I Corinthians 10: 31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
“If any occupation or association is found to hinder our communion with God or our enjoyment of spiritual things, then it must be abandoned. Beware of ‘leprosy’ in the garment. (Lev. 13:47) Anything in my habits or ways which mars happy fellowship with the brethren or robs me of power in service, is to be unsparingly judged and made an end of— ‘burned.’ (Lev.13:52) Whatever I cannot do for God’s glory must be avoided.”—Arthur W. Pink
For most of its history, the church stood steadfast in its denouncement of entertainment. That is true no longer. For the last several decades, not only has the church weakened its stance on entertainment in general but has made excuses as it was allowed to take over. There is nothing wrong with wholesome entertainment in an individual Christian’s life in the right time and place; however when a professing Christian indulges in sensual and erotic entertainment and excuses it because they are watching a movie; when they see nothing wrong with the blaspheming of God’s holy name as part of the entertainment package, or when they allow entertainment to take over their lives there is a problem and it is a major one.
Ephesians 5: 15-17, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
Our me-centered, dumbed-down, entertainment-driven, celebrity-mad society promotes fun above everything else. “Entertain me” rings throughout our land. It’s shameful that we as a nation constantly seek to be entertained but when the entertainment madness invades and takes over our churches and the lives of God’s people, it’s heartbreaking on the deepest level. No matter what we are doing, God commands us to use our time well, to be wise and to understand His will. When our focus is on ourselves rather than on Him, we are transgressing these commands; when we focus on self and on what pleases or entertains us, rather than on what is pleasing to Him, we are living for self rather than for our Lord. It is then that we have elevated ourselves to the position of being our own gods.
We were made for God. We are to live for God. He has taught us that we are to do everything that we do for Him and His glory. Slowly read 1 Corinthians 10: 31 again, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Do all to the glory of God–that’s pretty encompassing. All doesn’t seem to leave out any area of our lives but rather seems to include them all. So how is it that we are entertaining ourselves to death–not only on our “own time” (as if God had no say so over how we are to spend our days) but also on His time (the time set aside to gather with the like-minded brethren and worship the Lord God Almighty)–and that we are doing it for His glory? I say we are not. We are doing it for our pleasure and leaving Him out of the equation entirely.
Several decades back, the church adopted the philosophy of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and it’s been downhill ever since. The new attitude, applied to our daily lives allows us to dress, live, act and be entertained as the world does (But, don’t you see, we’re being relevant?); applied to our churches, it shouts that if a worship service isn’t “fun” or doesn’t “speak to my felt needs” that God has somehow let us down….
Excuse me? When did going to church become about us instead of about Him? Your needs? Your needs? Funny, I would have thought that your greatest need was to find forgiveness of sins and be reconciled to the Almighty God Who has the power to send souls to hell…I guess I was wrong. It seems that our greatest need is to have fun and feel like the preacher (if we dare to call him that) is speaking to us where we live, and that he is helping us to have our best life right this minute, to work out all of our problems and to be comfortable as we slide to hell.
Church isn’t about us; life isn’t about us, either. Both are about Christ. We, as the church, are the body of Christ all of the time, whether we are gathered to worship or are living our day-to-day lives. This life is fleeting and the next is eternal. We do not have time for frivolity. We are not here to be entertained; we are here for Him…to know Him, love Him, serve Him…to obey Him. No matter what it is that we are doing, if we are truly seeking to serve Him as Lord, we are to be doing it “all to the glory of God.” Being entertained to death isn’t allowing us to do that. During the Reformation, the cry of ‘semper reforma‘ was often heard. In English it means “always reforming”. We must constantly be on-guard in our daily lives and in the body of Christ, making sure that the Scriptures are our pattern, not just for worship but, also, for our lives. We must constantly be willing to reform if the need to do so arises. The need couldn’t really be more evident than it is today. The cry of “entertain me” has invaded our churches and our lives. It is time to rise above it and reform our lives, our minds, our purpose and our churches so that they are founded firmly on the Word of God.