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 vain 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 intentionally changed its focus to accommodate those who wish to be entertained while still pretending to worship God.
There is nothing wrong with wholesome entertainment in its time and in its place. When it comes out of hiding and takes over someones life, there is a major problem. When a professing Christian indulges in the same sensual and erotic entertainment that the world does, or, indulges in so-called entertainment where God’s holy Name is carelessly bantered about, there is a problem and it’s a major one. If, however, a Christian does her work and then, having earned a rest, allows herself to be entertained in a God-fearing, God-respecting way, there’s no harm.
This is about the church as a whole, though. At some point, the modern church bought into the philosophy of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and it’s been downhill ever since. The prevailing attitude shouts that if a worship service isn’t “fun” or doesn’t “speak to my 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 felt need is to have fun and feel like the preacher (or whatever we’re calling them nowadays) is speaking to us (but not at us, God forbid that any preacher should step on toes), comforting us and, yes, entertaining us.
Church isn’t about us. Jesus died in order to purchase it with HIS blood! The church is HIS! It’s about Him. We are to go there to worship Almighty God–not to be entertained. A well told story that is complements the teaching is fine. After all, Jesus Himself was a master storyteller. The problem arises when we place the focus on ourselves and how to be more comfortable or successful here, rather than focusing on Him and how to dwell with Him there. Anything that takes the focus off of God and puts it on us is sin.
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.”
God commands us to use our time well, to be wise, to live obediently and for His glory. When our focus is on ourselves and what entertains us or pleases us rather than on Him and what is pleasing to Him, we are living for our glory rather than for His. Our me-centered, dumbed-down, entertainment driven, celebrity mad society promotes fun above anything else. “Entertain me” rings throughout our land. Movies, fan magazines, video games, DVDs, i-pods, on-line computer games, CDs, cable television, and on and on and on. We’re so desperate to be entertained that we even think that some poorly conceived, poorly delivered reality television show that exploits and destroys people’s lives is fun! It’s bad enough (in fact, it’s abysmal) when we as a nation constantly seek to be entertained: no nation can long last once in that mode; however, when the entertainment madness invades and takes over our churches and the lives of God’s people, it’s heartbreaking on the deepest level. It means that we’ve lost our spiritual focus. Destruction can’t be far behind.
We were made for God. We are to live for God. He has taught us that our whole lives are to be for Him and His glory. 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. Now explain to me: 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 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.
Whether during our off-time, down-time, work time, worship time or any other “time,” our lives are to be about Almighty God. We were created for Him. Anything that makes us forget that is sin.