I had this thought today, about conviction.
Not as in, you’re convicted of something, but as in the convictions you have.
And I got to thinking, do the convictions we have about things that are not real reflect the ones we have about life?
Obviously with some things they do, the big ones, like if we think homosexuality is acceptable, our political views, other things like that.
But there are sneakier kinds of conviction, ones we may not realize we have.
I wondered if what we think we believe is really what we believe.
For example, fetishes.
It’s a word anyone who watches internet things will be familiar with, I think, or certain movies…ick.
I won’t explain too much, but some fetishes (sexual preferences that are weird and often creepy) are seen as acceptable or normal, or perhaps at least okay to secretly indulge…you know, the it’s not right, but you won’t say it’s wrong, type of thing.
It’s going to be hard for me to define exactly what I’m getting at, because I am not saying perversion, or murder, or cruelty, is necessarily something we’ll approve in real life if we approve it in the unreal, but I still think it effects us.
My theory, based on observation, is that it undermines our ability to fight these things.
Christians often talk about being desensitized, we aren’t the only ones, other people studying social interactions and attitudes are calling out our culture for the same thing.
People even joke about it because they aren’t really sure what to do.
Christians might also call it being put to sleep. We talk about needing to “wake up.” But what does this exactly mean?
It means a sharpening of the senses, and clearer vision, it means looking at what is happening around us instead of just dreaming. Knowing the real from the false.
I submit to you that what we watch is a huge part of what clouds our ability to feel strongly about our convictions.
I’m not the first to say it, but I’ve yet to hear, in my memory, anyone connect that to our lack of ability to take action.
Normally, people assume being asleep and desensitized by fiction and media means you won’t see the problems around you. For some people, it does mean that, but I think for others, the more naturally belligerent perhaps, it means you’ll see it but you won’t feel like you can do anything about it.
Watching dirty or tainted material makes us feel guilty, even if we kind of like that feeling, we know it’s not right, and we think we should stand up for what we believe, but then the situation arises and we have no clue what to do.
King David said “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes, I will behave wisely in a perfect way.” He connected our behavior with what we see.
What you look at is what you become.
You ever get that feeling, when you leave the movie theater, or finish binging your favorite action show, or soaking in you favorite romance, like you’ve sort of put on the character’s face? Like you can be that strong, that romanced, that brave, that special?
That feeling is actually somewhat real.
“The eye is the window to the soul, and if your eye is clean, then your soul will be also.” –Jesus.
We feel like we’ve put on these movie’s message like a girl might put on make-up, it’s why nerds cos-play. (And yes, I’ve wanted to do that, I just don’t have the skills or bucks to shell out on it.)
The problem is, the same thing happens with dirty stuff. We feel like the pervert, the monster, the slut, the psycho, after we watch. You’ve almost certainly heard people claim this, and say they’re sick, I know I have.
In real life, these people might not even hurt a fly, but it doesn’t matter, what they’ve convinced themselves they are like limits them.
As Christians we forget that the war is fought mostly in our minds, and that is what determines our actions.
As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
We have lost our fighting spirit. I’m surrounded by people all the time who have no clue how to fight for anything they want, need, or that is just right.
It’s because they don’t fight it on the field of the mind. We thing what we consume with our minds is not important to honing our skills, but it is.
Superhero stuff is great for this…if you take it the right way.
Truth is truth, whether it’s in black and white, technicolor, or 3D packaging.
People wonder why we feel the need to break down the things we like, and figure out if they were good or not, but the answer is simple: We’re searching for fuel.
Granted, some people are just nitpicking, and that’s not to say everyone who searches is searching for the right thing. Plenty of idiots and creeps use fiction to justify what they think (maybe not openly, but it’s int heir minds.)
But it’s still part of the war. I’ve learned that if I can conqueror and idea or mindset in fiction, I’m far more likely to address it in real life, and it loses some of its’ power to intimidate me.
This may even be the idea behind political cartoon propaganda. Fiction inoculates you, that can be good or bad.
My concern is that our lack of understand over how it works means we let it weaken us when it should be making us stronger. Imagination is a powerful thing.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12.)
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6.)
The Bible says we have the Mind of Christ. That includes our imagination, and what appeals to us. Of course it’s always a war, I have to fight not to like the wrong parts of fiction also.
It’s not like I never feel tempted. But I know that’s what is happening, I’ve started to wake up.
The biggest lie is that it’s a waste of time to even think about all this because “It’s not real.”
That excuses every sin, and downplays every virtue of fiction. Where do we draw the line?
“It’s just a story”
It’s not just a story.
It might help to remember that each idea in a story is a real idea held by a real creator, somewhere. You are meeting, essentially, with their mind, when you experience their work. Meeting with it more fully then you might in a conversation, because stories contain purer versions of our ideas than we’ll share just in passing.
It’s why fans feel a certain fondness of the sources of their shows. It’s not all hype, ladies and gents, we do know something about how the person must think.
In that way, you are dealing with what is real when you deal with the themes of the material. And you should be careful that you’re fighting what you should fight.
Don’t throw out every flawed thing, of course, that would be everything, but decide carefully what flaws are fatal and what are just annoying.
Anyway, until next time–Natasha.