OPINION (CHARISMA) – Amazingly, one youth leader said this years ago, “I don’t worry about what I watch or listen to as long as my heart is right. Plus, I need to watch what everyone else is watching so I can relate to them.” This is a very dangerous view. Most will admit, however, that this statement is really just an excuse to cross the line when it comes to entertainment. Let’s be honest: Many rationalize watching and listening to very questionable material, not because they want to relate to others, but because they enjoy it. What we watch and listen to affects the heart; it’s impossible to separate the two. Does a pastor really think he can watch garbage and then speak boldly from the pulpit? (Listen to more here.) If a pastor fills his mind with the world all week and expects the Spirit of God to speak boldly through him from the pulpit, he will be gravely mistaken.

“The sermon cannot rise in its life-giving forces above the man. Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher.” —E.M. Bounds. Who he is all week is who he will be when he steps to the pulpit. We are called to the separated life, guided by the Holy Spirit, not Hollywood. What goes in the heart ultimately comes out in actions. The Scriptures are crystal-clear on the issue of entertainment; there’s really no debate. Philippians 4:8 says to fix our thoughts on what is true and honorable and right, and to think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable and worthy of praise, not violence, nudity and debauchery. READ MORE

Charisma is a monthly Christian magazine based in Lake Mary, Florida, a suburb of Orlando. It is aimed at Pentecostals and charismatics.