This past Wednesday, May 13, I logged onto Facebook. Immediately it appeared that the majority of my Facebook friends were making some reference to either Lost (which was the night of the season finale) or American Idol. In somewhat of a provocative but facetious manner, I wrote a “tongue in cheek” update at 10:51pm: “It seems that 90% of my FB friends are either Lost or Idol watchers.”
Honestly I didn’t anticipate the series of comments that would follow within minutes that progressed to an avalanche spanning four days. I want to invite others into this fascinating dialogue amongst those who have engaged thus far concerning this vital issue of judging.
My desire is that we would each commit ourselves wholeheartedly to pursuing Christ himself with a humble and contrite heart. I’ve found from personal experience that when I’m in a posture of worship and humility before the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, it is in that place that I’m most able to see from His vantage point. Hence I’m able to seize the Truth in a manner that doesn’t puff me up; instead it causes me to bow my face even lower in the dust while simultaneous stirring my heart deeply to be a conduit of the gospel. Revelation from the Lord as revealed through the Scriptures MUST deal with both the heart and the mind. When we neglect one (i.e., heart, mind) it invariably affects the whole. Christians should set their hearts upon the Lord to pursue Him wholeheartedly which includes one who diligently exercises the mind “to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
I have more to write, but let me start by posting the dialogue up to this point on the issue of judging. I’ll be the first to confess that I haven’t studied this important issue thoroughly in the Scriptures; but my heart has been stirred to do so. I want to desperately know the heart of God in this matter so that I may better reflect the true nature of Christ. This may—well, I’m pretty confident that it will—require that I am willing to change my own assumptions concerning this issue. Again, the goal isn’t simply the attainment of “head knowledge”—but rather the ability in my heart to seize the Spirit of revelation and wisdom (Ephesians 1:17) so that I may be conformed to His image.
I think you’ll find the thread insightful.
In the Secret Place,
Brian Francis Hume—(10:51pm, May 13)
“It seems that 90% of my FB friends are either Lost or Idol watchers.”
Jason Lon Jacobs—(10:57pm, May 13)
Either way, it's a sad condition. Pray for their salvation or for holiness added to their salvation.The Holy Spirit will not LET me watch such unholy things. I detest it.
Tracy Parsley Kane—(10:59pm, May 13)
me too, I do not watch either one
AC—(11:01pm, May 13)
thanks a lot jason. thanks
Christee L Brindzik Jones—(11:02pm, May 13)
I'm part of the 10% :)
Erin Wright—(11:05pm, May 13)
uuummm, was "jason lon jacobs" for real? Pray for their salvation or for holiness added to their salvation? Seriously?
Juan M. Deleon—(11:38pm, May 13)
I watched both tonight! Did I just lose my salvation?!
Cathy Jean Coulson—(12:09am, May 14)
Jason Lon Jacobs—(12:19am, May 14)
Do you watch things on TV that God absolutely despises? Can you sit there and enjoy things that are so completely contrary to everything that God has told us about Himself? If so, then maybe you don't know God.
2 Corinthians 7:1
2 Peter 1:5-9
Christians are to be completely separate from this world.
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15
Amy Valentine Buhrman—(7:12am, May 14)
Ah! So a singing competition (where one of the strongest players is a fine Christian gentleman) is too worldly, but the Internet and Facebook are a-okay...ah, how we "Christians" love to pick and choose, judge and condemn, though we are certainly not called to do so...such a debate!
AC—(7:36am, May 14)
Jason, I don’t appreciate you being judgmental. Be careful what you say on facebook, it gives Christians a bad name. You dont know me or anyone else on here that watches those shows. So be careful, you are coming across as very judgmental. Thanks.
Cyndi Brown Logsdon—(8:13am, May 14)
We don't get either of them here in Turkey - but I must confess, I sure enjoyed being in the states last year and catching a week or two of Idol. :)
Christian Fletcher—(10:32am, May 14)
Examining one's own heart is something a christian should do on a regular basis. If the Holy Spirit urges you to not watch Lost then by all means don't watch it, but be careful when telling someone they are not a true christian or have false salvation or are lacking in holiness because they are doing something you don't approve of. It can lead to legalism and we all know where legalism got the church in the days my Christ walked the earth. If the Holy Spirit is leading you to confront somebody, be careful of your delivery because you are already telling someone that something is wrong in their life and too often I see christians with good intentions do more harm because of a harsh delivery.
Thank you, Jesus, for your grace in my life.
Christian Fletcher—(9:42am, May 15)
Let us all be careful not to judge. I believe that Jason's intentions are good. He is trying to further the kingdom and provoke us to examine our hearts and that is commendable. Idle time is not just idle time. I, personally, do not believe that watching Lost or American Idol is detrimental to my health as a Christian. I also don't believe that having a glass of wine with dinner is either. However, there are several people I will not have a glass of wine around because it is something they struggle with. I do believe that there are families who place TV above all things in their lives. If that's the case they need to not watch TV just as the alcoholic needs to not drinkthat having a glass of wine with dinner is either. However, there are several people I will not have a glass of wine around because it is something they struggle with. I do believe that there are families who place TV above all things in their lives. If that's the case they need to not watch TV just as the alcoholic needs to not drink.
Jason Lon Jacobs—(10:03pm, May 16)
Juan, the question is not 'did you lose your salvation'. The question is, are you truly saved? I do not and cannot judge the heart of men. Only God can do that. So, examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith.
Amy, it's not an innocent singing competition. It's called "American Idol". Does it not promote idolatry? The name says it all. Does it glorify God? Paul said whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all of the glory of God.
Amy and Alysson, we as Christians are absolutely called to judge one another. I have followed the words of Christ and have not judged harshly or hypocritically. Paul also tells us to Judge. Have you not also judged me by calling me judgmental. That, of itself, is hypocrisy.
Jason Lon Jacobs—(10:06pm, May 16)
Alysson, you're right. I do give Christians a bad name. The world hates me, as it hated Jesus. Jesus promised it would be so. When was the last time you were persecuted for Christ? Don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity towards God? But make no mistake, I love people. I love lost people and saved people. I love those who bless me and those who curse me, yet it is not I who loves, but Christ in me. And I don't have to know you or anyone else here because I know men and women in general. I know that many man and women profess to know Christ with their lips, but deny Him by their actions. Christ is either everything or nothing. I don't judge the hearts or intentions or motives of men and women. I judge their actions.
Jason Lon Jacobs—(10:56pm, May 16)
Christian, I ask this tenderly. Why were you so quick to correct me and defend the others? A true Christian will grow in holiness. What does "holiness" mean? You say that the Holy Spirit will convict some Christians of watching a certain show and not others? How can the Holy Spirit be divided? If something is unholy, a Christian will know! And it's not simply me who doesn't approve. I quoted several Scriptures in support of what I said (to which no one has made mention, nor has anyone backed up their position with Scripture).
Legalism isn't the issue - lawlessness, self-righteousness, disobedience and unholiness are the issues. But since you bring up legalism, maybe you should define it (since the term is thrown around these days)You say that "you personally don’t have a problem with watching Lost or American Idol". It doesn't matter what you think - it matters what God thinks. Judge those shows (and all others) against what God has said is wicked, then decide
Amy Valentine Buhrman—(11:01pm, May 16)
Romans 2:1: "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same thing." ...we need to speak out against sin, but we must do so IN A SPIRIT OF HUMILITY. If we look closely at ourselves, we may find that we are committing the same sins in more "socially acceptable" forms.
Matthew 7:1: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." (Christ's own words...) ...Christ tells us to examine our own motives instead of judging others.
Romans 14:10: "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat." ...Each person is accountable to Christ, not to others; many times Christians base their moral judgments on opinion, personal dislikes, or cultural bias.
Jason Lon Jacobs—(11:07pm, May 16)
Christian, you really cannot compare the consumption of a glass of wine to the filling of your mind with sinful, wicked, unholy "distractions". This is not a Romans 14 issue - nowhere close.
Let me ask one final question. 250,000 - 300,000 people die EACH DAY - most of them don't know Jesus. WHY do Christians waste their life with "entertainment"!? Can you really imagine the Apostles watching TV after being commissioned by Christ and compelled by the Spirit to tell others about such a wonderful Gospel?
"Do you see? Do you see, all the people sinking down? Don't you care? Don't you care? Are you gonna' let them drown...Jesus rose from the dead, and you - you can't even get outta' bed!" -Keith Green
Amy Valentine Buhrman—(11:07pm, May 16)
Here's the thing...any of us could go on and on, quoting Scripture, spouting our beliefs, putting one another down (intentionally or not). We can make case after case, based on our various interpretations of the Word. I do not judge you, and I don't make assumptions; I don't know any of you. I don't pretend to know your heart for Christ, though it seems evident to me that each and every person who has responded to this post has a strong faith. Jason; I appreciate the strength of your conviction, though my own opinion is that the presentation (were I not of good heart) would cause me to run far, far away. I do not know you, just as you do not know me. I do not judge you; I do apologize if that is the appearance that I presented. There is a rather large difference between disagreement and judgment. I truly do find all of this discussion quite interesting
Jason Lon Jacobs—(11:25pm, May 16)
Amy, thank you for your loving reply. Thank you for using Scripture, too. I agree that various cases can be made based upon "personal interpretation" of Scripture. There is but one TRUE interpretation. Only one! Let's seek the truth. Jesus promised us in John 16:13, that when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide us into all truth. Let us all seek to rightly divide the Word.
Romans 2:1 is not speaking to Christians, but to those who don't know God. (Read Romans 1:18-32 for context)
I'm curious, in your opinion, how does a person humbly speak out against sin? And how can that person prevent themselves from being labeled "judgmental" when speaking out against sin? Is it even possible?
Jason Lon Jacobs—(11:31pm, May 16)
Matthew 7:5"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
Jesus gives us permission - actually commands us - to remove the speck from our brother's eye BUT not until we've removed the plank from our own eye. I've removed the "TV plank" from my eye, so I can freely speak against one or two specific (specks) shows.
I've stopped worrying about offending people. I've stopped picking and choosing my words and walking on eggshells with people. I don't try to offend, but I definitely don't soften the blow. Speaking out against sin and unholiness will never feel good to the hearer. Look at how they reacted and what they did to Jesus. Sure, I tailor my message as the Holy Spirit leads, but speaking out against sin is a serious thing. I trust in the SOVEREIGNTY of GOD and the power of the Spirit to convict, convince and save - not in the persuasiveness or delivery of my words.
Jason Lon Jacobs—(11:46pm, May 16)
This doesn't give me license and freedom to go around saying mean or hurtful things, but I say what needs to be said and I know that God will take care of the rest. When I am wrong, God will discipline me, sometimes by another brother or sister.
Romans 14 doesn't apply to Christians judging or correcting sin or unholiness in one another. The context is in judging one another based on the consumption of foods which were previously forbidden by the Law of God given to Moses. The greater lesson is that love for one another limits our Christian liberty - as Christian pointed out earlier.
I too am enjoying the discussion.
Finally, when it comes to entertainment, the only question we need to ask ourselves is this: "Is it godly?" If the answer isn't a CLEAR YES, then reject it!