Walking out of the auditorium we step into the world of: TV, radio, Internet, advertisement, entertainment, literature, school/homework, work, vacation, the news, hobbies, sports, ect. The deck is staked against us. This competitive question isn't even addressing how our collective attention span has been hampered by video games and/or the sound bites we are bombarded with, either. I'm simply talking about,who is influencing our thinking/beliefs more, the world or the Church...?
If we counted up all of the hours spent together as a community of believers each week, what would our total be?
An hour and a half, to two hours for many of us. Some come to Bible study 1st, and then the morning worship services, so there's around two and half to three hours. If you come back Sunday night or go to a lifegroup, the entire Sunday might accumulate five hours focused on worshipping God and your spiritual growth. If we included Wednesday nights, we might up-it to six or seven hours a week of time focused on Biblical issues. It's hard to estimate though if it's focused time when we text-message during the assembly or become distracted by other concerns when we gather together.
Compared to the rest of the week, three to seven hours is not a lot of time.
A recent study released says on average, children watch at least 24 hours of TV in a week.
Hmmm. What can we do?
Well, we could wring our hands and grumble about how the world is going down the drain. That's not going to help change anything.
We could become like the Amish and seclude ourselves from the world.
That won't work either; I doubt we could give up our modern-day conveniences even if we wanted to...
Perhaps instead of only trying to tell each other what to think, we should focus on how to think as well? Preaching and teaching and passing on correct doctrine is essential; but it's not sufficient. IT's vitally important we are committed to knowing the truth, but that's not enough. We also have to know how to think, not just what to think. We have to be able to reason through logically, and have an ownership of our faith. And that's what helps us to keep our head on straight the other six days.
Moses' instruction to continually fill ourselves with God's Word every waking hour is worth considering here:
Deut 6:6-9, "6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Pair that up with what Paul says in II Cor 10:3-5, "3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ..."