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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Laugh Lines

(Christianity Today publishes a devotional called "Men of Integrity," which recently adapted some material from one of my books for a week of readings. I thought you might enjoy seeing them...)

Key Bible Verse: Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes--these are not for you.… Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins (Ephesians 5:4, 6). Bonus Reading: Ephesians 5:4-14

God hates sin. It is therefore wrong for us to enjoy it in any way. Unfortunately, much of modern entertainment is designed to make money by appealing to our sinful nature. This is obviously the purpose of most sexual content, and much of the violence motivated by ungodly revenge and uncontrolled rage. But the popular arts appeal to our sinful nature in more subtle ways, such as our covetousness (beautiful stars, rich characters, exotic locations) and pride (motivations of self-glory).

In today's popular art, God and religion are played for laughs, and jokes about sex have almost become synonymous with the concept of comedy. But the Bible is very clear that both of these matters are not to be played for laughs. The third commandment says, "Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God," and the hottest hell is reserved for those who mock God. [Today's Bonus Reading] uses similar language in regard to sexuality. It is a sin worthy of God's anger and condemnation to be amused by jokes about Him. It is equally wrong to laugh at coarse sexual humor.

—Dave Swavely in Who Are You to Judge? (adapted by permission)

My Response: Have I ever turned off a TV show part way through it or walked out of a movie or play? Should I have?

Thought to Apply: Television makes so much money at its worst that it can't afford to do its best.—FRED FRIENDLY (broadcast news producer)

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