Months ago I was approached by a user on Tumblr asking about the church’s stance on things like enjoying materials items like iPods, Disney movies, cute animals etc. The list went on. Unfortunately she had come into contact with a Christian who was almost damning people to hell if they partook in this activities. Below is an edited version of the response I gave.
Items like iPods and TVs don’t need to be rid of unless they are idolised. It is important to remember not to idolise these things over God. First commandment, You shall have no other gods. That’s pretty simple, so long as you appreciate God and give yourself to God more than anything else it’s not something to waste your life worrying over. If you are worried, then God is there for guidance and knowledge, knock and the door will be opened. Honestly, if we were to get rid of our iPods then we should probably get rid of our WordPresses, Facebooks, Tumblrs, and our computer and our calculator and our radio. Do you understand that logic? It doesn’t work. Just make sure, it’s not the centre of your life, or say if you were to lose that object, you will not act as if someone just died. All these things are blessings from God. We must be thankful to Him for these tools and gifts!
It is correct that we are told to take up our own cross, which usually includes us making sacrifices. Putting off our worldy ways for the path fo Jesus. Luke 9:23 “And he said to all, “If anyone comes after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” However we don’t need to give up technological things or movies that may even help us on our journey.
We all need to understand that we, the Kingdom of God are IN the world, but because we are born again through Jesus Christ we are not OF the world. For more on the Kingdom of God, read here https://yahwehnature.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/living-the-kingdom-of-god/
Until Jesus comes again, we cannot help the fact that we are living IN a world of sin. But as followers of Christ, we yearn for home with God eternally. We’re not of this world, we’re of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God, for God.
The Tumblr user also had concerns because the other Christian said she should be sorry she’s partaking in such activities. My response to that remark is that technically we all should feel sorry, including them, because we are all born into sin. After Adam and Eve sinned, their blood line was cursed with sin (also see Psalm 51:5).
It is true that our lives should be transformed (Philippians 1:21). It can be instant or gradual. Mine is gradual. I didn’t really start learning about Jesus properly until 2009, my life began to transform in 2010, but I lost my faith in 2012, then rebooted my faith with help of friends in 2013 and until this day it has been a struggle, but within the past 6 months or so, my spirit has soared, and it is because the Holy Spirit helping me to find the desire to further become a part of Him. He’s the reason why my blog is mostly worship now.
God knows everything; that is the power of God.
Remember you are not saved by works but by Jesus’ death through faith. Our main focus should be God and how we can be an example to others in His Name, but God gave us talents and interests didn’t He? We like things. God didn’t want to create robots for His Kingdom – He made humans, each with their own talents and skills. But we must try our best to not abuse such gifts and not let ourselves deliberately choose sin over God’s Word. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 – Note: No-one can do this perfectly, that’s why Jesus was sent, so all the bad things, whether internal (ourselves) or external (other people, weather etc.) could be given to Him and through the Holy Spirit He in return gives us peace, wisdom, strength etc.
If you continue to repent to the Father (try to make it daily), give thanks to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and guide you onto the path which He made for you, then you are more than likely a part of His Kingdom. I am not God… but in “theory” our faith is that you would most likely end up in Heaven, unless you betray God. “…But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33) It is by His Grace you are saved, not by works, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Also God doesn’t hate humans, He hates Satan (sin).
In regards to secular media, it can be educational for basic life things. It could be a show how to paint a picture, it could be a show with maybe bad themes but it can teach us clearly not to get involved in those things. Does that make sense? As soon as you thank God, you are in a way, glorifying the Lord. And it is okay to worship God on your own also. “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6). This verse also helps understand that God likes us to be humble, but also that whatever you do by yourself He can see and He accepts it. One night I was watching TV and I saw an anti-abortion ad come on, I don’t know if it was a Christian organisation but I praised the Lord, nonetheless.
Sometimes the secular philosophy which is displayed in tv shows and films can be a distraction but without such advancement we wouldn’t be able to make Christian movies, which the biggest one yet is probably God’s Not Dead. Praise the Lord for that creation.
Here is a prayer if anyone struggles with understanding this topic.
Please forgive me for any wrongs I may have done being aware of it or not,
I am truly sorry and I want to further share your Word,
Thank you Lord, for giving us your Son to give us Your ultimate Word and blessings so that we may be saved forever,
Thank you for blessing us with such talents, food, people, technology and medicine which help us benefit our day-to day lives,
But also Lord do not let myself and others forget that these things would not be possible without You, and please bless these things so that Your Word may resonate through them,
I ask you Lord to take control of my life and put me on the path which you have created for me,
Direct me to further understand who you are, and Holy Spirit please help me and give me wisdom.
Thank you Jesus for all that you’ve sacrificed.
May the Lord keep you and bless you