Summary: The media is everywhere around us, shaping our culture & guiding teens in the way theythink, act, dress, watch. It’s like living in a maze. What is wrong; what is right? This sermon looks at these questions through the lens of God’s unchanging word.

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Philippians 4:8, …fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. NLT

Intro: The media is everywhere around us, shaping our culture & guiding teens in the way you think, act, dress, watch. It’s like living in a maze. What is wrong; what is right? Which way do I go? Who or what do I follow? Is all entertainment bad? Is all the media bad? Are all movies & music wrong? Do these sound like questions you’ve ever asked?

If you watch TV, turn on the radio, rent a movie, read a magazine, log on to the Internet, play video games, or read the newspaper you have opened up yourself to the direct influence of today’s media. It is nearly impossible to be untouched by the powerful influence of today’s music & media.

I want to give you 4 negative ways that media affects us & then give you some practical guidelines in dealing w/it.

1. The Media Presents a False View of Reality.

The media often tells lies; and if you are not reading & studying God’s Word; if you’re not running everything you see & hear through the filter of a Biblical worldview than you run the risk of believing the lies rather than learning the truth.

These “reality” shows are anything but. Media tells you that all that matters is personal gratification; that you need to live for the moment.

ILL- Paradise TV’s most watched show pits 3 women against each other as they undergo a series of tests to determine which of the three is a virgin. Viewers vote on the one they think is a virgin & if they pick correctly she is obliged to lose her virginity on screen.

In the film The Matrix, the premise is that the world as we know it is actually a construct created by a super race of computers. In that construct, nothing is real; life is only what the computers say it is. The media try to do the same thing for us. Advertisers try to show us what life would be like if only we used their product. Sitcoms and soap operas create stories that seem to be real, but are they really? These constructs often display values, ideologies, points of view, stereotypes and, sometimes, outright illusions.

2. The Media Provides Heroes & Role Models not Worth Imitating.

A recent survey of junior high students found that 36% chose actors as their heroes; 19% musicians; 11% tied w/athletes & comedians. It seems that the only qualification for being a hero or roll model is not what one stands for, but rather their celebrity status. Today’s stars no longer let their abilities do their talking, but instead they think that their status should be a platform for expressing views on anything form whales to politics. But if you listen to what they say & examine their lifestyles it isn’t long until you realize they lack a biblical sense of right & wrong. Their moral compass is all messed up. Examine your heroes in the light of a biblical standard. Otherwise you run the risk of accepting the whole package & imitate traits & attitudes that are dangerous, immoral, & wrong.

3. The Media Teaches us that Life is Boring.

We are living in the MTV generation. Through our immersion in a culture of high tech; fast paced; action films; computer games & so on, we have forgotten how to actively listen & make our own fun. Compared to everything else, life is dull & boring. I see a marked difference between children & teens that spend an unlimited time immersed in the media & those who don’t. Kid’s who watch a lot of TV get bored when the set is turned off; they don’t know what to do w/their time. Kid’s whose parents set limits are better communicators; better readers; have a longer attention span; & are able to make life fun w/o TV.

4. The Media Causes “Christianity Confusion.

In recent years the Grammy’s, American Music Awards, & the MTV Music Video Awards have shown us performers who receive their awards & take the time to thank God. The fact that these stars mentioned God sometimes encourages so Christian teens. “Did you hear Puff Daffy last night. He thanked Jesus for the award. He must be a Christian.” I’m not here to judge, but many of these artists who invoke the name of God preach themes that are anti-God, anti-Bible. & anti- Christian. Don’t get confused!

ILL- Thomas, Seann and Chris speak about their faith in terms that would make any youth worker or Christian parent proud.

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Larry Finley

commented on Aug 13, 2009

I think this is one of the most relevent and Biblically accurate sermons on TV & the Media I have ever read. Please see that it gets wide distribution. Thank you for your hard work and honesty.

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