The time has come for some parents to receive a proverbial "slap upside the head" (in love, of course) regarding their role in guiding their children's entertainment intake. The welfare of our children is at stake and it's imperative that we take serious this sacred responsibility.
Growing up, my parents never needed to pay much attention to my movie watching. They left my sister and me to go out on a Saturday night, and we simply turned on the tube to watch The Lawrence Welk Show and wholesome films on Saturday Night at the Movies. Mom never had to inquire when I joined buddies to see Westerns, monster flicks (remember Creature from the Black Lagoon or the big guy, Godzilla?) or silly comedies at our nearby theater.
We all know that day is long gone.
But are we paying attention to the coarseness, perversity and profanity that has become so commonplace in our culture? And are we being extremely careful to monitor what's coming through the eye gate into our children's heads? Too many, sad to say, are letting their guard down and getting sloppy, lazy or simply too busy.
Will you allow me a few minutes "to stir you up by reminding you" (2 Pet.1:13b) of what's at stake and how the luxury of complacency is no longer an option?
Some Sobering Illustrations
- Yesterday, I spoke with a single mom about her teen and movies. When she mentioned Christian movies as "cheesy" and the often-repeated need for kids to be "exposed to evil and not sheltered," I advised her to teach her son the book of Proverbs ("Listen my son" is the repeated refrain of the book) plus expose him not to evil, but rather the consequences of evil.
I related how I took my young son, now a pastor with soon-to-be three adopted children, to experience what it was like to be in a jail cell. After the door slammed shut, it wasn't more than two minutes before he nervously cried, "Let me outta' here!"
- This weekend, we hosted an 11-year-old from downtown Nashville in our home. He awakened at 3 a.m. in tormenting fear from thoughts bombarding his mind. He explained that he had viewed the Stephen King film, It, with some relatives and friends while parents were in the other room viewing another horror flick.
This R-rated movie about a child-molesting clown sucking children into sewers to dismember them is straight from the pit of hell. The gang of 11–12-year-olds who battle this menacing child molester spew out over 40 expletives and swim unclothed with a girl.
We counseled him, prayed for deliverance from a spirit of fear and will bring this to the attention of his wonderful mother, who, unfortunately, may not even be aware of the occurrence.
- Last night at 9 p.m. a dear friend and grandmother called and begged me to write a commentary on the movie, Battle of the Sexes, starring Oscar-winning Emma Stone, who captivates the attention of girls in today's pop culture.
How many blissfully ignorant parents will okay their precious daughters viewing this PG-13 film thinking it's the entertaining and uplifting story about women's tennis icon Billie Jean King taking on a fading men's tennis champ? Yet this is not a Rocky, feel-good flick about an underdog winning the prize, but rather a full-on assault on biblical morality promoting an adulterous lesbian feminist who in the end becomes a "legend" for advancing the LGBTQ agenda.
Will you grant me permission to be blunt? This film is a politically correct, pro-homosexual, pro-seduction, pro-feminist, pro-secularist "romantic" love story about lesbian lust and sex. It even depicts a shattered marriage positively, as the closing credits hail Ms. King's LGBTQ achievements and a man letting his lesbian ex-wife and her lesbian partner become his children's godparents.
In real life, the almost 74-year-old Billie Jean, said she was once "totally in love with Larry" (not me, but her husband), then indulged in an adulterous relationship with a woman (later calling it a "mistake"), stayed married, subsequently got a divorce, then started another lesbian relationship with a tennis partner, while conveniently labeling her parents "homophobic."
The sensual and salacious content of Battle of the Sexes celebrating the destructive homosexual lifestyle is another Hollywood attempt to legitimize sexual behavior that Scripture warns is "unnatural, shameful, dishonorable and immoral" (see Rom.1:26-32).
Years ago Ellen DeGeneres mocked me on nationwide TV, as did Anderson Cooper, when I said there was an avalanche of gay propaganda from Hollywood (see opening video for Bullseye Challenge). I maintain this continues and has only intensified. Did you notice the theme for the resurrected Will and Grace gay-affirming show was "Make America Gay Again?"
Shame on 28-year-old Emma Stone (who went to an all-girls Catholic high school) for starring in such a propagandist film promoting the LGBTQ worldview. Time called her one of today's 100 Most Influential People, and People magazine said she's one of the 100 Most Beautiful Women. Why cheapen your image with this tawdry role and adversely influence millions of impressionable young girls?
Step Up, Then Share This Reminder
Here's the deal: As the soul of our nation and the future of the family hangs in the balance, we can no longer afford the luxury of laziness regarding our children's entertainment. We have a sacred responsibility to teach them and prepare them to withstand the onslaught of our culture's bent on indoctrinating them with harmful secular values.
* "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6).
* Our children are "a gift of the Lord" and "arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior" (Ps.127:3-4), for whom we will one day give an account. How intentional are we in consistently sharpening them to set them on righteous paths?
* Deuteronomy 6:7 commands us not to relegate the teaching of God's commands to a church or school but to have them permeate our daily lives: "You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up."
God's thoroughness underscores the importance that successive generations follow His Word to ensure they would "live safely in the land" (Lev. 25:18) and things "go well with them" (Deut.12:28).
Prioritize the regular teaching of God's Word to your children. Custom-design what works best for you. Breakfast with Bill Gothard's Character Sketches was our godsend for a decade!
Practically apply God's Word in the realm of entertainment by researching (Plugged In and Movie Guide are great resources) and remaining vigilant with TV, movies, cable and computer.
Senior leaders across America wholeheartedly recommend using the immediately accessible videos and easy to read accompanying book at bullseyechallenge.com to equip your family with God's worldview on today's top issues. Investing just 15 minutes a day for one month enables you to develop informed influencers who'll hit the mark in today's turbulent times.
It is better to build children than to repair men! Start today and share this commentary to inspire others you know and love.
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Hear his weekly podcast here.
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