I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
Without a doubt, the entertainment industry has become the enemy's game. The rules changed with the nullification of the Hays Code in 1968. Consider one of its basic tenets, to which Hollywood studios agreed:
'No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.' *
For 40 years, big filmmakers subscribed in theory, but its enforcement was slack. Smaller studios ignored it completely, and no Christians rose to its defense. Pretty soon, the Hays Code was abandoned. Its replacement is our current ratings system: a sliding scale of naughtiness.
So if entertainment's a game, if Satan made a power play, if the play became popular, if men of conscience stayed silent, if men of Christ stayed silent, too, if pleasing men topped pleasing God, if God's Own actors left the field, then we chose to forfeit the game.
If we huffed and puffed in churches, if we condemned the game's new rules, if we also condemned its stars, if we pointed hateful fingers, if we looked a lot like bigots, if we made our Boss look bad, too, then we misrepresented Him.
Because Jesus loved honest sinners, and He hated religious phonies. Besides, leaving the game was our choice. But children suffered the consequence.
Since then, two generations have passed. Bad has grown increasingly bolder. Good has grown increasingly sheltered. Children have grown increasingly confused. By our separation from media, have we been about our Father's business?
'And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation' ' (Mark 16:15).
To Be Continued...
* The Hays Code: http://www.artsreformation.com/a001/hays-code.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.