When They Prayed
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES   I chose the theme of our 2023 Annual Conference session, “When They Prayed,” based on Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they ...
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When did garbage become entertainment?

August 21, 2018

When I was growing up, my daddy emptied our garbage cans every other day. If he didn’t, the cans would fill to overflowing. If the garbage was in the kitchen, he took it out more often so that leftover food would not begin to smell. If you had asked me what I knew about garbage, I would have considered that a weird question. I wasn’t supposed to know anything about garbage. It belonged out of our house, and daddy saw to that.

Around 40 years ago, the late David Wilkerson predicted that the day would come when we would see naked people on television. The Christian world said, “No way!” In our minds, we could not believe this would ever actually happen. We thought that everyone knew, as we did, that garbage belongs outside.

Fast forward to 2018, and nudity is all over our television. Sexual content shows up for our children to watch while they are eating supper. I am appalled that the television executives think that I want to see a show about two naked people, male and female, meeting for the first time to see if they are a “fit” for dating. Another show sends someone to “find” the best mate for you and introduces them to you on your wedding day. Marriage is already hanging by a thread in America. Let’s just loosen that thread a little more.

I read recently that we should no longer think of pornography as related only to the internet, television, or magazines. We live in a pornographic society. It’s everywhere, from billboards to clothing advertisements. And pornography is after your family.

Gruesome murders are after your family, too. Tell me, now. Are you really interested in watching “Killer Children?” Is your spiritual life enhanced by that, or by shows like “Witches,” or by dramas about haunted houses and ghosts? Are you drawn to TV shows that want to prove that a ghost lives inside someone’s child, and by the way, a ghost might be inside your child, too?

When did garbage like this become entertainment?

When you finish watching a talk show debate about why two people cannot get along and hear their immature babblings and their self-centered arguments over who said what, are you left wanting to know the Lord better? When they begin screaming at each other and at the television host, does this make you silently want more of this kind of entertainment? God help us. It was a sad day in America when “I Love Lucy” was replaced by “I Killed My Best Friend.”

So, what’s going on, and what can we do about it? America’s declining values began when comfortable, church-going Christians didn’t stand against the slow trickle of sin. Satan is a clever liar, and our problem was thinking we could never lose what we had. We were secure in what we knew, and we thought it would always be that way. When evil popped its ugly head up in our faces, we looked the other way. We thought what we had was strong enough to withstand the slow trickle that has now become a rushing flood. We thought our daddy would always be around to take out the garbage.

America’s values have declined in part because Christians didn’t stand up against this wave of evil. We honestly never thought the wave of evil would be anything more than temporary. But evil is never temporary. It is never just a “wave.” Evil is determined, premeditated, and relentless. Evil takes the innocent into its clutches, using an agenda that is fierce, determined, and “in your face.”

Unless one’s head has been completely in the sand, many are for the most part, in agreement on this one thing: America’s doors are open to the absurd, the disgusting, and the unbelievable while being closed to integrity, sensibility, and wisdom. As long as that’s what we like, that’s what we will get.

What can we do? We must bury our heads in God’s Word, letting His truth soak into our minds and hearts. When evil slams our nation, we must be busy in our Father’s vineyard, pointing the lost toward a dynamic, personal walk with the Lord.

And what do we do in our homes for protection? We take out the garbage.

The Rev. B.J. Funk is associate pastor of Central UMC in Fitzgerald. Email Rev. Funk at bjfunk@bellsouth.net.

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