I once read a story somewhere that went something like this:
When I grew up, I was brought up on very high moral standards. We were expected to have manners, to love Yahweh and to always do the right thing. However when I was about 8 years old, my parents let Uncle Charlie move in with us. Now Uncle Charlie did not have the same moral standards that we held. He thought nothing of lighting up a cigarette right there in our living room. He would swear and curse like you wouldn't believe. And the stories he would tell! He would tell us some of the most amazing stories. We would sit for hours on end just to hear the interesting stories he would tell. Many of them would make us blush because he loved to talk about sex and all other kinds of sins. But the odd thing was that Mom and Dad would never say anything to Uncle Charlie. As I said, they always taught us to have high moral standards. But not Uncle Charlie, they pretty much let him do whatever he wanted. So I guess you could say that as I grew up, I was kind of confused. Oh, by the way we had another name for Uncle Charlie.....we also called him the television set.
Note: This study is geared more toward American media, however, others may find the message here enlightening
Media is in the life of the average person everyday from the moment they wake up until the time they go to sleep.
Consider this for a moment:
Joe Smith is awakened by his radio alarm clock. He then jumps up and turns on the television where he watches the news or reads the newspaper while he drinks his cup of coffee. He then prepares for work and gets in his car where he listens to his radio as he drives to work. Then while at work he listens to the music that his employer has piped in. On his way home he again listens to his radio until he arrives home where he promptly turns on the television set and watches the television until the late show comes on. Perhaps he will even have the timer set on his TV to shut off after he goes to sleep until again he is awakened by his radio.
This may not be everyone. But this just goes to show how the media can be so fully intertwined in our life. According to U.S Census Bureau statistics, the average American spends nearly 10 hours a day absorbing themselves in some form of media. Whether it is reading a magazine, listening to the radio, watching TV or surfing the internet, the media we put in our minds can significantly alter our thinking. Or can it? Does it truly have that much power? Can it really rule our lives and our thought patterns? There is no doubt that words have power.
Have you ever been with a person for an extended period of time and notice certain things about the way they talk? Perhaps they swear alot. It isn't long before those words start to influence us and we start to develop many of the same traits. Words are spirit. The very word "spirit" means "breath". What spirits do you listen to everyday? Are they spirits of life? Or spirits leading to destruction? Consider Yahushua's words...
John 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
There is no doubt that the vast majority of things coming out of Hollywood are hostile to the scriptures. Against Yahweh. But where should we draw the line? Do we abide by the moral standards of those who rate the movies? Do we truly regulate ourselves enough? We regulate what our children listen to and see. We wouldn't allow them to see a rated R movie. But are we watching them? We shouldn't only protect our children from the media but also ourselves!! What makes us think that it is ok for us to watch an R rated movie? Would Yahweh want His children seeing such filth? Even the PG movies are bad. Truly, even some of the G movies are full of violence and promotion of false religion and sorcery. And yet, many are watching it...taking it all in!
Has anyone ever stopped and considered that the whole idea of magic is against Yahweh? It sure isn't the name of Yahweh that the fairy godmothers, tinkerbell and all the other characters are calling on. Then where is the power supposed to be from? It can be none other than the adversary. The wise old serpent who deceives the whole world. We shouldn't let the fact that the world considers it harmless influence our thinking. What does the word of Yahweh say?
Levi 19:31 (NKJV) `Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I [am] Yahweh your Elohim.
Deut 18:10 (NKJV) "There shall not be found among you [anyone] who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, [or] [one] who practices witchcraft, [or] a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 "or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
Exod 22:18 (NKJV) " You shall not permit a sorceress to live. "
Reve 21:8 (NKJV) "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Truly, these things are wicked in the sight of Yahweh. Yet we feed these doctrines to us and our children! Whatever we sow in our minds, we will reap! Do we want to listen to the evil spirits? Should we? Shouldn't we want to listen to YAHWEH's Spirit? How can we hear Yahweh's Spirit if we are listening to another?
David, a man after Yahweh's own heart once said in a Psalm:
Psal 101:1 I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Master, I will sing praises. 2 I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.
This truly shows the heart of David. David hated the things that Yahweh hated. He also knew that when a person watches wickedness, it has the ability to 'cling' to us. The Hebrew word that is translated 'cling' is the same Hebrew word that is used to describe a man leaving his father and mother to 'cleave' unto his wife. Do we want wickedness to cleave to us? If not, we should not watch it. Especially for entertainment!!!
Before watching anything we need to ask ourselves " What kind of spirit am I going to bring into my home? What kind of Spirit am I bringing into my heart?" Many movies even have sin written all over their titles as a selling point.
Many are the lies of the TV news shows and reporters. Every time I personally know of a situation and the media reported it, I found out that the media had somehow twisted the story or made errors which created a false impression. Why then do we trust them to give us the truth? Most reporters are in such a hurry to throw together a story, they don't have the time to really research things the way they should. And they'll spin a story in such a way that reflects their world view or their need to make a profit.
Years ago, the media used to report news that was vital to our lives and they still do sometimes. Today, most of the news is one thing: GOSSIP. "Shock TV" The world just gets a kick out of being shocked with evil. But children of Yahweh should not. We should avoid it. Turn away from it. Hate the evil! Many times people will watch the news because Yahushua told us to "Watch" But is watching TV what Yahushua was really talking about? We need to be watchmen who watch over our souls for evil influence and for evil deceptions of the enemy. The national news can be very biased and deceptive, especially on the topics of politics, ethics and other moral issues. We need to not be naive concerning these things.
The vast majority of characters are very arrogant and proud. Yahweh hates even a proud look. Shouldn't we also? If it is His Spirit in us, shouldn't we hate those things? There are many shows that depict lust, sex, violence and sin as pleasurable. They make smoking look really great the way that they depict the smoker. How much is Phillip Morris paying these guys?
Many TV programs promote lust. Just before I disconnected our TV from the antenna in the late 90's, I was trying to watch a rare wholesome show with my young children. But then these commercials started coming on. One of them was an advertisement for some other program and it showed a woman in a G string bikini that was so close up it filled the entire screen. Is this what Yahweh likes?? Is this what Yahweh wants us to feed our minds with? Certainly not!
Phil 4:8 (NKJV) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things [are] noble, whatever things [are] just, whatever things [are] pure, whatever things [are] lovely, whatever things [are] of good report, if [there] [is] any virtue and if [there] [is] anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.
There is high amount of free pornography among other things that is destroying the morals of people everyday. This is perhaps the final frontier. All media may one day find its home here on the internet. The internet however is often full of lies. People on chat rooms and forums try to make themselves into something they are not. They usually portray themselves the way that they wish they were. It is easy to create white wash on the internet due to the anonymity here. Pornography often finds his way into a home (invited or not) through the internet. It is spiritually dangerous to have the world's largest pornography collection available to any man 24 hours a day. Get a filter and only visit web sites which have no chance of having garbage.
I use a firewall which blocks out all ads and blocks the display of web sites which may contain pornography. However, no filter is 100% trustworthy. We need to keep our minds on spiritual things at all times. Our lives should be so filled with Yahweh that we have no want for the things of this world. It is the media's ability to erode our desire for spiritual things that makes it so dangerous.
Most songs of the world are about sex and boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. Would Yahushua be listening to it? Country music will have one song about how great our Creator is, and then the next song will be about how great the local bar is. Garth Brooks sings about "The Lord" being his captain, but also about how wonderful it was to commit fornication with a widowed woman. The musical drum beats in a lot of the music is the same kind of drum beats used in idolatry to conjure up demons. When it comes to turning on the radio, I would rather not have to sort through the filth. It is better to not listen to it. Get some tapes or CD's of songs that Praise Yahweh in the beauty of holiness, without shame and hypocrisy. He inhabits our praises!
I don't advocate throwing the television, radio and computer out to the garbage. However I believe that we must be VERY careful what we listen to, what we watch and what we see! David said that he hated the work of those who fell away, he could not endure seeing it. This shows that he was after Yahweh's own heart. If we hate evil, we won't desire to look at it or listen to it. I believe that the technology itself is neutral. Some people use it for good. Others will use it for evil. There is no doubt that there is more evil than good. It certainly represents this world. BEWARE because the media is all too often a tool for Satan. If you see an evil thing, turn away your eyes, turn the volume off, change the channel, turn it off! Whatever we have to do, we must not let it cling to us. Not because there is a commandment that says "thou shalt not look at evil" but rather because if we truly love Yahweh, we will not want to look at evil. It would defile our spirit!
I can think of several times that when I started to watch a program on TV, I felt wonderful and in the Spirit of Yahweh. But by the time I was finished watching it, I felt some distress in my Spirit and I was very irritable. You can't tell me that watching 8 hours a day of this trash doesn't affect the way we think and the way our children think!!! Advertisers spend millions of dollars trying to change the way we think about something. You can't tell me that the media doesn't have power. We who love Yahweh should not fill our minds with it. I haven't had the world's TV "programming" (I say programming because that's exactly what it is) on in my home since 1998. It is an open gateway which allows unclean spirits to enter my home and I don't need it!
What we really need is to fill our minds with good things. Things that feed us and give us life. And of all media, the one we should be viewing the most is the word of Yahweh. The scriptures that feed the spirit in us and keep us from dying spiritually. So let us not feed our spirit with things that are hostile to the word of Yahweh. But lets feed ourselves with the word of Yahweh.