It's easy to be passive in our thoughts. We're bombarded with so many concepts and opinions everyday that we have learned to tune them out - smile and nod and ignore the message - or assimilate it subconsciously. I do it regularly.
But every once in a while, I recognize a trend: a series of unrelated sources all presenting me with the same questions to ponder. And that's when I take notice. That's when I think intentionally...

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Lion Chasers

2 Samuel 23:20 (NIV) - "Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valient fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits.  He struck down Moab's two mightiest warriors.  He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion."

This is one of those verses that I tended to skip over...

But when I picked up Mark Batterson’s book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, he described this scene in breathtaking cinematic quality.  Needless to say, I read it differently now.  His rendition inspired me to apply it to my own life; one natural connection, for me, was to the power of media in our culture.   

In the last few years I have heard various opinions on the nature of media – and have been warned of its evils and pitfalls.  About a year ago, I heard it suggested that, as Christians, we should boycott anything produced by Hollywood.  This opinion took me off guard.  But as I began to delve into what bothered me about the statement, I began to recognize my worldview.   
I will never deny the powerful influence of media on our culture; this is not an attempt to dismiss it.  And I am not condoning the endless surge of morally substandard entertainment spewing forth in all its ‘glory’... 

On the contrary, I believe it is time for the Church to begin taking ground. 

Denial will not wrench culture from the altar of entertainment.  As Mark Batterson states in his book, “We need to stop criticizing culture and start creating it.  (The Apostle) Paul didn’t boycott the Aeropagus.  He didn’t stand outside with a picket sign: “Athenian Idolaters Are Going to Hell in a Hand Basket.”  Paul wasn’t playing to lose.  Paul was playing to win, so he went toe-to-toe with some of the greatest philosophical minds in the ancient world.  Paul competed for the truth on their turf.  Instead of complaining about the current state of affairs, we need to offer better alternatives…In the words of Michelangelo, we need to criticize by creating.”

The opinion that “Christian entertainment” is unable to compete with the secular, Hollywood version has prevailed for too long.  There are countless artists in this world with incredible talents – but the giftings of those who have tapped into their potential in Christ should be even more amazing!  The media could be completely revolutionized by an infiltration of Christian authors, songwriters and artists operating in the anointing of their God-given destiny.  But, that will only happen as long as the Church steps onto the battlefield with the intention to win.  No revolution achieved victory with the strategy “just don’t lose”. 

And yes, I suppose that attacking mainstream entertainment head-on is somewhat extreme.  Perhaps that is why I like Benaiah’s story.  He was an incredible example of a man who lived with a valiant conviction.  Benaiah did not run away from the lions he faced… he was a lion-chaser!  His gut reaction, when he was faced with what most people would call an impossible situation, reveals the heart that every Christian should have. 

Are you chasing your lion? 

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