The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is everything fun a sin? 1 John 2:15-17


#1

Hey Brethren, I have a question.

I have never this question asked before, I have seen the questions like ‘is everything a sin’, ‘is entertainment a sin’ and ‘is having fun a sin’ but never have I seen the question asked in the context of 1 John 2:15-17.

Does 1 John 2:15-17 (the verses about not loving the world and the things of the world) teach that everything that involves fun, pleasure and entertainment is sinful?

Obviously there is bad and immoral entertainment out there and the Bible does talk about the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25), but is EVERYTHING that involves fun, pleasure and entertainment is sinful? things like non-hymnal music, hobbies, sports (I’m not a fan there but I know others are), video games, etc.

I saw one YouTube video where a Christian named Jefferson Bethke said that God made pleasurable things and they should produce thankfulness and a comment involved quotation of 1 John 2:15 as a rebuttal. Another example from the otherside is from Steven Anderson, the YouTube description (The description was written by a Christian named Matthew Stucky but it was for Steven Anderson’s video) of one of his videos against television reads the following: "They will preach against some television shows but shows like the Andy Griffith Show will be praised behind the pulpit. LINE BREAK. 1 John 2:15-16 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. LINE BREAK. The Bible tells us not to love the world. The television and movies are of the world. " To be fair, he went into more detail about why he didn’t approve of the show further in the description talking about how the show made a mockery of being a drunk and other things, but I just wanted to give you an idea of how the verses are used.

1 John 2:15-17 is part of the Bible and I’m not going to ignore it, Revelation 22:19 sends a severe warning against adding or taking away from the Bible, but I will be honest, I get nervous when hear the verses quoted because almost everytime I hear them quoted, the person quoting them is saying that EVERYTHING that involves fun, pleasure and entertainment is sinful.

I find it interesting that the Love of God is to keep his commandments and his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3), and the commandments to love God with all my heart, soul and mind and to love my neighbor as myself are anything but burdensome, but the commandment to ‘thou shalt not have fun’ certainly is burdensome, and it’s not that I am not willing to sacrifice pleasurable things for the cause of Christ, I certainly am, but I am burdened by the idea that pleasure on earth is evil within itself. I also keep what I hope is the correct interpretation of 1 John 2:15-17, which is to know that this earth is not our home and to have an focus on the everlasting life to come, to not follow ungodly desires (lusts of the flesh and lusts of the eyes) and not be prideful (ths pride of life).

What are your thoughts? God Bless you all.


Objections to Univeralism
Easy Yoke (Matthew 11:28-30) vs Self Denial (Luke 9:23,14:26
Easy Yoke (Matthew 11:28-30) vs Self Denial (Luke 9:23,14:26
#2

Urgent apology.

I posted this topic without regarding the ‘One “New Topic” per week per member’, I was actually expecting something to automatically prevent me from posting thus but nothing did.

Please forgive me.

If this post must be deleted until next week, may it be.

Sorry and God Bless


#3

I have a couple favorite Protestant sites:

Got Questions
Patheos

Here are the articles:

22 awesome things I used to believe were sinful
What does the Bible say about fun and entertainment?

I won’t quote from the first Patheos article, but it is fun reading. I don’t agree with everything they say - by the way. I’ve included it, to see if it raises any eyebrows here. After all, it was approved for publication, by the Patheos site, Christian review board. :smiley:

I’ll quote from the second article. But first, a little story. I took many creative writing classes, at the College of Dupage. One professor, I liked, was a graduate of Wheaton College (a conservative Christian college, where Billy Graham graduated). She once mentioned in class, that some ultra-conservative Christians, thought Harry Potter promoted witchcraft. But her response is that it’s a work of literature. One of the 22 things, that the Patheos author likes - is Harry Potter.

Now for the Got Questions response.

In keeping with the Holy Fools tradition (a valid historical Christian tradition, started in the Russian Orthodox Church)…Here’s how a country singer has fun. :laughing:

or

youtube.com/watch?v=H6gI7Ts14Qw


#4

We wouldn’t delete it, just put it on mod until next week; but the rule is there to be enforced charitably, so I doubt any of the ad/mods will have a problem with one inexperienced lapse. (Mainly it exists to keep a few… let us call them exuberant people, from spamming new topics so often that they run other people’s posts off the bottom of the active topics list. We wouldn’t have the rule at all except for those exceptions. :unamused: :wink: Basically it keeps people like me in check, even though I’m technically exempt as an admin! :laughing: :mrgreen: )

I’ll port my brief reply to (a briefer form of) the question from your introduction thread here, too: lust and pride may be ‘fun’ in perverted ways, but that doesn’t mean all fun is lust or pride and the verses there sure don’t say so.


#5

J. K. Rowling has excelled everyone in history in surreptitiously getting Christianity (specifically, the Christianity of the medieval alchemists of western Europe) into the minds of hundreds of millions of people not even aware that they are hungrily gobbling up Christianity with both hands.

The seven Harry Potter novels have assumed a permanent place in my imagination. They are moving and edifying, and they inspire me to be a better Christian. I recommend all seven books, followed-up with How Harry Cast His Spell by John Granger (a fellow Orthodox believer).


#6

:smiley:


#7

@Holy-Fool-P-Zombie
I have read the GotQuestions article but it suffers from the same problem that similar articles do, it never mentions 1 John 2:15-17.

The ‘22 awesome things I used to believe were sinful’ appears to be a mockery, I have no idea why a Christian website shared it.

@JasonPratt
I posted the article knowing about the rule but expecting an automated function to stop it,
I had previously posted this on another Christian forum and just copied the text, I didn’t type out a wall of text to have an automatic function stop it.

Lust (the word lust is actually the same word for desire, see my response on my ‘Objections to Univeralism’ topic)and pride are perverted ways of having fun, my biggest concern is people condemning ANYTHING fun under 1 John 2:15-17, the biggest example is music, even contemporary Christian music is condemned with these verses.

@Geoffrey
How did Harry Potter encourage you to become a better Christian? I’m curious.

Regarding Harry Potter, I think the best thing is as follows:

ROMANS 14:13-23:
-13: Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
-14: I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
-15: But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
-16: Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
-17: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
-18: For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
-19: Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
-20: For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
-21: It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
-22: Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
-23: And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

God Bless
Chirst Be With You All


#8

The Harry Potter series is great Christian literature. Their theme is the problem of death, to which they give the Christian answer: life after the death of the body. The books are chock-a-block full of Christian symbols and imagery. The virtues, courage, and sacrifices made by the books’ heroes encourage me to emulate them. As with the fantasies of men such as George MacDonald, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, one comes away from the Harry Potter books edified.


#9

STT said:

That word ‘world’ (Kos’-mos)from my understanding means orderly arrangement or decoration I think, and lust means ‘longing desire’ but you may have to ask our resident Greek scholars here. :sunglasses: But the word ‘world’ seems to mean the old covenant way of doing things, :astonished: so these Jews who thought that the only way to proceed was to continue in the old covenant ways… I’m not sure it has anything to do with having fun and being a Christian in modern time… Just my thought.

FWIW, I enjoy contemporary music, both Christian and secular. :smiley:


#10

It depends on how you interpret “love the world”. I say I love God and like the world.

As a Holy Fool tradition adherent, I would try to draw inspiration - from Curly Howard, Harpo Marks and Stan Laurel.

And I watch non-redeeming shows, to relax from intense intellectual activity. Like I used to love the MacGyver TV show. Now they have a remake tonight on CBS - which is pretty good.

And afterwards, I watch 2 shows - on the SciFi channel. Z-Nation about Zombies (actually, it’s a Walking Dead ripoff). And then Van Helsin, about a female fighting vampires.

What about rock music? We can listen to it or use it as a forum - for Christian worship.

If you don’t like the world, you can always join a Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Anglican monastery.

Or you can be like one of our thread initiaters here. When someone posted a Frank Zappa quote (not me, by the way), he responded this way:

If you spend several hours a day - reading the bible: I think it is overkill.

Yes, I like the world. I occasionally like a glass of wine, beer or whiskey. I like watching superhero movies. I like eating cuisines, from around the world. And listening to classical music. Etc.

But I love God, church, Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition, and Christ.


#11

Randy said:

Though I have to say that I may believe the bible idea of ‘world’ may be different than most think it is, I appreciate Randy’s input and have to agree with him :exclamation: :exclamation:

Amen :smiley:


#12

I too have had this issue in the past. So I don’t think your alone in bringing up these verses. Many well-meaning Christians call things “worldly”, when they really have no criteria to judge what is “worldly” and what “spiritual.” How do you define worldly? Is it secular music, piercings, dyed hair, TV shows, movies, sports, or theater productions? Is it worldly to drink and dance? At one point I’ve considered all of these as fleshly and wrong. But by what standard? Many times believers use an arbitrary set of rules to judge what they consider as wrong. You can call something “worldly” simply because you dislike it. It doesn’t feel or look Christian to you. But that doesn’t mean its wrong in God’s eyes. The phrase “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” doesn’t help much either. Its too general. What’s not general, however, is how Scripture defines things. At the end of the day, all we should care about is what the Lord has spoken on a subject. And if He is silent on it, then it is a matter of Christian liberty.

Now I personally don’t think Christians should be watching movies that are filled with cursing, sexual promiscuity, among other things. Mainly because Christ warns us to keep our eyes from looking on what is evil. But that doesn’t mean a Christian can’t enjoy some wholesome entertainment, a movie that is encouraging and interesting, a TV show that is fun and enjoyable. “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” have to do with sin. Sinful delights that draw the Christian away from loving God. Because if you say you can’t enjoy anything in the world, then you have to dislike hikes (because lakes, trees, and mountains are in the world), eating (because food comes from creatures and living things that inhabit this world), and working (since you must interact with things of the world to work).

God’s creation is good. He gave the festivals to the Israelites not only so they would remember and honor Him, but so that they might rejoice before Him and celebrate. When the prodigal son came home there was a celebration with music and dancing. Which means that God dances. Indeed, He is the originator of all that is good in this world. So I would say, that the world that John writes of is not the physical world, but the sinful ordered system of humanity. And this sinfulness is defined by Scripture. Not by people on YouTube with comments, with their own misguided notions of what is worldly and what is holy. Should we be careful in what we allow into our eyes and ears? Yes. But that is a far cry from saying that entertainment and fun is off limits. I think obssession with entertainment can be a sin, but so can anything we make an idol of. Just be sure you are making good use of the time you have, and honor God by obeying His Word. And where His Word is silent, you are free to act.


#13

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Ph 4.8

As long as fun doesn’t keep us from that good advice above, let there be fun!


#14

#15

awakeningaletheia Said:

ABSOLUTLY! and much of Christendom want to stifle that fact. :open_mouth:

DaveB said

:smiley: :smiley:


#16

Does that rule out reading horror novels or the OT?


#17

I hope not. Or hard SF either. :smiley:


#18

This raises a big question for me. It says you can know a person, by the company they keep. Is it a sin to hang around holy fools, zombies, p-zombies, nerds and geeks, rather then the bulk of humanity? :confused:



#19

YEP! :wink:


#20

1 Corinthians 10:31
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Romans 8:5-6
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

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