Monday, February 11, 2013

Be Careful, Eyes and Ears!

By R. W. McAlister
     A children’s song sometimes sung in Bible class is, “O, Be Careful Little Eyes.” In it, these warnings are given, “O be careful little eyes what you see, O be careful little ears what you hear, O be careful little hands what you do, O be careful little feet where you go, and, “O be careful little mouth what you say. There's a Father up above, And He's looking down in love." It’s with what our eyes and ears are exposed to that I wish to focus on in this brief article.
     Our choices in entertainment represent an area of rapid and alarming decline. This is especially true of television. Whatever happened to shows you wouldn’t be concerned about your children watching, like, “Andy Griffith,” or “Bugs Bunny?” - shows where foul language, excessive "bathroom humor," and sexual themes are absent?
     Movies are no better. My wife’s friend went to see the new movie, “Brave,” about a young girl in 10th century Scotland who must undo a spell that has been cast on her family. Her friend reports that at least one scene is visually risqué, and this is an animated film aimed at children!
     Even “ABC Family” isn’t family oriented! What a misnomer! Carrying shows like, “Secret Life of An American Teenager,” which deals with out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancy (I doubt it condemns it), “They Lying Game,” and, “Baby Daddy,” whose theme is a 20 something year-old boy whose ex-girlfriend “dumps” their illegitimate daughter on his doorstep and leaves. I struggle to find very much that’s truly family oriented here, and those are just 3 shows on this station! God’s design for the home consists of a married, committed husband and wife (Gen. 2:24) wherein children are to be welcomed. God condemns lying throughout the Bible (Prov. 6:17, Acts 5:1-5). Sadly, much of broadcast entertainment is either built on or glorifies sin.
     The “funniest” and most used phrase on television seems to be “Oh My God!” used to express surprise, dismay, fear, and even lust. How can we make any pretense to revere the God we blaspheme? Exodus 20:7 warns us that God won’t hold anyone guiltless who takes the Lord’s name in vain.
     Standards of speech have declined from what they once were, and especially in movies and television they’re far from God’s standards (Eph. 4:29; 5:3-4). Even cartoons made for children have curse words.
     Has anyone seen the atrocity, “South Park?” Middle-School age kids using language that no one should use, especially those who claim to be Christians. There’s no way in the world I’d ever let my child watch a show like this! Equally bad is, “Family Guy,” who is anything but! Surprisingly though, a lot of kids are allowed to watch these shows and others like them either because their parents don’t care or don’t monitor them enough to know they’re doing it. Some parents even find nothing wrong with letting their young children watch R-rated movies. Shouldn’t we be careful about watching a movie with that rating?
     In Philippians 4:8, Paul tells us by inspiration to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. How can a movie that glorifies illegal drug addiction or alcoholism or prostitution or homosexuality or nude dancing possibly qualify as being “pure” or “of good report?”
     “Filth merchants” claim these things are fine, they just reflect the direction in which society is going, and we can’t do anything about it. The only way we can believe that is if we simply close our eyes to the very real danger that a whole nation of children and grandchildren – including our own – could easily follow these folks into sin and hell. Let us be careful regarding that to which our eyes and ears are exposed!

 - R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website: 

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