Sin, Schemes, and Comedy

For my new followers, I’m a junior software developer. This means I have one of those jobs where I could be busy 8 hours a day actively programming something (read: systematically killing my brain), or have a lot of down time while I’m waiting to see if the application I’m working on breaks. Sometimes I’ll read blogs, or if my brain needs a recharge I’ll watch funny videos on YouTube. Usually that will be blooper scenes from TV shows I like, or random seemingly related videos. Maybe it’s been a while since I’ve watched real TV instead of Netflix, or maybe it’s because I’ve been reading Tempted and Tried, or maybe the Holy Spirit has just opened my eyes. Whichever the case, I realized something that disturbed me deeply.

Biblically, there are demonic spirits at work in this world. Their goal is to make sin seem appetizing and ensnare us. Their goal is to kill us. So, how foolish would we have to be to think that the primary method of trying to change what we believe about sin would be through politics and court rooms?

Ephesians 6:12 ESV
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

A couple days ago I watched a two minute scene of a very popular sitcom. I’m not going to say which one because I don’t want people Googling it. The scene starts with this guy and girl in bed after sleeping together the night before. She wakes up, sees him, and says “Oh, no. God, no.” or something to that affect. Then he wakes up, and she turns to him and says “This never happened. Don’t tell anyone. Got it?” Then he nods his head. She replies, “You still can’t talk to me?!” Apparently this guy was shy around her.

Now, I admit, that is pretty funny. That’s what makes it such a problem. Satan and demons know that if they try to hit us head on with sin, that we’ll see sin for what it is and fight it. But that’s rarely been the way of the old serpent. He starts off making us question “Is this really wrong?” and he’ll do his best to keep us off our guard. What better way to do that than through comedy? We realize crime/drama shows depict horrible things, and we recognize them as horrible. But if Satan can make us laugh…

Beware the schemes of the evil one

At the risk of alienating most of my readers, I think FRIENDS is a good example of these schemes, and as such is a microcosm of all that is wrong in the universe. Granted, I’m only thirty, but from everything I’ve read and heard, the idea of cohabitation and pre-marital sex was still pretty frowned upon in the 80’s. I know people were doing it, given that the 80’s took place after the 60’s, but it seemed less culturally acceptable. And a pregnant teenager was certainly out of the question.

Then enter FRIENDS in 1994, I was 11. Now, imagine seeing the cool cast of characters on FRIENDS at age 11. I mean, they were cool. Granted, they were all late twenties and early thirties and not married with no kids…sounds like another phenomenon we’re experiencing, but they were cool. So, most of my peers watched this show from age 11-21, during their most formative years. Seeing the whole cast have sex with each other at some point, except for the brother and sister. Enter the ideas of sex before marriage and friends with benefits into an 12 year old mind. And the kids who watched this show, and probably their parents, were laughing the whole time.

Fast forward to almost ten years after the show ended and we see that cohabitation is normalized, and that pre-marital sex and friends with benefits is not only accepted, but expected and sought out.

Now, I realize that FRIENDS isn’t the only show that would have instilled these values, or lack thereof, but it was by far the most popular. I’m also sure that this show didn’t start this trend. Some episodes of Seinfeld included these aspects, but nothing so blatant as on FRIENDS.

As much as I’ve harped on this show, that isn’t the point. It’s the example. Because that old dragon will do his best to make sure we’re distracted, and he wants us comfortable while he poisons our minds. He wants to make that fruit just shiny enough for us to bite into it without realizing it’s too good to be true, and then he will wreak havoc on our world – on our souls.

6 responses to “Sin, Schemes, and Comedy

  1. I don’t recall ever allowing you to watch Friends in our home. Please clarify. I have always hated the show because of the blatant sin. And just a reminder…..sexual sin began before the 60’s. 🙂

    • No, I wasn’t allowed to watch it, but it was on for ten years, so I saw a few episodes here and there. Yes, sexual sin began before the 60’s, but I don’t see it as culturally accepted and normalized until after the 90’s. Granted, I have a limited perspective, but even in the 60’s the people involved in that were going against the grain, not with it.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. Each generation continues to push the envelope where morality is concerned. When I was a teenager, I recall being mad at the movie Gone With the Wind because it was one of the first movies to use bad language. Now bad language is dismissed and glossed over. Morality in the majority of television shows is mocked. It’s just sad.

    • Yeah, we talked about this some in my home group on Monday. I mean, every TV show has a message behind the style. I remember growing up watching Andy Griffith and Gomer Pyle. Those shows were funny, but still had a decent message. Obviously, my filter for what I watch is more robust than that, and I think that’s ok as long as we’re aware of a show’s “hidden” message, but some things should definitely be avoided :-/

      Thanks for stopping in, Kristi!

  3. Spiritual warfare is so exhausting. Thank you for the reminder to be on guard for it in entertainment. What you said about the place of battle is right on. When it’s just an issue being argued on paper, we can stand firm easily enough. I’m more vulnerable when it’s a narrative and I sympathize with the sinner.

    1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The enemy knows our weaknesses. We’re less aware of what slips in when we’re winding down from a long day. Or at least I am. How gracious of the Father to warn us.

    • Yeah, I’m the same way. I’m much more likely to come home and watch TV and tolerate jokes I shouldn’t just because they make me laugh when I’m tired from work or when I just don’t have anything to do on the weekend. Mark Driscoll reminds us that Satan will H.I.T. us when we’re “hungry, isolated, and tired.”

      As in physical combat, the times we need to be the most alert is when we’re completely exhausted and just want to relax. I’m incredibly grateful for God’s protection when I am weak and, if I’m honest, lazy at times.

      Thanks again for stopping in and sharing!

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