ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
SAD BUT TRUE
Thomas A. Carder
This is it! The Millstone installment of the SAD BUT TRUE series. Some of you might become uncomfortable or even angry with this installment. Please understand I did not write the rules -- God did! I am only trying to share with you some of His expectations of us...period. If you are not afraid of His rules, of His dominion over us, of the teachings of the Gospels, read on and you just may find help and hope.
Some of you may remember that long ago I told everyone I would soon offer root cause of the common thread which caused the decay of righteous submission of school children to fair authority. I also told you I would offer root cause for school violence, including kids killing kids. Many of you have written me for the answer and have been very patient with me. Well now you have the answer in this SAD BUT TRUE installment. But if, by the end of this installment you have not figured out the answer, it is posted at the end.
If you've read this far, p-l-e-a-s-e read through. PLEASE.
SAD BUT TRUE
Thomas A. Carder
Reviewed by Anthony Fusco
Director - Doctrinal Analysis
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
August 1, 1998
The entertainment industry is making money -- lots of money -- off your kids by feeding and nourishing the innate foolishness bound in the heart of a child (Proverb 22:15). The entertainment industry moguls are *expert* at it. The foolishness referred to here is not idiocy or stupidity, but is a desire to contradict, is arrogance, is a CHOICE of behavior. For example, Proverb 15:5 states "A fool spurns his father's discipline..." Also, Proverb 10:23 states "It is as sport to a fool to do mischief..." Sounds like typical adolescent rebellion, right? Right. But not necessarily typical. A TENDENCY of these character traits is typical, but practice of them is not necessarily typical. Practice of them is most often provoked.
At any rate, such tendencies are present in EVERY child. And the entertainment industry focuses on them because to satisfy them, if only in the fantasy of entertainment, is particularly enriching to the "...foolishness bound in the heart of a child." The entertainment industry is making lots of money off your kids by feeding the innate foolishness: by telling them and showing them -- indeed TEACHING them -- that to flip you, mom and dad, off and other `up yours' expressions is completely acceptable, desirable and, to the innate foolishness, deliciously satisfying. If adolescents can get to the point of being able to flip *you* off with impunity, it might be a very short trip to pulling a trigger.
Flipping you off does not have to be an animated hand gesture. It can be something as "small" as the child snapping his/her face away from you while you are talking to him/her. Flipping you off can be something as petty as sticking their tongue out at you after you close the door. It can also be as hazardous as ignoring public law, or even more hazardous, ignoring your teachings in your absence. Flipping you off can also be something as seriously severe as screaming obscenities at you, or worse. These are all forms of rebellion and arrogance. 1 Samuel 15:23 of the NIV Bible states "For rebellion is like the sin of divination [KJV says witchcraft], and arrogance like the evil of idolatry..." That is why the Bible advises the fathers to drive rebellion far from child(ren). Realize, as I am certain you do, that it is a very short trip from adolescence to adulthood -- often too short to re-learn righteous humility and good behavior management which were lost in the teachings of the entertainment industry.
In the third installment, I claimed that some would not listen to that which I believe Jesus is using me to tell you. I wish to redefine that claim: to redirect it from individuals to we as a nation, a people, a culture: a culture which has embraced the `right' to watch nudity and to listen to vulgarities, to witness hate, arrogance, and malice; to willfully expose ourselves to ignominy -- all in the name of entertainment. I say to you now, it is a sin to willfully observe these things as entertainment. AND it is a sin to expose your children to them, even (especially) for the sake of satisfying the adage "Kids gotta learn about these things somehow." Please do not use the entertainment media to teach your kids about these things. Teach your kids about them yourselves! It is a heap big no-no to immerse your kids into the ways of Satan to teach them about his evil. Tell your kids about them, but don't throw them in the lake of sin to see if they can swim out of it. What do you do if they can't?
Let us return to an earlier discussion about the movie *Titanic* (1997, PG-13). Kate Winslett artfully and humbly and poetically but sensuously dropped her robe to expose herself for artistic purposes. POPPYCOCK AND PIFFLE -- SHE STRIPPED! She also had sex in the back seat of her fiance's car! And she has done these things in front of millions of children much younger than 13 years old. On July 25, 1998 I saw a TV commercial in which a little girl about seven or eight years old said "Just like in *Titanic*" What does that say about our cultural morality? Even Saturday morning cartoons present programming that cannot be understood unless the viewer has seen movies restricted to ages much older than the typical audience of the cartoon. *Titanic* was a peep show for adolescents -- yet another attempt of the entertainment industry to steal childhood from children and to lower the threshold of acceptability: "...there has not been a more subliminal, far-reaching theft of innocence of such scale and dimension in the history of childhood than *Titanic*!" This movie reminded me of the dirty old man who shows little boys a faded and worn clipping from a porno magazine.
Children exposed to entertainment media ignominy, with or without your approval, can't help but use it as a building block in the learning process. Often, maybe most often, the millions of children under 13 who saw the movie did so with parental permission because of the lowering of the threshold of acceptability over the past 43 years, which is also attributable to the entertainment industry! And Winslett will continue to do her celluloid deeds as long as the movie is saleable and as long as parents don't care or don't control! Besides, who does the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) think they are to say that it is okay for my (or your) 13-year old, or even older, to watch nudity and intercourse (however masked) as entertainment?
Let me repeat: it is a sin to watch nudity for entertainment! Why do you think the Bible repeatedly refers to "shameful nudity?" And it is a sin to expose one's self to other forms of ignominy for the purposes of entertainment. If your child goes to see ignominy in the movies as entertainment, the child sins. And if you approve of your son or daughter doing so, YOU sin.
And now to the long-awaited millstone.
In the Gospels of Jesus, according to the Apostles St. Matthew, St. Mark, and Doctor St. Luke, are three accountings of Jesus' teachings, admonishments, and warnings about how we are to manage children. The three accountings are written by three different Apostles but each accounting says the same, and NOT by coincidence or plagiarism!
In the three Gospels, Jesus Himself relates to us that whatever you do to His "...little ones..." -- the children -- you do to HIM. A rather powerful and inarguable admonition that requires pure and noble behavior of us in the management of our children. Jesus goes on to tell us that to offer gifts and sacrifice (even a gift as seemingly small in value as a cup of cold water) to children, done in His name (by faith in Salvation through Christ), is a guarantee that s/he who gives or sacrifices will "...in no wise lose his/her reward (in heaven)." Jesus continues by telling us that while there will indeed be sin and sinners, He exacts woes (a very heavy price) on the one who does the sinning. And one of the woes is that, for the one who causes or teaches a child to sin, it would be better if a millstone were tied around the sinner's neck then they were both cast into the sea. YIPE!
How many of you know what a millstone is? To help those who do not, once upon a time wheat and other grain were ground into flour or meal by turning one large stone atop a stationary second stone of the same dimensions with the grain between the two stones. The top stone had a hole in the middle to introduce the grain. The top stone was rotated by a water wheel driven by `the old mill stream.' This is how we came by the term "stone ground." The top stone is the millstone. Depending on the production rate of the mill, the stones were four to five feet in diameter and about two feet thick. Now, imagine the millstone attached to your neck in a way that cannot be undone then it, with you attached, being thrown into the sea. No chance of survival, no how!
Jesus sternly warned us that to teach or cause a child to sin is a sin of terrible dimension: that the millstone is the [figurative] fate for teaching or causing a child to sin. To watch the ignominy in movies like Titanic as entertainment is sin enough, but to TAKE your children to see, or to permit them to see movies such as Titanic, is a millstone sin. I can't make it any more plain than that! While Jesus will forgive all sin but the sin against the Holy Ghost, why take the chance that you die before you are forgiven of the sin of voluntarily viewing ignominy or leading your child(ren) into this sin in the name of entertainment?
Is it worth the chance to argue whether watching nudity and other ignominy as entertainment is a sin? God has warned us about putting vile things before our eyes (Psalm 101:3). There are also many Scriptures that warn us about vile words and deeds. Arguing whether entertainment ignominy is sinful is simply not worth the chance of being wrong.
Sure, if your child goes to such movies without your permission or approval, you have no direct part in the sin. But let me remind you of whom it was God called for when He came to the garden of Eden after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. God came lookin' for Adam, not Eve and not both, for an accounting from Adam of her sin as well as his own. While Adam did not have any "control" over Eve eating of the forbidden fruit (Adam was not present when she ate the fruit), the husband is responsible to God for his family: the wife AND the children. Fathers, take heed. When the time to account for your children comes, God will not look to your wife or to the children -- He will come to YOU expecting a full accounting! You can't get out of it, man! It does not matter whether you believe this. Though the sins of your family may not be your "fault," YOU will be held fully responsible!
In further installments I will share with you Scriptural dictates and guidance specific to the examples of entertainment industry ignominy, but in this installment it was my intent to share with you His undeniable and inescapable expectations of us about exposing your children to ignominy for the sake of entertainment -- the millstone around your neck. As I said in the beginning, I did not write these rules, God did. And we will, in one way or another, suffer for embracing the ignominy of the entertainment industry -- it is SAD BUT TRUE.
As promised at the beginning , the root cause of school violence and the cause of the decay of righteous submission of school children to fair authority is the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry influences not only kids, it influences the President, Congress people, Senators, Legislators, public school program developers, parents, Christians, criminals, law-abiding citizens, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, medics, baseball players, ditch diggers, light bulb changers, computer technicians, ministers, deep thinkers, laughing people, couch potatoes, loggers, brick layers...every walk of life...every one, *including* YOU and I. The most significant part comes in how we handle and what we are going to do about the influence of the entertainment industry, which has so far been quite permissive and accepting.
SAD BUT TRUE, Fourth Installment - The Millstone.
©1998 ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
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In the name of Jesus:
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
©1998 ChildCare Action Project (CAP)