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Modern Media and the Christian Mind Created 18 February 2014

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Years ago, as a teenager on a school bus back from an athletics meeting, without clear intent, I did a social experiment, which has stuck with me ever since. Being a ‘senior’ on the bus I had control over the entertainment offered. It was the latest thing in those days – a portable music box with a “double tape deck” (two cassette players next to each other), also known as a “ghetto blaster” at the time. We were travelling late at night, so just for fun I switched from Pop on the one cassette to Folk music on the other cassette - back and forth. And, what I discovered was that which has been known by scientists for a long time: music changes mood and it changes behaviour as well.

But the extent of the change is what really stuck with me. No sooner did I play Roger Whittaker and the whole bus – packed with highly strung teenagers - would settle down, some even going to sleep. Yet, within minutes of switching to Bruce Springsteen or Michael Jackson or Queen and the bus would erupt in a loud raucous of boys climbing over chairs, girls voices shrieking loud, stuff being tossed around and even the odd wrestling match taking place. Back to Roger Whittaker and the bus would settle down again. Then, back to Michael Jackson and it would be a circus of activity. Roger – quiet, easy. Michael – loud and erratic. Roger – sleepy. Bruce – bustling. This went on for hours till well into the night. At the time I found it quite comical but today, as a father, it is way more serious than that.

Why? Because what we know about music today is what the native Africans have known for a long, long time – it can alter your state of mind. It can actually get you to go into some kind of a trance.

Are you aware of the fact that eating disorders picked up markedly in Fiji as a result of  television having been introduced to that nation in the early nineties? Read about it here. But how about children’s exposure to superhero’s, TV games, cult TV shows like Vampire Diaries, cult movies like Harry Potter, rock concerts or rock music, and the like? From the video below, audio material, let alone audio-visual material, no doubt have a bearing on the development of a child. And, they don't have to have too much of it either.

Many Christians see no harm in it: As long as you do not overdo it” is the common response. That’s ignorance and, perhaps even negligence on the part of the parent considering the promise to God they once made: “We shall protect and nurture our children - always”.

So, at what point are you and I “overdoing it”? Let me put it this way; at what point are you overdoing it when you offer your children cigarettes or alcohol? Or, at what point are you overdoing it when you approve of your kids playing with the occult, like engaging a Ouija board? Sure, these may sound like extreme examples.

But here is the thing: Harry Potter movies and Vampire Diaries TV shows and ACDC music and likely even Batman cartoons are a bigger problem than the things that openly oppose the Kingdom of Christ.  What does this mean?

There are two (no more) categories of things and activities on this earth; that which is light and that which is darkthere is no middle ground. So, the bigger danger lies in the thing that looks harmless but is darkness nevertheless because it is controlled by the one "who works in the sons of disobedience" (Eph 2:1-2) - ordinary people like you and me who are not being led by the Holy Spirit. Have a look how some music artists describe the essence of their trade:

But, how shall we know what is okay? Recently I heard a man say from the pulpit that he has two types of books on his bookshelf – books by Christian authors and books on Rock stars. This man – a believer  – sees no issue with the magic and sorcery that Harry Potter proclaims as 'the right way to go' to the minds of children and adults alike, or the Rock stars he has on offer for that matter. I will put his comments and his preferences down to ignorance, and his naïve insistence that 'Christ has the victory over all - therefore, that there is no harm in any of these things'.

But, if it is true that God separated light from dark (Gen 1:3-5), and if it is true that Jesus' light contrasts the darkness in this world (John 1:1-5), and if it is true that He will separate the goats from the sheep (Matthew 25:32-33), and if it is true that Paul wrote the passages below to born-again believers who knew very well that Christ had won victory over darkness, then, surely, Harry Potter’s witchcraft, the base sexuality of Rock & Roll and the idolatry of Superhero idol worship should not be found amongst Jesus' followers. For he says through his Holy Spirit: Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. (Eph 5:11).

... while listing the works of the flesh which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.(Gal 5:18-21)

... of which He gives clear instruction to stay away: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Gal 5:16-21)

Christians today should have no doubt in their minds that they are being played – whether deliberately by people who intend evil, or incidently by people who know no better, because those who are not led by the Holy Spirit are led by the prince of the power of the air (Satan), having their minds darkened by him. (Eph 2:1-2, 2 Cor 4:3-5)

Consider the many ‘Christian Rock bands’, ‘harmless fairy tales’, ‘good sorcery' or 'good magic’ examples that are around. Now think teenage eating disorders in Fiji and then think of what you expose yourself and your family to every day.

An excerpt from reasearch in this area that shows a direct relationship between media violence (including 'innocent childrens' movies and cartoons') and aggressive behavior.

Source: Influence of Electronic Media in Escalating Aggressive Behaviour in Children
By Amna Arif

Relationship between Media and Violence image

This video is 6:13 long. (Click here to go back to the Top)

In this short video, Dr. Michael Rich, Director for Media and Child Health at the Children's Hospital in Boston, answers questions about the effect of media on children's development.

Modern Media and the Christian MindFlash FLV Embed by VideoLightBox.com v2.5

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Please consult the Bible and test what is written here. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this area. Keep that which is good and reject that which is not Scriptual. Should you come to a different understanding than I please let me know - perhaps I can learn from you.

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