Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Careful when you call 911...

     My first post (a whopping 2 1/2 months ago!) was on the ironic coincidence when unbelievers are a commentary to us of God's righteousness, and one more occurrence has popped into view.  So while I finish the last post on apostolic succession, we'll play a game:  I'll give you a quote from a famous celebrity (about whom I have no reason to consider them Christian), let you ponder the question and then, once the suspense has built to a climax, I'll let the cat out of the bag and hopefully you'll see the point.

    Who said this, and what was he talking about?:
"It was very destructive to my soul and my personality...After that, I didn't think I would (insert his profession here) again."
"Hello... my name is Inigo Montoya..."
     Wow, what a drastic statement!  Gone is the tolerant, subjective blandness so prevalent in our society... this is a genuine moral judgment, coming from the depths of this man's humanity, rejecting and condemning what is clearly and overtly evil.  Stumped?  I won't drag it out:  you might know the name of Mandy Patinkin for his iconic role as Inigo Montoya, the six-finger-hating Spaniard (and if you don‘t, you should! Go rent “The Princess Bride“ today!). But what in the world caused this outrage from an actor whom I presume has no biblical basis for his moral compass, who has been in show business for decades, and is steeped in that industry‘s rejection of righteousness? Was it cruelty to animals, or someone not recycling, or the true nightmare of all actors: a shortage of Perrier on the set? No, Mr. Patinkin was inveighing against crime dramas, specifically “Criminal Minds“, the show he recently starred in for 2 seasons. He explains further:
 “I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year.“
Yes, those are name tags!
      You might be thinking: “Not every TV show and movie misuses violence like that... can't one distinguish between types of violence?“ I believe we can, simply by asking “What's the point?“; if we can categorize a scene in a book or movie as ethically necessary, like a policeman stopping a thief, or a soldier fighting during wartime, there is some degree in of profitable intake (1 Cor 6:12, 10:23). But is an incessant mental diet of pointless perversity and grotesque violence “destructive“?  Yes, it normalizes and desensitizes us to these horrors, as Mr. Patinkin found out the hard way.  God is to be thanked and praised for the inescapable witness of our conscience; it is a “law unto itself“ (Rom 2:14) and the reason why God will judge all the secrets of men (i.e. the sure internal knowledge we have about our wrongdoings; 2:16). So what happens when unbelievers see more clearly and flee such wretchedness more often than professing Christians do? “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you“ (2:24).  Our tragically enlightened unbeliever called his involvement in this travesty "his biggest public mistake".  Do you want to make the same one?  
     Or do you want to use even the TV that you watch (and won't watch) as a part of the testimony we present to a lost world (like voting according to conscience!)?  People are watching... our children are watching;  what will we show them?  One sure guide to our media intake is Php 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things pure, whatever things are lovely, whatvever things are of good report, if there is any praise or any virtue, think on these things.“

Photos courtesy of Rakka, Nacho Proy

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