Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Popular Culture vs Psalm 1

Many, many years ago I memorized Psalm 1.  Occasionally I have to refresh some of the lines but generally it has been "stuck" in my mind for all these years.

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This morning I was reciting this to myself and I had some thoughts about it which I've decided to share in this post.

Let's take look at the first verse.

Psalm 1:1 (RSV)

Blessed (Happy) is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;


For some time now as God has been dealing with me over a number of issues and recently it became very clear to me that our "popular culture" has been COMPLETELY at war with my faith.

All the while, I'd passively sat back and watched its TV shows, gone to and purchased its movies, bought and consumed its music and applauded its stars, listened to its radio, filled my mind with it's books and magazines, and allowed myself to travel down many dark roads on its internet.

Ironically I'd always wondered why I felt so defeated in my Christian walk.

Slowly over the years God has been calling me to a more righteous way...and I've finally begun to see the divide between this calling and the filth I'd been allowing to come pouring into my mind.


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This morning as I recited the words from the first verse of Psalm 1:  "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked...."

....suddenly I thought about all the "advice" (counsel) pouring out from all the television "talk" shows:

The View, The Talk, Dr. Oz, Wendy Williams, etc...and extending back from Oprah Winfrey all the way to Phil Donahue....

....and all the "help" segments on "news" programs, in newspaper advice columns, on radio call in shows, and in scores of books and magazines etc.

How much of that is Godly advice?  How much of it is the "counsel of the wicked"?


So what about the next two lines of Psalm 1:1 - Blessed is the man who does not "stand in the way of sinners" or "sit in the seat of scoffers"?

I think back on concerts I've attended, parties I've gone to...all the countless places I've been where I was "standing in the the way of sinners"?

And the innumerable hours I've watched shows like Saturday Night Live, late night talk shows and comedians, sit-coms, YouTube Videos, and all the websites etc I visited...where they regularly scoff at and mock God and Christian values.


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Sadly far too many Christians not only partake of all that the world offers...but we bring it into our homes by the car-load.

We buy book shelves full of books, magazines, DVD's and CD's. 

In addition, many of us pay huge sums of money each month for Cable and Satellite TV.

How much of that would meet with God's standards and approval?


Recently, I've decided to mostly watch Christian TV and listen primarily to Christian or classical music.

And now when I do allow myself to catch something from a secular source...I've already begun to really notice all the filth that I used to allow myself to bathe in for hours every week.


A few months ago I would have read a post like this and thought to myself that it was a bit extreme.

Someone suggesting I shouldn't watch secular TV...listen to it's music...partake of its culture....would've sounded over the top

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But let's go on to read what Psalms 1:2 and 3 have to say:

2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

So when we are asked to trade the things of this world for God's advice and council through his Word we receive an incredible "pay-off" in return!!

Have you felt like a tree planted by streams of water?  Have you felt fruitful?  Have you felt like what you do is prospering?

If not, it may be that you've been feeding yourself on the things of this world rather than than the things of God.


The great news is that as long as we have breath, it is never to late to set a new course.

If you are a Christian and desiring to change, ask God to forgive you, and ask Him (as David writes in Psalm 51) to "Create in me a clean heart, oh God, And put a new and right spirit within me"...and to "sustain in me a willing spirit".

Then look for Christian TV, radio stations and other entertainment choices and ask God to give you the strength to enjoy them instead of the things that war against your spirit.

And the great news is that a lot of it has gotten quite good!


If you are not a Christian and want to become one here are some steps you can take:

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Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, ask God to forgive you of your sins, and ask Him to strengthen you so that you may overcome the sin in your life.

After this confession some may find they are immediately free from addictions or other habits...some may experience an emotional response.

Others may not feel anything and might still struggle with old ways.

Either way...if you sincerely meant this confession, begin reading the Bible and praying, and seek out fellowship at a church or with other people who believe in Jesus and the God of the Bible.


If you are not ready to take these steps allow yourself to have an open heart and ask God to reveal Himself to you.


No one is guaranteed more time in life...so if you feel this message "speaking" to you...don't put it off...turn to Jesus today.

It will be the best decision you ever make.


A note on the Christian life:  Sometimes a well meaning Christian will say to someone seeking God, "Just give your life to Him and everything will be PERFECT for you."

But this kind of message caused me a tremendous amount of doubt and trouble in my Christian life...because God never promises freedom from trials after one comes to Him.

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So then,what do you gain by turning to God?  For starters...The Bible (God's Word) promises us eternal life!

And as you grow with God your life will produce the "fruits" of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

There are many other promises you can read about this "new life" in the Bible's New Testament.

You can find many free translations of the Bible on line.  I like Biblegateway.com and suggest reading from the New Testament in the New King James translation as a good place to start.


I pray this post has spoken to you today.  If you have questions feel free to ask them in the comments.

May God Bless you no matter where you are at...and draw you ever closer to Him!!!


  1. Dear Sir,

    Well said. I applaud the wisdom that led you to this choice, and the self discipline that enables you to persevere in it. I am often surprised to hear Christians speak of seeing movies, tv and listening to music that glorify unGodliness. To me, they are allowing the world to shape their values and attitudes - being conformed to the world, rather than being transformed, as St. Paul wrote in Romans.

    A related issue is the importing of the styles and tastes of the world into the Church. I understand that people who come to Christ out of the secular culture may take a while to shed their taste for it. But I wonder if copying that culture's music, dress, street language, etc. is wise?


  2. Hi Jephyr,
    coming to Jesus was the best thing that ever happened in my life. I used to think that I was in a broad place when I lived my worldly life, but it led me into a very narrow and dark place, where I was ruled by many masters. Now that I have come through the narrow gate of faith in Jesus, I am in a broad place of love and happiness with just one master who cares for me in a way that I could not have imagined, and with whom there is a continuing existance of such that eye has not seen.

  3. Hello Bishop Campbell,

    I'm so glad you agree...as you wrote many Christians do not and it is so true that these choices influence us. Sadly a great number do not understand this.

    I agree whole-heartedly about popular cultures influence on many churches. We do need to become "all things to all men" to win others to Christ as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:19...but not just as "imitators" of this world.

    Thankfully, Jesus, the "pioneer and perfector of my faith", has brought me to this place in my life!!

    Now discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it! Hebrews 12:11

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting...I plan to revisit your blog soon!!

    Oh...and please feel free to call me Jephyr if you'd like! :)

    God Bless!

  4. Hello Brenda,

    Yes...I finally understand that the freedom the world offers isn't freedom at all...but a trap that leads to slavery!

    Thank you for sharing your testimony here...may it Bless all who read it!!

    God Bless you! :)