Ose Burnett is the co-founder of First Love Media. She is an evangelist with a heart for ushering young people into the presence of God to receive healing and deliverance. Ose lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband, Niral Russell Burnett, and her three beautiful children. You can find out more information about the ministry of Ose Burnett at Osemene.com
There was an article that I read that was talking about the T.V. show, "EMPIRE". Here is a paragraph from the article that stood out to me:
"Let me hip y’all to some game. Church folks love “Empire.” Now, the show might have lost some followers once Lucious started calling himself God; (Not after he shot Bunkie in the eye though.), but with 16 million views last night, many among them, were church folks."*
In the aforementioned article, it spoke of how a transvestite, called out Donnie McClurkin's name and said that he and Donnie are going to the LGBTQ awards. It was a low blow and was supposed to be a low cut to Donnie, who was delivered from homosexuality. The writer of the article was surprisingly, on Donnie's side, stating that his testimony should not be maligned or ridiculed like that on TV.
Look at the above quote from the article. Not only is it an indictment against the church, it is where many of us are in our walk in the Spirit. To watch shows and movies such as Empire, Scandal, Straight Outta Compton, and have no conviction about watching it, tells you where many of us are in our relationship with Jesus. A conscience is not seared overnight. It is a gradual numbing that happens to you, where your flesh has been programmed to accept what the enemy serves you on your plate. Then the "justifying one's self in one's own eyes" comes next. You explain away how this is OK, and that each person has a personal conviction. I mean, "It's just a movie...it's not a big deal. It's all entertainment." But the danger of feeding the carnal mind is a dulling of the spiritual senses. Our conscience is slowly being seared like a hot iron.
“Oh Please! Everybody is just judging!” There are perfectly legitimate reasons why we can watch a movie with derogatory language in it, nude women, sex scenes, a transvestite on a piano, blatant adultery, and marriage between two men! Nothing wrong with watching it. We should be strong enough to discern what's right and wrong, and throw away the bathwater and leave the baby, right? It's not affecting our spirit AT ALL. Not one bit.
How Do I Judge Myself?
"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world."- 1 Corinthians 11:31-32
1. We Are Disciples of Jesus Christ
We have to come to the realization that we cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and watch and listen to the unclean and profane. We cannot continue feeding our flesh, and then Sunday we raise our hands in worship as if God does not see what we are doing. Clean hands; pure hearts. That's what He is looking for. How can we stay clean and defile ourselves with shows like this? Especially when they malign the gospel of Jesus Christ and make a show of His saving power in a man's life? That should be the first red flag; if it mocks or compromises the holiness of our walk with God, we do not watch it. If we are able to judge ourselves according to the Word of God, we won’t be judged by others. It is the love of God that chastens us, and brings correction to our soul. It’s part of being a disciple. When Paul corrected in his letters, he was judging the situations to be sin, or wrong. He judged mindsets according to the Word. He did not mince his words. He had to bring correction to error, otherwise the churches in heathen cities would be compromised.
2. Think On These Things
The Bible says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."( Philippians 4:8). This scripture alone will act as a barrier to your spirit, and if you measure whatever you are watching to the Word of God, it will help to eliminate those things that will contaminate the spirit man and feed the carnal man.
3. Do Not Abuse Your Freedom In Christ
Galatians 5:13 and 14 says, “For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the [e]sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through [f]love serve and seek the best for one another.”
Paul later goes on to describe the works of the flesh:
"Now the practices of the [i]sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), [j]idolatry, [k]sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." - Galatians 5:19-21
Our freedom in Christ should not lead us to bondage. If we constantly feed our flesh with shows and movies such as these, we risk the danger of not inheriting the kingdom of God. Such practices will cause our carnal lives to rule us, and we can end up in a state of slumber spiritually where we are not prepared or ready for His return.
4. Our Outward Giftings Are Not Indicators Of Our Inward Surrender
We have used our natural gifts, or spiritual gifts like prophecy, healing, tongues, or the five-fold ministry gifts to gauge how spiritually mature we are. These things are not the correct barometer to measure our spiritual walk. If God can use a warlock (a witch doctor) like Baalam to bless Israel, He can use anyone’s giftings for His purposes. But that does not mean that He is pleased with the one He is using. We’ve even used altar calls as indicators of spiritual brokenness or maturity, and that is not necessarily so. Crying at the altar no longer means surrender anymore. It has become an emotional release. We cry, wipe our eyes, then go back to living the same carnal life that convicted us in the first place. If we can get up from the altar, turn our TV on and watch movies and shows like Empire WITHOUT conviction, then our conscience is slowly searing. Sanctification is one of the teachings of Basic Christianity 101, and it is THE hardest class to pass, as described in Galatians 5. Those that do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. These shows are simply not for a Christian's eyes to behold. The questions we have to ask ourselves are: are we truly converted? Are we disciples of Jesus Christ or has Jesus become just an "addition" to our everyday life?
"But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do." (Galatians 5:16-17) AMP
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites. If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit].” - Galatians 5:24-25, AMP
Let's judge ourselves, like the scripture says in 1 Corinthians 11. No one will have to tell us what is wrong or sinful, if we are disciples. If you are guided by the Holy Spirit, He will convict your heart, according to the Word of God about what to watch, wear, see, speak, or do. He will never lead you astray or cause you to do something outside of the plan of God for your spirit. He desires to reveal Jesus TO you, IN you and THROUGH you. His job is for the fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in your life at all times, so that you will inherit the kingdom of God.
"But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22). AMP