Exodus 32:7-8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, Get thee down; for thy people, which though broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them.
A German philosopher many years ago said that the more a man has in his own heart, the less he will require from the outside; excessive need for support from without is proof of the bankruptcy of the inner man.
If this is true, the Israelites, who in Exodus 32, built a golden calf to worship were indeed a people who suffered from spiritual bankruptcy. How quickly they turned aside from the living God to pay homage before their crass god of entertainment. If only their hearts were full with a love for God and His ways! Then they would have never turned aside to what would never satisfy.
The god of entertainment is still thriving, giving evidence to the fact that the inner life of our present culture is in serious decline. For there are millions who cannot live without amusement; life without some form of entertainment for them is simply unbearable, and daily hanker for the blessed relief of entertainment in whatever form they can get.
There are without a doubt harmless forms of entertainment in this life that are healthy and profitable; a way to provide relaxation for the tired body and refreshment for the exhausted mind. But the addictive nature of entertainment should be a warning as to the limitations that need to be placed upon it. The all-out devotion to entertainment as a major activity for which and by which people live is something to be both feared and avoided.
The abuse of any harmless thing is the essence of sin. And the multi-million dollar business of keeping people amused is a real and growing threat to the state of our souls. It seems to be that the god of entertainment has grown into a religion which holds its devotees with a strange fascination, not unlike the worship of the golden calf in antiquity that held the Israelites spellbound. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun, is there (Ecclesiastes 2:11)?
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
What is most grievous is when the god of entertainment is given access and free reign in the Church. It can be understood why a man or woman whose heart has not been made new by the saving work of the LORD, gives themselves over to this lesser god. But in the LORD’s people, who are to be filled with the fullness of God? Can the light and darkness be in fellowship together? Surely not.
For centuries the Church stood firmly against worldly forms of entertainment, seeing them as a pervasive and pernicious means for diverting a person from moral accountability and a distraction from pursuing Christ. However, appearing to have decided that the church cannot conquer the god of entertainment, she has joined forces with it. We are hard pressed to find a fellowship nowadays that doesn’t offer an impressive light show, worldly music, large screens with video clips to entertain, a paraphernalia of extra activities and entertaining sermons full of amusing stories. Perhaps I am being too cynical, but finding a church service built on the foundations of scripture and the doctrine of the church is becoming very difficult. Religious entertainment is crowding out the serious things of God.
This is the time when mature saints who take God’s Word as the true Gospel and have staunchly chosen not to compromise their Christian journey, are most needed. Yet the god of entertainment is yielding an army of weak, illiterate Christians who cave in when the pressures of life overwhelm and who often don’t know one end of the Bible from the other.
We need to not let the culture and its amusements interpret how we live out scripture, but instead let scripture interpret culture. The Bible needs to be presented in Bible dress. That is, using Bible language and Bible texts. However, today the god of entertainment, for the sake of being culturally relevant and keeping people attentive and amused, presents the Bible in cultural dress. God’s truth is molded into cultural language and cultural texts.
Psalm 145:14-15 The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
The more a man or woman of God finds contentment and satisfaction in their heart from the LORD, the less of external props he or she will need. Externals will mean nothing to that person, because they have found all they could ever truly desire. Their hope and fulfillment is in Christ alone. In a culture that has bowed low to pay respect to the god of entertainment, let’s strive to find our joy and peace in our living Savior and glorious LORD.
“Dear LORD, forgive me for substituting a lesser god for You. Help me to hunger and thirst for You alone and so to find my heart’s delight in You. May the truth of Your Word and the beauty of Your ways be enough for me. Amen.”