Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Chapter 14 - Christian Exercise

Physical education was included in schools because physical health (particularly in children) requires the opportunity to not only exercise muscles, but to have them occasionally pushed to endurance. In past years farm work filled this role. Today the sedentary effect of video games may actually contribute to impaired physical ability.

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

Here the writer of Hebrews chastises his readers for their lack of spiritual growth. He says that the complexities of the faith are to be tackled by those who can discern good and evil because their senses have been exercised by reason of use.

One example of how one’s perceptive abilities can be exercised (especially for children) might be seen with the example of entertainment like movies and TV. Some parents allow their children to see whatever they want. Some parents prohibit any such entertainment. A case can be made that parental commentary on entertainment can be useful instruction for children who might otherwise take in uncritically the messages Satan has put into the world.

Even adults can benefit from exercises that help sharpen discernment. For example, using entertainment one can ask what philosophies are being advanced, what bait is being used to draw in the audience, and what assumptions are bing impressed upon the viewers. Here are come common “take aways” from modern entertainment.

Men in general and fathers in particular are stupid.

Men are attracted to selfish women.

You can get what you want if you try hard enough.

Casual fornication is common place and expected.

Discipline for children is cruel.

Love is the same thing as attraction.

Life should be controlled and directed by feelings.

These are just some of the almost endless numbers of lies that are inserted into entertainment. It is helpful to understand that millions of un-discerning people take these lies in and live them such that the Christian will encounter them in daily life and not just entertainment.

I was on guard duty with another guy in the Army once and to kill time we were telling jokes. I told him that we had just gotten a case of “updoc” in the supply room. Even though he knew it was a joke, he spent 15 minutes asking himself the question, “What’s updoc?” As soon as he said it out load, he got the joke. Allowance should be made for the fact that it was 3AM. However, it illustrates that even when one knows that something is not kosher, it doesn’t mean it will be spotted.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. - Matthew 10:16

Jesus warned his disciples that the mission he was sending them on would be perilous because many of the people they would meet would be as potentially as dangerous to them as a wolf would be towards a sheep. Most people today think of a snake as something dangerous that can kill with a bite. However, a greater familiarity with snakes helps one see that they usually skedaddle when confronted, are wary, and seek to avoid confrontation. The ability to size up (see the truth of) a situation is perhaps what is more in view.

Often a person who has a painful experience in life such as entanglement with a toxic personality will withdraw to lick their emotional wounds. During this period it is not uncommon for someone to ask themselves, “What should I have seen that would have warned me not to get involved”. This sort of after action assessment is useful in military encounters as well as personal reflection. Much can be learned from mistakes.

Public school have students spend 12 years taking in everything they hear as gospel. It is not surprising that we have a population inclined towards naive gullibility. It can be preferable to spend time enjoying oneself rather than exercise skepticism. However, such negligence leads to underdeveloped skills and a pronounced vulnerability to liars and manipulators.

One might think that a church could have a parents night where a movie was viewed and discussion held afterwards so that the insights of others could be gained and the parents then able to show the movie at home and instruct their children. It has been said that it is much easier to learn from the experiences of others than your own experiences.


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