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by Eric Barger

When I was a boy growing up in the 1950’s one could always tell who the heroes and villains were when portrayed on television or even in animations. The heroes generally rode into town on a white horse, wore a white hat, were courteous to the women and didn’t chew, spit, drink or smoke. Today, the heroes being offered up to our families are not so easy to spot.

The core difference is that in today’s society we have been educated and conditioned to accept heroes who live in a standardless morality. Who the alleged heroes or villains of a story line are is based almost completely upon an assumption presented by the advertising for a television program, a movie, a book, game or cartoon for the actions of today’s "heroes" do not set them apart from the "villains." What I am inferring is that the morality, integrity and ethical operating principles of these modern-day heroes is identical to those of their adversaries. It is merely the perception we are left with today as to who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. It is certainly NOT their words or their deeds. The end result has been that our families are led to believe the humanistic ideal that it is perfectly acceptable for a hero figure (or role model) to lie, cheat, swear and be immoral for after all, the heroes ARE better than the villains aren’t they? Biblical thinkers should reject the temptation to embrace this "lesser of two evils" trap. However, it seems that a surprising number of church folk are not just oblivious to the trend toward moral relativism but instead are helping to support and even endorse it.

I remain increasingly concerned about the trend I see among many professing Christians to so readily embrace relative standards of ethics and morality for the heroes and role models our children are accepting. What sort of Christians are we turning out? Perhaps a better question is, what kind of Christians have we already turned out? It is reminiscent of the mindset of Lot who found his thinking and standards eroded after living in the ungodliness of Sodom. Remember, he attempted to dialog with demon possessed men in Genesis 19 (always a losing proposition). Dare we think we’ll be successful doing the same in this perverted culture?

The continuing controversy among professing Christians concerning the acceptability of the Harry Potter book series and accompanying motion pictures illustrates just how desensitized many have become. To many it may sound like I am beating a well worn drum but let me repeat something I said several years ago and continue to stress during my seminar series. The lack of a unified position from Christian leaders on issues such as Harry Potter will prove not just detrimental but devastating to Christian homes and the church in general in the coming decade. We need desperately to teach our children that contrary to alleged heroes like Potter, the end does not justify the means as they live their lives. It is certain that our families will not learn such clear cut biblical principles by following the examples set by the vast majority of today’s entertainment characters.

The effective antidote for this and every other trick of the Evil One is to continually renew the mind by the power of God’s word. We also need to find restraint when choosing entertainment for our families in a world where biblically sound choices seem to dwindle almost daily. - EB

"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
- Hebrews 5:14

(c) copyright 2003, Eric Barger

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