September 21, 2007


See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
--Colossians 2:8

The Fall television season starts in earnest next week. I usually get pretty excited this time of year, because I'm anxious to see what new entertainment lies ahead. This year, I'm a little nervous. Back in June, I made a commitment to the Lord that I would not watch two television shows. Through the summer, when they were re-runs, it was pretty easy. I'm praying that I can remain faithful and obedient in this, because I don't want fall prey to the "basic principles of this world" -- greed, s*x, violence...just to name a few. Putting that junk in my head desensitizes me to it, and shifts my focus from the Lord.

Still, it's not only the blatant sins of the world that we need to be cautious about. We also need to be on the lookout for those philosophies that sneak up on us when we least expect it, that come from seemingly harmless (maybe even Christian) sources.

Paul's warning cast light on a recent incident, and reminded me that we must always be on guard.

A Christian blogger linked to something that had spoken to her heart. I followed the link, and read it. The writer was facing a struggle most women face, and I agreed wholeheartedly. Afterwards, I looked at the author's profile to learn more. The author seemed incredibly bright, witty and charming. I thought I found a brother/sister in Christ. Reading the profile, I was surprised to find that I had not. I wrongfully assumed that because a Christian blogger linked to this piece, the author is also a Christian.

Hear my heart. I'm not...I repeat, NOT...making a statement about reading pieces written by unbelievers. There was nothing harmful or offensive in this particular link, nothing that pointed away from Jesus.

That's my point.

Just as I was wrong to assume someone is a Christian (and don't we all?), we can believe something is of Christ and immediately go in that direction. We forget that S*tan is crafty enough to disguise the principles of this world to look like God's. Something can look Godly and even sound Godly, and still not be genuine. The author apparently is a member of a religion that the world may consider Christian, but most decidedly is not.

My pastor recently again shared that he is responsible to God for what he teaches the flock, but WE are responsible to not just take his word for it. We must check behind him and make absolute certain that what he says is Biblically accurate. As a Sunday School teacher and as a blogger, I tell you the same thing. Even if we feel we are relying on a trusted source, we must look at The Source to see if it lines up with Scripture.

We risk danger otherwise.

Soon the mice in the field behind me will start heading to my house for shelter. We'll set out traps, lining them with cheese or peanut butter. A mouse will think he's found some food, and eagerly run toward it. SNAP! The trap shuts before he knows what hit him.

I don't want to make that same mistake.


Kate said...

I've been in the book of John where the pharisees are predominate figures. They sought holiness through separating themselves from the culture. But Jesus says the truth will set us free. This is how we are to live in the culture, just like you explain here. KNOW THE TRUTH. When we do, we can walk unscathed through a culture with countless snares. We don't have to be separate to be set apart by truth.


Heather C said...

You are so right! Satan masquerades as an angel of light and we need to be ever vigilant in taking a stand for truth. The more we stay in the Word, the better able we are to spot a lie, even when it's cleverly disguised. Thanks for the reminder to be on guard at all times... I love your heart!

Alana said...

When I was in High School I watched A LOT of TV. And when I went off to college I stopped watching it

1) because I didn't have a TV in my room.
2) because I didn't have time.

I was amazed by the change in my thought life.

Sometimes even Christian authors venture from the truth. Not just in blog writing, but in book writing, etc. It is always good to check scripture references because things can be taken out of context. Also, to be mindful of books who don't use any scripture references at all. Many times they are based on truth, but at times they are not.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Thank you for this. It is so true that we need to look at EVERYTHING we encounter in the light of scripture!

I too was convicted at what was filling my mind from my TV last year.

Thanks Melissa.

Katy said...

I totally agree with you!!! So true! Thank you for this blog! :)

nancygrayce said...

Our preacher said the exact same thing last Sunday! He has said this before and it always strikes a note in my heart. We are responsible for knowing what God says through His Word! I came over through someone else's blog and have enjoyed reading yours.

Karla Porter Archer said...

this is so well written.

we must always pray for discernment.


Lisa Spence said...

May God grant you strength to stand strong in your conviction. May we all seek His discernment and be courageous enough to let go of those things He asks of us!