Thursday, November 12, 2009

Poll Results

I enjoyed the last poll! Here are the answers:

8 voted for romance.
14 voted for daily life.
8 voted for mystery.
10 voted for historical.
5 voted for fantasy.
5 voted for satire.
6 voted for other.


As Christians, we are commanded to do "all to the glory of God", even mundane things such as eating and drinking. I have been challenged many a time to consider how we can glorify God as we read. When we read, we are taking in information, people's opinions or ideas, philosophies either of God or of the world. What we take in often takes root in our hearts and produces fruit. That is why we should be so careful in what we read. If we feed ourselves stories that promote selfishness or fleshiness, we may easily succumb to the same. On the other hand, if we fill our minds with stories that promote godly living and glorify God, hopefully it will become part of our thinking processes and will help us to glorify God better in our own lives.

I thank my parents for, very early on in our childhood, introducing us to godly entertainment. When we were little, we did not watch Bugs Bunny or Nickelodeon every Saturday morning. We watched Trinity Broadcasting Network's children's shows. I can't say I agree with TBN's ideals (I don't!); however, the children's shows were usually simple Bible truths, Bible stories, and Bible lessons, helping us to dwell on the things of God at an early age. We watched movies like "He is Risen", "So Dear to My Heart", and other ones with Biblical lessons or references. We grew up basically with the mindset that you can enjoy a good book or movie that helps people in their relationship with God.

We may think that the only good books are devotional type books. Those are excellent; I LOVE reading Tozer and Amy Carmichael!! But we can also glorify God in the novels we read! One of my favorite series is the A Life of Faith series, which follows the lives of fictional characters, Elsie Dinsmore, Millie Keith, Violet Travilla, and Kathleen McKenzie. The stories include aspects of adventure, history, romance (so to speak), mystery, and daily life-- but intertwined through it all, the heroines are learning to honor God in each aspect of their lives. Reading these books helps me to think Biblically and walk with God throughout the day.

As most of you know, some of my favorite authors are George MacDonald, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen. The latter two are not generally categorized as Christian authors (I am not sure whether they knew the Lord or not) but their books/stories always help me to see things through a Biblical worldview and set before me good examples of people who either strive to live godly lives (examples: Amy Dorrit, Elinor Dashwood), or people who struggle with their sin natures but learn to overcome (examples: Emma Woodhouse, Mr. Darcy). They-- especially Dickens-- present many Biblical parallels in their characters and stories. George MacDonald interweaves strong Scriptural truths and lessons throughout his books, and has inspired me to do the same in my books.

Contrast this with filling your minds with stories in which witchcraft, thieving, and conflict are tolerated or even condoned. If you fill your mind with a book or movie in which the character lives in constant rebellion of authority and never learns to check that rebellion, what will you be influenced to do? While each of us must make the decisions of how to behave/react ourselves, the influence of the press is very real. Look around you. Most of the decadence you see comes from letting the dust collect on God's Word and books that promote God's word, and from the endorsing of ungodly, antichrist literature and media.

Wow! I didn't mean for this post to go down this track, but I guess it did! My point is to ask yourselves some questions about the books you read and movies you watch:
  • Does this book glorify the Lord?
  • Does this book advocate practices/beliefs that are deliberately contrary to God's teachings?
  • If Jesus were to come in bodily form and look over my shoulder as I was reading this book, would I snap it shut really fast and try to hide the title so he wouldn't know what I was reading? (Incidentally, He does always know what you are reading!)
  • Will this book help me to honor God and love others as I should?
  • Is this book distracting me from my duties around the home and my purpose as a Christian?
Feel free to add more of your own questions! And please don't think I am infallible when it comes to books. This is something I really need to think over! But it is food for thought for all of us.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

Rosebud said...

Talk about a long post! But you're right - what we read does influence who we are, so we should be careful what we read.