Eye Gate Examination

“I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.” Psalms 101:3 NIV

Sometimes Janet and I watch a movie and spend a couple hours relaxing, often I end up falling asleep. We try to be very careful about the movies we watch. We own one movie in our collection of 50 or so that is rated R. Passion of the Christ received an R rating due to its graphic portrayal of trail and crucifixion scenes. Most of our movies are either G or PG. Yet there are some classics which are PG-13, such as, Lord of the Rings. Each of us must decide what level of language, graphic images, themes, style of movie you feel is appropriate. My challenge to you is not to instantly throw movies away but rather examine what you have. Our eyes need routine examinations because our vision changes or begins to blur. Often we get desensitized to what we have around our homes or even around the church. Some might find things in either location to be unacceptable and even alarming. Here is a perfect example; how many of you are used to seeing the banner in the fellowship hall, the one with the big “GO” and globe view of the earth? I notice this banner quite often and it is a good reminder about our theme for our missions emphasis. But how many know what verse is printed near the GO? My next observation comes with a little bit of pause, since I’m pointing out to all of you who read my article something with an unfinished status; all of the doors going into and out of the church facility are not painted on the inside. They also have the details about where each door was supposed to be installed, still written in pencil. For the first year as the pastor I never even noticed they were unfinished. Possibly it is time for an eye gate examination as to what you are allowing in through this very important portal in your life. Obviously, I expect any man or woman of God to not have anything with sexually explicit, perverse behavior, vulgar language or anything that dishonors Christianity or the Kingdom of God. If you think a certain movie or any visual object in your home is questionable, I would encourage you to get rid of it! No, we are not going to have a book or dvd or cd burning event. We’re going to be people of integrity and just throw it in the trash (if you’d like to toss it into a fire at your home that’s your decision). The most important part of the process is not throwing it away; rather it is protecting your eye gate from ongoing stimulus, which would be classified per our scripture passage as vile. Recently I picked out about three movies I’ve decided should no longer be in our library. For me, they were “on the bubble,” especially in the area of innuendos that relate to activities that should not be done outside of marriage. My challenge goes beyond your video collection to what you listen to on the radio, magazines you have around your home and even your choice of decorating. Sometimes I have to shut off even the talk radio station. Typically it promotes pro-family, pro-life, and pro-law enforcement thinking. Sadly some of the conversations begin to step into the areas of: gossip, name-calling, and belittling of others. A couple more scriptures which will help us decide if it is time for an eye gate examination. “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”Ephesians 4:19, 29 NIV Start by praying for revelation from the Holy Spirit about anything needing to be purged from your life. And next time you walk in the church and see the unfinished doors, let it be a reminder to always consider what you are overlooking in your own life.

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