In the last post, “The Relevance of the Church”, we discussed how entertainment has crept into our churches and dramatically changed what a service looks like. While most churches start with the goal of submitting to the Lordship of Christ and being a living demonstration of His life, over time, it is common for churches to become the sum of the people attending. They begin to reflect the whims and preferences of those who come through the doors rather than maintaining a rigorous adherence to Biblical teaching and structure.
This means if we want to have more Christ-like churches, each of us must become more Christ-like in our lives. Don’t wish your church was better. Focus on becoming more Christ-like yourself. Our churches are obsessed with entertaining the masses because of our penchant for indulging in entertainment in our personal lives. If enough of us would take the call of Christ seriously by consuming our thoughts with Him instead of earthly pleasures and desires, our churches would once again be the light and refuge that our world needs.
With this in mind, let’s swing the spotlight from the local church to our personal habits. If entertainment has become the driving force of the church, I submit it is because entertainment has become the driving force in our lives. We don’t spend our days in pursuit of mining the depths of God’s Word, but rather in the quest to find new and more satisfying forms of entertainment. Glance back at the past week. Did you spend more time engaging with God or indulging in entertainment?
Whether it’s binge-watching Netflix or mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds, we fill our lives by indulging in entertainment. The irony of it is none of those things ever leaves us feeling satisfied. After spending hours consuming our entertainment platform of choice, the resulting feelings lean toward lethargy, depression, anger, and a general lack of happiness. The reason is we are trying to find peace, joy, and purpose in mediums that are counterfeit representations of God. They are all idols we willingly bow to and surrender endless hours of our lives. And yet, they can never satisfy us.
In contrast, studying God’s Word, spending time in prayer, listening to a solid sermon, or reading a challenging God-centered book is both refreshing and nourishing to our souls. God designed us to seek Him, and only in doing so will we ever find the rest we desire. When we seek the things of God, our desire to be entertained by the things of this world will fade away.
If you constantly indulge in entertainment, you will never grow in your faith. In fact, if you desire the things of the world more than the things of God, you probably do not have true faith in God (1 John 2:15). If you believe Jesus is who He says He is and submit to Him as the Lord He is, your desire will be for Him. I’m not saying all entertainment is wrong because it isn’t. God gifts us with the creativity and talent to entertain and with the emotions to be entertained. All good things are from God. But Satan always takes what the Lord intends for good and twists it so he can use it for evil.
When our time with God becomes subservient to anything else, we are practicing idolatry and refusing the Lordship of Christ. Before indulging in entertainment, sports, activities, or even hanging out with friends, always ask, “Is what I’m about to do consistent with living as a disciple of Jesus?” If the answer is “no”, then why would we ever want to engage in such activity? Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:31-33). If we do, our lives will be full of His peace and love. We will no longer desire the things of this world. Stop indulging in entertainment and immerse yourself in the far richer and more satisfying gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.