Good morning my friends, I hope you are enjoying your Saturday. In all your chores do not forget to reserve some time for the Lord and the necessity to play for a while. If you have children you know the importance of play. I am assuming you are hard workers who need to be reminded of this on occasion and not one of those who lives for entertainment. I doubt any of them would read my blog due to its low entertainment value. It does concern me though that the great mass of our population in North America are stunted in their intellect and spiritual maturity because of the mind numbing entertainment that they pursue. Why read a book and be forced to think and use our imagination when all we have to do is pop in a DVD or watch it online?
Thankfully the numbers of hours of watching TV is dropping as people turn to their computers. This upsets some people but with TV there was very little interaction with people. At least with the computer people are talking and interacting with each other. The Internet also gives us the potential to learn from the wealth of information we find on it. It is only a matter of being trained to know what credible sources of information look like. However, that is not exactly what the masses are using computers for as they continue to pursue their desire to be entertained into the Internet.
With such low intellect and spiritual maturity we are nearing the time that Paul had forseen, which he wrote to Timothy concerning:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
It scares me every time I read this and take a look around and I am not even looking at the world. I wonder how honest we are willing to be in our self-assessment. Does this describe us in any manner? It might be hard for some of us to get past the first two: lovers of themselves, lovers of money. However there is one that really stands out for me: lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. People tell me they are so busy they don't have time to read the Bible or to worship every day. They say they have to pray on the run in order to "fit it in". Then I ask them what they think of "Lost" this season or if they have watched "Glee" at all. Often they will exude enthusiasm as they start in on their favorite shows which leads to their favorite movies which leads to their favorite music. I enjoy a good movie too as well as a couple select TV shows but I am certainly not going to allow them to crowd my Lord Jesus out of my day. What are we doing? What are we demonstrating by the choices and priorities we have set?
Understand that Paul is not referring to the world as he writes. We should never be surprised by the world because they are without Jesus and do not have the Spirit to guide them. However, I do believe Paul is referring to the Church and I think we are entering if not already immersed in those times. It is important we recognize where we are in all of this so we can try to counter it. It will produce some very dangerous leaders:
They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. (3:6-9)
I hope and pray that we are clear headed and sufficiently spiritually mature to stop such leaders. However, if the Church is producing such leaders it is because that is the heart of the people. I hope you can see the danger in all of this because the only heart we can truly know is our own. Paul has given us the warning signs and he tells Timothy not to have anything to do with people of such character. Are we prepared to start drawing the distinction in the Church? I believe it to be a serious enough matter. We at least need to get people back to the basics: Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship. Get them grounded again so we can move forward in our acts of kindness and love. If not we could end up with, "having a form of godliness but denying its power." We need to take the basics seriously again. Let's stop running after the entertainment we find in worship bands, in dramatic preachers, in the "shows" some churches put on and let's get back to seeking the face of our God. We have come too far to let go of the truth now.