“Popular culture, like the meat offered to idols in 1 Corinthians 10,” says Ken Myers, “is a part of the created order, part of the earth that is the Lord’s, and thus something capable of bringing innocent pleasure to believers.” But he warns that “popular culture has the power to set the pace, the agenda, and the priorities for much of our social and our spiritual existence, without our explicit consent. It requires a great effort not to be mastered by it.” xiv
One important way to avoid being mastered is to really imbibe the “main theme” of Myers’ book (All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes): “not everything that is permissible is constructive.” xiii
I know I have made something like constructiveness my primary criterion in my interactions with popular culture. I always ask myself—inspired by the Bible and by Jonathan Edwards’s famous resolutions—”What will be the eternal profit, for God and myself, of this activity?”
My pastor, Mark Minnick, preached an excellent Wednesday-night message recently on choices in which he appealed to the same argument. I highly recommend this message, and I’m going to blog about it soon (DV)!