Rita and I don’t have many week nights at home to watch TV. So when we do, and there’s no football or basketball game to watch, we will go on OnDemand and check out old episodes of TV series. Our first choice is the older British shows, like Inspector Lewis, but sometimes all that is available are re-runs of current Hollywood productions.
Last night we watched an episode of Quantico, and I am sorry we did. I actually asked the Lord to forgive me this morning for not turning it off the minute they used the story to insert a gratuitous, exploitive and graphic sex act.
I was offended when the scene came on, but I am sorry to say that I did not turn the show off immediately because, by then, I was hooked on the plot and wanted to see how it worked out.
Enter the Trojan Horse!
The horse, in this instance, is the plot, the intrigue, and the convincing actors. Very entertaining. Very compelling.
The problem is that, when once the Trojan Horse is in your living room, the belly of the beast opens up and deposits an irrefutable enemy into the atmosphere of your home and, more importantly, adds one more callous to your heart, affecting your sensitivity to the Lord and to sin.
That is the whole strategy of the enemy.
And it’s working.
When once Satan has desensitized our lives to sin, then it is an easy transition to get us to believe that up is down and down is up. Professing Christians living an upside down life without even being aware it has happened.
No wonder A. W. Tozer, in a chapter of The Size of the Soul, on the subject of personal revival wrote, “Unless you break away from the [TV shows], every spiritual impression will continue to be lost to your heart, and right in your own living room.”
I have heard some Christians excuse watching this kind of programming in their homes by saying that the shows are only portraying life. In the words of that great theologian, Ethel Merman, “So is diarrhea but I don’t watch it for entertainment.”
Now, I am not writing this blog because I am a prude. Nor am I on a tirade against the prevailing culture.
I am writing this blog because I am a pastor.
Desires trump what we think about things and ultimately affect our behaviors (James K. A. Smith in Desiring the Kingdom). We become what we love.
Our daily practices shape what we love, whether we are conscious of it happening or not…our desire either for this world or the things of God and His kingdom.
The outcome of our daily practices will have eternal consequences!
If the average person watches five hours of TV per day (35 hours a week), according to the Nielsen media rating company, how might that compare, for the Christian, to time invested in practices that shape our desire for the Kingdom of God?
I have no idea how much time the average Christian spends in the Word, or in worship, or in prayer on a given day, but my gut feeling is that it would be measured in minutes, not hours.
So, Christian, beware of the Trojan Horse.
It is in your living room, hanging right on the wall or setting in your media center. It can be used for relaxation, for enjoyment and even education. Just be on the alert that the enemy of your soul can also use it to steal, kill and destroy every good spiritual impression working in you… right inside your own home!