Is entertainment necessary?

Over the years of writing a number of my articles have addressed issues that have arisen from within the entertainment industry. My last two articles were about the content of recently released movies, and while the entertainment industry is but one of the many influences Christians are exposed to, there is no denying that influence is both significant and pervasive.

So what should a Christian think about the influence of the entertainment industry?

Paul told Timothy, “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content,” 1 Timothy 6:8. Food to nourish us, and the coverings of clothing and shelter to protect us from the elements are all that are necessary to sustain our physical bodies and to be content.

Entertainment then is a luxury and not necessary to maintain life or contentment, at least not from a scriptural perspective. We may not like missing our favorite television program, sporting event, or new movie, but we will not die from it.

While the influence of entertainment can have a positive or negative impact on our lives, it can also rob us of productivity and serve as a distraction from the profitable practice of spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible study to name just two. And the things we watch will be a reflection of the society we live in that has all but forsaken any semblance of a Christian culture and a life of faith.

I am not advocating a rejection of all entertainment, but I am saying we as Christians should give careful thought and act deliberately in what we do watch considering its potential influence on our homes and families. If we fail in doing so then Christians risk the culture around us being more of an influence on us than we are on our culture.

Paul in writing to the Romans said “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Romans 12:2. The idea here is the Christian is not to follow the pattern of unbelievers, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

The Greek word for “transformed” here is metamorphoo. We get the English word metamorphosis from it, and in biology it describes those living creatures that during their life cycle undergo a total transformation, such as a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, or a tadpole becoming a frog.

Similarly, we are to renew our mind through the disciplines of Bible study and prayer so that we begin to think like Christ to be transformed into His image.

Ask yourself the question, if I were arrest for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict me? And if the answer is no, then maybe you have seen too many movies or watched too much television.


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