The Battle Continues- Christians Vs. Hollywood

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I don’t think that anyone who really knows me would say that I have no sense of humor. I love humor- snakiness, satire, slapstick, all of the above.

It seems like every time you turn on the TV or read anything intellectual, there are always jokes about religion. You know what I’m talking about. Sometimes, these jokes are downright blasphemous. But sometimes they seem kind of good-natured. They seem to say, “It’s okay if you actually believe that, we won’t judge, but you know it’s a little silly.” And every once in a while they seem somewhat appropriate/funny/understandable. Like what I saw today, on a recent episode of the Simpsons, when Homer was dressed up as Jesus while promoting a loan shark (get it, because of how Jesus got mad at the “money changers” in the temple), and was consequently struck by lightening. I don’t know, I thought that was funny. As close as the media will get to acknowledging the existence of God.

I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged on this topic before. But what I really want to know is, how should Christians respond to this kind of humor? And, where do you draw the line in making light of the things in the Bible? Puns, good-natured one-liners? Isn’t it wrong to ridicule the word of God beyond that (or is the Bible a 100% serious thing)? Does God himself have a good sense of humor when it comes to his own decrees?

Which brings up another topic. Forgive me for jumping around, but I think I will let those questions hang in the air while I discuss this, the matter of Christians as loud-mouthed media watchdogs. Sure, we can certainly have our opinions of what we see, we can react accordingly to what we see, and refrain from watching certain things, encouraging our friends to do the same. But do we need to write the strongly worded letters and go crazy on social media every time we see something particularly debauch? Should we try to change the culture by speaking out? Or should we accept that the world is different from us, and stop trying to impose our morals on it? Should we just let our lives speak for themselves? Why do we expect Hollywood to conform to our values? And don’t we have our own business to attend to? Or is it important that we remind ourselves and each other of what is right and wrong? Do we have something better to do than discuss how Miley Cyrus is an example of the cultural decline of America? Is there a plank between our pupils and our 3-D glasses?

 

 

 

Photo Credit: simple.wikipedia.org

 

 

 

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If Every Day Was Thanksgiving

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This was the first year that my family didn’t have an actual turkey, which kind of threw us off, but you know, what does it really matter, we had other good food. And I still gained a bit of weight. I suppose I didn’t spend a whole lot of time being thankful today. I found myself sulking at one point in the day, which was kind of ironic. But then I thought… Why is that a bad thing just today? Shouldn’t every day be like Thanksgiving? Even without the gravy, the extended family, the parade, the shopping? Shouldn’t every day be spent giving thank to God for life, health (if applicable), family, friends, resources, work (again, if applicable). And yet, our society tells us that we should make thankfulness a temporary thing, and the rest of the time should be spent climbing up ladders and gawking over things that we don’t have. As if that’s any way to live.

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Nothing New Under the Sun?

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Is it true that things are getting worse in the world? Is this an even “wickeder” and more “perverse” generation than the one before it and the one before that? It sure seems that way sometimes.

Even though it’s before my time, I love music dated from the 60’s to the 80’s. I grew up on the Beatles, the Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Journey, and the like. It seems like music today just isn’t of the same quality. It’s quite a subjective matter I understand, and I know that there is good stuff out there today… but something about it just seems… Inferior. This probably just has a lot to do with my personal bias, and perhaps I’m a little delusional in seeing such glaring differences between music of the same century. But let’s take a step back farther and to the side, from Modern America to Europe back in the day. Is hip hop really as good as classical music, in the most objective way possible?

And then there’s the morals of society. Everyone’s favorite subject. Watch a movie from the 40s. Watch a movie from today. It’s not rocket science. People used to censor, dance around things, leave to the imagination. And now entertainment is often shameless. As we strove towards portraying gritty reality in media for the sake of believable art, we long ago crossed the boundary and entered into a realm of senseless debauchery. And in doing so, I think we are also beginning to abandon those basic truths that have given movies their magic, replacing them with raunchy details that fail to carry their weight when it comes to illustrating the true nature of the human spirit.

Yet I’m not sure if that says much about the phenomenon that supposedly exists of each generation getting worse than the last. Are people essentially any worse? I think that media has a negative effect, but there are also positive influences all around. The changes in the media are not necessarily an indication of a change in the people. No doubt that the media is more dangerous, that it has gotten more comfortable in its own skin, that it is content to take off its clothes in the living rooms, bedrooms, bus stops, and offices of this fine nation. But are people really any worse? In Ecclesiastes it says that there is nothing new under the sun. Since Adam took a bite out of that fruit, the world has been a crazy place. There has been hatred, war, violence, idolatry, greed, extra marital sex, adultery, jealousy, cursing, homosexuality, selfishness, and most importantly, indifference towards God. All through the centuries. We can’t forget that.

The good old days seem good to us, I understand that. A time when things were less complicated. Sure. The world seemed less artificial back then. We’d all like to get back. No one likes all the crazy, prophetic stuff going on in the world now that seems even crazier than anything that’s ever happened before. But was it really, truly, better, and is the future really truly going to be worse? I doubt it, but I could be wrong. It seems to me that people are just always finding new ways to sin, but isn’t sin sin no matter how you smear it in lipstick? I could be wrong. Maybe kids today are truly rotten, and it will only get worse. The end times, after all, seem pretty bleak. There will be the anti Christ and the mark of the beast, that seems like rather unprecedented evil. But there will also be more Christians (I think) and there will be signs and miracles. That’s a plus. So what’s better? I don’t know, I think I’ll just throw out the measuring cup and call it a day. The point is that people sin and people always have sinned. The point is that you’re either for or against God so it doesn’t matter how quantitatively moral you are if you don’t have God. The point is that there’s always hope and there’s always joy.