Air conditioning is rarely appreciated until it doesn’t exist. Technicians report that the lifespan of a unit depends heavily on the maintenance of the filter. A $5,000 unit can be destroyed by a clogged $10 filter. Incredibly enough, most problems with A/C units deal with dirty filters. A new unit is far more expensive than the price of a filter, but people don’t pay much attention to their filters.
By now someone in your family has probably seen clips from the 2015 MVA’s. T.V. ratings were down for the MTV show, but social media picked it up by sharing the sights and sounds. Scantily clad music stars paraded on stages in full exhibition while talking about smoking marijuana. The dancing was so sexually explicit, it even made the producers blush. There is no filter.
The movie industry has also presented a similar dilemma for the Christian home. Hollywood intermingles interesting stories with sexual content. It’s not subtle or muted. It’s a full array of sexual displays and vile language. There are almost no actors that believe in Bible principles. The viewer is hard pressed to find a clean movie. Television programs and commercials are the same. Regardless of what one might watch, there is a plethora of soft-porn pictorials through advertisements. The conclusion: Filters are gone.
In a debate forum, 63% of respondents said that, to some extent, cursing should be allowed in kindergarten. Proponents argue that cussing is common and should be introduced early to take away the shock later. Christianity Today and World News Group have reported that Christians cuss on a regular basis. In response, one retorted, “I’m into Jesus, but I’m not legalistic.” This is the common thread among those who have no filter.
It has been said that Convictions and Filters are two different things. Convictions cause the cleaning and maintenance of the Filter, but Conviction-less people are not interested in Filters. In the physical realm, filters are inexpensive, but they trap pollutants and keep the system working. In another realm, filters stop blatant sounds and sights that cause damage to the inner man. This brings us to the great issue of our generation: The virtual world. The internet and social media exist without filters. A smartphone carry’s every image/sound imaginable. We use these devices, but they are pure poison if they exist without filters. In the last three years, multiple pastors report an increase in marriage infidelity perpetuated through unfiltered virtual forums. New and old romances ignite leaving the carnage of children in their wake.
In one circle, youth ministers came together to share their concerns with the issue of sexting (sharing sexually explicit pictures). The problem has provoked curriculum to confront the issue. The broader scope now includes criminality. People are going to jail depending on the age of those who receive the image. In a more glaring revelation it has been noted that there is an increase in contraceptives for pre-teens. Most Pentecostals would dismiss this report as a by-product of a sinful world. Sadly however, the research was in the Christian community! Sex is the most pervasive drug of this generation. One youth minister lamented that several of his young people are engaged in sexual intercourse. He said, “it happens almost every Friday and Saturday night.”
Filters were once common with husbands and wives. Filters blocked advances and left them with a conscience clean. Christians were once afraid of speaking against authority, especially their pastors, but those days are over. The filter that stopped criticisms has decayed.
We need a revival of our Convictions. Instituting Filters without convictions is the plight of the pharisee and a Filter without a Conviction won’t last. If we return to the Word, we might just understand the need to live a holy life as unto the Lord.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole