Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Influence

Be as careful of the books you read, as the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter. 
~Paxton Hood
 
 www.allposters.com
 
I read the above quote on a Katy's post yesterday, and I thought it was so good.  
 
I have been pondering the seeming lack of discernment these days toward media in all forms.  I find myself in this category at times and have had to stop and ask myself why I am supporting, by viewing, a certain movie or tv series. 
 
There are times when we choose to watch certain things, knowing they are not "perfect" but we do it with discretion and lots of discussion.  Other things we stay far away from.
 
I will come out and say that I have been amazed by how many Christian women I know that are taken with the series of books and movies about a girl and her love for a vampire and a werewolf.  Should we be dabbling in these kinds of things, as Christian women?  
 
There is always so much to reevaluate - I used to watch things that now make me embarrassed.  Why would I ever have wanted to watch such things as extramarital affairs, deception, fornication just because it was on a tv series or a movie and wasn't a real life thing?
 
I find that we are easily influenced by what we imput into our minds.  School children are influenced by the world view of their teachers, and the materials they use, and by what their parents are watching and listening to at home.  Adults by the books they are reading, movies and tv they are viewing.
 
I've been delighted at some of the discussions our teens have had at church regarding these matters.  Some of them have been influenced by Phillip Telfer and his ministry Media Talk 101. We have watched a dvd of his in Sunday School and it was good and challenging.

It is challenging as our children grow to control who and what is influencing them, which is natural, and yet you hope that you have done a good job of preparing them to be discerning. Our family likes some Sci-Fi, Star Trek (TNG), Star Gate, Dr. Who, and in this area especially you have to watch for things like pantheism, and wide ranging moral equivalencies.  We have found that a lot of discussion and analyzing of media makes a huge difference in what they are allowing to influence them.  

In the last few years the Lord has challenged me to check what I am watching by the guideline of 'how does it line up with my Biblical Worldview?' and if it doesn't why?  Sometimes you may be learning about history and watching a documentary about the Egyptians or Romans and what their lives were like and what they believed. Naturally their belief in many gods doesn't align with my belief in the One True God.  That doesn't mean I can't watch it and learn from it.

We tell our children that everyone has a worldview.  Those who write books or movies or tv series are all wanting to influence you with their worldview.  That is why we must ask God to give wisdom and discernment to us and to our children and young adults, because the company we keep with these characters in books and movies are an influence on us, and what I allow myself to watch influences my family.

Deep thoughts for a Tuesday...
 

14 comments:

  1. Absolutely!

    I've noticed when I have been reading a lot of great British novels, my writing is better. :)

    As you know, we also love Sci-Fi and it was always including lots of discussion.

    When Christopher was little, there was an anime' he wanted to watch which was very popular at the time (and still is).

    My hubby traveled all the time so C. and I would often watch that anime' together and talk about what was going on... he not only got to watch the show but with the background of a Christian viewpoint discussed.

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  2. Deanna, You have just gotten onto one of my most loquacious soapboxes! I could go on and on with this subject - been teaching about it to the youth and families the Lord has laid in my path for years! Very frustrating to see how some defend the indefensible. The addition to the Twilight series that you alluded to is especially disturbing. We have totally ventured into realms that the Bible says we ought not to even discuss. Not just a harmless B movie from the 1930's, this. And, yet, I have heard otherwise sensible adult women discuss it with the same awe and reverence that I teach Dickens! Really?

    Anyway - I had to steal that precious image of the woman reading - I collect those types of pictures - and the quote - will totally use that!

    Stay tuned - something REALLY HUGE is about to be launched regarding a MAJOR step of faith and establishment of a work that I can't wait to announce - involving home schooling and me!!!!

    Pray - this thing is so steeped in the Lord's leading and direction with one miraculous brick upon the other building it up - I am dumbstruck daily watching God work! Details coming soon!

    Joy!
    Kathy

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  3. I wish there was much more Christian influence in our entertainment media, especially on tv and in the movies. Ministers and priests and other Christians used to be commonly portrayed as "good guys" in the older movies.

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  4. I share your concern. I confess I've not researched the Twilight movies. Just by the genera sound of it, I have NO interest in seeing one and huge concern about their popularity among Christian women.

    Do you have any suggestions on sites that would expose some of the dangers of Twilight (beyond the obvious?)

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  5. I share your concern. I confess I've not researched the Twilight movies. Just by the genera sound of it, I have NO interest in seeing one and huge concern about their popularity among Christian women.

    Do you have any suggestions on sites that would expose some of the dangers of Twilight (beyond the obvious?)

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  6. Preach it sister. We need to stop worrying about offending our brothers and sisters by keeping silent on this issue. I know a particular young women who is dealing with so much confusion because of the television and reading choices 'enjoyed' in her home. REAL repercussions. This is a serious issue.

    Blessings, Debbie

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  7. It is true that one must be careful and especially parents must be careful of what their children are reading and viewing. Once in the mind, it is never forgotten. Of course, much of literature can not be enjoyed by Christians if they are using their "Christian filter." It's why it's so important to learn discernment and know that what is okay for one will not be for another.

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  8. I was going to click "Like", then remembered we aren't on Facebook. This is well said. There were things my husband and I watched when we were first married (we're coming up on 28 years) that we are embarrassed about now. As Christians, we need to get back to what the Bible says about how we are to live our lives, what we allow to influence us, and challenge others to consider these things, too.

    Our son-in-law is a writer/director. It has been exciting to see him mature in the almost three years since we met him. Right now, he has shifted his focus to Christian film, both short and feature length, with an emphasis on dealing with the tough subjects Christians don't want to deal with. We've had a lot of discussions about how what passes for Christian entertainment is lousy. Poor writing, poor directing, predicable feel good stories with fairy tale endings. Anthony wants to help change this, and we are doing what we can to encourage his efforts. He may alternate between Christian and secular (with a moral message) films as his career progresses, but I believe it will all be done with integrity. Now to secure some financial backing . . .

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  9. Oh, it is way past my bedtime...but I have to pop in and agree with you about the seriousness of our viewing and reading choices. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)

    I read an article in Practical Homeschooling magazine years (15?) ago in which the author challenged parents to judge appropriate reading and viewing materials, not by the standard "Is there anything wrong with it?" ...but instead, "Is there a noble and good reason TO read or view it?" Does it teach a lesson? Is it inspiring? Is it lovely? Is it true?

    Placing the emphasis on choosing GOOD helped me to make better choices.

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  10. .b.i.n.g.o.
    couldn't have said it better.

    (((hug)))

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  11. Oh...I soooo agree with you! I have made it a rule in my home that my children do not read those books or even the Harry Potter series. We have had some major disagreements with SOME of our children because even youth pastors or pastor's wives are reading these books. (not in OUR church, but in associated churches...)
    I think there are better ways to spend their time, better influences on them. It's a hard battle and if, as adults, they choose to read or watch these things, I can't do anything about it. But I will not have them doing so as long as they are in our home.
    Thanks for your stand!!
    Beth

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  12. I totally agree with all that you have written, I am amazed at what Christians have allowed to come into their homes via, tv, books and all media. Hollywood seems to be setting the standard instead of parents and churches. Thank you for sharing.
    Sue

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