Today will go down as one of the best days of conversation we've had here in a long time.
I started in on the media/entertainment/culture discussion and with Psalm 24, "The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (v.1) All entertainment is a creative process, and we must recognize God's hand in allowing us to create. He gives us the choice to create healthy entertainment, and He also gives us the freedom to choose to create unhealthy entertainment. But the bottom line is…The world and everything in it belongs to Him.
Then we started talking about personal responsibility, "He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God his Savior." (v. 4-5).
I asked the kids, "Who wants to receive a blessing from the Lord?" And all the hands went up.
Then we ventured into Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…" and things started getting heated up.
I asked, "How can we transform our minds?" and they gave answers like…
Spend time with God
Be careful about what entertainment we participate in
And then out of no where, a 15 year old stood up to say, "Well, I just do what I know to be right?"
That's when things got interesting.
"How do you know what's right?" I asked.
"Well, everyone just knows what's right as their parents teach them." he replied.
"What if your parents teach you it's right to kill someone?" I asked
"That's a common understanding of morality" he tried to argue.
"But the Nazi's thought it right to kill"
"Yea, but they were wrong."
"How do you know? Maybe they woke up and thought it right to commit the awful works of the holocaust?"
"But the general thought was, it's wrong."
And it went on for quite a while.
The point this student proved to me is, there is a generation of students who don't even know how to regulate right from wrong, for whatever reason. They are unable to even acknowledge some forms of entertainment are simply not right, because they can't even discuss with any logic how we can deem something right or wrong.
We went on for a while, and I think we got down to the bottom of the issue, which is; we must find a standard of truth and morality before we can even begin to identify a movie filthy, or a band that might influence us in a way that places thoughts in our minds.
The Bible is clear concerning transformation. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, "If anyone is in Christ, behold all the old has passed away, and all the new has come." Paul even writes further when He says, "Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (10:5)
I guess the best part is when all the students began to see the flaw in just allowing someone else to tell us the right way to think apart from God does in fact give us a mis-representation of right and wrong. It was BEAUTIFUL!!
They left thinking aboutt how to define what is good, and what might not be good. I wish you could have been here to witness the exchange. At the bottom line, they're thinking, and that's the activity I hope we produce out here. It's the essence behind the movement from apathetic mediocrity to a place where we take our spiritual development by the horns and decide to be serious about the way we build our faith.
Thanks for all the comments about Media you guys posted below. It was a wonderful thing to read those comments out loud to the big group this morning, and use them to fuel the discussion.
God is doing some really cool things out here as we train teenagers to "make their faith their own" rather than relying on the waves and tide of culture to shape their spiritual lives for them.
May we be a people full of Grace and Truth.
May we be the salt and light of the earth.
May we spend time thinking about our own spiritual growth.
And May we move to a place where we can Hear God through all the culture noise around us.