It is easy to talk about the worldliness of our popular entertainment options with a broad brush, attacking the most offensive elements. But when I label the world’s approach – advertised as enlightened, but actually profane – I am referring to many subtle messages as well. Let me give you a tiny example.
When Rhonda was in France for nearly a month helping Annie and her family celebrate the birth of their son, I spent most of my time catching up in my work as a consulting geophysicist or writing. By the end of the time, I was growing quite weary of a computer screen. So I switched to the TV screen in my down time. After watching just so many reruns of ESPN Sportscenter, I turned to the primetime offerings of the broadcast networks; something I have rarely taken the time for in the last five years.
I happened on to a show called “The Middle” airing their Christmas episode. In this installment, the what appeared to be high-school age daughter was in a fit over the fact that her what appeared to be quite bright little brother did not believe the story of Christianity. The episode included the typical complaints about Christianity we have come to expect on network television, painting our religion as not for thinking people. However, the culmination of the Christianity discussion took a twist that is just a tiny example of what I mean by the profane in our entertainment industry.
A character named “Pastor Tim” attempted to allay the sister’s fears about her little brother by asking her if her brother was into Justin Bieber. She said her brother was not “into” Mr. Bieber and she could not understand it. “Pastor Tim” then made the leap to say it is the same way with Jesus. Some people are “into” Jesus and some are not just like they are “into” Justin Bieber or not and for similar reasons that we really can’t explain or figure out.
I know it is a small point but it illustrates the word profane. Comparing acceptance or rejection of the gospel message as being like choosing to be “into” Justin Bieber or not was a classic example of demeaning the sacred. What does God think of demeaning the sacred? We will find out with a story from Daniel chapter 5 next time.