I Read a Book That Wasn’t Labeled “Christian”

I admit: I enjoyed the Twilight books.

When I first heard about the stories, I wasn’t interested. Until I found out it was actually a love story. Since I write romance novels, I figured I’d give the vampire series a shot. While I don’t read all the latest best sellers, I figure it’s good to keep up with culture.

Later, after I’d read the whole series and watched a couple of the movies, I had a well-meaning friend inform me that I shouldn’t participate in the craze because these vampire novels were drawing readers away from the truths in the Bible. I’ve also had religious folks tell me not to give my money to something that goes against the teachings in scripture.

So when is it okay for a believer in Christ to participate in something that isn’t labeled as “Christian”?

Scripture tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. It also states that each person is given different levels of faith. Temptations are different for every person because we’re all unique individuals. We must decide where to draw the line based on where we’re at in our spiritual journey. I believe where the line is drawn will be different for every person and family.

Just because an item isn’t labeled “Christian” doesn’t mean we have to stay away from it. We do need to be careful how much garbage we put into our minds, because one day we will have to give an account for our actions. Being constantly exposed to sinful behaviors does wear us down, make us numb, and eventually more likely to participate in those activities. But reading stories about witches, serial killers, or the magic of elves every once in a while doesn’t make me want to participate in those activities. Nor does it mean I endorse those behaviors as acceptable.

Sometimes I find it easy to decide, such as card games based on false deities, movies focusing on multiple ways of killing people, or music that glorifies Satan or hurting other people – entertainment like these are never allowed in my home. But the enemy is subtle and can use items that seem harmless to draw us away from our faith.

Here is a helpful checklist when you’re trying to decide if you should participate in secular entertainment.

1)      Everything may be permissible, but is participating in this activity beneficial? Is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable?

2)      Will it cause me or someone around me to stumble in the faith?

3)      Am I spending more time on this activity that doesn’t specifically glorify God than I am participating in church activities or my personal quiet time?

At times I’ve had to pray for God to show me. But the point is, we must pause and think it over before we dive in. I love programs like “Plugged-In” from Focus on the Family that can help parents make more informed decisions.

What are some ways you protect yourself and your family from the negative influence of the entertainment industry? What tools do you use to help you draw boundaries?

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