A way-back-when story. It was about 1953 or 54, the church was raising money for something. Sammy and I had no money but we had just bought a new TV. It was worth about forty dollars. We decided to give the church the TV so they could sell it and keep the money.
I guess a pay day must have come along because we decided we could redeem our TV which we did. Paid the forty and kept the tv.
In the forties and fifties the “holiness/Pentecostal kinds of churches” were very leery about watching television, especially movies. I was particularly influenced by Psalms 101:3, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes…” Some translations say evil thing, worthless thing, (maybe others).
Well, we kept the TV and we started bringing in the apparatus for hooking up movies- those rented reel thing-a-majigs. But, I still operated pretty well with Ps 101:3 as my guide. I believe some made their decision about what to watch based on I Thes. 5:22 about avoiding the appearance of evil, that sounds like a pretty sound guiding scripture to me.
Fast forward to present day. Now I have no idea of what “plumb line” young people use to limit their viewing of TV and movies, along with all the other gadgetry. I am guessing some guidance is given via youth ministries.
BUT (bandroll, please) I have found the Bible translation that gives you leeway to just be your own guide. Sort of like in Judges when “every man did what was right in his own eyes.” In it Psalms 101:3 says “I will not look ’with approval’ on anything that is vile.” So I guess, you can watch any evil – -just don’t approve of it!? And I Thes. 5:22 drops “the appearance of evil” and says to “reject evil.” So just don’t do evil, but watch it if you want to, huh? Oh, you want to know which Bible? The newest NIV. I’ve griped about it before. I know I don’t have to read it. But it seems like people who know what is happening should speak up.
Seems strange that every modern translation seems to “loosen the plumb line.” I haven’t checked but I think they all still say “Be holy, as I am holy.” If you have a problem with that, just know that Jesus will make that holiness available by his blood. Be sure it is applied. You live in Him and He lives in you. That’s the plumb line we should seek.
Image: unsplash, chris panas