The Happiest People!

Brief Bible Course for Teens and Youth.

Lesson 14: Entertainment VS. Education: 

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Memory Verse: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8.

This Lesson has been gathered from various sources and really is for parents as well as for young people. We will start with a dictionary study. There are some interesting words in our language that when you really break them down and look at their parts and origins, can tell us some shocking facts.

The word, Education is from Educate: Late Middle English from Latin educat- ‘led out’, from the verb educare, related to educere ‘lead out’ (see educe) Educe: formal, Bring out or develop (something latent or potential). So we can see that to educate means a type of worth-while and practical training, a ‘leading out’ into good paths, a process of receiving or giving systematic instruction,

Entertainment: The action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment. Here we see another interesting word: ‘Amusement’. What does it tell us? Well to ‘muse’ means to think about and meditate on something,
to be absorbed in thought. Say to oneself in a thoughtful manner; or Gaze thoughtfully at something. We can see it is using the mind in a beneficial way. But when we add the ‘a’ to it, this means the opposite, not thoughtful.

Let’s explore this further: A-muse-ment: The state or experience of finding something funny. The provision or enjoyment of entertainment. Early 17th century (in the sense ‘musing, diversion of the attention’): from French, from the verb amuser (see amuse).

Amuse: Cause (someone) to find something funny. Late 15th century (in the sense ‘delude, deceive’): from Old French amuser ‘entertain, deceive’, from a- (expressing causal effect) + muser ‘stare stupidly’. Current senses date from the mid 17th century.

Oh, oh! Is this what we want to be spending our time on? Something that comes from the idea “to deceive or stare stupidly”? I don’t think so, do you? But if you have ever sat and watched people as they watch TV, a video or movie without you watching it also, you will sure see people ‘staring stupidly’. 

A teacher of fourth graders asked her students to do a composition of whatever they wished to ask God to do for them. Later in the evening, as the teacher was correcting their homework, she came upon a composition which made her stop and weep. Her husband who was just coming in from work, saw her crying, and asked what happened? And she answered, “Read this, it is a composition from one of my students.”

It read: ”Dear Lord, tonight i want to ask You something very special: please transform me into a television set. I want to occupy its place. To live my life just like the TV at my house.  To have a special place for myself, to gather my family around me...To be taken seriously when i speak...I want to be the center of attention, to be listened to with no interruptions or questions. I want to receive the same special care that our TV set receives when it doesn’t work. And to enjoy my dad’s company when he comes home, even when he is tired. And that my mother asks my company when she is alone and bored, instead of ignoring me. And also that my brothers and sisters fight for my company...I wish that sometimes my family wishes to spend a few moments with me. And to finish, help me to be able to make them enjoy my company. Lord, I’m not asking you a lot...i just want to live my life just like any television set."

After reading the composition, the husband commented: "Oh My; the poor child! And what awful parents!" The wife looked at him and answered: This composition was written by our son.

This reflects a little what TV and related ‘a-muse-ments’ have done in our society.

The Main Educator: “Better sacrifice any and every worldly consideration than to imperil the precious souls committed to your care. They will be assailed by temptations and should be taught to meet them; but it is your duty to cut off every influence, to break up every habit, to sunder every tie, that keeps you from the most free, open, and hearty committal of yourselves and your family to God.”  Adventist Home 138 

There is a little box with a bright-shiny eye that all too often is the main educator of our children, both at home and in the Day-Care centers where too often we shove them. Although this reference was given regarding the dangers of raising our children in the cities; it also would certainly refer to bringing the evils and distractions of the wicked world right into our living rooms! The average child has more one-to-one involvement with the television set than he has with his parents, teachers, or anyone else!

The average preschooler in America watches 27 hours of television a week. What do you think they are viewing? Most of it is not educational films about animals and birds. Whether in cartoons or motion pictures, they frequently see violence more often than anything else. According to educational research, that is what they have been trained to prefer. What else is as emotionally stimulating? They get more of a kick out of it than anything else. For the conditioned child, it is more fun. Their very ideas of what is right and proper in moral values are laid down more by this source than any other.

The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded its report on the baleful influence of TV on violence, with this comment:

“The introduction of television in the 1950s caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually. If, hypothetically, television technology had never been developed, there would today be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in the United States, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious assaults.” JAMA, June 10, 1992.

Salvage your mind as well as your children’s mind; act quickly, throw the garbage box out of the house! Cart it off to the dump. Unplugging the television and junking it will make yours a far better home. Unfortunately, there will still be someone down the street who did not turn off theirs, so their child will soon be out looking for someone to shoot at. This is one of many reasons why it is a blessing to situate the home in the country or a remote area.

Does TV help you Unwind or Unravel? After a long day at school or at work, do you ever feel like rolling up the sidewalk, turning on the TV, and just “forgetting” about your troubles? It works.  But watch out—you may forget more than you bargained for!  Instead of “unwinding” you may actually be “unraveling!”

Dementia is the clinical term used to describe an “irrecoverable deteriorative mental state.”  There are a number of forms of dementia, and various causes.  Mental deterioration can occur as a result of alcohol consumption, certain diseases or drugs, a high fat diet, inactivity, or chronic stress, to name a few.  Now medical researchers are turning their attention to the possibility of excessively television watching as a significant contributing factor in the development of senility.

Why? TV spectators are exposed to a mass of successive, rapid stimuli with little or no possibility of rationally processing what they are watching.  In addition, much of what they see tends to be stress producing.  Stress causes a biochemical response in the brain. It stimulates the production of gluco-cortico-steriods, an adrenal hormone, which in large amounts can actually damage the delicate nerve fibers in the hippocampus portion of the brain. And it is this area that is responsible for short-term memory storage. Clinicians are now being advised to inquire into suspected dementia patients’ television viewing habits as a possible factor in the development of the disease. One study suggested that viewing TV four hours a day or more may induce stress-related damage to the brain. Quoted from Vicki Griffin in Inside Report; October 1995

A Minister shares the following: Christians' Pet Sin: What is it? Gambling? Liquor, white collar crime, sexual immorality? No. It is the use of television.

What began as a scientific breakthrough in the late 40's with the promise of much good for mankind, has now been used of Satan as an insidious purveyor of filth, obscenity, perversion, violence, and false ideologies.

The proliferation of television sets in America has become widespread. Now one could pass by even the poorest of welfare recipients any night of the week, and see the flickering of the TV through the window. He would be undoubtedly watching his favorite filth in living color in the same way as the wealthy. One may do without a telephone or an automobile, but to be without a television would be unthinkable! Many homes have several sets to have more convenient access to their favorite sin.

How can it be called a favorite or pet sin? The average television watcher now sits entranced for 7.2 hours per day enjoying his lust, violence, or perversion of all that is right and decent. If one's favorite activity would be measured by what he does voluntarily, by choice, and by length of time involved; watching television is the clear winner.

Bible Christianity has distinctives. Bible Christians are commanded by Scripture to not love the world, or the things in the world (I John 2:15), to be uncontaminated by the world around us (2 Peter 3:14), to live holy lives (1 Peter 1:15) to abstain from fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11), to abstain from even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Believers are to jealously guard their thought life to ensure it is approved of God (Philippians 4:8), bringing captive every thought into obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Television also has distinctives and they are vigorously contrary to the above. Producers and sponsors attempt to out-do competitor’s shows with profanity, blasphemy, obscenity, violence, loose, low-life living, nudity, perversion and so on. This should not be surprising. As a group, the moguls of the television industry are among the most unbelieving, unchurched, blasphemous, anti-God infidels of professional groups. If they want to live this way, well and good; it is their choice. However, you and I both know that their life-style and ideas will creep into and become a part of their TV productions. Our Savior has said whatever is in our heart will come out in our life-style.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:15-20.

These actors, producers, directors and sponsors are regularly spewing out filthy productions that are wholly consistent with their evil hearts. To put it another way, we will not get clean, decent, moral, character-building television programming from bad people.

Christians do not indulge in Hollywood cesspool movies, rock music, drug parties, wife-swapping, sodomite steam baths, mixed swimming, nude shows, prostitutes, etc. They shun these wicked pleasures of the world, nor would they allow their children to participate in this wickedness. Yet in the privacy of Christian homes all of the above evil practices are on TV in full color, extolled; held up as proper and acceptable behavior and encouraged.

Bible Christianity on the other hand is mocked, scorned and made an object of derision. Even the so-called good shows attack Bible values. The news programming has a palpable slant to the point one could wonder if Satan sometimes prepares the newscasts. The time-wasting sports keep countless Christians out of church and many others from Bible reading, family altar and prayer. One looks in vain to discover redeeming features of this medium of mass media that has become so wicked that it is so thoroughly enjoyed by the world and now has become the pet sin of Christians

Fathers, Honestly now, after having watched your favorite TV show, did you rise, stretch and remark, "this has made me a better Christian", or "I am closer to God after having watched that." Have you noticed your children developing more of an interest in the Bible; witnessing and standing alone for Christ after the steady diet of television you have permitted them to watch? What would Christ say if He were to watch TV over your shoulder as you enjoy your favorite broadcasts? What is your son thinking as he watches naked women? What are you thinking? What Bible values and moral character are being taught and reinforced in your family as you watch? Has it stimulated you to join those who go calling at your church? Honest answers to these questions ought to convince you of the utter failure on your part of controlling and censoring your pet sin!

Television is a modern-day river of filth with several tributaries (channels). A man wrote: “I look after a home for troubled teen-aged girls. These girls tell me they have formed their values, made life decisions and goals based on this river of filth. Ever wonder about its lasting effects? Our girls do not have access to TV; yet a year later they discuss shows they have seen, as if they saw them yesterday! We would not fill our stomachs from a sewer, yet we are filling our mind, heart and soul from one, and giving our children a hearty appetite for more.”

Dad, all of the terrible moral and spiritual devastation from TV occurring in your life and in your family is your fault! You see, you are God’s prophet, priest and king in your home. He will hold you responsible as the head of the family. You are the protector of your family against evil influences; and how in God s name, and based on the Bible, can you say you are protecting them from evil influences when you allow the TV sewer to freely run in your home?

Some men say, "if I get rid of my set, there would be World War III with my wife." I know. Since you have allowed this evil in your home, she is probably hooked on the soaps and other choice tidbits of moral sewage. You will also face a battle with the kids, since they are similarly hooked on the violence-filled, immoral cartoons. This is not to mention your friends and relatives who would believe you to be a weirdo, a kook, and that you would be depriving your family. Why, in order for you to get rid of your set, you would have to be a man!

If you keep the TV sewer in your home, do not expect a pleasant time at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). Tolerating this sin and even enjoying it calls into serious question your faithfulness to Christ and stewardship.

You are introducing confusion in the hearts and minds of your children by having TV in your home. TV does not agree with the authority and truth to which a child ought to be exposed in a Bible-believing home. In fact, the basic message of TV is hostile to the truths conveyed by faithful Bible preachers, Sabbath School teachers, Christian School teachers and which ought to be conveyed by believing parents.

Every teaching model, (TV characters are strong, polished and compelling models) your child has, ought to be in basic moral agreement on values. To have the home, school and church proclaiming one set of values to the child, while your TV set vigorously and effectively teaches another, is to cause confusion of the first order. This is not only unwise, it is foolhardy. Ask yourself, do your children emulate and venerate the stars on TV, or their Preacher and Sabbath School Teacher? Are they accepting and learning the barnyard morality of TV or the morality of Scripture? Are they praising a longhaired sports hero who desecrates the Sabbath when he plays, or are they avidly sharing the details of a 19th century missionary about whom they have just read? Who is winning the battle for your child's heart? Why should you even allow this battle for their soul and confusion in their minds by using a TV set?

A parent must never allow influences in the life of his child that do not reinforce and strengthen his Bible-based convictions. In fact, to allow such influences in his own life is presumptuous sin on the part of the parent.

If you are one of the many carnal believers using a TV set in your home, I must warn you about the consequences of your sin. God has told us whatever we sow, we will reap (Galatians 6:7-8). A crop takes time to grow, but reaping time (judgment) will always come. You will pay for your sin in your own life and the life of your children and grandchildren. This is not to mention what you will face at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

A PhD candidate may concentrate 2,000 hours to earn his doctorate in a particular field of study. Count up your family's average viewing time to see how long it took you to obtain your PhD in filth. I daresay, many carnal Christians have earned several doctorates in filth!

Anyone owning and watching TV is not seriously interested in personal revival. Such an individual, though he be called a Christian, is not actively seeking holiness of life. The facts are, he is a dirty compromiser like Lot: wanting to be called a Pilgrim, trying to act like one, yet pitching his tent toward Sodom, and then actually moving into town. He has a pet sin and is not willing to give it up!

Remember this, my friend, your controversy is not with me, it is with a Holy God. A thrice-Holy God still calls sin, SIN! While you (through your pet sin of TV), are saying in effect a little bit of sin is OK. We expect the unbelieving world to sit enthralled at the fleshpots of the TV sewer, but for Christians it is especially wicked and evil. It is not helping you to grow in grace and if you are honest, you will admit it.

I pray some Christians who read this will be willing to give up their pet sin. Young people, what will you choose to do?

Let’s now take a look at the popular music that surrounds us these days. Music is another media that begins to have an effect in a very few moments after listening. It by-passes your conscience and goes onto your brain and you store that stuff and it begins to influence you.

In the culture of the western word, we seem to be surrounded by the popular classes of music whether we choose to be or not. As I was shopping in a food store the other day I found the sounds and words of the background music to be very distasteful to the point of distressing. I began to think about just what the subject matter of these popular songs is all about—and I would have to say that most of them, if not all of them, are centered on some kind of sin.

Have you ever seen someone hypnotized before? Perhaps at a party, and before you know it the right keywords said over and over again under certain circumstances, and you will have this seemingly bright and intelligent person doing all of these wacky and strange things. Later on these people have no memory of doing such things or why they did them.

So ask yourself if music used special tones, frequencies, along with key words and phrases repeated over and over again, it could imbed itself into a person’s subconscious only to have them act out certain things in their lives that one would say is toxic or not healthy, and yet think that what they are doing is normal and right?

Music is a form of addiction and it is not easy to give up. It is a drug for the mind. I hear young people say today, “Oh, what’s wrong with music? It is just a matter of your taste, or your preference.” Not so, friends; it’s not preference and it is not taste; there is a very real and scientifically measurable effect on the brain even in animals.

But there is a supernatural element in these heavy beat types of music that we need to be aware of. If you get on enough drugs and you are in a room full of that kind of music, and there comes a point where you can actually begin to see the demons that are in that music. They are imbedded into that stuff and they are there in the room; you can see them and they become part of your experience.

The old time hymns like Amazing Grace and the Old Rugged Cross is where you can have peace in your heart and hear what the Lord says to you.

Friends, it is all a battle for your mind. Satan doesn’t care about your body, but he will sure use your body and its wishes, to destroy your mind. I believe that God wants us to take the very best care of our bodies that we can, so we can take the very best care of our minds, so God can use those minds to save us and to save other people.

STORY: The following story was told by Roger Morneau, about a lady that was brought to see him by her husband as she had serious mental and spiritual problems, even at times including demon oppression. They prayed together for her and she had some results but the problems still hung on in her life after they returned to their own country. She had some improvement but no real victory.

Roger began to consider what could be getting in the way of her having full victory in the Lord. Then he recalled that the lady always had a portable music player with her with earplugs in her ears all the time, wherever she went, even when she had come to see him. So he asked the husband if the lady was listening to popular rock music. He said she was, and he had tried to talk with her about giving this up but she would not hear of it. Roger suggested that perhaps this could very likely be the reason why she was not getting free of her problems. Sadly, she would not believe it could be a problem and refused to give it up.

Time passed and they kept praying for the lady, but with few results. Then one day he got a call from the husband and he told a most harrowing story. The demon oppression had been getting stronger but still the lady clung to her rock music. Then one morning he heard screams from the bathroom and when he entered he saw his wife down on the floor and something invisible had hold of her hair and was bashing her head on the tile floor, already she was bruised and bleeding! The husband cried out to God to please stop the demonic attack and save his wife, and right away the attack stopped, leaving her injured and badly shaken but still alive by the grace of God.

Then the woman finally admitted and realized beyond any doubt, that the rock music habit she was clinging to had almost cost her life and she cut it off and got rid of anything to do with it. After that all the former problems melted away as she formed a true and honest relationship with her Savior Jesus Christ.

Friends, please don’t ever think that the battle going on in this world for the minds of men is just some made up story. It is very real, and although we don’t always see something as dramatically physical as what happened in that case, it is still real and the aim of the powers of darkness is to destroy us one way or another. If we like Satan’s stuff, and hang on to it, and excuse it, whether it is music, movies, TV programs, reading fictional stories, or various computer and video games, Satan has a wide open door to access our minds, and none of us alone are any match for even the weakest of his angel spirits! Without Jesus’ full protection, it is only a matter of time and we will lose the fight. We may go on living, but we will lose the eternal life that Jesus wants so much for us to have.

Never forget that music was Satan’s occupation in heaven, he was the leader of the heavenly choir before he fell. Is it possible that Satan has brought his music even into the church? Oh yes, sad to say that has been happening for a long while now!

Here are some facts reported by Dr Rueben Gonzales in his study on the History of Rock Music. “Rock music has been specifically engineered to break up families and to ruin society. Not only does it destroy everything that is respectable and good but it also physically destroys those exposed to it, it drives them insane, makes them emotionally unstable and causes brain damage. . .

“How can something so evil so perverse be brought into the church? We think that we can somehow baptize rock music and make it acceptable. How can music which we know will strengthen the carnal passions be brought into the church and be used by it? How is it that we won’t drink coffee because it harms us yet we listen to music which depraves and destroys in us not only our bodies and minds, but the desire for everything pure and holy? How is it that we allow paganism a place on the rostrum, and feast our souls on sex.”

This writer saw a documentary film once, showing how wolves would go about catching young buffalo calves. The only way they could get them was by somehow luring them away from their mother’s side. One of the wolves would dash up to the calf jumping and playing and wagging its tail, pretending to want to play with the baby calf. Then it would run a short distance inviting to calf to chase after it. Then gradually try to lure the calf further and further from its safety zone near its mother.

Now if the mother was alert, this trick never worked, as she would call the calf back or make a run at the wolf herself, showing what she could do with her horns and hoofs if he kept after her calf. But sometimes the mom was inexperienced, or careless, and not paying close attention, and the calf would get lured further and farther away until all at once other wolves joined in and they rushed after the calf. Suddenly realizing this was no game, the calf cried out and ran towards its mother. Sometimes he made it, as the mother ran towards him scattering the wolves in all directions, but if they had lured him far enough away, there was no saving the calf.

That is the problem with us humans, especially when we are young; we think of these things as harmless fun, and do not realize how we are being led away from safety into the devil’s playground. It’s time for God’s sheep to wake up and realize that if a wolf wants to play with you, you better not believe it is only harmless fun!

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