How do we make biblical media and entertainment choices?

July 18, 2016

Article By: Generations

Daniel Craig: I think one of the things that people often get queasy about when they find another Christian resource on culture is, "Is this gonna be a bunch of really narrowly defined applications and another guy is gonna try to tell me exactly what kind of music I should listen to?" And one of the things I picked up when I was reading a number of reviews, is several people commented about the fact that you went to the biblical principles. And so tell us a little bit about how you approach some of these sticky issues because God doesn't say, "Don't listen to X type of music," but does he give principles?

Kevin Swanson: Right, I don't go with, "Don't dance or chew or go with girls who do." I stayed away from that real narrow approach to analyzing and incorporating culture into your family church, rather I said, "What are the biblical principles and how do you thoughtfully and carefully apply them to your own family culture?" And the problem is, of course, a lot of people ignore biblical culture and biblical principles, so we gotta be sure that we're not following the dish that says, "Narrow the applications and don't do this and don't do this and don't do this." But on the other hand, let's be sure that we know the biblical principles involved that relate to the way we do music, the way we do movies, the way we do tattooing and all these other aspects of culture.

Daniel Craig: Yeah, you get into some practical aspects of culture and tying the principles to some of the main categories of culture, world view at the movies, discerning music in the home and church, how we talk about matters like hip-hop. Does the Bible speak to Christian hip-hop? Things like that. So I think when I read this I found it to be an extremely practical book and yet you kept it at the right principle level.

Kevin Swanson: The Bible doesn't mention hip-hop.

Daniel Craig: It doesn't?

Kevin Swanson: No. It's not there. But the Bible does mention honoring your father and mother. So the big question is, how do you apply the commandment, 'Honor your father and mother,' to the music you listen to? The simple question to ask anybody is, "What does your mom, what does your dad think about that music?" That's a very simple question.

Daniel Craig: That's a takeaway.

Kevin Swanson: It is.

Daniel Craig: If you have a young man or a young woman wondering, "What kind of music should I listen to?" Maybe actually a good place to start would be, "What do mom and dad think I should be listening to?"

Kevin Swanson: Right, right. And I have no business in my book telling you what mom and dad think. All I know...

Daniel Craig: That they have to ask the question themselves.

Kevin Swanson: Yeah, they will, that's right. So there's something subjective about culture, but there's something very objective and principled about it, and you'll find it in the fifth commandment and the first, and the second, and the third, and the fourth and the fifth. So yeah, the word of God has much to say. The real question is, how do you apply the commandments of God to culture? There's no option, we've got to be applying the commandments of God to life, let's not back away from that. But how do you do it? I grapple with that in the book.

Chad Roach: So whether you're building family culture, whether you're trying to change your family culture, or whether in the last three minutes you just realized you have a family culture, the tattoo Jesus. What would the real Jesus do with pop culture?

Kevin Swanson: I think he would say, "There's a problem here." And Christians need to be very cautious, very careful with how they handle cultural systems. Bottom line is tens of millions, hundreds of millions of young people are walking away from the church and one of the reasons they're doing that is they're being discipled by the humanists, by those who are diametrically opposed to God's word and they introduce their own world views, their own perspectives, and they sell it to us through $100 million productions called Hollywood movies and music as well. So music, movies, cultural productions at the highest level are way more influential in the average child's life than the public schools, or than their parents, or than their youth pastor. So if a youth pastor steps out in front of his little congregation of youth and he sees everybody has got a bone in their nose, what does he do? Well, he goes and he gets a bone, he puts it through his nose. Yeah, he's gotta go get one himself. Why? Because he's not leading the culture. Those that are leading the culture are the Hollywood stars and the Nashville stars, they're the ones at the top of that pinnacle that are dictating what happens in the lives of tens of millions of young teens and their youth pastors.

Daniel Craig: And it's not just teens out there, these are our teens, our kids, our brothers, our sisters, our sons and daughters.

Kevin Swanson: So this is such an important issue, it's just crucial for every parent in America to be very discerning because we've got a competitive force here, and we're not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers that dominate our major institutions, our cultural institutions today. And it is absolutely incumbent upon parents not to walk out there naive but to properly discern the systems and bring a distinctively biblical approach to them.

About Generations

The vision of Generations (formerly Generations with Vision) is to pass on the faith to the next generation through the biblical family, discipleship, and education. We equip families and churches around the world through our daily radio programs, discipleship resources, the Christian Curriculum Project, and discipleship events and retreats.

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