Children of God laughing at and finding enjoyment in sinful behavior? I’m afraid so. It’s one of the unquestionable indicators that some of us need to step back and assess, in light of God’s Word, what entertains us. We live in a time in which it is so easy to let the ways of a depraved world become our ways. Little by little, some Christians are becoming accustomed to the presence of sinful behavior around them, and in their increasingly desensitized state, some have even started to like it. By that, I don’t necessarily mean that these Christians are taking part in many of the world’s sins. Rather, they are finding enjoyment in seeing or hearing of the sins of others.
For example, do you enjoy television programs and movies that glorify sin? Do you enjoy the risqué story? Do you laugh at the “colorful” language of the world? While visiting in the home of a fine Christian couple recently, my wife and I saw a simple sign sitting on top of their television set. It read: “How dare we be entertained by the things that sent Jesus to the cross?”
That sobering thought reminds me of Genesis 9:20-27 where we read of Noah’s drunkenness and its devastating results. Though a good man on the whole (Genesis 6:8), Noah was not perfect. The Bible tells of his getting drunk and becoming “uncovered in his tent.” While the drunken Noah was lying naked on his bed, his son Ham “…saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside” (Genesis 9:22). According to a number of sources, the word “saw” in that passage can include the idea of enjoyment or satisfaction. The word “told” could be translated told with delight. The sense is not so much that Ham found some lewd gratification in his father’s nakedness, but that he simply thought that the whole situation was funny. Shem and Japheth, thankfully, did not share their brother’s sense of humor. It was no laughing matter!
It is simply not proper to find enjoyment or pleasure in sin, be it our own or someone else’s. Love “does not rejoice in iniquity” (1 Corinthians 13:6). Only “fools mock at sin…” (Proverbs 14:9). When Jesus saw sinful behavior, He responded with emotions like anger (Mark 3:5) and tearful sorrow (Luke 19:41). In light of these passages, can you honestly picture the Lord having a chuckle at adultery, lying, obscene language, witchcraft, jealousy, drunkenness, and the like (Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5-10; Ephesians 5:3-4)? Neither can I!
What does it say, then, to know of so many professed Christians who derive great pleasure and enjoyment from television programs that glorify sin? Do you enjoy the lasciviousness and immodesty in programs like “Dancing with the Stars,” “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team,” and “The Victoria Secret Fashion Show?” Is your favorite television show one that revels in adultery, fornication and other forms of sexual misconduct such as “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Two-and-a-half Men?”
Carefully consider Paul’s admonition to the Church in Ephesus: “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God” (Ephesians 5:3-4). Verse 3 in the NIV reads, in part, “…among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality…” How can we keep even a hint of sexual immorality out of our lives and “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), while being entertained by some of the very sins that sent Jesus to Calvary?
May we all examine ourselves (Lamentations 3:40 – “Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 – “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith”), and adopt the attitude of the psalmist: “Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:104). It’s hard to be entertained by something you hate!
Written by Eddie Parish