When we compromise our values “just a little” we are opening the door just a crack, but all Satan needs is a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). If we are justifying our actions, even to ourselves, we already know we shouldn’t be proceeding on that path, but we do. What do I mean? Let’s take television, for example. I used to enjoy a very popular sitcom before my real conversion and the subsequent commencing of my sanctification. The ridiculous antics of the characters are extremely funny and entertaining. Good clean fun? Well, maybe not.
Since the values portrayed and the actions performed are considered common practice in today’s world, I never considered this show to be “bad”. I don’t mean evil in the conniving and cunning sense, as in deliberate actions to lead astray; however, I would call it unholy. Among the dating mishaps and faux pas that add to the frivolity, is a healthy sprinkling of casual sex and frequently changing partners, even between members of the core group. Does calling this unholy surprise you or seem too harsh? Allow me to say that is only because we are used to the values of those around us and what has become accepted practice.
Twenty-five or so years ago, living together outside marriage was becoming more accepted and recognized as a wise choice (even by me at the time). By wise choice, I mean “trying it before you buy it” to see if things would work out. But by church going grandmas it was still a no-no. Fast forward to 2014 and living together before you make that marriage commitment is widely accepted, even encouraged, and sex before marriage is almost expected in a long standing relationship. No one seems to think anything of that any more.
So, back to unholy. God’s Word is clear on the issue that sex is for the marriage bed only and a sacred act between husband and wife, created by God for enjoyment in that relationship alone. By making it commonplace, along with having multiple partners, we have trampled something beautiful and exclusive and, yes, holy, and made it common and even sordid. The collateral damage of casual sex in real life is tragic and in no way entertaining – girls who consider worth tide to physical beauty and sexual expertise instead the inner beauty God’s Word speaks of, boys who consider sexual conquests and prowess a badge of manhood. We give ourselves away and bond, in a spiritual sense, with person after person and wonder why we are so fractured. How many equate sex with love? Too many, I think.
Many things in the Christian life are personal conviction, and area of entertainment choices is just one of many. I don’t name the show on purpose, but you might know what it is, because this is my conviction from God. The values are not Christian values, that is true, but outside specific prohibitions in The Bible, we are left to our own conscience and personal convictions. A good example is the hotly debated issue of drinking alcohol. The Bible does not say, “thou shalt not drink any alcohol – ever.” It does say don’t be drunk, along with many other things we should not do. Specific prohibition makes it a sin for all.
Then there is the area of personal conviction. If God impresses on me that I should not drink alcohol at all, then I should not drink. There are examples in The Bible of people that God prohibited from drinking at all, Sampson and John the Baptist most notably. For those individuals strictly prohibited from consuming alcohol, it was a sin to do so. The values in that program were not Godly values and God convicted me that I should not watch. Therefore, for me, it is a sin.
Likewise, there are books I used to read that God impressed upon me I should give up. There were two series in particular that I enjoyed, but contained, again, casual sex. It’s interesting to note these contained violence as well, but I was not bothered by that. That makes it my personal conviction. From time to time I think of those books, especially when a new one comes out. I love the characters; they were like friends to me, and I greatly enjoyed their sagas. So I think, perhaps it is not that bad to read them, but in my spirit I feel that prohibition afresh.
It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. It’s the little things that I let into my mind and spirit that cause me to veer from the path. So, we must be diligent in our quest for holiness, because our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.