CHRISTIAN ENTERTAINMENT IN TODAY'S WORLD
by MIRIAM JACOB
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Christian entertainment is a most important part of the issues facing Christians today. Our youth need good and healthy forms of entertainment. There are complex questions to deal with. Does Christian entertainment have a high moral standard to maintain? Can Christians keep a pure reputation to pursue a career in the entertainment media? Pray for Christian discernment in a mass media culture to gain valuable insights on how to live a spiritual life in a global, high-tech information and entertainment culture. It is all about forming correct Christian values and ideals in the media age. Christians must celebrate the saving power of Christ in all spheres of life including the entertainment media.
Public opinion and culture is hugely shaped, expressed, controlled and dominated by the global communication media conglomerate. Christian discernment observes our mass media culture with the eyes and ears of Christ to ascertain the real values that control our cultural environment. It has the innate power to discern how the media is actively used to shape our lives. What truly inspires our sensibilities and moral sense? Which kind of comedy amuses us to the point of healthy laughter? What makes a drama particularly appealing to our artistic and aesthetic senses? Which new film or refreshing sound of music awakens us to admiration, awe and wonder?
The media provides a constant and steady stream of news, information and entertainment. Our senses are avidly bombarded by sensational news and a vast variety of conflicting opinions and views, to highlight the vivid images, graphic sights and high-tech sounds on the computer, internet, radio and television, and the printed newspaper, magazines and books that keeps us dramatically up-to-date. Today, the staggering influence of mass media like the internet and television is absolutely mind-boggling as it constantly conveys a continually relentless stream of information and entertainment instantaneously and simultaneously to people around the globe.
Critical awareness analyzes media content. Christian discernment requires silence and solitude in our life, peace and quiet amid the daily routines, precious moments to listen to God and to be creative in our media use, an integral part of our whole lives. A culture is a mutually shared view, a joint collaboration of values, ideas and ideals. Songs, stories, dramas and news highlight the issues and conflicts of our culture. This is a selective interpretation of reality, not a transparent view of reality. Mass media reflects our culture socially, politically and culturally.
Critical awareness generates a critical appreciation of media content to enrich our lives and culture. Look for quality content that inspires and educates society. Be active users, alert and conscious of how the media subtly integrates into our lives. Mass media has the great potential to enrich our lives. Christians must find ways to improve media content effectively. Critical awareness of mass media content deepens our perception of media culture. It allows us to communicate better in our daily lives. As we reflect on the communication process of the mass media, critical awareness highlights the basic defects and deficiencies of communication. Christian discernment sees the numerous faults and flaws of the media with wide-open eyes.
Genuine communication builds up a common understanding in which great values and ideals are shared with a courageous and fearless dedication to truth. It gives us the power to agree or disagree in an atmosphere of bonhomie, camaraderie and co-operation. Our disagreements are safely cocooned within a framework of mutual respect and understanding. Communication celebrates human dignity and equality for all. At the heart of communication is the true willingness to listen more to what is not said than to what is actually said. This is the art of great communication that has the power to move hearts.
A contemplative spirit integrates critical awareness into daily Christian living. It opens our life to the power of prayer, a glorious testimony and powerful witness to the work of God in our lives. It helps us to see with Christ's eyes and hear with Christ's ears, as we pray for justice and forgiveness, mercy and peace in the world. The media educates us to see the dignity and beauty of the world, with inspiring stories of selfless courage and bravery, using pictures, videos and films to heighten our understanding of the human heart.
Christians in the entertainment media are witnesses to the "Good News" of Christ, torch-bearers to shine His light upon the world. The love of Christ transforms the lives of people daily. Christian discernment in a media culture allows us to see what is truly valuable in life, endows us with a Christ-like love and deep-sighted reverence for our honorable culture under the true standard of Christ. Raise the banner for Christ and His cause!
© Miriam Jacob
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