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Let me entertain you

April 12, 2012

we are working through some of the ways that we – that is Christians, those who (like Jesus) refuse to accept that the Emperor is Lord.

The Emperor in the modern world is not a man who sits in Rome, but in many other ways the analogy holds true. In the first Century the Emperor was able to order how society was, he had the power of life and death – and for those who did not choose to worship him he would send them to the Lions or the Gladiators. His power through the Empire – pretty much the then known world – meant that what he liked society liked, what he did, society copied – if only to make the Emperor look more favourably on them.

In the modern world the standard that lies at the heart of empire, the one who influences us to the point where it sets that standard of what is or is not acceptable is the media – A column in the Mirror or Sun, can suggest that unless we agree with what is written we are `out of step with society`. A programme on TV can either endorse a lifestyle choice or – simply by rubbishing it – make it widely unacceptable! That is an incredible amount of power and influence.

Not of course we have the net, we can say what we want on twitter and it does allow dissenting voices, but only at the margins – and even for most of us who tweet what we really want to do is to be entertained. We don’t really want to take responsibility, we don’t want to get thrown in so that we have to work! Just like the ancient Romans we will go to the games and cheer with the rest of the crowd at the sport, but people get killed!

When the media downplays the difficult situations that people face, when they talk about statistics rather than people, when they allow you to think that the news is no more serious that the soaps. When they use violence so often that it no longer shocks, when the commentators tells us that the abnormal is normal often enough for us to believe it… Then we are in Rome – and unless we stop and challenge these things in our thinking we are accepting that the Emperor is Lord!

How do we ensure that we live and think the values of the Kingdom of God? We need to ensure that we are active / challenging listeners – not passively being entertained. We need to make sure we are listening at least as much to God as we do to the world. If we do that and keep a radical edge to our thinking, we can begin to challenge the empire.

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One Comment
  1. david taylor permalink
    April 12, 2012 3:47 pm

    what your saying is very true and we have to ghard against such thing we have too keep focused on what is right and true alll we really need to do is look to the manual of life sorry ie the bible this keeps us grounded it guides us in all the right ways

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