious. We have but one life to live. Much is to be done. The world is in darkness. A world of sinners are to be enlightened, and, if possible, saved. We are required to work while the day lasteth. Our commission and work require dispatch. No time is tobe lost. If our hearts are right, our work is pleasant. If rightly performed it affords the highest enjoyment and is itself the highest amusement. No turning aside for amusement can be innocent that involves any unnecessary loss of time. No man that realizes the greatness of the work to be done, and loves to do it, can turn aside for anyamusement involving an unnecessary waste of time. Again, no amusement can be innocent that involves an unnecessary expenditure of the Lord’s money. All our time and all our money are the Lord’s. We are the Lord’s. We may innocently use both time and money to promote the Lord’s interests and the highest interests of man, which are the Lord’s interests. But we may not innocently use either for our own pleasure and gratification.”
Life is about a relationship with Jesus Christ, so Mr. Telfer challenged us to go on a media fast, and see how much clearer our relationship with Christ would become. I have decided to accept that challenge and seek the Lord first and foremost. During the month of February, I will not be on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Buzz. I will not watch any movies, play any video games, and only listen to music that is uplifting to the Lord. However, so that you will know I am still alive, I will continue to write on my blog. So sign up for the e-mail updates to stay on top of things. (Top right-hand corner of this page). I want to remove all influence of media from my life during this month and focus on God’s word, reading encouraging books, and of course my school work.
I would invite you to accept the challenge also, and see what difference it makes in your life.
Maybe it won’t be for a month, but commit to a time that will cause you to look to Christ more and more. I would also recommend that you check out Phillip Telfer’s website, MediaTalk 101. I can highly recommend his presentations, so don’t miss him if he is in your area, and invite him to come if he is not!
Let me ask you brother or sister, are you willing to set aside your own enjoyment for the pursuit of the Kingdom of God? Will you be willing to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Christ? You must, for that is what Christ Himself called us to do. It is not easy, and many times I fail. But together we can encourage and build each other up. What will your answer be?