I read a statistic the other day that blew me away. 8.45 million viewers tuned into the season premiere of MTV’s* The Jersey Shore. For those of you who do not know what The Jersey Shore is, imagine 8 twenty somethings being filmed while living a base existence in which there end goal seems to be fake tans, debauchery, extraneous fornication and violence. There life philosophy has been characterized by the acrostic GTL (Gym, Tanning, Laundry). So needless to say I was shocked and appalled when I realized how many people tuned into this show. What has happened to our society? One of my colleagues believed this to be a sign of the apocalypse. It really does seem to challenge or typify what we value as a society.
When the apostle Paul was faced with a church that was placing value in base things, he gave them the following exhortation. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” – Philippians 4:8. And yet the dominate mainstream media flow seems to be downloading garbage into the lives of 8.45 million people. Now I realize that people use television and movies as an escapist tool; to live extemporaneously a life that they might never know. But is this the life that you long for? We are called to fill our minds with things that are pure, noble, excellent, praise worthy – things that will lead our minds into the envisioning of the Kingdom of God. In our day and age, this is what it means to be counter-cultural.
I pray that all of you were not part of the 8.45 million, but more than that, I pray that the 8.45 million will find a way to raise their standards to things that are above versus things below.
* On a side note, not everything that MTV does is base, but some of it can be quite thought provoking and educational for the betterment of society. The Jersey Shore is not one of these shows.