On the Degradation of Sensibility

Discussion in '2007 Archive' started by Pastor Larry, Mar 5, 2007.

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  1. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    We live in a "National Enquirer" kind of world. News is determined not by serious consequences but by titillating effect. News is determined not by whether or not it affects someone's life in a substantial and serious way but by whether or not someone will watch it.

    The need to generate ratings, to win the sweeps, has led to creating news rather than reporting it. Quite simply, much of what finds its way onto news broadcasts is simply not newsworthy.

    We have 24/7 of Anna Nicole Smith, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. We have Hollywood couple with their own names—TomKat, Bennifer, Brangelina. How stupid is the world we live in when this stuff is interesting?

    Now you do not even have to be a star to get this kind of attention. The Menendez brothers, Scott Petersen, and Stephen Grant became household names because they killed someone ... brutally (as if that somehow matters ... What exactly is a brutal murder and how is it worse than any other kind?).

    As citizens, the quality of civil discourse is not improved by the silliness and stupidity of the soap opera that is the lives of these figures.

    As believers, our Christian usefulness and spiritual walk is not helped by diving into the gutter, not even in the name of prayer. "Pray for _____________" is nothing but sanctified gossip, with a dash "I thank thee that I am not like ___________" thrown in for good measure. Do not misunderstand me. I believe firmly we should be willing to get our hands dirty in the lives of others for the sake of ministry. However, that dirt should come from people with whom we have actual influence.

    There are some things that are just unfit for human consumption, much less public consumption. It's not because they do not hold interest. It is because they hold the wrong kind of interest. Let these people live in peace. Do not inflict the rest of us with their nonsense.

    It degrades our sensibilities, and our sensitivities. It's not that I am offended by such nonsense. I could not care less. It is that I am amazed that anyone thinks these types of stories have the least bit of redeeming social value, much less spiritual value.

    The depth of our minds can be seen in the things that captivate our attention. It is indeed a shallow world.
     
    #1 Pastor Larry, Mar 5, 2007
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  2. LadyEagle

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    I agree, PL. Like I said on another thread which I was relieved to close when the 3 page limit was up - garbage in, garbage out. Not everything is fit for human mind consumption, let alone Christian mind consumption.
     
  3. 2 Timothy2:1-4

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    I agree was all I inttended to say but my message was to short.
     
  4. donnA

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    I think non calvinists need to learn something about calvinists to avoid looking foolish.
     
  5. Rufus_1611

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    I am amazed at the depth you are going to continue on this topic. I feel compelled to create a thread "On the Life and Times of Britney Spears" so that you'll actually have something to rail against. For the record, this idol put a number on her forehead that is spoken of in the Holy Bible. She further declared herself to be opposed to the Jesus Christ of the Bible. This is a current news event relevant to Christianity. There are many people in Christianity that think their worldly idols are acceptable. I am in awe over the television shows, music and movies that Christians are watching and so when one of them actually admits what is rather obvious,(she may not be the Antichrist but sure surely has the spirit of antichrist) it seemed like a valid topic for discussion. However, I am fully aware now that I made an egregious error in your mind and while I deleted it and requested closure in the hopes that we could move on, I see now there was no benefit in that deletion and closure for we are still talking about talking about it, rather than talking about it.

    My last point on this topic...Calling the prayers of Christians "sanctified gossip" because they do not have direct influence over the person they are praying for is abhorent. We are to pray for our leaders yet we have little to no influence over them, I prayed for Terri Schiavo for days on end and had no direct influence over her situation, I pray for the people in Iraq, I pray for our soldiers, I pray for Kent Hovind to be released from prison, and yes I have even prayed for Ms. Spears in the past when I heard she was starting to go back to a Christian church. Save for vain repetitious prayers, there is no such thing as a bad prayer and I would challenge you to provide scripture that says we ought not pray for these people.
     
  6. tinytim

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    I believe they are relevant stories...

    Teens need to see what type of depravity they will fall into if they continue down the same paths as these type people.

    They can be used as object lessons, and examples of what not to do...

    Take Britney for example, when she started out, she was a beautiful young person... but a few years later, and the sinful lifestyle destroyed that beauty. The same for lindsey lohan, and all the others. Sin destroys beauty.
    Our teen girls need to understand that holiness is true beauty.

    Our teens need to see what sin can and will do to their lives.
    They also need to see the success stories. The stories of how God rescued some like these...
     
  7. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    It shouldnt be any of that. It is all clearly irreverent.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    It's not you giving me something. It is the culture that is obsessed with sin and depravity, paraded publicly for all to see.

    My concern isn't with this particular story about Britney Spears. It is with the non-stop cultural obsession about it. If this were the only story in the past six months, it would hardly be problemmatic. It would in fact be virtually unnoticed. But there has been a steady diet of this kind of stuff that provides no substantive spiritual contribution to our lives.

    How is that relevant? What about the thousands of others that have done that every day for years and years? That wasn't newsworthy. And neither is this.

    Wasn't it clear that the rhetorical statement was not a categorical statement? Of course it was. I wasn't calling all prayers sanctified gossip.

    But again, you are demonstrating the exact problem. We create news where this is none because it titillates. It's not an example of anything that we don't have in Scripture or in local community. Using these kinds of people as an example of sin does not really profit since it increases their visibility and their stature as an idol (which you abhor) and applies to no ones life since a very very few actually live the lifestyle of any of these people. I don't think we should increase the stature or visibility of this.

    Why would I? I don't believe that we shouldn't pray for them. It is obvious that you missed the point. I didn't say we shouldn't pray for them. What I said is that these stories have no redeeming value socially or spiritually. They do not edify. They demean and titillate.

    They are unfit for public consumption.
     
  9. swaimj

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    David Brinkley, in an interview with TV Guide some years ago, once scoffed at the idea that the national news broadcasts needed to expand to an hour rather than their alloted 30 minutes. I can't quote him exactly, but the gist of his comment was that all over the world people are engaged in activities that are mundane and meaningless. If the newscasts had twice the time, what would they talk about?

    Now we know. The newscasts cover contrived events that are trivial while they trivialize issues that are actually of consequence.

    We saw this prior to 9-11 when the cable networks were obsessed with a congressman (whose name I cannot recall) and his affair with a girl who was missing. Now, a mere 6.5 years later, the news networks (and the people who watch them) are in the same frame of mind.

    So, I agree with Pastor Larry on this. (By the way, this topic has nothing to do with calvinism as far as I can tell, so I don't see why some of you guys can't deal with Larry's comments on their own terms, rather than disagree with him here because you disagree with him elsewhere).

    Following the escapades of Britney, Paris, Lindsay, et al will do nothing to increase your sanctification; rather, dwelling on thier sinfull lifestyles will hinder your spiritual growth.

    I was interested to see Simon Cowell's comments on MSNBC about Britney and co.
    See his comments at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17387056/

    Hmmm. Maybe Pastor Larry and Simon Cowell are actually the same person. :laugh:
     
  10. saturneptune

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    This is about the most unedifying thread in the history of BB. The very fact that it was started feeds the mindset of talking about people like Brittany Spears, Anna Nicole, Scott Peterson, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, Ann Coulter. The one thing all these people have in common is that they appeal to the secular, gossip, and evil side of our nature. How many times does it have to be said, the only way to make this trash disappear, is to STOP talking about them. Turn the TV or radio to another channel, and they go away. This thread gives life to people like this, whether you say how good or bad they are, the fact is, it continues their imaginary power, their brief time in the sun.

    It is beyond belief that a thread like this could evolve into a Calvin free will debate. That debate just a notch above this once, because the bottom line is, neither side knows for sure, and more jaw flapping has been done about this subject while people are out there lost and dying. When I see people with doctorates agruing the exact opposite side of the issue, it tells me none of you have a clue. It is like two different denominations.

    Another thing, we seem to throw words like heresey and blasphemy back and forth to get back at each other and win debate points. Those are very serious charges, and the words are used very lightly here. "The man upstairs" is very disrespectful, and not worthy of a Holy and mighty God, Creator, and Savior, but it is not blasphemy. That implies a totality of someones character.

    You, me or anyone else DO NOT know who is saved ane who isn't. You may know, the probability is high etc, but the bottom line is, you do not know.

    Lady Eagle, please put this thread out of its misery.
     
  11. Rufus_1611

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    Did you rail against the Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda story? This isn't the "substantive spiritual contribution" forum. It is the News / Current Events forum on a Christian message board. The Britney story is relevant to News / Current Events and is relevant to Christianity. She did not say that she was the anti-Buddha.

    I posted for you the definition of "newsworthy" and you continue to misuse this term.

    I didn't say it was categorical. Here's your quote (emphasis mine)...

    ...who are you talking about if it isn't the Britney's of the world and other like people that we do not have "actual influence"?

    I can't speak for you but it didn't titillate me anymore than the Jose De Jesus story did. We increasingly seem to have people in our world claiming to be Christ, people claiming to be antichrist and people tattooing or writing 666 on their bodies. This seems relevant to me in understanding the seasons.

    It's obvious to me that you didn't communicate that point and are now twisting your way out of what you said. You were discouraging people from praying for those they did not have "actual influence" and that doing so amounted to "sanctified gossip". You were discouraging prayer.

    Few of the stories in the News forum edify Christians in an upbeat fashion for the news is much about the fallen world. They do though, improve the mind in general knowledge often about religious topics. However, if you maintain that a story about a popular idol proclaiming herself to be the antichrist and writing 666 on her was not edifying, how did you evaluate the "Virgin Mary On a Pizza Pan" story? Did you rail against it? What did you think about the "Fistgate" story? When you think about "Fistgate", that's a pretty horrific, things that ought not to be discussed kinda story, where was your outrage on that one? Ultimately, are you advocating for the dismantling of this forum, for really how much of it is spiritually edifying in the way you seem to be utilizing the term?
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Simon Cowell's comments seem right on target to me. The self-obsession in this world is unbelievable.

    As for my posting this and exacerbating the discussion of these people, I didn't ask anyone to discuss any particular person. In fact, I would have preferred that you not.

    I would rather focus on why this silliness is considered "newsworthy" when it has no substance or serious effect on the vast majority of people. I would rather discuss why journalistic standards have sunk so far. I would rather discuss why the Christian mind is so non-distinct from teh secular mind. In fact, was it Mark Noll who lamented that the Christian mind didn't really even exist in this modern culture? I think it was. And I think he is true.

    There is too often no substantive difference between the way Christians view things and the way others view things. Why? Because the Christian mind is so trapped in the gutter of pop culture that we cannot see beyond the hear and now of what makes me feel good.

    Where is my outrage on other stories? Right here. I simply didn't express it in other places.

    What we need is people who think better ... who think Christianly about life.
     
  13. LadyEagle

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    Amen. This thread is closed without warning and disrespectful slang about God as well as a couple of personal attacks are deleted.

    Lady Eagle
     
    #13 LadyEagle, Mar 6, 2007
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