I watched the Emmy Awards Sunday night with a different kind of interest. It might have been because I am teaching from Corinthians this year and am often amazed at the cultural comparisons.
The program itself was not very good. Hollywood can’t settle on a host for the show, nor can they settle on any standards for behavior. Many of the presenters struggled to read the teleprompter or make acceptance speeches. I’m not sure how often words were bleeped out, but there were a lot of speeches with multiple breaks.
The whole show was pretty much a train wreck from the beginning.
Having rights is different than being right
I’m probably not surprising any of you when I say that Hollywood has a very real darkness these days and, surprisingly, they see themselves as enlightened.
Many of the award recipients made lofty-sounding statements on politics or personal morality. Interestingly, I don’t imagine many (or any) majored in political science, history, or philosophy.
Several spoke about women’s rights while wearing dresses that had to be taped to their chest to prevent possible wardrobe malfunctions. We saw men kissing other men and transgender people treated as heroes or groundbreakers.
Hollywood preaches about people’s “rights” but rarely about the need for people to behave rightly. In fact, their message is that personal choice determines what is right—unless, of course, someone’s personal choice disagrees with theirs.
The ads during the program often targeted upcoming new shows for the fall season. I was amazed at the number of these programs that involved the supernatural and often the occult. They are dabbling in areas they have no idea are actually dangerous for people to think about.
Hollywood has shouted about gun control, but I’ve never heard a network news show blame their own evening programming. How often do the networks air shows that feature a hero with a gun? How many of our random shootings are prompted by a warped sense of wanting to be popular like that?
Hollywood is shouting for an individual’s personal right to choose. God created that concept. But God also created the Law so that we would know how to choose rightly. There will always be consequences when people make wrong choices. Sadly, that message was completely left out of the speeches that were made.
Rethinking our thoughts
I wanted to watch the Emmy Awards because I believe our televisions have influenced our inner thoughts and we need to rethink our thoughts.
- When last were you saddened by an unmarried couple in a sexual relationship?
- Are you beginning to accept homosexuality as a personal choice?
- Are you intrigued by television shows that dabble in or elevate the occult?
- Do you grieve the jokes that are made about the clergy, or even the Lord, on sitcoms or talk shows?
- Has your thinking changed to include tolerance, acceptance, or even appreciation of things that God’s word has called unholy or sinful?
The reason I ask you those questions is that is what is happening in my inner thoughts sometimes. I’ve become more anesthetized to seeing shows about Satan introduced to primetime television. It’s rare to see a committed, married couple on television who live with biblical standards.
There are popular shows about polygamy, “queer eyes,” and every kind of violence. When did those things become possible? Normal? Acceptable? Appreciated?
The pattern has been around from the beginning and will always be Satan’s method. Jude 1:4 describes that method this way: “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Does it matter if it is just a “television show”?
Hollywood thinks it matters—but only when it is convenient for their message.
- Gun violence matters—unless it’s found in a show they are acting in or producing.
- Violence against women is terrible—unless they are offered the role of an abused woman or her abuser.
- Education is important—unless they have to drop out of school to play a part in a movie or sitcom.
- Equality is demanded—unless they are competing for the part or acting in a particular role.
- Honesty matters—except when they are pretending to be someone they are not, or shouldn’t be.
The Voice within is a Person
This week I’m teaching from the second chapter of 1 Corinthians. Paul taught a strategic lesson to the church in Corinth about the function of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you are a Christian, you have been given the Holy Spirit.
Paul wrote, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11).
The Holy Spirit knows what God thinks. When we see something on the television that makes us cringe, that is the Holy Spirit telling us what God thinks. When we see something that seems disgusting or revolting, that is the Holy Spirit telling us how God feels. When we feel saddened by what we see, that is a touch of God’s grief.
The Holy Spirit knows what God thinks, and his role is to inform us so that we can think and feel like our Creator.
You can know God and his thoughts
How can you know what God is thinking?
Paul answers that question in this way: “‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
That is one of my favorite descriptions of the Holy Spirit. There is a voice within every Christian who speaks thoughts from the mind of Christ. That voice competes with others but shouldn’t have to. Why do we let Hollywood and other worldly thinking influence our thoughts when we can listen to Jesus’ opinions instead?
Hollywood is enticing and tempting—but we know the source of that type of thinking. Satan has a voice as well.
The Holy Spirit within you is the mind of Christ. Pause often to listen for his thoughts and opinions. They are truly the only thoughts worthy of our time, focus, and especially our opinions and standards. We have been given the mind of Christ, but we have also been given the right to choose his thoughts.
The mind of Christ will always reflect and agree with the word of God. That’s why we call the Bible his holy word. Many of our thoughts will be authored by God’s Holy Spirit today.
Let’s choose to listen well.