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Searing of the Masses

Searing of the Masses

“Watch as the menacing Llama duo exit their car on a dark road at night, set some clothes on fire and then proceed to seemingly murder bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz — who is tied up and gagged in the car’s trunk — by spearing him repeatedly with a shovel.” –Billboard Magazine (referring to a “music video” by Fallout Boy, Last of the Real Ones).

I witnessed this. It was shown on an oversized TV screen amid a few dozen others who were apparently unfazed by the intense level of violence pouring onto the workout room. Panning the room, trying to look unobtrusive, I hoped to find one other exerciser who experienced what I just had…someone who looked as horrified as I felt…someone who seemed to be sensitive to the vulgar nature of this nightmarish “art form”. No one qualified, at least any that I could tell.

So I appealed to the employees. When I asked if any of them had viewed the video, they seemed confused by my question. As I detailed the production to them, they explained that it all originates from Planet Fitness corporate and they have no control over the music video loops that are played. I’m in the process of waiting on an email back from the powers that be. But let me get to my main points, which are these:

We live in a culture of excessive violence, fear, and terror. Have we gotten numb to it in order to function? And does what we allow into our minds affect our behaviors? And if that’s the case, then maybe we had better take better notice and bring the damaging images to the attention of those displaying them.

1 Timothy, chapter 4, mentions the conscience becoming “seared”. And though I understand the context here referring to legalism in all its ugly forms, I believe, of course, it can refer to overtly sinful behaviors. This “searing” effect acts like a “cauterization” of the lifeline that hears from Holy Spirit as to what is right and what is wrong. When we’ve been exposed to visuals long enough (kinda like roughing up the fingertips in order to create calluses so the pain of strumming the metal strings of a guitar will no longer hurt), our conscious minds can become calloused to those sights, where we no longer cringe when our eyes get glimpses of them. But, make no mistake; they are getting into our subconscious level. And sadly, we are no longer shocked or saddened by violence and twisted sensuality on any screen anymore.

My heart is heavy for this culture. I might be aging myself, but what is considered “OK” or “normal” is neither. I want to protect my grandbabies from considering all this mess “normal” and acceptable. Watching men dressed in furry costumes while eerie lyrics are being sung and brutality is publically displayed, in a world where real cruelty is happening on a daily basis, is not ok! These blatant exhibits must be called out for what they are and there is a time to take a stand against the twisted system. No, we don’t do it disrespectfully. But for your children’s sake…for the culture’s sake…for Heaven’s sake please don’t get apathetic. Let’s show the love of God by protecting our families from the envelope pushers who are being fueled by the demonic realm.

So what can we do? First, please ask Holy Spirit if He will give you back sensitivity to Him if you’ve become hardened. I remember when I first understood and received God’s grace towards me, certain scenes in movies or TV shows disturbed my spirit. I don’t want to live in that “hardened heart” state that the author of Hebrews talks about…”So, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today , if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion…’” –Heb. 3:15 Why does God tell us this? Because our caring, loving Abba is for us and He doesn’t want His children living in anxiety. The passage continues with this…”That is why I was angry with that generation, their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known My ways. So I declared an oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest.’”  I don’t know about you, but I want to enter into His perfect rest and peace and NOT hurt my soul through sticky images spawned by sinister spirits.

Honestly, I’m getting tired of the lethargy in society and in the church. We can point out the ugly without being ugly. We can bring awareness without tripping over spiritual pride in the process. And God-willing, we can create a cultural consciousness that will un-sear the benumbed mind…one individual at a time.

Are you with me?

(FYI…this blog was written before the tragic Texas church shooting on Sunday, 11/5/17)

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Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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