03 Apr, 2023 You reap what you sow: secular entertainment from the perspective of an ex-entertainer
Opinion (Editorial)/Biblical Reflection/Testimony
By Aaron Hale
Image: Deposit Photos
“You reap what you sow” is a very common expression that people even far from the Christian faith are familiar with. It is quoted in popular film and television. Even the Buddhist tradition has the idea of “karma,” which represents cause and effect. In other words, what you put out will come back to you.
I want to share about how this is very much the case with not only our outward actions, but what we feed ourselves in terms of entertainment.
In the Bible, Jesus gives a parable of the four types of soil (Luke 8), each of which having a different response with seeds of the gospel being planted. What we allow ourselves to indulge in just to ‘unwind’ at the end of a long day will start to spill into our actions and spiritual lives far more than we might think…
My First Hand Experience in the Film and TV Industry
To share a little bit about my story: I was an actor in the Canadian film and tv industry when I first got saved. I had been seeing breakthroughs in my developing career, and was even getting the privilege to take on principal roles on American TV/film productions, as many of them shoot in Canada. As a baby Christian who was trying to leave the film/tv industry behind, I was being offered the opportunity to appear on a talk show and radio shows in Los Angeles to talk about my upcoming Netflix series, and got the attention of an American talent manager who contacted my Canadian manager about working with me. This would have been a dream for a young ambitious Canadian actor trying to get their foot in the door in Hollywood.
But several months before that bit of “career buzz,” God had clearly told me to completely leave the industry. Initially, there was a fierce wrestling match between my own soul (with its desires and ambitions) and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I tried to not hear His voice. Surely this couldn’t be so. My job was just “work”… the projects I worked on were just stories, right?!
Finding a Middle-Ground?
So, I tried to bargain. I tried to find a “middle-ground.” It was becoming pretty clear that it was wrong to influence people with storylines that would entice people to indulge in witchcraft or sexual immorality. I thought, “I can just do the more innocent stuff right?!” I tried to sight my sets on “cleaner” projects like kids’ shows, cartoons, Hallmark movies, etc. But no. It felt like all of the doors were shutting in front of me by the divine orchestration of the Lord.
Even when my agent sent me an audition opportunity for a cartoon… behold, witchcraft and even Illuminati(?!) content were found therein. And when it came to Hallmark films, as squeaky clean as they seemed overall, I was concerned they might still risk making romantic love into an idol rather than exalting God… So with my newfound Christian convictions I knew I still wouldn’t be leading people down the right path with these tv/film projects – even the “cleaner” ones.
Living for Ourselves or Living for Christ?
I think the problem with the mindset that I had, which many of us could have as Christians, is that I was trying to operate by a list of rules instead of yielding to the Holy Spirit. I was trying to hold onto my own life and career as much as possible and just avoid the really bad stuff like witchcraft, Satanism, violence, and sexual immorality. We have to ask ourselves: Are we seeking to run with the world without being in sin, or are we seeking to follow Christ?
Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. (Luke 17:33)
I’m writing this to myself as well, as there are areas of my Christian walk, where I might not be committing an obvious outward sin, but I might be “doing my own thing” instead of yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit. But, my friends, when we orient ourselves like this, we’re keeping a closed hand to the Lord and telling Him, “You can have all that other stuff in my life, but this you can’t have” or “I got this under control, I can use my own judgements here.” Jesus is telling all of us in this critical hour that He wants all of us.
I won’t try to come here and talk in absolute terms about never watching a secular film… But as someone coming out of the film/tv industry, I can tell you that I’m convinced that the vast majority of shows, TV, and music these days are utterly poisoned by Satan with both demonic spirits and the Antichrist undertones… even if there are no sex scenes or mentions of witchcraft in the storyline.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)
While some secular tv and film content may be on the “cleaner” side, it can easily contain the spirit of this world. I remember one particular moment when I was watching a Netflix series, right around the time my spiritual eyes were opening and I was coming to believe in the Bible. I was watching a scene from a comedy/drama about an American family. I don’t remember anything particularly explicit about the scene, but I felt like there was just a “darkness” I could see on the screen. Not physically – spiritually.
Remember: we are to be in the world, but not of the world. We are to live as pilgrims on this earth, not operating according to the culture and ways of the world. But if the enemy has an open door into our lives through our eye-gates or ear-gates (by what we watch and listen to), then he can sow in worldliness and sin into our souls and make us forget who we are. It could be less obvious sins such as vanity, pride, gossip, living for pleasure, or being “our own hero” instead of Jesus being our Hero. If we slowly lose sight of who we were made to be in Christ and are being continually exposed to the ways and the spirit of this world, we are in dangerous spiritual territory.
In these tumultuous and critical times we’re living in, there is no time to be lulled into a demonic spiritual slumber through entertainment. The Lord is coming for a bride without any spot or wrinkle, and now is the time to prepare ourselves for His soon return.
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:42-44)
The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.
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