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Friday, June 26, 2009

Piper: Why I Don't Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies

The quotation below is from an article by John Piper blog on the relevance of TV and being relevant in our culture. While this is an area for each to examine for oneself, I've found that while I often can't talk to someone about the latest movie release or who's broken up with who on the Hills, I can relate as a human to other humans who live in a broken, lonely world.

Piper writes,

"I think relevance in preaching hangs very little on watching movies, and I think that much exposure to sensuality, banality, and God-absent entertainment does more to deaden our capacities for joy in Jesus than it does to make us spiritually powerful in the lives of the living dead. Sources of spiritual power—which are what we desperately need—are not in the cinema. You will not want your biographer to write: Prick him and he bleeds movies.

If you want to be relevant, say, for prostitutes, don’t watch a movie with a lot of tumbles in a brothel. Immerse yourself in the gospel, which is tailor-made for prostitutes; then watch Jesus deal with them in the Bible; then go find a prostitute and talk to her. Listen to her, not the movie. Being entertained by sin does not increase compassion for sinners.

There are, perhaps, a few extraordinary men who can watch action-packed, suspenseful, sexually explicit films and come away more godly. But there are not many. And I am certainly not one of them" (emphasis mine).

The quote is taken out of the context of another pastor suggesting that Christians should watch more movies to be relevant. I think this comes down to discernment of which movies are helpful, but the heart of the issue I think has less to do with watching more or less, but seeking those things to do that give life not death to our souls. Dead souls can't lead people to Christ.

And I am much like Piper. Maybe some can let trash in, and good comes out, but it doesn't seem to work so well for me.