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Grace Energized Men Are Reverent – Getting Serious About God in An Amused World

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100207AM EBG-05 Reverent

Grace Energized Men Are Reverent:

 Getting Serious About God in

An Amused World

Titus 2:2b

 

God has explained the pathway to being highly useful to Him in the 24 words of Titus 2. God through His Word says that the second key ingredient is: a chosen way of life He defines as REVERENT.

 

Are you reverent today? Reverence is a mind and will that has learned to feel the “weight” of God in every part of our life and activities.

 

The word “glory” as in the “Glory of God”, is found in the Old Testament more than 360x. This Hebrew word translated into English as “glory” is actually the Hebrew word for “heaviness”[1]. The God of the Universe is so inexpressibly great; and those who reverence Him feel the weight of His holiness and His glory.

 

God is looking for believers who will revere Him, reverence Him, and live a life that shows the glory or weightiness of God touching and affecting every part of their life.

 

As you open to Titus 2, we are in the midst of an intense study of what God wants in men. In v.2, God starts with the older (50+ year old men) and gives them six indicators of the spiritual maturity He wants and uses. These six choices are possible when we ask, and surrender to God’s grace. That surrendered obedience is called a grace-energized life.

 

God asks men who want to serve Him to be reverent. God wants men who are serious enough about God to do what pleases Him and abstain from what does not please Him. As we see the Word of God is clear, the Lord has revealed His desires, there is no mystery about what he expects. Our God wants us to:

 

Feel the

Weight of His Glory

 

These verses put the rest of our lives into sharp focus, because God knows how strong the world, the flesh, and the devil can be—He offers his pathway to maximize the rapidly passing days of our lives.

 

How can godly men keep from wasting the most precious years of life? By grabbing onto the grace-energized changes God wants to make inside of you, so that you will be the man He can use to maximize His Kingdom, purposes and plan for this world!

 

Titus 2:2 “Teach the older men to be sober, reverent…”

 

We saw last time that God asks men to choose to obey Him by:

 

MAINTAINING A BALANCED LIFE IN AN OBSESSIVE-COMPLUSIVE WORLD v. 2a “sober”, “sober minded”, or “temperate” is the Greek word nephalious which declares that:

 

These sober or balanced men are to model the life God wants for younger men.

 

They challenge the younger men to abandon the temptations of youth such as reckless living, impatience in decision-making, thoughtless communication, and the unreliability that often characterizes young people. In other words, for them to maintain a life balanced by God’s Word in an unbalanced world.

 

Then we find the second quality in v.2 which is the word “reverent” (NKJV) “grave” (KJV), “worthy of respect” (NIV), and “dignified” (ESV, NAS). This word communicates the sense of…

 

GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT GOD IN AN AMUSED WORLD v.2b “reverent” is the word semnous, which means God asks men to Stay Serious About God In An Amused World.

 

This is a call from God for older men to feel the weight of a Holy God in every part of their lives. These men choose to think deeply about God in an amused, shallow-thinking culture. These men never trivialize what God says is important; and live a life that doesn’t ignore God. A reverent man won’t laugh at others troubles, nor mock their weaknesses. To reverent men: life is real, pain is serious, and time with people is important.

 

The long term impact of a reverent life is a habit of never being entertained by sensuality, always being offended by vulgarity, and never treating God’s Word superficially.

 

Reverent men are highly useful to God because they apply on a daily basis the truths of: the brevity of life, the gravity of God’s Word, and the reality of eternity. In II Timothy 3, Paul has already outlined the habit that reverent men cultivate: a constant awareness that there are…

 

Dangerous Distractions

Godly Men Avoid

 

As we turn to II Timothy 3, we will see that God’s plan for all of us is to be reverently living a grace-energized life in a sin-energized world. And here is the reason why—God has said that the “last days” in which we live, are terribly distracting days to live through for Him.

 

Please turn with me to the world that doesn’t respond to the glory of God, that doesn’t feel the weight of God upon their daily decisions. As we stand, here is the culture God warns us to never get used to and become like:

 

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away (present middle imperative)! NKJV

 

(My paraphrase): The end of days will be increasingly filled with people who are: totally self-absorbed, constantly money-loving, shamelessly self-promoters, contemptuous of authorities, evil-speaking, disregarding their parents, thankless, shameless in their desires, affectionless, irreconcilable when hurt, their tongues used by the Devil, enslaved to their growing lusts, savage in their hurtful rage, good-hating, traitorous, maniacal, inflated by pride, self-worshipping, and empty-hearted—beware and keep yourself away from them!

 

Pray

 

The world at the end of days is a very unsafe place to live. God described to Paul the end result of people who do not take God’s Word seriously: they become completely wrapped up in self. They disregard everything God says is important and turn away from Him into sensuality and rebellion. They destroy everyone in their way, live superficially, and are consumed with self-loving pleasures.

 

For centuries the church has bred deep-thinking, self-sacrificing men who led the way in the home, at work, and in ministry. But that breed of godly, reverent men is endangered species. What has decimated the reverent men of the church? What spiritual enemy has sapped the church of its mighty men? The answer is what I like to call:

 

The Great

Neutralizer

 

I have been teaching God’s Word for over 30 years. I have watched those I teach over these years struggle with the effects of “the great neutralizer.” When they depart from a Bible study, fellowship, class, or worship service, they come under the influence of the single most powerful mind-altering force on the planet—and often within less than half an hour, they have forgotten almost everything they had just learned.

What is that mind-altering force? The images and powerful messages of today’s powerful visual media: movies, television, MTV, video gaming, and the internet!

 

New York University professor Neil Postman (1931-2003), author of Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), once reported that those who are now our current generation of college graduates, were exposed to a never before imagined, vast amount of media between their ages of six and eighteen.

 

On the average these now “twenty-something” young Americans had spent some 15,000 to 16,000 hours in front of the TV or later, the computer; whereas they had spent only 13,000 hours in school. Postman says that during the first 20 years of these millions of American’s lives, they saw over one million commercials, at the rate of about 1,000 per week![2]

 

What no one scientifically measured until then, are what is now common knowledge: Media’s effects are infamous. Postman’s book chronicles that people who frequently watch TV have the following scientifically measured mental effects:

 

  1. They experience a shortened attention span;
  2. They have a measurably reduced linguistic power; and
  3. They have a greatly limited capacity for abstraction.

 

In practical terms Postman’s research found that media saturated kids:

 

  • couldn’t listen very long to teachers and adults;
  • didn’t communicate comfortably with adults and teachers; and
  • wouldn’t entertain themselves with simple play such as playing outdoors, with low stimulation, non-electrified or video enhanced toys. They needed to be electronically amused!

 

On a spiritual level Postman’s research points to a whole generation of current young people who:

  • find it an uphill struggle to think about God;
  • which means they struggle to talk about God;
  • which means that it is an even greater struggle to think about heaven and to grow in Christ.

 

What a negative impact media has had upon an entire generation of young and older people!  In effect, because of the world saturating their minds and lives:

 

God Has Become

Weightless

 

What happens to a man whose mind is not musing (meditating) upon the greatness of God? A mind that doesn’t muse gets amused, carried along, floating with the current of the world going away from God. This doesn’t mean that a believer immediately goes against God; rather, it is a slow process of the Lord having less and less influence over the priorities of life.

 

One writer expressed this condition well as he said:

 

It is one of the defining marks of our culture that God is now weightless. 

I do not mean by this that God is ethereal, but rather that God has become unimportant.  He rests upon the world so inconsequentially as not to be noticeable.  He has lost his saliency for human life.

 

Those who assure the pollsters of their belief in God’s existence may nonetheless demonstrate by their habits and beliefs that:

 

  • God is less interesting than television,
  • God’s commands are less authoritative than their appetites for affluence and influence,
  • God’s judgments are no more awe-inspiring than the evening news, and
  • God’s truth is less compelling than the advertisers’ sweet fog of flattery and lies.

 

That is weightlessness. It is a condition we have assigned God to, after having nudged him out to the periphery of our secularized life. 

 

Weightlessness tells us nothing about God but everything about ourselves, about our condition, about our psychological disposition to exclude God from our reality[3].”

 

God becomes weightless because we are:

 

Drowning Out the

Holy Spirit’s Voice

 

God speaks to us through His Word in what the Bible describes as a ‘still small voice’.

 

God doesn’t shout, nor does He push. He whispers and waits.

 

And what affect does daily media exposure have upon minds? In one word it is: desensitization. Our culture keeps testing the waters and bringing new immoral depths to the screens of America. All the while, those who by irreverent habit are watching, are becoming desensitized. When that happens, we are headed away from God.

 

If your mind is being exposed to constant deadly spiritual viruses via digital media consider this ominous checklist:

 

  • Watch godlessness — it will callous you to not seek godliness.
  • Watch sensuality — it will defile you away from holiness.
  • Watch violence — it will desensitize you to neglect Christlikeness.
  • Watch evil — it will distance you from God.
  • Watch worldliness — it will discourage your appetite for God’s Word.
  • Watch Satan’s mind — you will forfeit Christ’s mind in you!

 

Let me affirm and repeat what the great Bible expositing pastor from Chicago named Kent Hughes wrote almost ten years ago:

 

I am aware of the wise warnings against using words like “all,” “every,” and “always” in what I say. Absolutizing one’s pronouncements is dangerous. But I’m going to do it anyway. Here it is:

 

It is impossible for any Christian who spends the bulk of his evenings, month after month, week upon week, day in and day out watching the major TV networks or contemporary videos to have a Christian mind. This is always true of all Christians in every situation!

 

A biblical mental program cannot coexist with worldly programming[4].

 

Today, choose to cultivate the mind God has willed us as His “bought with a price slaves” to have! There has never been a more crucial time for Christ’s church, because we now daily face:

 

A Tsunami

Of Sin

 

Movies continue their slide in the direction of violence, nudity, and objectionable language. Many blockbuster movies now have elements of all three. The tendency in this direction has been mainstreamed and seems to hardly elicit a yawn.

 

Children at younger and younger ages are drawn into the movie/video habit, especially with the common use of videos for baby-sitting. As parents become more overloaded, it is simply too tempting to put in a video and place the children before the set. They are well behaved and even entranced. And for busy, stressed-out, exhausted parents, there is nothing so attractive as quiet children—unless we seriously:

 

The ocean of media[5] we sail through each day is slowly seeping into our spiritual operating systems. Before our eyes in the last generation the media has changed societal thought and behavior in profound ways. Here are only a few elements we can observe from this ever-present negative spiritual influence. The following list was first published in a book written by a Christian doctor living in Florida:[6]

 

  • Regular Media makes God weightless by Resetting the Moral Shock Threshold: what used to shock and offend, no longer does.
  • Regular Media makes God weightless by Resetting the Boredom Threshold: Children who are used to watching media on a regular basis can often feel “lonely” after just a few moments of their absence.
  • Regular Media Intake Results in Addictive Behavior: In has become culturally acceptable to use media to keep kid’s attention, so that from their earliest memory children are conditioned to watch, enjoy, and want movies, music, and gaming. Because media has come to define our world, taking the media away is like having our world taken away. The absence of media makes people feel like nothing is left—because media has become so intertwined with all their relationships, comforts, enjoyments, and security.
  • Regular Media makes God weightless by Constant Exposure to Immorality: The pervasiveness of media leads to an almost unavoidable exposure to sexually explicit material at every-younger ages. Teenagers watch an average of three hours of TV per day, listen to music for an additional one to two hours, and often have access to R-rated movies and even pornography long before they are adults; and you have a potentially life-dominating influence[7].

 

So, this tsunami of sins crashes across us each day, eroding God’s Word from our lives. The result is our minds grow distant from God. Reverent minds get eroded as we are subjected to bits of evil seeping in here and there. The question every believer needs to ask is how can I start:

 

Reversing the

Erosion 

 

To be useful God wants a reverent mind and life. The only way to cultivate a reverent mind is to feel the weight of obedience to God’s command that we mortify our lusts, as Colossians 3:5, 8 tells us.

 

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. NKJV

 

To mortify means “to throttle sin and crush it in our lives, sapping it of its strength, rooting it out, and depriving it of its influence.” Mortification involves the cultivation of new habits of godliness, combined with the elimination of old sinful habits from our behavior.

 

The only way to recover from the irreverence of an eroded mind, a mind that has gotten neutralized, where evil seeps in a bit more each day, is to purse personal sanctification:

To be a Reverent Man: Abstain from Lust Building Activities

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, NKJV

 

If there are specific areas you know right now are sin, you must repent of them. Stop now!

 

Research has demonstrated that we store three trillion “videotape” images in our brain by the time we are thirty years old. But, worrisomely, we have no volitional control over selective forgetting. Once the images are there, we must then live with the consequences of that visual imprint. Realizing that the graphic content of all those PG, PG-13, and R-rated movies is now irrevocably loaded into the memory banks of our minds should give us legitimate cause for alarm[8].

To be a Reverent Man: Starve Your Flesh 

 

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. NKJV

 

Cut all supply routes. If there are magazines, videos, and so on, that are less than Christlike, destroy them. If there are avenues that defile, such as tv, cable and ungodly internet access, get rid of them. Do whatever it takes to starve the evil desires of your flesh, and those of your family. Put on Christ!

 

Have a no-television week or month. Don’t listen to the news perhaps for a week. Pray in the car instead of listening to the radio. Or simply enjoy the silence for a change. Cancel the newspaper or magazine. Create an intentional solitude[9].

To be a Reverent Man: Saturate Yourself With the Word

After you read and ponder, work on memorizing key Scriptures that can help you have greater victory over sin, and then regularly meditate upon those verses. (See Appendix A for suggestions.) Meditate day and night!

 

Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. NKJV

 

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. NKJV

 

For Further Study:

 

  1. Grace-energized Men of Reverence Look For Jesus (Colossians 3:1-2). This is a daily, purposeful, and planned focus on pleasing the Lord in all things. Start your day crying out for Christ’s help. Look on things above!

 

Colossians 3:1-2 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. NKJV

 

The huge truth we need to stop and really lay hold of this evening is that God is there all the time. The longer we meditate on this verse, the bigger the shadow looming over it becomes. That shadow is none other than the shadow of the One who made us this promise. In order to do everything this verse says, God has to actually manage onsite this project. He is not distant; He is never closer than when we are tempted!

 

It is God who towers over this passage: God is there all the time.

 

Have you allowed that truth to sink into your soul and become a part of your operating system? God has told us that He is faithful.  Whenever we think we are alone, we are not alone.  We never face the adversary, the prowling lion called the Devil—alone.

 

God has already measured and limited the attack upon us. He has already provided an escape route if we will only look for it and take it. If we were alone and facing temptation, we would be hopelessly defeated.

 

But God knows that already and so He is there. All the time. All the way. Every time. And He has the best way out marked for us. What a Mighty God we serve!

 

Pause and do something before you lose that truth.

 

  • Why not bow your head with me. Now say in your heart, “I believe You Lord that You never leave me”. Then tell Him thank you for being there with you right now.

 

  • Okay, here is the hard part. With your heart opened before Him, tell Him that the next time you are tempted (you may even want to whisper in your heart to Him the temptation you most fear and often get defeated by)—that you will look for Him.

 

  • Now, look up and say out loud with me—I WILL LOOK FOR GOD WHEN I AM TEMPTED!

 

Warren Wiersbe tells the story of a father who once told of his son’s first serious conflict at school.  His boy was being picked on by two or three bullies.  They punched the youngster a time or two, pushed him over when he was riding his bike home from school, and generally made life miserable for the lad.  They told him they would meet him the next morning and beat him up.

 

That evening the dad really worked with the boy at home.  He showed him how to defend himself, passed along a few helpful techniques, and even gave him some tips on how he might try to win them over as friends.  The next morning the lad and dad prayed together knowing that the inevitable was sure to happen.  With a reassuring embrace and a firm handshake, the father smiled confidently and said, “You can do it, Son.  I know you’ll make out all right.”

 

Choking back the tears, the boy got on his bike and began the lonely, long ride to school.  What the boy did not know was that every block he rode he was under the watchful eye of his dad…who drove his car a safe distance from his son, out of sight but ever ready to speed up and assist if the scene became too threatening.  The boy thought he was alone, but he wasn’t at all.  The father was there all the time.

 

Now fast forward to the next instant that you and I face a surge of temptation to fear, to lust, to be embittered or to lie—at that instant in even greater measure, the God of the Universe is near.

 

He is with us though often unseen.

 

He has gone ahead. He has been tempted in every way like us and triumphed.

 

He has joined us in every temptation and makes the way of victory marked and open for us.

 

Look for God! He is always faithful!

 

 

  1. Grace-energized Men of Reverence Stay in Constant Touch with God (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is the best, greatest, and most powerful way to touch your family’s lives! Pray without ceasing!

 

Pray for wisdom, and seek God’s direction for how to promote your family’s growth in Christ’s mind. Do not let another day go by without praying for your children’s minds. Plan for their purity; expose them to the right things. Read the Bible to your children, and discuss it, so they also learn how to draw practical life applications from God’s Word. It is by your walk with the Lord that you demonstrate that you love the Holy Scriptures yourself.

 

Pray for grace to stop the indiscriminate and endless watching of TV and videos, and starting systematic, prayerful reading and studying of God’s Word. We all have the time to do what is right—we simply have to make it a priority. Today, let us each choose to cultivate the mind God has willed us to have!

 

  1. Grace-energized Men of Reverence Watch out for Sin’s Power (Matthew 26:41). As Jesus said in Matthew 26:41, a Psalm 15 man is constantly vigilant—watching out for Satan’s advances! Never trust the flesh. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you! Watch and pray!

 

Evil, because of our ever present flesh, is always more interesting. This obviously is not a statement about the way things should be, but simply a statement of the way things are. Once we understand this, much that is mysteriously wrong in life becomes clearer. For example, if we had forty-nine stations broadcasting healthy, virtuous programming, and only one station broadcasting violent or sexual programming, most of America would be tuned into the one channel. Even church people. Evil is always more interesting.

 

Understanding the allure of evil explains why we watch so much of it, even when it is so clearly destructive. The sheet volume of evil our nation is exposed to on a daily basis is one of the most disturbing effects of the proliferation of media. The only remedy I know is two thousand years old: “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9

 

  1. Grace-energized Men of Reverence Make Little Choices (1 Timothy 4:7). This is a daily pattern of saying no to specific temptations, and saying yes to the Holy Spirit as He prompts you. One small choice is to turn your monitor so those behind you can see what you are viewing. If you struggle with images online this is a great accountability step. Discipline yourself!

 

  1. Grace-energized Men of Reverence Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Let the Word of God fill your life, and then pass it on to your family! Walk daily!

 

Those biblical commands are meant for each of us, as Christians, to obey. They are not something to simply pray about, and then get around to doing one day. No, they are for us to actively grab hold of and obey—right now!

 

Invite God Into

Your Daily Life

 

A profitable study to aid your prayer life is to look up each of the Psalm 119 verses below that contain Ezra’s prayers. Thirty-eight times, with these eleven different phrases, he cried out to the Lord. The secret of his fruitful life was his choice to invite the Lord each day into every part of his life. For a rich blessing, I encourage you to meditate on each of these verses.

 

  • Teach me (vv. 12, 26, 33, 64, 66, 68, 108, 124, 135).
  • Remove from me (vv. 22, 29).
  • Make me (vv. 27, 35, 98).
  • Give me (vv. 34, 73, 125, 144, 169).
  • Revive me (vv. 25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159).
  • Help me (v. 86).
  • Save me (vv. 94, 146).
  • Uphold me (vv. 116, 117).
  • Redeem me (vv. 134, 154).
  • Hear me (vv. 145, 149).
  • Deliver me (vv. 153, 170).

This next group of verses from Psalm 119 could be considered as imperatives Ezra called out to God. These short prayers are examples of how he invited the Lord to impact and direct specific areas of his life. As you read each verse, ask the Lord to do whatever He wants to in your life, and prayerfully let the way God worked in Ezra’s life become the guide for yours.

  • Do not forsake me (v. 8).
  • Deal … with me (vv. 17, 124).
  • Open my eyes (v. 18).
  • Strengthen me (v. 28).
  • Not put me to shame (v. 31).
  • Incline my heart (v. 36).
  • Turn away my (vv. 37, 39).
  • Let or not let [me, my or to me] (vv. 10, 41, 76, 77, 79, 80, 116, 169, 170, 173, 175).
  • Let [others] (vv. 78, 122, 133)
  • Take not (v. 43).
  • Remember … to (v. 49).
  • Be merciful to me (vv. 58, 132).
  • Accept [from me] (v. 108).
  • Not leave me (v. 121).
  • Be surety (v. 122)—meaning “a basis of confidence or security.”
  • Deal with [me] (v. 124).
  • Direct [my] (v. 133).
  • Make your face shine (v. 135).
  • Consider (vv. 153, 159).
  • Seek Your servant (v. 176).

Remember: God wants to invade every part of your heart, mind, and life. But He can only do so if you will say, “By Your grace, Lord, I purpose to learn Your Book, to prepare my heart to live Your Book, and to lead others in living and learning Your Word.” That is exactly what God has put you on earth to do!

What a difference a Word filled life can make! Are not your spouse, children, and family worth the little time it takes to invest in the discipline of the Scriptures to pursue a Word filled life? Is not your Lord and Savior worth any price to show Him how much He’s worth to you?

 

My Prayer for You: Father in Heaven, I thank You for all the models You have provided so we may learn what a Word filled life looks like, and thus how important it is to practice the discipline of the Scriptures. I thank you especially for Jeremiah’s life! If he could have joy “eating Your Word” in the midst of dungeons, pillars, stocks, constant danger, adversities, abuse, loneliness—then we can likewise find strength for whatever You arrange in our own path of life. For You are the same God, and Your grace is more than sufficient for us! I praise You for wanting us to know Your presence so we can have fullness of joy, and stay at Your right hand of authority and power forevermore. I pray we will make decisions to that end for the days You have ahead for us. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

 

[1] A form of this same word is used in I Samuel 4:18 for Eli who was old and heavy. Glory is spoken of in Hebrew terms as being a weight that we feel from the Immensity of God and His Greatness of Power.

[2]  Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (USA: Viking Penguin Inc., 1985), pp. 104-105.

[3] David Wells, God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a world of fading dreams (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994), 88, 90.

[4]  R. Kent Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 2001), pp. 71-82.

[5] “Right now television has the culture by its throat”, said Neil Postman. According to an article in Time magazine, the average viewer sees more than 9,000 scenes of suggested sex or innuendo on prime-time TV in one year. Is music any better? No, according to media analysts, secular music is filled with: “violence, the occult, rebellion, drug abuse, promiscuity, and homosexuality are constant themes,” says U.S. News and World Report.  Couple this with the fact that teens “listen to an estimated 10,500 hours of secular music between the seventh and 12th grades alone just 500 hours less than the total time they spend in school over 12 years” and, well, you get the picture[5]. We are being swept away by a society that, like the fool in Psalm 14:1, believes that “there is no God.”  I am not describing these evils so that everyone will burn their TV’s and computers, and go hide in the mountains.  Rather, it’s to give you just a sampling of the powerful influences toward godlessness we all must contend with daily. In the years ahead, we will live increasingly in the fictional worlds of human imaginations. We will turn on our virtual-reality systems and lie back, experiencing heavenly pleasures of sight and sound in a snug electronic nest. The real world will almost be totally blotted out from our experience. Richard A. Swenson, M.D., The Overload Syndrome.  Colorado Springs, Colorado: NAVPRESS, 1998, Pgs 137-160.

[6] Richard A. Swenson, M.D., The Overload Syndrome.  Colorado Springs, Colorado: NAVPRESS, 1998, Pgs 137-160.

[7] Victor C. Strasburger, “Turning in to Teenagers,” Newsweek, I9 May 1997, p. 18.

[8] According to media expert Dr. Ted Baehr, teenagers watch fifty movies a year in the theater and view another fifty a year on video. Eighty percent of these movies are PG-13 or R-rated.  Ted Baehr, “Miracle on Main Street?” Focus on the Family, April 1995, p.2.

[9] “Do the things that once offended you now entertain you?” asks media critic Al Menconi. “Are you able to enjoy the company of television programs, videos, and movies that have values diametrically opposed to yours? Do you remember the first time you heard someone use profanity in a motion picture? I do. It was less than twenty years ago, in the movie “All the President’s Men.” I was shocked that they could use that word. Now we hear worse on television every night.”  Al Menconi, “Our Collective Soul Is Dying” Minnesota Christian Chronicle, 16 February, 1995, p.6.  This moral drift is important to understand, for it continues unabated. Extrapolate ten or twenty years into the future and it is frightening to imagine what media content awaits us.

 
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