The End of Entertainment

I have always felt that people who wanted to be entertained were aiming entirely at too low a target. It is simple to be entertained. I can watch a screensaver and be entertained. I can flip a pencil and be entertained. I can watch people at a park and be entertained. Why is this a noble goal? Entertainment is simply what happens when you have a moment or two and nothing else to do; it suits no innate need, as far as I can tell. Whither this desire to be entertained?

I think too many people want to escape their lives, and so they seek anything, anything to distract them from their problems. They surrender all constraints upon what crosses their eyes or enters their ears, or what their hands find doing. This is moral suicide, for when you do not care what you experience, you will be lead away by those who do. Do you think that this entertainment you hunger for was created in a night? Oh no. It takes time to create movies, TV shows, songs, games, and you better believe that the people who did so cared about it. If they cared about it, you better believe that these things are imprinted with their worldviews. So what those hungry for entertainment are saying is, “I don’t care the worldview of whatever I experience! Just give it to me and give it to me now!” Inevitably, they will regret their choices, especially if this continues for many years and when the poison secreted by their choices seeps into their bones. It is long after people have absorbed much poison, when they start to operate under its effects, that the self-damage starts.

That is why I have no need of entertainment. I have much need of edification. I have a desire to experience other worlds, other lives, and to see things not of my own existence. However, I will not trade the truth for anything.

Only children, and those who are not self-aware hunger for entertainment at all costs. I know a guy who religiously reads the Game of Thrones series. He is somewhat flummoxed at my wife’s resistance and my utter non interest. He does not understand that we both have already evaluated the story and found it to be non-edifying. Yet he, as a grown man, does not understand the moral lens which is employed at all times and in all things. Christocentros. Jesus is the center of all, in every breath I take and every choice I make. This is not constricting; this is liberating, for His spirit will rightly guide me and save me from wasting time and from absorbing poison into my bones through befriending the things of this world, and many more benefits besides.

Too many Christians are worldlings. They are consumed or at least shaded by the culture around them, and they fear being left out, being unhip, being too easily identified as one of those Jesus freaks. They are unwilling to pay the cost of social ostricization. They are unwilling to stand up. They want easy, comfortable lives, far away from all hard decisions, far away from the picket lines and economic self-restraint. They are people whom the redeemed cannot count as allies, but these same people will be willing to publicly capitalize on the successes that we bring (such as medicine, ending slavery, and so on). I pity them, for they have a form of godliness, but have shorn it of all power. And they will live distracted lives, until the time comes for their life to end, and they will only then understand, two seconds to live, that they will not be taken up in the arms of Christ. That is when they will hear the most terrifying words ever uttered, “Away from me. I never knew you.”

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