Surprise! A post on a Friday. I had something I really wanted to share while it was still fresh in my mind. I think I’ll continue to do this; I plan my Saturday posts ahead, but sometimes I get ideas that just can’t wait. So you may get a surprise post every now and then.
There’s Christian music and Christian books and Christian movies.
There’s also secular music and secular books and secular movies.
So what do we listen to, read, and watch, and what do we avoid? Do we only consume explicitly Christian media, or is secular entertainment fine as long as it is appropriate?
Here are my thoughts on this:
God created the world. God is truth. The created world cannot help but reflect God’s truth. Secular media may unknowingly reflect deep and profound truths about God and who we are in God.
Of course, there are many sources of entertainment that are completely inappropriate or promote messages absolutely contrary to Christianity. Those are a no-no, no questions asked, no exceptions.
But in the vaguer areas, the songs that are appropriate but don’t really have a “Christian” message, the children’s movies that aren’t inappropriate but aren’t particular Christ-centered either, the books by secular authors, look for little nuggets of truth.
They may be unintentional, but they will be there.
This train of thought, for me, was sparked by the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. I was listening to it on the way home from dance and started wondering whether, as a Christian, I should limit myself only to Christian music.
Then I started paying attention to the words of the song.
Here’s just a few lines that really hit me.
“Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
“Fallen for the fear
“And done some disappearing…
“Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue…
“And since your history of silence
“Won’t do you any good
“Did you think it would?
“Let your words be anything but empty
“Why don’t you tell them the truth?”
That could be a Christian song, couldn’t it? As I listened to these words, I felt myself inspired to be a witness, to stand up for what I believe without fear, to stop my shy silence and speak up. Even though it doesn’t specifically mention God or Christianity, this song got me thinking about spiritual things. And anything that does that, to me, is good.
If we really listen, we can find truth all around us. And that can be so encouraging.
So use discernment. Don’t limit yourself just to Christian media. When you do consume secular entertainment, pay close attention to the worldviews and messages. When you find anti-Christian messages, avoid them, as I’m sure you’ve been told many times before.
But there is a flip-side to that, too, that rarely gets mentioned. When you find truth in secular media, rejoice! Let it encourage you.
God can speak through sources that aren’t explicitly Christian. Secular media can portray truth and beauty as well as, or better than, “Christian” entertainment. God is the creator of all art, everything that is lovely and good, and art is meant to be enjoyed.
What do you think? Have you ever found exciting nuggets of truth in secular entertainment? Do you disagree with me, and limit yourself to strictly “Christian” media? How do you use discernment in your entertainment choices? Share in the comments below!