Friday, March 29, 2013

Vikings and The Bible

More must see TV. These two shows have recently come out on the History channel. I and my family are enjoying them greatly. There is a lot of pausing on the DVR. The children have lots of questions. We talk about the different issues and scenes that come up and sometimes don't even finish watching the episode. I've known more than a few churchian types that ban TV from their homes. I find this to be an over reaction. If you can't understand how to use the tools of this world to better see God's Word, that is something you should work on. The internet definitely falls in this same category.

Is it fear of temptation? Have these people been greatly tempted in the past and therefore just remove themselves from that temptation. If so, I understand the initial reaction. However, following this mentality would necessarily lead to a Mennonite or Amish society of believers in a short time. This becomes a conflict between avoiding the temptress and understanding that things are neither clean, nor unclean. This is also where a community of believers is so important in our lives. Having people to hold you accountable helps you understand the difference between going to a strip club by yourself and having a healthy sex life with your spouse. Identifying Satan's lies in society is something we need to share with each other.

Back to the TV shows. Our family enjoys alien and zombie movies as well. Vikings and The Bible have kept us enthralled and given us great opportunities to talk more about God's Word. In fact the children have been rereading the Bible to more clearly understand certain stories. It's awesome. I find the enslaved monk on Vikings to be an awesome character. This monk has to deal with being a Christian slave in a pagan society. He has some great lines in the show including his questioning of why God allowed this to happen to him. The visual aids of understanding what happened in the Bible has also been great. Seeing what the parting of the Red Sea would look like is cool.

So if you are looking for some quality family entertainment, I highly recommend both. Get ready to crack open the Bible or crack open a digital version of the Bible (gasp!). Your kids will enjoy it and remember it when they are long gone from your home.

12 comments:

  1. Why is it necessary to label parents who don't want their children being corrupted by what's on the TV and internet as "churchian"? At worst, they may be misguided. I find your use of this label confusing, as by definition and in my experience, "churchians" wouldn't care less. I admire parents who show such concern for the upbringing of their children.

    BTW, Christians 2000 years ago, better than you and I, did not need TV or the internet to "better see God's Word". I don't argue it may have helped you personally or others, but it is not necessary. The undertone of your post seems to me as "progressive".

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    1. Definitely not a progressive. If you are teaching your children according to God's Word, why would it corrupt them? I sense your hesitance with the misguided reference. I do not concede that Christians 2000 years ago were better than I at seeing God's Word. Why would I?

      I find these people to be unwilling to confront reality and find God's Truth in today's society. They long for a simpler time when they didn't have to deal with temptation. That time never existed. It is cowardly. It is an unwillingness to understand and think about what God's Word says about living today. It sets your children up for being considered weak. Christians should never be considered weak. They should know the Truth and be able to handle any of society's ills with confidence.

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    2. "If you are teaching your children according to God's Word, why would it corrupt them?"

      Children who have been taught God's Word cannot be corrupted? It would seem to me anyone can be, but especially children who are more naive and vulnerable.

      "I sense your hesitance with the misguided reference."

      Oh I do say it with reservation, but I did not want to get into a debate about it.


      "I do not concede that Christians 2000 years ago were better than I at seeing God's Word. Why would I? "

      Well, more to the point, are you *better* than they were because of TV and the internet? You are right though, I shall not speak on your behalf, but I believe Paul the Apostle and many of the other earlier Christians knew more about God and were better Christians than I.

      "I find these people to be unwilling to confront reality and find God's Truth in today's society."

      I'm not exactly what you mean by this. I don't believe there is truth in today's society.

      "They long for a simpler time when they didn't have to deal with temptation."

      This has nothing to do with temptation. >90% of the things on my television are poison to the mind, with messages or concepts that are against the truth.

      "That time never existed. It is cowardly. It is an unwillingness to understand and think about what God's Word says about living today. "

      What exactly is cowardly? Choosing not to watch TV (I should specify, general broadcasted TV) or let kids use the internet? It is far too judgmental, especially without scriptural backing. Now if you do have a biblical backing, you would be more convincing.

      "It sets your children up for being considered weak. Christians should never be considered weak."

      Define "weak". Where in the Bible does it say Christians should never be considered weak? Considered weak by whom?

      "They should know the Truth and be able to handle any of society's ills with confidence."

      I agree.



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    3. 1)Obviously, parents need to know the extent of knowledge and Christian development of their children. Can anyone be corrupted? Yes. Even Peter. The point I am making is that you can't hide you or your children from that possibility. In fact, the more you try to the more likely they will fall for Satan's lies. Satan's lies are ever changing. He is a horrible and nasty creature that will seek any weakness.

      2) Who am I to say that God doesn't intend for my words to be influential? I am a great respecter of the Apostles, Paul, Luther...and others. They would have many better examples and parables to use today than they did in history. Their influence would be greater because they never shied away from what was happening in the world. They confronted it head on. It's not like the Christians of old didn't talk about the society they currently lived in. Do you need a reference to the internet in the Bible? I'm afraid I won't be able to find one of those.

      3) God's Truth, not society's truth. Big difference.

      4) Weak-unable to meet challenges. Where does it say they should be weak? There are plentiful references to strength and being strong. Do you really need me to list these? I hate having to do that, but I will if you need it. I hate it because it seems so obvious to me. I hesitate because anyone that has read the Bible should already know these things.

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    4. YouHaveMyPermissionMarch 29, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      1)Obviously, parents need to know the extent of knowledge and Christian development of their children. Can anyone be corrupted? Yes. Even Peter. The point I am making is that you can't hide you or your children from that possibility. In fact, the more you try to the more likely they will fall for Satan's lies. Satan's lies are ever changing. He is a horrible and nasty creature that will seek any weakness.

      Not hiding them from the possibility is not the same as letting them watch toxic TV programs, which most of them are.

      "4) Weak-unable to meet challenges. Where does it say they should be weak? There are plentiful references to strength and being strong. Do you really need me to list these? I hate having to do that, but I will if you need it. I hate it because it seems so obvious to me. I hesitate because anyone that has read the Bible should already know these things."

      You are right in that I do know the scriptures. All references refer to being strong *in* God. It also refers to spiritual weakness, not the generic definition used in the dictionary and not in the context you've used the word.

      "Do you need a reference to the internet in the Bible? I'm afraid I won't be able to find one of those."

      Well its good that I never asked for references for "the internet" in the first place then. If you are going to start engaging in straw-man fallacies, and sarcasm, this discussion has already gone in the way of being a quarrel and not merely disagreement - something I have no interest in. I think it would do us good to take note of Proverbs 17:14.

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    5. 1) I said nothing about letting them watch anything without your involvement. It is your responsibility to understand the differences. Shielding your children from reality will only lead to them not knowing what to do when they either leave your home or you die. It is the parents' responsibility to bring their children up in the Lord's Truth. Ignoring the volcano next to your house is idiotic. While your children are with you, you better teach them how to deal with society's reality. Especially if you think it is a Sodom and Gomorrah situation. Cowardly parents ignore reality and fail to teach their children how to deal with the present evil.

      4) ...and apparently you would prefer to keep children blind of reality. If you don't teach them how to be strong in God, how will they learn? Again, cowardly parents don't confront society's ills. They hide their children from it. Why? Because they don't know how to do it themselves. They are afraid of temptation. They don't know how to be strong. They are weak.

      Your quarrel is not with me. It is with your weakness.

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    6. Christians 2000 years ago didn't have indoor plumbing. Have you given up on that too?

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  2. We wondered how they were handling The Bible. So they're staying true to the text? That's great since it's had such high ratings. Didn't know that there was a Christian character in Vikings.

    Thanks, maybe we'll DVR some of The Bible. We've found "That the World May Know" DVDs can teach some good stuff.

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    1. They have left out some stories or details I would prefer to be in there. However, it has been very good in my not so humble opinion.

      The monk character is so awesome. We all laugh about his Job moments. It really is good stuff. We are genetically Northern Europeans as a family and take some historical pride in the attitude of Vikings. The legal proceedings episode was hilarious to my son and I. They stoned (not to death) and threw things at a man convicted of theft. Anyone that didn't throw something would be fined. We had quite the enjoyable conversation about how effective that would be today. I will check out your recommendation as well. Thanks.

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  3. We do not have cable but use Netflix and Hulu instead. Because of this, we often know nothing of new shows. I was fortunate enough to catch a preview of VIkings at the gym one day but as there is no sound, I could not judge by any more than the scenes I saw. As we have an affinity towards VIkings I was excited about this show but always have reservations. We will be looking at this one and I hope to find it on Hulu. Thanks for writing about it!

    I had also heard about The Bible but had serious reservations given current Christian Culture. I will make sure to give that one a look as well.

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  4. We record various shows and what has become our tradition is to watch them until they "jump the shark." Some show surprise us. But for example, the girls and I watched Army Wives for the first few seasons, it was good. The writers dealt with several issues that are everyday life for Military families. Until they jumped the shark with some lesbian characters. It was a great opportunity to discuss with our girls the truth of homosexual relationships (of which we know a lot about) compared to the unrealistic manner this show portrayed them. So, the show was vetoed.

    Recently we recorded and watched "Go On" with Matthew Perry. It was our daughters who recognized their having "jumped the shark" and vetoed the show themselves. I can't tell what a blessing it is as parents to see our children develop this advanced discernment. It is from RLB watching shows with them, pausing, and having meaningful discussions about morality, reality, biblical truth, and propaganda.

    It's one thing to discuss these things with them having only hypothetical examples, it's another for them to see the lies firsthand whether that be in the shows or movies they watch or in their everyday relationship. Some shows have done well to accurately portray struggles and realistic solutions that people come up with. Like "Parenthood" for example. Their conflict resolution is not biblically based but is very common among everyday people. It's a great opportunity to discuss what we, as a family, would do differently living by biblical truth.

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  5. I'm de-lurking for a sec, because I see both sides here making very good points, but missing each other's essential point. It would be a shame for the misunderstanding to go on.

    Anti-TV View: What I think the comments are, ineptly, getting at, is the fact that the modern world we live in today (and have lived in for a couple centuries now, but I realize the comments don't go that far on the inevitable logical conclusion train) is hostile to anything truly Supernatural. Whereas the pagans turned Christians had the benefit of being seeped in supernatural understanding (benefit = less mental hurdles, better Christians), now Christians not only deal with the same temptations and mistakes as past Christians did (human nature being what it is, ie: unchanging), but also have to work harder to build the proper foundation for understanding the sense of religion and why following the Divine is so important. This is what those comments are instinctively reacting to, the overwhelming societal pressure to focus and think in natural terms, completely missing the supernatural component. I realize this may seem like I'm assuming more thought than there really might be in those comments, but that's why I say, "instinctively".

    Pro-TV View: I totally understand why you would say that today's Christians have the potential to be better - they have the benefit of a thousand+ years of wise teachings, writings, historical actions of real people and causes & effects in history showing them how to act and why. Most importantly, they can see the damage and consequences that going against traditional and religious wisdom has done to society, and analyzing TV shows is one of the easiest/most accessible ways to teach that. The anti TV comments seem to have ignored the fact that you don't just turn on the TV and watch whatever, but deliberately pick and choose with an agenda. Meaning, TV is a tool like any other.

    If I may offer a bit of refining of this view:

    "Shielding your children from reality will only lead to them not knowing what to do when they either leave your home or you die. It is the parents' responsibility to bring their children up in the Lord's Truth."

    I think what anti-TV parents fear the most is their inability to consistently teach what the child can take. It's true that parents need to teach their children the reality of the world, the problems start with knowing when to teach what, how to identify a child's maturity to deal with topic X, Y, Z. The danger of misunderstandings and loss of innocence is real, and the anti-TV crowd just happens to hyper-panic over this legitimate concern (...while only unconsciously acknowledging the big concern I mentioned in their view) . From their perspective you seem too laid back about the reality of things, when really it's just that you are very confident in your responsibility to guide your children.





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