Much that is morally rotten is paraded before us as if it were perfectly sound. That is why we must “keep on making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord.” “On this account [because the days are wicked] cease becoming unreasonable, but go on perceiving what the will of Jehovah is.”—Eph. 5:10, 17.
So when it comes to entertainment provided by the world, selectivity is the key. Illustrating this, one person said: “The greater part of the movie is pretty good, but many always have the sex scenes, so if you want to see the rest of the movie, you have to watch the sex.” But is viewing most of the “pretty good” movie worth the possible moral damage from the film’s “sex scenes”? Such scenes depicting what is done in secret are now flashed before the viewers. If Paul said, “the things that take place in secret by [the nations] it is shameful even to relate,” what should be our attitude toward watching any part of such as entertainment? (Eph. 5:12) Rather than consulting the Jews’ Talmudic list of rules, a Christian must use his own “perceptive powers” and “cease becoming unreasonable [Greek: “senseless, lacking moral intelligence”].” (Heb. 5:14) It may mean our avoiding completely certain movies or TV presentations that could otherwise have some very entertaining features. One of the professed Christian writers of the second century made an excellent point in his essay The Shows:
“Grant that you have there [at the shows] things that are pleasant, things both agreeable and innocent in themselves; even some things that are excellent. Nobody dilutes poison with gall [a bitter substance] . . . the accursed thing is put into condiments well seasoned and of sweetest taste.”—Tertullian.
How good it is when individually we can encourage one another to pursue a course that is “acceptable to the Lord”! Commendable indeed is the expression of one youngster: “I think there is a tremendous effort among the spiritually mature teen-agers to try to stay away from immoral movies and also to encourage others to stay away from them.” However, Paul warned the congregation that certain ones would play down the straightforward counsel of the Scriptures when he said: “Let no man deceive you with empty words, for because of the aforesaid things [fornication, uncleanness, obscene talk, and so forth] the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.” (Eph. 5:6) ‘Empty talkers’ could be a bad influence on others. With regard to persons who persist in walking disorderly, the apostle Paul recommends:
“But if anyone is not obedient to our word . . . , keep this one marked, stop associating with him, that he may become ashamed. And yet do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother.”—2 Thess. 3:14, 15.
True, do not treat him as an “enemy,” but stop associating with him socially on his terms. Perhaps he may get the point that he needs to readjust his thinking.