Let me post a troublesome Scripture…then go after it.


   “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever in honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”


                             –Philippians 4:8 (NASB)


   Is that where my mind goes when I’m “off duty”?


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   For context, let’s just say the Apostle Paul is passing on important general instructions to Christian believers. It’s not hard to get the idea of what he’s talking about, though I’m sure a thoughtful book could say more.

   Consider my comments that follow “Gospel light” (“light” as in “not heavy,” not as in “significant illumination”).

   For several weeks I’ve been wondering why so many of us, myself included, gravitate toward entertainment that thrills and kills, slashes, batters, and destroys. Why do we find ourselves sitting in front of so many stories about disaster with people and buildings being blown apart? And to really meddle, why do we consider a story “unsatisfactory,” if the characters’ chemistry doesn’t lead them to the bedroom before the story ends?

   There’s the argument–though Christians rarely admit it–that “that’s what real people do or experience.” Of course, there’s the rationalization that if we ponder the bad that others do, we as good Christians will avoid such things.

   Of course, we must encounter  to some extent the “real world”–murder, war, terrorism disaster, horrible disease, rape, out-of-bounds sex, etc.–so we can teach our children or ourselves about what’s outside the front door and so we can socially, politically, and personally, make things better.

   But are we going too far?

   Are we really addressing hidden interests and desires, often to relax, that are disobedient to Paul’s admonition?

   I’m asking myself that question.

   Practicing Christianity is not wallowing in pretty soft-minded foolishness. If we take the Bible seriously, gentle Jesus will someday return with a sword. God does not wink at evil. Justice will be meted out, and things will become “good” and “pure.”

   And by following Phil.4:8, we might erase some of the cloud of sorrow overhead that we call being “down” or “depressed.”