04 August, 2006

A Case of Conscience: Fiction and Other Entertainment

An amazing amount of ink (pixels?) has been spilled concerning the topic of fiction and what I see as a more broad topic- entertainment.

We live in an age of entertainment, where people no longer find their identity by what they do for work and where they worship; but we live in an age of 'what do you do for fun?'. Our Reformed forefathers were not kill-joys, as fiction writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne portray, but were people who attempted to define 'what they do for fun' in the context of how it will make them able to serve God and man in a refreshed manner.

In Richard Baxter's Christian Directory he gives many thoughts to meditate upon when choosing a sport, recreation, or other entertainment. I would like to share a few that may help us in our discussion of fiction as well as carry it to other means of recreation:

Keep a watch upon your thoughts and fancies, that they run not after sports and pleasures. Else you will be like children who are thinking of their sport, and longing to be at it, when they should be at their books or business.

Avoid the company of... time-wasters. Come not among them, lest you be insnared [sic]. Accompany yourselves with those that delight themselves in God (2 Timothy ii.22).

See to the sanctifying of all your recreations, when you have chosen such as are truly suited to your need; and go not to them before you need, nor use them beyond your need. See also that you lift up your hearts secretly to God, for His blessing on them; and mix them all along as far as you can with holy things; as with holy thoughts and holy speeches.

Be much more severe in regulating yourselves in your recreations, than in censuring others for using some which you mislike. For you know not their case, and reasons, and temptations...


Mark said...

Excellent, excellent quote, Nate. We need to bring all things to Christ's submission - we don't get lunch breaks from Christianity.

The last paragraph is especially helpful, considering our tendency to condemn others while doing essentially the same things ourselves. I think that if we heeded that advice, it would go a long ways towards building love in the church.

ladylipsy said...

that's beautiful