The danger of too much entertainment

The late A.W. Tozer, whose many books are now considered Christian classics, once wrote a magazine article titled “The Great God Entertainment” in which he described people who are so addicted to the need of constantly being entertained that what had been intended to enable them to relax in idle times had now become idolatry.

An interesting thought!

And if you think it’s too far out, consider that many call their favorite actors, actresses or athletes their idols.

In 1787, Edward Gibbon completed his book, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” giving the following reasons for it’s destruction: the rapid increase of divorce with the resultant undermining of the home; higher and higher taxes and the spending of public money for free circuses for the people; the mad craze for sports, which became more and more brutal; the building of gigantic armaments, when the real enemy was within, and the decay of religious faith, which faded into formalism and became impotent.

In short, Gibbon concluded that satisfying the desires of the people for comforts and entertainment became more important than their relationship with God. Like another civilization before them described in the Bible, they “worshiped and served the creature more than the creator” (Romans 1:25).

Can this be happening to us?

Think about it.

What often monopolizes our conversations when we’re with friends or family?

Probably famous athletes, entertainers or entertainment.

This is not to say that all entertainment is destructive or immoral. We need periodic breaks from the routines of life; time out from the daily grind. Jesus told His disciples to “come apart and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31), prompting someone to wisely observe that if we don’t come apart, we’ll come apart.

Laughter was prescribed by wise Solomon for good health: “A merry heart does good like a medicine,” he wrote (Proverbs 17:22), adding there is “a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). But if this laughter comes at the expense of compromising high moral standards intended to keep us on the right road, it isn’t healthy at all.

We live in an age of entertaining gadgets that can either be pleasant antidotes to boredom and fatigue or dangerous influences that move us to violence, immorality and despair.

What we think, we are! And to imagine that anyone, young or old, can continually be exposed to negative input and not be affected by it is ridiculous.

The greatest danger in too much entertainment is the squandering of time. We’re all given this precious gift at birth with a fresh supply each day. To make the best use of time, we must invest it wisely, worshiping and serving God, finding His will for our lives and living for the good of others. We don’t have time to entertain our lives away.

Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at rcministry@ameritech.net.

More in Life

This artwork, as well as the story that accompanied it in the October 1953 issue of Master Detective magazine, sensationalized and fictionalized an actual murder in Anchorage in 1919. The terrified woman in the image is supposed to represent Marie Lavor.
A nexus of lives and lies: The William Dempsey story — Part 1

William Dempsey and two other men slipped away from the rest of the prison road gang on fog-enshrouded McNeil Island, Washington, on Jan. 30, 1940

File
Minister’s Message: Reorienting yourself to pray throughout the day

No doubt, one of the most remarkable gifts God gives to communicate with his creation is the gift of prayer

The Christ Lutheran Church is seen on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Musicians bring ‘golden age of guitar’ to Performing Arts Society

Armin Abdihodžic and Thomas Tallant to play concert Saturday

Storm Reid plays June Allen in “Missing,” a screenlife film that takes place entirely on the screens of multiple devices, including a laptop and an iPhone. (Photo courtesy Sony Pictures)
On The Screen: ‘Missing’ is twisty, modern, great

I knew “Missing” was something special early on

Puff pastry desserts are sprinkled with sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Puff pastry made simple

I often shop at thrift stores. Mostly for cost, but also out… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Would I do it again?

I ran across some 20-some year-old journal notes rambling on about a 268-foot dive I took

A copy of Prince Harry’s “Spare” sits on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion office on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Prince Harry gets candid about ‘gilded cage’ in new memoir

“Spare” undoubtedly succeeds in humanizing Harry

The cast of “Tarzan” rides the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Independence Day parade in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Triumvirate swings into the year with ‘Tarzan’, Dr. Seuss and fishy parody

The next local showing of the Triumvirate Theatre is fast approaching with a Feb. 10 premiere of “Seussical”

This vegan kimchi mandu uses crumbled extra-firm tofu as the protein. (Photo by Tressa Dale / Peninsula Clarion)
Meditating on the new year with kimchi mandu

Artfully folding dumplings evokes the peace and thoughtful calm of the Year of the Rabbit

Most Read