Take A Stand!

 

Truth?

Truth?

I’m considering a self-imposed ban on watching television. Conservative is not exactly my middle name (several Bethel baseball players would actually probably call me a “Lib” – lovingly, of course). Wherever you stand, I’m becoming increasingly disgusted with the unreal and ridiculous nature of television and the media.

Let’s start with this: Levi’s “First Time” commercial. I mean, watch it.

Really? Clearly, these two kids aren’t older than 14 and they’re referring to doin’ it for the first time. I don’t have kids and yet, I’m scared for them to grow up in this kind of media-rific world.

Currently, I am stomaching the American Music Awards. EVERY woman is dressed in the shortest, tightest outfit they can squeeze into (But John, the human body is BEAUTIFUL and they’re ALLOWED to freely express themselves). EVERY woman finds it necessary to throw their “va-jay-jay” – OPRAH’S OUR ONLY HOPE 🙂 – into the face of a) the audience, b) the male artist they are stripping for, or c) impossibly, themselves. On a side note, I don’t even need to verbalize my disdain for the current “top” music right now. My jaw found the floor when New Kids On The Block did whatever they were doing on stage. 

News Media? Yikes. ‘Fear. Be afraid.’ ‘Our world is crashing down.’ ‘Please, don’t elect Obama. Please don’t choose Hillary.’ ‘McCain = the Anti-Christ.’ Yes, please, show me more of Sarah Palin and turkeys getting their lives spared. That’s EXACTLY what I want to watch. The stock market – we don’t have any money left! Wait, every member of our family can’t have a car? You’re telling me I can’t buy a house that after paying my mortgage I can only afford Malt-O-Meal Cocoa Dynobites and Great Value Mac & Cheese?

And please, MTV? Extreme sells. I get it. Let’s find the most extreme and ridiculous people we can find, stick them in whatever silly situation we can conjure, and video tape it. People will watch it. However, now it’s to the point where I don’t think people know that this is an example of how they AREN’T supposed to act. Tila Tequila and Paris Hilton are so sensationalized and worshipped that people are now imagining this is what could lead them to stardom, happiness, and personal fulfillment. Kids generally list being a celebrity and being rich as the “very best thing in the world.”

Someone needs to take a stand. I’m not going to turn on CNN, MTV, and every other major cable network to be bombarded with the current ticker of the Dow Jones, the fear associated with losing our money, and the incredible amount of sexual quotient (SQ any Chapman people?) prescribed to engage our sensationalistic-craving minds. Anyone who reads this might think that I am all for running from the scary world or that I present some sort of moral policing strategy, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, what I am suggesting is that we engage and confront the world with GRACE & TRUTH, not with just one or the other. We will never “out-shout” the world; however, we can out-love and provide deeper truth than the world, but we will need to do that by taking a stand occasionally.

We are told the latest generation can’t STAND authority, that they won’t listen to authoritative opinion or voice, and that the only TRUTH is the TRUTH they conceive. So, if you want to get in with them, don’t take a stand and just let them figure it out themselves – at least, that’s “their” solution to a generation floundering at the celebrity-driven and media-rific world in which we live. In the Church, supposedly a light in a dark world, it doesn’t offer many answers either. The stats aren’t lying. Study after study concludes the same thing: Christians don’t look any different than those who are UnChristian. While we freely acknowledge the beautiful & radical GRACE God extends to us, do we cheapen it by lessening our responsibility of a higher way of living? The answer is an ASTOUNDING YES!!! We fail to offer black & white answers while extending RADICAL GRACE because it’s too much of an awesome paradox for us and others to handle. 

So who is going to take a stand? Who’s going to give an authoritative voice on moral issues? If not the Church, who is going to stand up and say, listen people, I love you, but this is NOT real life? I know kids who cut, kids who want to end their lives, kids who hurt – and is it perhaps no one has told them what leads to real life and what doesn’t? When we take a stand, we must do so from a place of relationship and a place of love. If we just stand on the side of the street yelling at people, that’s not love. If we engage in relationship without an agenda, only then could we seek to take a stand. 

I do believe that God is love & hope and that love & hope conquer all, even the fear and pessimism I am expressing here. While I’m thoroughly disgusted, I’m not going to lose hope, I’m going to love, and I’m going to take a stand. Screw the post-modern mindset that says the emerging generation doesn’t care for authority. I’m not going to throw it in people’s face, but in the midst of place-sharing and building real, authentic relationships with them, I’m not going to skip the step of pointing to the truth and providing a barrier to those things that lead to dehumanization. 

May God give us the courage to take a stand, to save us from fear, and find ways to package the paradoxical message of RADICAL GRACE and BLACK & WHITE TRUTH!

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2 thoughts on “Take A Stand!

  1. GOD is not allowed where I work….it’s the Public School System. I’m not even supposed to listen to Christmas music for crying out loud! I intend to, and if I hear people complain, I will make fun of them (I know, it’s not Christian like) and then I will have to turn it off. I enjoyed your message but I do have some reservations of my own …I happen to know a few people I call ‘friends’ who are churchgoing, claim to have GOD in their lives, demonstrate and remind me often how GOD like they really are, give to the poor and needy, do charity work and so on, but at times these people can be very hypocritical. They conveniently use their love of GOD, their gifts of tithing, their place in the church as a way to get people to like, respect and believe in them. Because of this, am I suppose to look the other way and say ‘men will be men’ and ‘boys will be boys’? I think not! You talk about the media and how it sensationalizes actors. You are definitely correct in that our society makes children and young adults believe that they need to be fashionable, skinny, have a ‘six pack’, be promiscuous etc. What about education? We need to educate these same children about this world and how it is today and how it needs to change in the future, this has to start with family, the parents and caregivers, the government leaders, the church and schools need to unite in creating a better place of communication for these young people. With people like you, who are true in their beliefs will be a great way to start. The media needs to stop portraying these actors in such a way as to make young people believe that they are truly living a fairytale life. Let us not forget the athletes in the media with their astronomical salaries, the illicit affairs, drug and alcohol use. They are sensationalized just as much. Think of today’s young athletes. I work with them every day and see their struggles of not having the healthcare needed to have a required sports physical. These young athletes have to be bread winners in their young lives, they cannot play the sport they love because they have to go home and take care of their siblings. They cannot afford the fee, or the ‘stuff’ that goes along with the sport. This is all because of the ‘hype’ in the sports media. What is wrong with just playing basketball without having to spend money they don’t have to buy those expensive tennis shoes or you have to be a ‘rich kid’ to play the game of hockey. What happened to going to your neighborhood hockey rink (outdoors…burr) to play instead of fighting over ice time in the indoor arenas (very costly) and not to mention the skates and sticks etc . STUFF! Some families of athletes decide that they cannot play a particular sport because of the cost involved thoughout their young lives. This is so sad! I could go on and on about how ‘stuff’ is just getting out of hand due to unnessary media exposure. I am guilty of it too. I love that you can push a button and don’t have to get off the couch like I did when I was a child to change the one of five channels on my T.V. set…again, I could go on and on about the ‘stuff’ we seem to need. I am amazed at the direction that technology is taking us. What happened to family values, to sitting and talking with one another about the day? We don’t have the time anymore. It’s really unfortunate. Life passes too swiftly not to take the time for the most important thing in life – your family. I have grown children who soon will give me grandchildren one day and I think about this world and am fearful for them. I would hope that my children would give them wings to grow, educate them about their world today and how they can make it better, to learn respect for all living things, to communicate with each other and be mindful and knowledgeable of their surroundings of what could potentially be harmful and hurtful to them. To express the faith that GOD wants them to have. To be truthful and to live the way GOD wants us ALL to live. Your message is very powerful and I am impressed with your insight of today’s media messages and how it affects young people. God Bless you as you take your stand!

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