How does worldliness in entertainment affect revival in the church? Does Christian involvement in and support of entertainment like American Idol, The Voice, etc. hinder revival or allow opportunity to be a Christian in the public eye?
Thanks for your question. One preacher has commented, “Worldliness saps me spiritually,” highlighting the fact that a heart for the world hinders a heart for God. But what is worldliness? In a nutshell, it’s that which is under the influence of the god of this world to influence you away from the one true God. Being drawn away from God hinders walking with God or even seeking revival.
Not all entertainment is evil. Yet even legitimate entertainment can become a hindrance if one is obsessed with it in thought or time spent. In the matter of entertainment, one would do well to ask, “Am I being entertained by that for which Jesus died?” But as with any sin, the greatest hindrance to revival is not sin, but rather not dealing with your sin.
Pardon my ignorance but though I’ve heard of American Idol, I’m not familiar with it, nor am I acquainted with The Voice. Thus, I cannot address your question with specific details. Perhaps they are worldly. Part of it may depend on who is involved. Someone with a strong testimony may hurt the cause of Christ through involvement. Yet a new believer who is not mature in discernment may not have such a negative effect. My father used to say God is more concerned with one’s direction than where they are at.
James 4:4-10 addresses worldliness:
- Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
- Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
- But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
- Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
- Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
- Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Worldliness is unnecessary because God is giving grace (vv. 4-7). But when grace is ignored and the Spirit is grieved, we must draw near to God by getting thoroughly honest (vv. 8-9). When we humble ourselves, God revives us (v. 10). This passage is a great revival passage that parallels the Old Testament passage, 2 Chronicles 7:14.
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Just an observation… an emphasis on “Stop being worldly” doesn’t typically change a heart. I’m not saying there is no place for warning believers about the schemes of the enemy to steal their hearts. However, a fresh revelation of the riches of Christ (which only the Holy Spirit can do-often thru the preaching of the Word and prayer) must also happen. Otherwise, people will just have a “behavioral” turn- not a heart turn. But when the Holy Spirit works, it is a willing “heart turn.” I love this old hymn which speaks of this. May we all be “captivated by… Read more »
Absolutely! That’s why James emphasizes grace–Spirit-enablement.