Sex, Violence, Scandals, Language.
These things plague our 22nd century American entertainment.
With the epidemic of public shootings, triggered by the Columbine tragedy, came the scrutiny of media and music impacting the actions of young minds. Marilyn Manson and Eminem were partially to blame for some of the violent outbursts which have occurred in our country throughout the last decade.
Then comes the thought, “Well we aren’t really that bad… At least we don’t watch people kill each other for fun.”
While we don’t have a Roman collesuem for the purpose of watching bloodsport, people battling for their lives against other humans or terrifying predators, we do have our own variations – Madison Square Garden Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts live from Las Vegas. Granted, they aren’t killing people, but the sports are centered around carnage. Are we really any better than they? Are we better than the immoral people of the New Testament times?
Greek and Roman Culture
The Greek cultured entertainment tended to lean towards a type of intellectual stimulation. However, the Roman cultured entertainment took a different turn. History shows that as the entertainment rapidly declined in the New Testament times of the Roman culture, so did the general morality of the people.
In addition to bloodsport, the Roman plays included the bottom parts of life and presented everything in a “shameless” fashion; sensuality, sexuality, obscenities, scandal, and lust peppered the theatrical stage.
Still, other people during the time had similar thoughts, “Are we not better than they?”
Paul answered this type of thought by saying:
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” (Romans 2:1 NIV)
Further along in his argument, Paul makes everything crystal clear:
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (Romans 3:9-20 NIV)
Historically as entertainment falls, so does the morality of the culture. God help preserve and purify our American culture. Nonetheless, as American Christians, we are part of the culture. And a morally degraded culture opens up more opportunities for the gospel of Christ.
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21-24 NIV)
Thank God for His Righteousness. Thank God that He sent Jesus Christ. We who live morally upright “Christian” lifestyles are no better than those who do not live with the same values. We are all in need of the Savior of the world. Find Jesus for yourself today. Then, take Jesus to someone else.