March 7, 2012

Serious Things

Someone wrote into John Piper and asked this question:
I believe I do love Jesus, but most of the time I'd rather spend time being entertained than spend time in God's word. How do I break this hold that entertainment has on my heart?
This is an important question, and one that hits right near the heart of much that we've been talking about at Church during our Ephesians study.  This isn't a direct connection to our sermon series, to be sure, but if you've been a part of our discussions in the afternoons, you will see the relevance of this question.  Though we haven't talked about entertainment as an addiction, last Sunday afternoon we discussed the reality that many spend a significant amount of time being entertained as opposed to thinking deeply.  (If you are not a part of our church, but would like to hear the messages, we will have them posted here.)

ChristianPost.com has a portion of the audio transcript where Piper answers the question.  If you want to read the entire thing, you can click here.  It's not too long and more worth reading than the post I am attempting to write at the moment.  I am not going to discuss the whole article, but I would like to repost a portion of his response, particularly his suggestions, and then put out my own plea in this area.

Here are his suggestions (in battling the addiction to entertainment):

  1. Recognizing it is a huge step in the right direction.
  2. Seek the Lord earnestly about it. Pray like crazy that God would open your eyes to see wondrous things out of his law.
  3. Immerse yourself in the Bible, even when you don't feel like it, pleading with God to open your eyes to see what's really there.
  4. Get in a group where you talk about serious things.
  5. Begin to share your faith. One of the reasons we are not as moved by our own faith as we are is because we almost never talk about it to any unbeliever. It starts to feel like a kind of hothouse thing, and then it starts to have a feeling of unreality about it. And then the powers of entertainment have more sway in our life.
A little bit further on in the article he offers this additional suggestion:
One last suggestion: think about your death. Think about your death a lot. Ask what you'd like to be doing in the season of life, or hours or days, leading up to meeting Christ.
I believe that all of these suggestions are excellent in regards to battling "entertainment addiction."  Maybe you don't feel like this is a problem for you... I believe that it is a problem for most Americans, and we don't even realize it.  I would suggest that you could take up these suggestions, whether you believe you have a problem with entertainment or not.  I guess I am just tired of guys who can quote Illini player stats from years gone by or mourn the loss of Manning, but don't know the impact of Luther's 95 Theses and believe that studying I John should be left to pastors.

Well, before this post swerves off course and develops into a rant against one of the dominant forms of entertainment, allow me to veer back onto course by making a plea:  I want to talk about serious things.  The weather is going to be the weather, I don't need to talk about it that much really.  Let's talk about serious things.  If you want to talk about serious things, then I have an offer.  Come to church.

Come to church to be open and honest.  Come to church because you want to be searched by God and found wanting.  Come to church to be provoked on to good deeds by other Christians for the cause of Christ.  Come to church to talk about and listen to serious things.