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Day 2: Where is the line between “in” and “of”?

by on March 10, 2011

“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (Jn 17:11-16, NASB)

Since it began, I’ve been a fan of Glee (and I’m not afraid to admit it).  The underdog story of the unpopular kids in a music group always struck a chord with me.  It reminded me of the same mentality of my high school days in the marching band.  We weren’t exactly the most popular kids in school, but it didn’t bother us, because we had the music (jazz hands!).  It was fine, because most every episode was about how the kids were finding their identity in the music that they were performing, despite (and even in the face of) the status quo of the high school social jungle.

Until season 2.  Something must have tipped off the writers and producers of this show that you can’t have consecutive seasons of New Directions being the constant underdog, replaying the “will they place at Sectionals” drama over and over again.  So the show took a turn for a character drama rather than a plot driven one.  Suddenly, the personal drama of each of the characters came to the forefront of each episode, and the glee club part of Glee took a back seat.

Normally, this isn’t a problem.  Shows change up their MO all the time.  However, the path that Glee has taken over the past few weeks has given me pause, and led me to consider my intake of media.  For a while now, I’ve been aware of the social/political agenda that is present in this particular show.  The homosexual character is portrayed as the martyr, suffering because of who he is.  The “Christian” is portrayed as the prude and the hypocrite.  Whatever they include under the guise of “spirituality” is limited to gospel renditions of “Lean on Me”.

Let’s just say I’m gonna stop watching it now.  It just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

But it got me thinking.  If I stop watching this, should I stop some of the other things in my life?  Why is Glee any different that some of the other shows that are on TV these days?  I’ve always felt like if I’m going to boycott things, I need to at least be consistent.  So, where is the line?

If I’m going to stop watching Glee because the things on that show don’t sit well with my moral center, then I should start boycotting a bunch of other things, yes?  Here we are at the top of a slippery slope that leads to an extreme kind of separation from the world that I don’t know that I’m comfortable with.  Nor do I think Jesus would be.

Jesus says “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Now, this particular passage has been used as the theme for many a college fellowship, but also as a means to justify certain kinds of behavior.  But I would suggest that Jesus intended us, His disciples, to engage the world on their terms while relying on the power of God to keep us from slipping into the chasm that is desensitization and assimilation into the world.

Should we shut ourselves off from all secular media influence (radio, television, movies, internet)?  So long as we find ourselves living in a culture that is driven by these very things, I would suggest that these are the very means by which we are to engage the culture around us.  If we are not conversant in the things of music, television, facebook, twitter, etc., we cannot even begin to have a conversation where anyone will listen to us.

Rather than building a wall around our ears, eyes, and hearts and putting the world on notice that we Christians won’t stand for such programming, I think that we should use the opportunity to start having the conversation about why these shows (1) are so popular, and (2) they don’t sit well with us.

Agree? Disagree?

My allergies are killing me.

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From → Lent

2 Comments
  1. Stumbled across your blog on fb waiting at the tax man’s office. I sympathize with your insights, though I probably tend to err on the side of too “not in”. I stopped after season 1. Um…not that I was ever in choir…or band…for four years. Keep on writing bro.

  2. Did you take your Claritin?

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