Last week I spoke about Angelica Zambrano. Starting from where we left off, I mentioned how she claims she died for 23 hours and visited Heaven and Hell with Jesus as her tour guide. In this 2nd-part I want to address the issue of the secular influence.
In her E.T. experience of Hell, Angelica sees celebrities like Selena and Michael Jackson burning in Hell’s coliseum with worms eating off their faces. She sees MJ tortured by demons imitating his dance moves, mocking the moonwalk, if you will. Angie mentions that as he was a man who allegedly sold his soul to satan for the gift of musical influence, any one who listens to him will be trapped in his musical web and eventually wind up in Hell. She also sees a child who has wound up there because he watched cartoons which led to a life of rebellion and she then proceeds to describe demons that look like Pokemon tormenting the child.
Reading that portion got me thinking;
Can a believer’s spiritual health be affected by listening or watching non-Christian forms of media like music, cartoons, etc.
Well, first and foremostly, as already settled in Part I, a believer cannot lose his/her salvation. But what of spiritual health? Does listening to Britney and watching Grey’s Anatomy affect your spiritual health?
On one hand, some Christians believe you can watch whatever you want, listen to whatever music you want because if your salvation is sure in Christ, those things wouldn’t and shouldn’t affect your relationship with God. If it does, you are a weak Christian.
On the other extreme, some people choose the way of the Amish. Complete abstinence.
But these extremes cannot and will never make sense because we are in this world and for some the struggle to not be a part of it is real! Imagine being affected by a horror movie and then feeling self-loathe that you weren’t strong enough to handle it, or imagine going up to the manager at McD’s and asking them to turn off the radio because you don’t listen to secular music. Kena sepak ‘kang. Will you swear off Apple products because it was founded by a Zen Buddhist? Are you going refrain from drinking milk from a cow milked by a Muslim?
Do you think you can relate better to the lost if you listened to the same music and watched the same shows? On the other hand, by restricting yourself do you think your holiness will draw many to you?
I’m going to have to go with “BS” to both extremes.
The reality is that in Jesus there is liberty. We are no longer bound by the shackles satan uses to torment us of our sin. But we have to be careful with what we watch and listen to because it affects our hearts which in turn affects our decisions and molds our future.
Music itself is amoral. Animation itself is amoral. They’re not evil. How then do we decide what to watch or what songs to listen to?
All things are legitimate [permissible–and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].
1 Chorinthians 10:23
If our goal is for our lives to become progressively pleasing to God, then our decisions on the amoral is subject to our walk with Jesus and our relationship with Him.
Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself. It doesn’t matter what something is rated, or how popular it is, or how seemingly innocent it appears. If it hardens your heart toward God, if it obscures your awareness of the ugliness of sin and the holiness of God, if it takes the edge off your spiritual hunger, then it’s sin.
John Wesley’s Mom.
Our salvation, should we choose it, is free for us but Jesus paid the highest price. Grace is a gift, not a license to live licentiously. We won’t see Pikachu doing the moonwalk in Hell because the cross has us justified but if anything should motivate us in making the right decisions in life, it is that we now live for Christ, not for ourselves.
Inspired by Vincent Fong.
Thinking of: Dry humping against my will, how I just want to bury my face in your chest and say I’m sorry for how much I took you for granted, how I’m not the only one, hair quota’s, vulnerability, Sungha Jung’s lithe fingers on his Haru Haru cover, how I’ve finally figured out where the Subang KTM station is, where would I be if not for grace and C3’s Freedom.