Monthly Archives: August 2014
NO ONE WILL deny that the Old Testament is full of explicit graphic descriptions concerning war, sufficient enough to ignite one’s imagination. Are we to just skip over or speed-read these passages in light of setting our minds on what is pure? The Bible is raw in truth and we have to acknowledge that it is not written in a romantic way (glossing over man’s blunders), especially when it comes to the effects of man’s sin and failure as head of God’s creation. It rightly depicts man as one who has drastically fallen from the glory of God and yet despite such depravity, God has made an everlasting covenant with him (humanity) and it is such that will stand (on God’s side) because of His mercy, grace and faithfulness. The Bible reveals God’s plan of salvation, from beginning to end, notwithstanding man’s flaws and faithlessness. Look at Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah and Peter; had it not been for God’s faithfulness, every one of them would have been blotted out of His Book. It goes for every one of us; we all continue to stand by the grace of God.
When it comes to facing the facts of the world’s most notorious atrocities, we are not to turn a blind eye to it. The Bible is full of facts, no matter how man and science has disputed it and if we are familiar with its pages from beginning to end, it will in turn have us face realities in which we live; if we are governed by Biblical principles there is no justification for apathy and coldness toward the horrific suffering that surrounds us.
Our media has never been as graphic and unrestricted as it currently is, particularly with disturbing images and videos that go viral across the web. Who would have believed that such material would be effortless to view at just one click of a button in your browser? The days are early before overfamiliarity will sweep the minds of many in regards to the video clips of hundreds of victims being brutally decapitated and butchered in the name of Allah; at present it is a case of shock and the rush of the adrenalin as real people are murdered for the eyes of millions to witness, but how long will it take for society to become numb to such inhumane treatment of others? Movies that were once banned from the public are now laughed at for such censoring. There is no shock-factor anymore and so now society has involuntary discovered the ‘real thing’; the rush is the knowledge that there are no special effects as real lives are snuffed – it is gruesome reality.
What is it that draws in the millions to watch these disturbing videos that state “Warning, extremely graphical content”; why would any of us feed our curiosity to see a life cruelly end? Is it not queer, is it not sick (for that is the only conclusion I can come to) to even want to view such evil? Is it not enough to know that lives have been taken; do we have to absorb all the gory details? What is it that excites a human being to watch real lives, in extreme graphic detail, being so barbarically taken? I’m not just referring to terrorists here; I’m addressing the issue of online viewers who morbidly pry into viewing such activity.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones addressed the issue of Christians being engrossed in reading the details of murders, extra-marital affairs and divorces mentioned in the newspapers. His contention was why a Christian would ever find ‘interest’ in such depraved reports. Not for one second was he stating that we should be ignorant of what goes on around us, the sin and collapse of society; his concern was an unhealthy (morbid) pursuit in reading it, being absorbed in it. Adultery, fornication, murder or homosexuality are not seen as depraved acts these days are they? They were in the 1960’s and 70’s. It’s astounding to see how society has accepted the immoral for the norm and this is exactly the hardening process of man’s heart towards God; this is all a part of God’s judgement in giving people over to a debased mind.
It is not a case of having a ‘strong stomach’ to view these savagery acts; you may have that – and of course, there are those who work in such fields, such as forensics, paramedics who deal with some of the most horrendous accident and murder scenes, etc, but apart from such vocations, what good does it serve to engage our minds with witnessing the brutal loss of lives? It is different to watching a loved one die as you stay by their side to give all the comfort you can, than to watching someone being murdered – and it is literally that, the taking of someone’s against their will. Is it any different to watching pornographic content? What psychological and emotional repercussions take place after viewing such filth?
There is something that takes place when we are aroused with excitement to view terrorist’s killing ‘innocent’ victims – no matter how we may justify it by stating how much we’re against terrorism and we really want to know just how savage these ‘animals’ really are. Terrorism is what it is and no extreme graphic video or literature should be needed to reinforce that; if our minds cannot register the evil of it at face value, then God pity us. For those who partake in watching the sanctity of life being torn away from others by man are opening themselves to serious negative psychological and spiritual repercussions; something happens to our perspectives in how we view and treat life; a callousness sets in that degrades the beauty of life God has created. Just as pornography demeans the sacred gift of sex God has given, so viewing raw content of the act of murder desensitises our perception of the preciousness of human life. Some may argue that it actually enhances one’s appreciation for life. It may heighten your adrenalin levels for sure but the comedown and aftermath will harden your heart. That is different to being tough in life to survive. The tough people who remain intact still have heart.
World War veterans were not proud of taking lives to defend their country against tyranny; many will hate to even mention the horrors of war and wish they could push out of their minds the graphic images that still haunt them after so many decades. Thousands of Vietnam veterans have to live with the nightmares they once lived of seeing dismembered bodies (of their own side as well as the enemy) in the most grotesque way. Why on earth would we even venture to subject our minds to horrific depths that are way beyond us to handle? We have all heard of the phrase, ‘Curiosity that Killed the Cat’; there is a queer curiosity that probes into decadences that disturbs and leaves its imprint on our psyche and we would do well, especially as Christians, to set our minds on what is honourable, just, pure, lovely, excellent – anything worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8) if we are to know what being of a sound mind really is.