"Flee This Stuff"
October 27, 2010
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
Have you had the opportunity to read the online version of the Oxford Journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience?
No? For shame.
Well, this journal is not my first reading choice, either. Even so, the most recent edition had an article of note.
It appears that Dr. Jordan Grafman, senior investigator at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Md. has finished a study which says violent films, TV, or video games not only desensitize, but they can actually promote aggressive behavior.
Our computer friends would say, "Garbage in, garbage out."
In this study, teenage boys were asked to rate 60 videos for violence. They were to say if the violence was low, mild, or moderate. (There were no extreme scenes of violence shown to the young men.)
The boys rated the films, but it was the electrodes attached to their fingers and an imaging scanner that produced the actual information, which brought about the study's conclusions.
Those results said if you show a young man enough violence, there is a high likelihood that his emotional urges to help or respond in a positive way will eventually be short-circuited.
Grafman summed up his article with these words: "Normal adolescents will feel fewer emotions over time as they are exposed to similar (violent) videos."
Maybe that's why St. Paul told the church in Thessalonica to flee youthful lusts.
In an age of blood-sport and gladiator games it was far better for God's people to follow the caring, sacrificial life of the Savior, far better for them to concentrate on finding a hero who was truly worthy of emulation, far better to get involved in acts of compassion, kindness, charity, and concern.
In short, it was far better to live the life of a Christian.
It was far better for the individual and far, far better for this troubled world.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we pray You send Your Holy Spirit upon the younger generation. Brilliant minds have dedicated themselves to turning out movies and games that will dull their Christian compassion and commitment. Keep them and teach them to flee youthful lusts. This we ask in Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries