Avoiding The Seemingly Unavoidable

(originally posted 10/9/2015 at littlegirlriseup.blogspot.com)

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” (2 Tim 3:2-5)

We are clearly instructed to “avoid such men as these.” The NIV translation says, Have nothing to do with such people.” And the King James says, from such turn away.” Avoid such men as these. Have nothing to do with such people. From such, turn away.

The Bible clearly tells us what sort of persons to turn away from, yet most of us allow these very persons into our homes, lives and minds every single day. Not only ours, but our children’s as well. Right after the Bible tells us to “avoid such men as these” and “have nothing to do with such people”, it says:  “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,” (verse 6, King James).

The NIV translation goes into even more detail:  They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,” (verse 6, NIV)

I find it interesting that right after the Bible tells us to avoid certain kinds of people, It then warns us that those sort of people find a way to “creep” or “worm” their way into your home.  While most of us are certainly agreeable to avoiding personal contact with such people, we have no problem watching them on TV, listening to their music, reading about them in magazines or books and watching their movies. And although at the time this scripture was written, the television, movie and music industry didn’t exist, it can certainly be seen as a prophetic warning of the effects these mediums would have and the modus operandi they would employ. Scripture says that their mode of operation is to “creep in” or to “worm their way in”. Once in, scripture says their effects are to “lead captive” and to “gain control”, to “lead away and sway with all kinds of evil desires”.

I was watching a sermon the other day, and I found one of the statements the Pastor made to be particularly noteworthy. He said something to the effect that we should be careful what we find humor in, because what we laugh at, we are, in essence, agreeing with. This is because for us to find something funny, we must first find it agreeable. That is what makes it funny to us, because we identify with the humor and, in essence, have a shared point of view. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t find it funny, we would find it offensive or at best, neutral. Remarkably, many of those who profess to be Christians nowadays seem to be an awful lot like those people whom we are told to avoid:  in bondage to love of self, love of money, boastful, arrogant, ungrateful, malicious gossips, without self-control, conceited and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness but denying its power. And because of this, many self-professed Christians have become “led away and swayed with all kinds of evil desires.”

If the Bible says to avoid certain people, then you do it regardless of whether they are in your presence or you are watching them on TV, listening to their music on the radio, reading about them in a magazine or watching them in a movie. You do it regardless of whether you really love that person’s music or whether you really enjoy that particular television show. A lot of us really need to take a look at what we consume for entertainment. Christ said we are to consume Him (John 6:50-58), but if we were to take a look at how much of our time is spent consuming Christ, versus how much of our time is spent consuming the things of this world, where would we stand?

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23)