Pearls in the Media Muck

by | Feb 22, 2011 | Charisma Archive, Uncategorized

I used to get paid to watch movies. And sit in front of a TV. And listen to music. And play video games. In fact, if I were still at my previous workplace, my job would now include hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like. Yep, I once earned a paycheck by consuming media all week long. 

Sounds like a sweet gig, doesn’t it? Trust me,  it wasn’t always. Don’t get me wrong: I loved the people I worked with and the organization that hired me to help parents of teenagers navigate the waters of pop culture. And for a season, it wasn’t just fun to review the latest movies, TV shows, CDs or video games; I knew I was part of an invaluable ministry for parents. I was a gatekeeper, helping them know what their teens were into—the good, bad and very ugly—so they didn’t have to wade through the muck while searching for pearls in the entertainment world. 

But immersing yourself in that arena 24/7 is anything but a blast. Try reviewing Jersey Shore or Skins without getting either nauseated or depressed over how far we’ve fallen. I’ll never forget screening Hostel (a hard-R, ultra-depraved “torture porn” flick) the night before my first son was born. (Talk about scaling the heights and depths of humanity in a 24-hour period!)

Fortunately, I don’t remember most of the filth I took in for others’ sake. But that isn’t the case for the average teen, child or adult who’s now only a click away from having unlimited perversion in any form, delivered on any medium, embedded in their brains. Technology has always ushered in a wave of immorality, yet today we find a unique problem: a generation clueless as to why such depravity is even wrong in the first place.

Something’s seriously amiss when male students at a Bible college see nothing wrong with taking photos of their genitalia during class and texting them to female friends. That’s a true story, and sadly not unlike others I’ve heard involving young Christians, many of whom have become walking reflections of whatever content is on their iPod, iPhone or iPad. 

This isn’t just a youth issue. As media consumption becomes ubiquitous for every age group, our appetite for entertainment grows more insatiable—and our morals continue to decline. We can blame Hollywood all we want, but it’s no longer the core generator of content—we are. (Thank you, social media.)

I’m not pulling out the overused “evil media” card, nor am I advocating for believers to tune out pop culture. I am, however, begging us to develop the ability to discern right from wrong amid our being oversaturated with content. Remember, media—social or not—aren’t the problem; they’re just vehicles. It’s the content in those media that’s often not only problematic, it’s mimicked to the extent of becoming the new cultural norm. 

As “vehicles” for the Holy Spirit, we can present a different standard and culture: the kingdom of God. Jesus likened this kingdom to finding a pearl in a field of dirt. We know the fields of today’s media world can be mucky. But rather than mindlessly wandering through the sludge, let’s develop enough discernment to find the pearls.

While helping some of the largest nonprofits around the world and producing media programming in 40-plus countries, Phil Cooke has been shot at, threatened with prison, survived two military coups and fallen from a helicopter.


If Charisma Online Editor Felicia Mann has more twinkle in her eyes these days, it’s because the Tampa, Fla., native is engaged. With her July wedding nearing, we just hope our website doesn’t turn into an extension of The Knot

Movieguide founder Ted Baehr believes his life’s purpose is to be used by God to redeem the values of the media while educating audiences on how to use discernment in selecting their entertainment. We think that’s pretty cool.

By the age of 10, Chad Bonham had already wrecked two of his friends’ go-karts. Racing was clearly not in his future. So he took the next logical step and decided to write about it—and every other sport imaginable—instead.


CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is the False Prophet Alive and Well on Planet Earth?

Is the False Prophet Alive and Well on Planet Earth?

Note: As the World Economic Forum rolls out the "Great Reset’"—and a new poll shows 77% of the public is concerned "microchip implants will be used to usher in a never-before-seen level of totalitarian control"—an Israeli professor and New York Times bestselling...

Knowing the Character of God When It Matters Most

Knowing the Character of God When It Matters Most

If you have found yourself in the direct path of a searing fire in life, your bravest choice is to recognize who God is and then glorify Him as Lord. If you refuse to recognize the character and goodness of God when the temperature of life is uncomfortably high, you...

Don’t Make ‘Parties’ as an Excuse for Over-Indulging

Don’t Make ‘Parties’ as an Excuse for Over-Indulging

I love a party or any get together where there is food. How about you? However, it is a big excuse many use for not losing weight. I had this excuse. It went something like this, “I can’t lose weight because I want to eat at family gatherings, parties, church carry-in...

Relax and Let the Holy Spirit Work in You

Relax and Let the Holy Spirit Work in You

Here’s an honest confession: I struggle to rest in the Lord. Maybe I’m a bit compulsive, but I find it difficult to be still and know that God is working when I can’t see what He’s doing. When I need the Lord to do something in my life, I tend to “help Him” do it. But...

3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

If you grew up in the 1990s, you knew Mike. Michael Jordan, that is. It was spectacular to watch him play basketball. He’d make “impossible” shots with only three seconds left on the clock and win the game, It happened … for years! What you might not know is that he...

RECENT ARTICLES

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power,...
Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses, because the Bible is a living document, there will always be more to...

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously voted to pass a declaration of independence from Britain. Each signatory was facing death by hanging if the bold experiment failed. The Declaration of Independence declared that all men were created equal and that...

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Sometimes, I think Martha in the Bible gets a bad rap! I am not saying that Jesus labeled Martha at all. Please hear me out. But I think we would be wise to avoid picking up and holding onto some of the dynamics in this potential sibling rivalry between Martha and...

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

On the morning of June 5, 2022, I was praying in preparation for the Arise Women’s Summit I was hosting near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the Lord took me into an encounter. I found myself in the library of heaven standing before a giant staircase made of extremely...

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Pin It on Pinterest