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Think On These Things...Pure

Philippians 4:8 (ESV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

We now come to the fourth in our list of things on which we are to think – whatsoever things are pure. “Pure” is translated from the Greek word “hagnos” which refers to that which is clean, morally pure, without fault, chaste. Things that are pure are free from any moral stain.

Now think of this admonition in today’s culture and climate. I have in my collection of DVDs (yes – there are a few of us that still have those antiquated forms of media) several episodes of the Jack Benny show from decades ago. I still love watching some of them and to be honest they were the kind of entertainment anyone in the family could watch. The humor in them was clean – no coarseness, and none of the topics were “R” rated. I also remember growing up and watching shows such as Gilligan’s Island, Flipper, and yes, even Batman. None of these shows had any content that was morally questionable. Go back into the forties and fifties and most of the movies carried a “G” rating. In fact, the big scandal of 1939 was when the word “damn” appeared in Gone with the Wind.

Now compare that to what we have on television today. Most all the comedy shows deal with topics that, according to Paul, are shameful to even talk about (Ephesians 5:1-12). Nightly comedy shows, and just about all the stand-up comedians of the day, deal with topics that were off limits just a short time ago. It seems nothing is off the table, and it appears the coarser the speech, the higher the ratings. We are exposed to topics in our modern media that would have shocked us only a few decades ago. I often wondered what our g-grandparents would think if we invented a time machine and brought them to the present and had them watch television for a day or two. They would probably think they were in a different reality.

Some of the most popular shows of the day are filled with topics such as serial immorality, sexual deviancy, homosexuality, graphic violence, rape, and just about every other moral vice imaginable. One of the most popular shows, Game of Thrones, has pushed the limits of the allowable well beyond any reasonable moral boundaries. Immorality is the norm. When there is a show that has a normal, moral person they are often seen as the bigoted, narrow-minded, and backwards character that needs to be marginalized and ignored.

It is my belief that as believers, we have gotten so used to the moral standards of the day we have become desensitized. What would happen if you had Christ over for a TV night, say dinner and a movie? What would you watch? Do you think he would approve of your entertainment selection?

I would strongly encourage us to do a moral reset here. If we are to think on that which is pure, we cannot fill our minds with that which is impure. That means many of us are going to have to rethink our entertainment choices. Perhaps we need to keep the television off more and stay away from the internet.

After all, the only way to think on pure things is to fill our mind with pure thoughts!

Whatsoever things…are pure…think on these things!

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