Much of what happens during a worship service is dependent on what occurs before. I can’t get that out of my spirit. I know that I have already focused on some heart issues as I started this blog, but I am going to stay there a bit longer. As those who get up in front of our congregations each week, we must understand the responsibility to be prepared spiritually. So, I will offer a few thoughts that might be helpful to you.
One of the best things I ever did was simply, “turn down the sound.” What I mean by that is I greatly limited influences by media. It is amazing when you realize the messages you are bombarded with while watching an evening of television. Most of them are anything but the values we claim to hold dear to our hearts. I also know the rationale used to justify the movies we watch; I’ve used them myself.
Just the other day I was talking with some friends and the movie Anchorman came up. Several of the lines were quoted, we all laughed, and I even said that I owned it and needed to get it out and watch it again. WOW! Bad idea. That movie is full of violence, sexuality, profanity, fantasy, you name it. He has a physical fight with a woman, drops the “F” bomb, has sex with the same woman, and everything ends up wonderful in the end. Now, what message does that send you and I in reference to our faith? I’ll tell you what it is saying: that anything goes because it will all be OK in the end.
Unfortunately, the grace message, when twisted and distorted, supports this premise and we are all too glad to receive it’s healing and forgiving power. But, as a worshiper of the Most High God, you cannot allow your Spirit to be polluted by such philosophies. In the Old Testament, there were exact and bitter judgments for disobeying or outright sin; tangible consequences for what you did or even thought in your heart. How many of us could stand today if those laws were re-enacted? I have used the argument that it isn’t “real”, it is just entertainment, and therefore I can separate it from my theology, as well as my thought process. If you can do that, congratulations; you are the first one ever!
Look, go ahead and insert your activity here and subject it to the light of the Holy Spirit if you dare. Maybe you go to the bar and have the occasional beer. I mean “what’s the harm right?,” or possibly you look at pornography now and then. You’re not hurting anyone, hmmm? You think that the world’s lifestyle is acceptable when you bring your offering to Jesus? There is a saying, “You can lead only as far as you are willing to go,” and that means I must judge myself. I believe it is way past the point at which we must look, with stark reality, at our daily choices. I don’t think you will see Ron Burgundy living like he does and then playing the guitar in the praise band on Sunday, at least… he shouldn’t.