Take Heed Lest You Fall, Part II

We learned in Part I of this article that while Moses was on the mount meeting with God, the children of Israel became restless. The people came to Aaron and declared that they had to do something! So he told them to bring to him their golden earrings, and he fashioned for them a molded calf, which was declared to be Israel’s god. (Exodus 32:2–4.) They believed they really were still worshipping Jehovah. They did not think that they were rejecting Jehovah. The golden calf was simply a symbol of Jehovah; that was what they had grown up with in Egypt.

Modern Idols

“And the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Exodus 32:6. After you have worship, then you need to have something for the young people too. So they rose up to play.

Today, of course, we do not have idols like the golden calf, but I have often thought about all of the people who eat and drink in front of their idols. Now, they do not worship them, and they are not golden calves, but how many people are eating and drinking in front of their idols, their television shrines? How many people go to their stadium shrines where they eat and drink? You know what else they do there? They yell! They get up early sometimes; they stay up late sometimes. Whatever it takes; they are interested; they are enthusiastic.

Were the children of Israel enthusiastic about what they were doing? Oh, yes, they were enthused! They got up early. Likewise, today, people are enthused about their idols. They are fanatical about their idols.

Today, the devil is doing a number on our young people with games, with playing, with amusements, with activities, and with sports. All of these things are being introduced, and the saddest thing is that, in many places, it is actually being done in the name of the Lord.

I have seen competitive basketball games where, before the games start, the teams pray together and say, “We are going to be witnessing for the Lord today.” And then they go out and try to beat the other team with all they are worth.


We are living in a serious day and age, are we not? We are on the way to Canaan, and anything that engrosses our minds so that we lose sight of our heavenly goal and our heavenly mission is something to be avoided. But how easy it is to rationalize.

Some time ago I copied an article from the Review and Herald. A lady wrote in explaining why she had changed her habits. Whenever we change our habits, we always have good reasons for doing so, even if we change them for the bad.

She wrote, “There once was a time when I thought I would never see a television set in my home.” I have noticed how many people sit around television sets. I did not grow up with a television. In the limited experience I have had with television, I have noticed how, when I am watching the programs, I am never thinking of the Lord; I am never studying my Bible. My Bible becomes less interesting.

This lady continued, “There once was a time when I thought I would never see a television set in my home. I condemned all television. And then we had children. Living in a neighborhood with 21 pre-schoolers, we discovered our son, Sean, to be a very social creature, as most three-year-olds are. We mothers became friends too. Our family believed that, like salt, Christians must mix in order to be useful. In our neighbors’ homes, I discovered with dismay how entranced our son was with their television sets, which seemed always to be on. He mimicked what he saw. He began asking to visit friends so he could watch TV at their houses. At that point, we faced a dilemma—either take the salt out of the neighborhood and isolate ourselves in a home with no television, or we would have to teach him to become a discriminating television viewer. So we bought our first television, and began an experiment that has lasted for ten years. I will admit it has not been a hundred percent successful a hundred percent of the time. It would still be easier to say no to television all of the time. Determining which programs are acceptable for viewing is a process that involves our whole family. Instead of saying a flat no to a program, we watch it together, and later discuss why the program should or should not be a part of our family’s diet. Monitoring the television is a continual project. We try to limit television-viewing time. Doing so is a challenge, because too many programs fall in the ‘good’ category.” They must have been living in a different country! “What do we watch? My husband and older son are history buffs, so they enjoy history documentaries. Watching a World War II program together gives them the opportunity to discuss history, prophecy, and the Bible. So, yes, we have a television in our home, and our family is learning to choose daily, for eternity. Learning this kind of self-control is important to us.”

That is an interesting philosophy! It is interesting how we can rationalize everything.

A Re-write

Read the letter through again with my added comments. I could not help putting some comments in!

She wrote: “There once was a time when I thought I would never see a television set in my home. I condemned all television. And then we had children.” Studies show that children are the most damaged by television. I would much rather see someone have a television when they did not have children than when they did have children.

“Living in a neighborhood with 21 preschoolers . . . .” We do have counsel, of course, on city living and on country living. But, anyway, she continues, “We discovered our son, Sean, to be a very social creature, as most three-year-olds are. We mothers became friends too. Our family believed that, like salt, most Christians must mix in order to be useful.” What did Jesus say about salt that has lost its savor? (See Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34.) It becomes like the world. Do we witness by becoming like the world?

“But in our neighbors’ homes, I discovered with dismay how entranced our son was with their television sets, which seemed always to be on.” They also probably had beer in their refrigerator; they probably also had parties on the Sabbath. I wonder why she did not consider getting beer or having parties on Sabbath too, so that they could be like their neighbors.

“He mimicked what he saw.” That should have been warning enough.

“He began asking to visit friends so he could watch television at their houses.” As I read that, I could not believe why, with a three-year-old, she could not have simply said no! But here is a three-year-old that is ruling the roost.

“At that point we faced a dilemma.” I mean, what do you do with a three-year-old that wants to go to the neighbors? “Either take the salt out of the neighborhood . . .”—this kid was becoming a real witness—“. . . and isolate ourselves in a home with no television, or we would have to teach him to become a discriminating television viewer.” Well, they could teach him to become a discriminating beer drinker too.

“So we bought our first television, and began an experiment.” Now she goes on to say that instead of saying a flat no to a program, they watch it together, and later discuss why the program should or should not be a part of their diet. Can you imagine watching a program, then deciding whether or not you should have watched it?

Then she says, “Doing so is a challenge, because too many programs fall in the ‘good’ category.” I could not help thinking, they have really been bitten. They must have been affected! I cannot find anything on television except the Steps to Life program that is worth watching. Even the news, most of the time, is sensationalism. The news can cause people’s minds to start wandering in areas of sex and violence and other things, of which they should not be thinking.

She says, “This is a continual project.” I wonder what happened to their witnessing program? They got the television so they could be a witness in the neighborhood, but monitoring of the television became a continual project. Whatever happened to the salt? I was surprised, when I read this part of the article where she admitted that all of their time was taken up with the television, that she did not see through her own arguments.

“What do we watch?” She mentions World War II documentaries. There is nothing much more “blood and guts” and violent than World War II programs!

Counsel Given

Consider a few thoughts from the pen of inspiration. “The world is flooded with books that are filled with enticing error. The youth receive as truth that which the Bible denounces as falsehood, and they love and cling to deception that means ruin to the soul.

“There are works of fiction that were written for the purpose of teaching truth or exposing some great evil. Some of these works have accomplished good. Yet they have also wrought untold harm. They contain statements and highly wrought pen pictures that excite the imagination and give rise to a train of thought which is full of danger, especially to the youth. The scenes described are lived over and over again in their thoughts.” The Ministry of Healing, 445.

I know what happened to me. I did not watch many programs, but I saw a movie at Union College [Lincoln, Nebraska] on the Civil War—one that had been shown in the theater. I probably relived that program a hundred times in my mind; I can still remember every detail of it. Did you ever see any programs that you relived afterwards in your minds? Do you remember every detail? Did you ever notice how hard it is to memorize the Bible and how easy it is to remember what you see on television?

What does the Bible say? “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.

Mrs. White wrote that people think of these things over and over again in their thoughts. Such reading unfits the mind for usefulness and disqualifies it for spiritual exercise. Is there any wonder why our young people today are not interested in spiritual things? Such reading—and television programming—destroys interest in the Bible. Passion is aroused, and the end is sin. We are living in an altogether too crooked world to be leading our children into paths of sin in our own homes.

“It is often urged that in order to win the youth from sensational or worthless literature, we should supply them with a better class of fiction. This is like trying to cure the drunkard by giving him, in the place of whisky or brandy, the milder intoxicants, such as wine, beer, or cider. The use of these would continually foster the appetite for stronger stimulants. The only safety for the inebriate, and the only safeguard for the temperate man, is total abstinence. For the lover of fiction the same rule holds true. Total abstinence is his only safety.” The Ministry of Healing, 446.

Skimpier Clothing

There is another thing that led the children of Israel to defeat. Do you remember the story of Achan? What was it that he coveted? The garments of the Babylonians and the Egyptians. It is one thing to take the person out of Egypt and Babylon; it is another thing to take Babylon and Egypt out of the person. It is interesting that as these people rose up to play, Exodus 32:25 mentions how some of them became naked in their play. Their garments became a little skimpier; they became a little more like the world.

James 4:4, 9, 10 says, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” “Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and [your] joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

Who will Stand?

Who will be able to stand? Will it be those who fill their minds with thoughts of worldliness? Do not make others your standard, because most of them are not going to make it to heaven. They all can—God would love them all to, but it is not going to happen that way.

In 11 Corinthians 6:15–17, we read, “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.’ Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ ” Listen, if the salt has lost its savor, what good is it? It is worthless, except to be tossed out. If we become the salt of the community by becoming like the community, we are worthless. He says, touch not the unclean, and “ ‘I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’ ”

Either we are all for God or eventually we are going to be all for Satan. Steps to Christ, page 33, says, “What we do not overcome, will overcome us and work out our destruction.” The next page in Steps to Christ says, “Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire, persistently cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel.”

As you look at your life, is there any place that you are holding on to something that the Lord has, at least at one time, convicted you of? If you are, that thing, unless you overcome it, will eventually destroy you and work out your condemnation. We have to be complete overcomers to be among the 144,000. Whatever can be shaken will be shaken. And there may be something different for each one of us. You might have something in your diet that you have never really surrendered. You may be practicing it, but you have never really surrendered it. Whether or not you are practicing it, if you have not really surrendered it, a time will come when you are going to find reason and rationale for doing what you want to do, such as the children of Israel did after Moses was gone for 40 days.

Is it possible to quit doing something that you have not really surrendered all the way to the Lord? Is it possible for a person who may be in love with somebody they should not be in love with to give that up and never really surrender? Is it possible to quit smoking and never really surrender it? Many people who quit smoking never really surrender. Somewhere in the back of their minds, that habit is still there, and every so often they think about how wonderful it would be . . . . There are people who do that with drugs and with alcohol. Every single person who holds on, in the back of their mind, to that cigarette, whether they have quit or not, sooner or later will start smoking again.

Is there some sin in your life that you have never surrendered? You may not be practicing it; you may not be doing it, but do you never really surrender to the Lord? What we do not overcome completely will eventually completely overcome us and work out our destruction.

In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter says, “But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

The Lord has called you and me to a higher plain of living than just nominal Christianity. He has called us to be clothed with the robe of Jesus’ righteousness. He has called us to be separate in practice from the world. He has called us to have pure thoughts. He has called us to have the love that Jesus had—love that turns the other cheek, love that never gets upset or irritated. We must develop the character with which we can stand before God and He can say, “These people are without any guile in their mouth; they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Revelation 14:5.)

Paul says, “Let you who think you stand, take heed lest you fall.” And the time to take heed is not when you are stumbling, it is when you think you are standing tall and firm. Today is the day to take heed, to review our lives, to see if there is something there that we are cherishing, some area that God has been trying to lead us to surrender, repent of, and overcome.

Pastor Marshall Grosboll, with his wife Lillian, founded Steps to Life. In July 1991, Pastor Marshall and his family met with tragedy as they were returning home from a camp meeting in Washington state, when the airplane he was piloting went down, killing all on board.

Voluntary Lobotomy

“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons [and daughters] of God.”

1 John 3:1

We are sons and daughters of God right now—we can choose to sit in heavenly places right now. Light is shining upon you and me so we do not need to walk in darkness.

We are told in Counsels on Health, 38, “So closely is health related to our happiness that we cannot have the latter without the former.” The devil knows this and he does not want you to be happy. There are dangers that we cannot imagine. God warns us of the dangers and traps the devil has set for us so he can destroy our health. A trap is a pitfall, a snare—a life threatening condition.

Don’t be fooled! Satan is our enemy and he will do all in his power to destroy us. He knows that if he can get through the five senses of the body to the physical, there is a good chance that he can then destroy the mental and the spiritual. Those five senses are sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

“We are God’s workmanship, and his word declares that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ He has prepared this wonderful habitation for the mind; it is ‘curiously wrought’ [Psalm 139:14, 15], a temple which the Lord himself has fitted up for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.” Healthful Living, 9.

Our bodies were “curiously wrought.”

  • Our body is a living habitation for the mind
  • God Himself has “fitted up” or designed this body, this temple
  • Why? For the indwelling of His Holy Spirit

What does the Holy Spirit do for us? The Holy Spirit imparts to us the life of Christ. It imbues us with the attributes of the life of Christ or permeates our very being with these attributes. We are God’s temples to reside in through His Holy Spirit. That is why the Devil hates us so much. He does not want us to have the attributes of Christ but to reflect his own sinful character.

This is why it is such a battle to keep our minds stayed on heavenly things, to stay alert each moment and not to sleepwalk. A sleepwalker is not aware of what he is doing. In Ephesians 5:14 it tells us to: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Some characteristics of people who are sleeping are:

  • A sleeper is inclined to do nothing. He hears the warnings but thinks those warnings are for somebody else.
  • They are indifferent—neutral, thinking that a little bit of this or that is okay—that a little won’t hurt.
  • They are not interested in or concerned about what they are doing.
  • They are just walking with the group.

If you do nothing and are indifferent you have bypassed the narrow gate and have walked through the wide gate and are walking around with everybody else that is within that wide gate. In other words, you are eating the same as the group, dressing the same as the group and your health will be the same as that group.

In Ephesians 5:15–17 we are told that we need to walk circumspectly and not as fools, or unwise, and that we must redeem the time—that time which was a gift from God but wasted while walking with the group. Why? Because the days are evil and we need to understand what the will of the Lord is.

God tells us that we are His temples in I Corinthians 3:16, 17: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

Remember, God has prepared this living habitation for the mind. The devil knows this verse very well and is trying to get us to destroy these temples.

Remember the story of Phineas Gage. He was a family man, well loved by all around him because of his Christlike character; he was very personable.

On the 13th of September, 1848, 25-year-old Gage and his crew were working on the Rutland and Burlington Railroad near Cavendish in Vermont. Gage was preparing for an explosion by compacting a bore with explosive powder using a tamping iron. While he was doing this, a spark from the tamping iron ignited the powder, causing the iron to be propelled at high speed straight through Gage’s skull. It entered under the left cheek bone and exited through the top of the head, and was later recovered some 30 yards from the site of the accident. The tamping iron was 3 feet 8 inches in length and 1.25 inches in diameter at one end.

Whether or not Gage lost consciousness is not known, but, remarkably, he was conscious and able to walk within minutes of the accident. He was then seated in an oxcart, on which he was transported three-quarters of a mile to the boarding house where he was staying. At the boarding house, a doctor removed small fragments of bone, and replaced some of the larger skull fragments that remained attached but had been displaced by the tamping iron. He then closed the larger wound at the top of Gauge’s head with adhesive straps.

Shortly after the accident, Gage’s wife, and other people close to him, began to notice dramatic changes in his personality. Gage’s contractors, who regarded him before the accident as the most efficient and capable foreman in their employ previous to his injury, now considered the change in his mind so marked that they could not give him his place again. Gage became fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity, which was not previously his custom. He manifested little deference or courteousness for his fellows and was impatient of restraint of advice when it conflicted with his desires. His mind, his character, was radically changed, so decidedly that his friends and acquaintances said he was “no longer Gage.” Thus, the damage to Gage’s frontal cortex had resulted in a complete loss of social inhibitions, which often led to inappropriate behavior. In effect, the tamping iron had performed a frontal lobotomy on Gage.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)! The frontal lobe is viewed as the emotional and personality control center of a person’s mind and body that is responsible for how a person acts and reacts to information, reacts to other people and situations in life.

Some of the characteristics the frontal lobe controls are drive, mood, memory, attention, initiation, judgment, spontaneity, impulse control, problem solving, social behavior, feeling of empathy and sympathy, mental planning and execution, understanding humor, irony, sarcasm, and dishonesty.

Gage had lost his frontal lobe! What a change to his whole life and to the lives of the people around him! He had a total character transformation.

About 50 years later, after Phineas Gage had his accident, doctors began to perform frontal lobe surgeries—lobotomies. The idea of a lobotomy was tried when a man decided to slice the frontal lobes out of his dogs’ brains just to see what would happen. In a very short time someone decided to try the technique out on humans. The devil has no mercy—he wants to destroy us.

Lobotomy became the practice of surgically removing parts of the brain as a treatment for the thoughts housed within—specifically the frontal lobe. If somebody thought you acted funny, or thought differently, or were hyper like children, you were given a lobotomy.

From the 1930s through the 1950s, lobotomies were all the rage. Certain doctors revolutionized the procedure by making it quick and easy. You may have heard reference to someone performing a lobotomy with an ice pick and assumed it was a joke. Unfortunately, it was not.

In 1949, about 5,000 lobotomies were performed in the U.S. Some estimates place the total number of lobotomies performed in the U.S. from the 1930s through the 1950s as high as 50,000. From the 1940s through the end of the 1950s, at least 10,000 more lobotomies were performed in England and tens of thousands more were performed worldwide. In Sweden, 4,500 people were lobotomized against their will, including children, between 1944 and 1963.

Many resulted in a severe mental impairment that left people paralyzed. People were involuntarily institutionalized and subjected to barbarous treatment; many ended up as vegetables. The devil is very cruel. He will do anything to destroy these temples.

During the 1960s, new anti-psychotic drugs began to emerge on the scene. They too often had only spotty success rates, but you could actually stop an anti-psychotic drug regimen. A lobotomy, on the other hand, was an irreversible procedure—damage to neural tissues almost never heals.

With the tide of public opinion turning sharply against the practice, the number of lobotomies performed in the U.S. dropped dramatically through the 1960s and fell almost completely out of favor by the 1970s.

Today, the procedure has been almost completely discredited and abandoned in the Western world. Only a handful of lobotomies are performed in the U.S. each year, most of which involve laser microsurgery rather than ice picks. Most U.S. states have today totally banned involuntary lobotomies.

Now begins a new era of voluntary lobotomies being performed, and very few realize it! Do you and I realize it? Why are we voluntarily doing this? Because we are sleepwalking! Remember Ephesians 5:14: “Awake, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Now is not the time to be indifferent or neutral. This is not the time to walk with the group right into voluntary lobotomy. The devil has set a life threatening condition in front of us and has made a way for us to voluntarily yield our frontal lobes up to destruction. A voluntary lobotomy!

Are you ready for the battle? In I Timothy 6:12 it says, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, wherewith thou art also called, and has professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

Are you ready to “fight the good fight of faith”? Do you understand what faith is and what the battle is? We need to understand this!

  • Faith is a conviction; in other words, you are convinced that something is true.
  • You are convinced that Jesus died for you and that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you.
  • And because you believe that, the devil is going to test your belief—your faith.
  • Is your faith a conviction or just a preference? If a conviction, you will want to keep your body and mind pure through God’s grace.

Every soul is required to “fight the fight of faith.”

Satan comes to prove your faith like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8)!! He is looking right at you and me—and he has found a way to destroy our connection with God.

Voluntary means you choose to yield up your head for a frontal lobe operation—a lobotomy! You choose to become fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity, to manifest but little deference or courteousness to friends and family, impatient of restraint of advice when it conflicts with your desires; in other words, you choose to reflect the character of the devil.

The devil could no longer by law destroy the judgment center so in the 1950s he brought forth the television.

“The brain nerves which communicate to the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man, and affect his inmost life.” Healthful Living, 54.

How protective then should we be of those brain nerves? Now comes the television, which is also called media—medium. Television is the devil’s medium. This is the devil’s means of communication, many calling it devil-vision, because it destroys the brain nerves through which God can only communicate. The devil’s medium destroys God’s medium!

Television is similar to mesmerism and one of the greatest dangers to our spirituality. Mesmerism is when one person can produce in another an abnormal condition resembling sleep, during which the mind remains passively under control, subject to the will of the operator.

“Each faculty of the mind and each muscle has its distinctive office, and all require to be exercised in order to be properly developed and retain healthful vigor. … Every wheel in machinery must be a living, active, working wheel. Nature’s fine and wonderful works need to be kept in active motion in order to accomplish the object for which they were designed.” Healthful Living, 69.

Today, the greatest educator in our nation is no longer school, church or home; it is the television. Hollywood does not like Christian values. Why? Christian values would not allow something to destroy the only medium through which heaven can communicate to us. Television teaches masses of people and it sells ideas, values, concepts and morals—behavior modification on a large scale.

“Impure thoughts lead to impure actions. … Some … are in danger of paralysis of the brain. Already the moral and intellectual powers are weakened and benumbed.” Healthful Living, 203.

Television destroys the frontal lobe and can be compared to the lobotomies in the 1900s. Every time you sit down to be voluntarily lobotomized, “Jesus is standing at the door knocking: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Jesus says, I will not destroy the temple I have made for you because I want to dwell with you. The devil destroys!

“Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker.” Our High Calling, 352.

“Conscience and right principles of life should be sustained.” Healthful Living, 203. What is conscience? It is a sense of right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives. What does a “lobotomy” do? It takes away your sense of right and wrong.

There are many studies showing that television damages our brains. Here are a few:

The World Federation of Neurology expresses great concern over the way visual electronic media is affecting children by “halting the process of frontal lobe development and affecting their ability to control potentially antisocial elements of their behavior … the implications are very serious … children should also be encouraged to play outside with other children, interact and communicate with others as much as possible. The more work done to thicken the fibers connecting the neurons in this part of the brain, the better the child’s ability will be to control their behavior.”

“Like hypnosis, watching television is also thought to subdue the involvement of the most sophisticated part of our brain—the frontal lobe. This is the brain’s executive control system, responsible for planning, organizing and sequencing behavior for self-control, moral judgment and attention. Both hypnosis and television reduce our ability to analyze critically what we are being told or what we see.” Remotely Controlled, 95.

“It is reported that children watch an average of 43 hours of TV per week; that is longer than the average adult work week. While watching, they rapidly become almost hypnotized. It has been shown scientifically that within minutes of beginning to watch TV, the brain changes from the alert brain waves (beta waves) to the hypnotic waves (alpha waves) where the judgment center of the brain is bypassed. So the violence and moral degeneration that the child sees, bypasses the judgment center in the brain and is implanted in the child’s brain without any ability on the child’s part to decide whether what they are seeing is right or wrong. The violence and moral degeneration are accepted by the brain without any moral judgment being applied to it. It then becomes part of the child’s permanent subconscious. What goes into a child’s mind is just as important as what goes into his or her mouth!” Attention Deficit Disorder, by Lorraine Day, M.D.

“I have seen some common themes between the effects of watching television and the processes thought to lie behind frontal lobe psychosurgery … given the concern that current levels of television viewing may literally idle frontal lobe activity and then stun its development in younger viewers thereby changing their thinking and behavior, there are some unfortunate similarities [to lobotomies]. Opponents of psychosurgery saw it as the use of a medical procedure to achieve social goals. Television too is used to achieve social goals.” Remotely Controlled, 98.

“Reading vs. Television. Reading leads you to actively manage knowledge, to follow a line of thought, which means classifying, making inferences, reasoning, weighing up ideas, connection one to another, and more. It increases brain activity. Television bypasses all of this.” Ibid., 100. This results in voluntary lobotomies of God’s temples. The devil’s medium destroys God’s medium!

Media analyst Marshall McLuhan considered television as reducing the separation of thought and action, making human behavior more conformist. … Watching television reduces frontal lobe activity.

In Psalm 101:2, 3, it says: “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.”

Television influences our thoughts, our understanding, our likes and dislikes, our manner of speech, and even our dress. Television influences our ideas of right and wrong. Like Phineas Gage—total character transformation!!

“One of the most critical arguments against watching television is that it affects the three characteristics that distinguish us as human beings. In the first three years of life, a child learns to walk, to talk and to think. Television keeps us sitting, leaves little room for meaningful conversations and seriously impairs our ability to think. And when children do walk, talk and think, television can have a decisive influence on how they do it.” Remotely Controlled, 49.

As Christians we are to live a pure lifestyle, even in private. Does TV affect us? The answer is yes! Did you ever laugh at a sinful scene which you would not take part of in real life? To laugh at sin is to condone it. The media is not controlled by Christians. “If we can start changing attitudes in this country, we can start changing behavior.”—Grant Tinker, Former Chairman NBC TV.

Deuteronomy 7:26 tells us, “Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.” This verse deals with idols and images which Israel was to reject. Is there a parallel? Yes. The church is spiritual Israel and the same mindset about idols and images is present today. Many idolize movie stars and money. Satan is cunning and many of us have fallen for his TV snares.

Television programs are designed with the purpose of reprogramming your mind by breaking down your defenses so you will accept a lie as truth.

  • Does it mock Christianity?
  • Does it glamorize rebellion against any type of authority, such as parents, police, teachers, government, etc.?
  • Does it glorify controlled substances?
  • Are sinful lifestyles promoted like homosexuality, lesbianism, or living together without benefit of marriage?
  • Is violence glorified?

Look around! It seems to be okay because everybody is doing it. Before television came into popularity, each country had their peculiar characteristics/cultures of dressing, talking, living. Now the world walks and talks the TV walk and talk—it is Group Think!

There is now growing concern that watching television distorts the wiring in the developing brain, which is undergoing rapid growth during the first few years of a child’s life. The advice is that children should not start watching television before the age of three. The American Medical Association is now notifying pediatricians to assess viewing habits when treating all hyperactive children.

Professor Herbert Krugman found that within 30 seconds of turning on the television, the brain becomes neurologically less able to make judgments about what we see and hear on the screen. Our brain treats incoming information uncritically. Television is a communication medium that effortlessly transmits huge quantities of information not thought about at the time of exposure—in other words, it is brainwashing! (Journal of Advertising Research, 1971.)

We are no longer free thinkers! Do you see how the devil destroys our frontal lobes? What type of characteristics do we see being exhibited?

  • people become fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity
  • manifesting but little deference or courteousness
  • impatient of restraint of advice when it conflicts with personal desires.

“Therefore let us not Sleep [or be inactive or careless], as do others; but let us watch [be alert] and be sober [possess properly controlled faculties].” I Thessalonians 5:6. [Emphasis supplied.]

Do not voluntarily allow the devil to destroy your faculties!

Judy Hallingstad is part of the LandMarks team. She can be contacted by e-mail at: judyhallingstad@stepstolife.org.

Bible Study Guides – Specific Deceptions

February 20, 2011 – February 26, 2011

Key Text

“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:8.

Study Help: The Adventist Home, 407, 408; Messages to Young People, 273, 274.


“Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the senses so that cautions, warnings, and reproofs shall not be heard.” The Adventist Home, 401.

1 Against what specific snare does Paul warn us in II Corinthians 6:14–18?

Note: “The apostle Paul declares that it is impossible for the children of God to unite with worldlings: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers’ [II Corinthians 6:14]. This does not refer to marriage alone; any intimate relation of confidence and copartnership with those who have no love for God or the truth is a snare.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 13.

2 What is written about believers who expose themselves to this snare? Proverbs 13:20. What is the only safe course in regard to worldly associations? Psalm 1:1.

Note: “Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world; it never converts the world to Christ. Familiarity with sin will inevitably cause it to appear less repulsive. He who chooses to associate with the servants of Satan will soon cease to fear their master. When in the way of duty we are brought into trial, as was Daniel in the king’s court, we may be sure that God will protect us; but if we place ourselves under temptation we shall fall sooner or later.” The Great Controversy, 509.

3 What is the role of Christian mothers to protect their young from Satan’s temptations? II Timothy 1:5; 3:14, 15.

Note: “Satan is ready to do his work; he will not neglect to present allurements which the children have no will or moral power to resist. I saw that, through his temptations, he is instituting ever-changing fashions, and attractive parties and amusements, that mothers may be led to devote their time to frivolous matters, instead of to the education and training of their children. Our youth need mothers who will teach them from the cradle, to control passion, to deny appetite, and to overcome selfishness.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 141.

4 What should those know who participate in frivolous parties? Ephesians 2:1, 2 (see also Job 1:4, 5); Ecclesiastes 11:9.

Note: “The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation unto Satan.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 367.

5 While we have many beautiful examples of music (e.g., in the book of Psalms), how does Satan use music?

Note: “Music is the idol which many professed Sabbath-keeping Christians worship. Satan has no objection to music if he can make that a channel through which to gain access to the minds of the youth. Anything will suit his purpose that will divert the mind from God and engage the time which should be devoted to His service. He works through the means which will exert the strongest influence to hold the largest numbers in a pleasing infatuation, while they are paralyzed by his power. When turned to good account, music is a blessing; but it is often made one of Satan’s most attractive agencies to ensnare souls. When abused, it leads the unconsecrated to pride, vanity, and folly. When allowed to take the place of devotion and prayer, it is a terrible curse. Young persons assemble to sing, and, although professed Christians, frequently dishonor God and their faith by their frivolous conversation and their choice of music.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 506.

6 What distinction do many fail to make in their reading material? Jeremiah 23:28, last part; Philippians 4:8.

Note: “The many books which education is thought to embrace, are misleading, a deception and a delusion. ‘What is the chaff to the wheat?’ Satan is now stirring up the minds of men to furnish to the world literature which is of a cheap, superficial order, but which fascinates the mind, and fastens it in a network of Satan’s contrivance. After reading these books, the mind lives in an unreal world, and the life, so far as usefulness is concerned, is as barren as a fruitless tree. The brain is intoxicated, making it impossible for the eternal realities, which are essential for the present and the future, to be pressed home. A mind educated to feed upon trash is unable to see in the word of God the beauty that is there. … By feeding the mind upon exciting stories of fiction, man is bringing to the foundation ‘wood, hay, stubble’ [I Corinthians 3:12, last part]. He loses all taste for the divine Guidebook.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 451, 452.

7 What did the Ephesian converts do with their worldly books when they learned of the Saviour? Acts 19:18, 19.

Note: “When the Ephesians were converted, they changed their habits and practices. Under the conviction of the Spirit of God, they acted with promptness, and laid bare all the mysteries of their witchcraft. They came and confessed, and showed their deeds, and their souls were filled with holy indignation because they had given such devotion to magic, and had so highly prized the books in which the rules of Satan’s devising had laid down the methods whereby they might practice witchcraft. They were determined to turn from the service of the evil one, and they brought their costly volumes and publicly burned them. …

“What about the magical books? What have you been reading? How have you been employing your time? Have you been seeking to study the sacred oracles in order that you may hear the voice of God speaking to you out of His word? The world is deluged with books which sow the seeds of skepticism, infidelity, and atheism, and to a larger or less degree you have been learning your lessons from these books, and they are magical books. They put God out of the mind, and separate the soul from the true Shepherd.” Messages to Young People, 275, 276.

8 Keeping in mind I Corinthians 15:33, what do we know of the effect of theatrical performances?

Note: “Satan’s work is to lead men to ignore God, to so engross and absorb the mind that God will not be in their thoughts. The education they have received has been of a character to confuse the mind and eclipse the true light. Satan does not wish the people to have a knowledge of God; and if he can set in operation games and theatrical performances that will so confuse the senses of the young that human beings will perish in darkness while light shines all about them, he is well pleased.” The Adventist Home, 401, 402.

9 What warnings include movies and television? Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 101:3, first part; Isaiah 33:15–17.

Note: “All should guard the senses, lest Satan gain victory over them; for these are the avenues of the soul.

“You will have to become a faithful sentinel over your eyes, ears, and all your senses if you would control your mind and prevent vain and corrupt thoughts from staining your soul. The power of grace alone can accomplish this most desirable work.

“Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the senses so that cautions, warnings, and reproofs shall not be heard; or, if heard, that they shall not take effect upon the heart and reform the life.” The Adventist Home, 401.

“In Christian homes a bulwark should be built against temptation. Satan is using every means to make crime and degrading vice popular. We cannot walk the streets of our cities without encountering flaring notices of crime presented in some novel or to be acted at some theater. The mind is educated to familiarity with sin. The course pursued by the base and vile is kept before the people in the periodicals of the day, and everything that can arouse passion is brought before them in exciting stories.” Ibid., 406.

“Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theater. Instead of being a school for morality and virtue, as is so often claimed, it is the very hotbed of immorality. Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments.” Ibid., 516.

10 What does the Bible say about the spirit of criticism? James 4:11; I Corinthians 5:11. How does Satan instruct his angels in this vice?

Note: “[Says Satan,] ‘We must cause distraction and division. We must destroy their anxiety for their own souls, and lead them to criticize, to judge, and to accuse and condemn one another, and to cherish selfishness and enmity. For these sins, God banished us from His presence; and all who follow our example will meet a similar fate.’ ” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 475.

11 Why is the indulgence of appetite so prevalent today? Galatians 6:8; I Peter 2:11; Philippians 3:19.

Note: “The apostle Peter understood the relation between the mind and the body, and raised his voice in warning to his brethren: ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul’ [1 Peter 2:11]. Many regard this text as a warning against licentiousness only; but it has a broader meaning. It forbids every injurious gratification of appetite or passion. Every perverted appetite becomes a warring lust. Appetite was given us for a good purpose, not to become the minister of death by being perverted, and thus degenerating into ‘lusts which war against the soul.’ …

“Through appetite, Satan controls the mind and the whole being. Thousands who might have lived, have passed into the grave, physical, mental, and moral wrecks, because they sacrificed all their powers to the indulgence of appetite.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 166, 167.

Review and Thought Questions:

1 Why should we shun worldly associations?

2 What does God consider as an oblation offered to Satan?

3 How can music and literature become a snare?

4 What effect do movies, music, fiction and television have on the moral senses?

5 How can Satan control the whole mind and body?

6 From where does the spirit of criticism, accusation and condemnation originate?

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Keys to the Storehouse – Fake and Artificial

It is often hard to realize just how artificial our lives have become and the destruction it has caused in all areas of life—physically, mentally and also spiritually.

“Our artificial civilization is encouraging evils destructive of sound principles. Custom and fashion are at war with nature. The practices they enjoin, and the indulgences they foster, are steadily lessening both physical and mental strength, and bringing upon the race an intolerable burden. Intemperance and crime, disease and wretchedness, are everywhere.” The Ministry of Healing, 125.

Artificial is not genuine or natural. We are right in the middle of this artificial civilization, which is encouraging evils and destroying sound principles.

Artificial is something that is fabricated—a counterfeit. The devil is destroying our minds and bodies through the artificial, which all seem so real. Look around and you will see the fruits of the devil’s labor:

  • Artificial snow, artificial ice, artificial flowers.
  • Artificial lighting creates more awake time, making it easy to cram more activities into each day and ignore the health law of good rest, which ends in health problems.
  • Television creates artificial scenarios and “encourages evils destructive of sound principles.”
  • “Custom and fashion are at war with nature.” Most of the material in our clothing is of manmade synthetics that are destructive, preventing good ventilation that allows the pores of the body to breathe.
  • “A fashionable life is a hard, thankless life. How often time, money, and health are sacrificed, the patience sorely tried, and self-control lost, merely for the sake of display.” Christian Education, 168.
  • Modern farming practices using genetically modified seeds (GMO) and the abundant chemical fertilizers and pesticides have stripped most of our food of its natural nutrients and often flavor. Results of this can be seen in the overweight population of the West and the increase of diabetes, heart conditions and cancers that are affecting people younger and younger each year. Our bodies are suffering from its effects. We eat more but get less nutrition. In fact, we are being gradually destroyed.

“Our artificial habits deprive us of many blessings and much enjoyment, and unfit us for living the most useful lives. Elaborate and expensive furnishings are a waste not only of money, but of that which is a thousandfold more precious. They bring into the home a heavy burden of care and labor and perplexity.

“What are the conditions in many homes, even where resources are limited and the work of the household rests chiefly on the mother? The best rooms are furnished in a style beyond the means of the occupants and unsuited to their convenience and enjoyment. There are expensive carpets, elaborately carved and daintily upholstered furniture, and delicate drapery. Tables, mantels, and every other available space are crowded with ornaments, and the walls are covered with pictures, until the sight becomes wearying. And what an amount of work is required to keep all these in order and free from dust! This work, and the other artificial habits of the family in its conformity to fashion, demand of the housewife unending toil.” The Ministry of Healing, 367.

The opposite of artificial is genuine or natural. When you look around, there is not much that is natural or genuine to be seen. We really do live in an artificial society. But, there are certain things that are unacceptable when faked and must be absolutely genuine. One is faith. Is your faith genuine or is it artificial? The artificial or synthetic manmade faith, also known as presumption, can seem so real but is so dangerous to spiritual health.

“Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption, for presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression.” Mind, Character and Personality, vol. 2, 534.

Father: Help me to recognize the artificial in my life and turn toward the genuine. I do not want a counterfeit faith presuming on Your mercies in the midst of my disobedience and yet still claiming Your promises. Forgive me Father; keep me from presumptuous sins; let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight. Amen.

Health – The Function of the Frontal Lobe

MTV-Problems with Violence

There is a concern that many teenagers are moving from more typical television options to MTV (music television) and its imitators. This type of music programming constantly stimulates the visual senses through its provocative, fleeting images of rapidly changing scenes. Not only do the images rapidly change (even multiple images per second on occasion) but the ear is stimulated as well. This eye-ear combination seems calculated to induce an even more profound shutdown of the analytical processes.

One study that uniquely demonstrates this was done in a maximum-security mental hospital with 222 patients. During a period of about a year, patients were exposed to seven months of MTV followed by five months without it (normal TV options remained available). The results showed that aggressive behavior decreased by up to 52 percent.

The standard, modern, rapid-paced television has a well-proven negative influence on the frontal lobe. However, we see here indications that the effects of MTV are even worse.

Television and Sex

Television also effectively increases sexual activity in teens and younger children. Studies show it significantly decreases the age of first sexual intercourse. The more television watched, the lower the age for that first sexual encounter. Not only do studies show it, but the children themselves report that television encourages them to take part in sexual activity too soon.

Television Is Addictive

Most people do not realize that television is addictive. They find themselves gravitating toward the set without thinking about it, and some leave it on all day. In 1976, the Detroit Free Press conducted a survey to help determine why their newspaper circulation was decreasing. The survey results showed that most people received their news and information from television. This is unfortunate because, as we have seen, in some respects it is the poorest source of information. We can learn so much more from reading newspapers, newsmagazines, or online computer news services than by watching one-sided news clips pass before our eyes in rapid succession. Also, we may miss a point, but we cannot go back and take another look. Reading is by far a better way to review the news, learn new things, and involve our frontal lobe.

The Detroit Free Press did not stop with their survey. They went on to offer $500 to any family who would give up television for one month. The paper extended the invitation to 120 families. A total of 93 of them could not be enticed to part with their television for even thirty days. However, 27 families accepted their offer. To make sure they could not cheat, the newspaper company installed electronic devices that would interfere with any television used on their premises.

The results of the one-month trial were amazing. Family members manifested actual withdrawal symptoms. Insomnia and headaches were common. One man, noted for being a kind husband, lost his cool during the first week, became irritated, and began beating his wife. However, throughout the month, attitudes changed. At the end of the month, to almost everyone’s surprise, all 27 families said that it had been a good experience. Most of the families put their extra time to good use by getting things done around the house. One of the most rewarding findings was that the families were able to relate to each other in ways they had not done for years. They found things they could do together; their minds were more creative, and they were actually enjoying life more than when they had television.

Would they go back to television now that they earned their $500? They were generally convinced that they would do much better if they kept television viewing to a minimum. The study helped to illustrate television’s addictive allure and demonstrated that in many respects TV viewing works against us rather than for us. This study actually provides a glimpse into another danger of TV viewing: the influence of parents is greatly diminished when TV becomes the main companion to children in a home. This lack of parental involvement in the lives of children directly relates back to another frontal lobe robber: alcohol and tobacco use. Researchers from Louisiana State University Medical Centre in New Orleans, Lousiana, demonstrated this when they studied over 2,000 fifth and sixth graders for three to four years. Children who reported that their parents spent more time with them and had more communication with them were less likely to use alcohol and tobacco. They were also less likely to choose friends who used these substances. Unfortunately, research shows what we all would expect: with more television viewing, the amount of time spent in active conversation with family members significantly decreases. If television viewing is depriving us of active time spent together as a family, parents may likely reap an extremely bitter harvest.

Television Robs Spiritual Qualities

Television viewing, because of the time it takes, can keep us away from other meaningful activities and pursuits, including spending time with God. When we look at an average person’s weekly activities before and after the arrival of television, we see that the amount of time in church or in reading spiritual material such as the Bible has noticeably decreased. The reason for this probably has to do with more than TV subtly stealing away our time. Remember, television depresses activity in the frontal lobe, which is the seat of spirituality, morality, and the will. We would expect a corresponding decrease in such intangible frontal lobe qualities as spirituality and faith in God.

However, if we consider television from just the standpoint of time: it often captivates the few hours of discretionary time that we have in our day. Before television, the three most profound influences on American values were the family, the church, and the school. If the amount of time we spend in an activity directly corresponds to its power to shape our values, then in the 1950s television superseded the church. In the 1960s TV superseded the family; and by the 1970s it superseded the school. Currently, United States children spend approximately 20 percent of their waking hours watching television. The average American child, by the time he graduates from high school, has spent more time in front of the television set than he spent in 13 years in the classroom.

Many believe that these thousands of hours of random exposure to television programs have profoundly affected our nation [the United States]. They blame TV as one of the prime reasons for a decline in our nation’s moral values. Some critics would like to use legislation to fix the problem, but we should not and cannot legislate what people do in their homes. Families should set their own rules. But how can a family be motivated to set rules without being adequately informed of the injurious effects of television? Somehow, accurate information should go out to every family in America so that informed decisions can be made. If simple, healthy, and enjoyable TV-less family activities became the foundation of the home life, I believe there will be generally few regrets about abandoning the former life in which the TV set held full control.

If any are still wavering as to whether television should be emphasized less in their homes, let me summarize 17 deleterious effects of TV watching.

  • Produces a hypnotic effect, by passing the frontal lobe filtering
  • Reduces interest in reading and learning
  • Weakens brain power
  • Encourages poor lifestyle habits
  • Encourages obesity
  • Increases daydreaming
  • Weakens creativity
  • May reduce our powers of discrimination
  • Trains in non-reaction
  • Influences viewers to regard violence lightly
  • It makes children more irritable
  • Increases aggressiveness
  • Accelerates sexual activity
  • Addictive
  • Reduces time available for productive achievement
  • Steals time from family interaction
  • Adversely affects spiritual pursuits

These harmful effects collectively build a strong case for personal action—today. After all, the very moral conscience of you and your family—residing in your frontal lobes—may be hanging in the balances.

Summary List of Seven Actions to Take for Enhancing the Function of the Frontal Lobe

  • Protect the frontal lobe from mechanical injury: boxing, football, and motorcycle riding are examples of high-risk activities.
  • Prevent diseases that may damage the frontal lobe; e.g., controlling risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, current tobacco use, heart disease, and alcohol.
  • Improve the quality of your brain’s blood supply
  • By breathing clean, fresh, well-oxygenated air
  • By taking deep breaths of fresh air you may be able to boost oxygen saturation sufficiently to improve frontal lobe function
  • Provide good nutrition. A total vegetarian diet that is free from all stimulating agents appears to be the best diet to improve the abilities of our front brains.
  • Get adequate sunshine as it increases serotonin production in the daytime. This, in turn, can help prevent depression and fatigue.
  • Challenge your frontal lobes by exercising the thinking power of your brain. Serious reading, the study of nature, asking questions about the vast world surrounding you, and other wholesome uses of your mental capacities tend to produce a salutary frontal lobe.
  • Control what you see and hear. Exposing your mind to great inspirational material will enlarge the mind and strengthen the intellect. Since spirituality, morality, and the will are centered in the frontal lobe of the brain, the inspirational material chosen should ideally appeal to your spiritual and moral being. The study of the word of God fills this requirement like no other can.


God has provided each one of us with the power to freely choose how we will live. And He usually does not interfere, even when we make bad choices. Truly, there is much truth in the adage that every person is the architect of his own fortune.

In view of this tremendous power that you have been given to shape your own future, won’t you take some time today to again seriously look at your lifestyle? I challenge you to reflect on your current health habits and ask yourself what you can do to take advantage of what you have learned. Try to identify some concrete steps that you can take within the next week to help protect and enhance your frontal lobe—and of course with it, your entire body. A healthful lifestyle makes sense. Do not merely follow your old ways of doing things just because they are comfortable, or “because everyone else is doing it.” In the words of Scripture, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2.

Dr. Neil Nedley, M.D., Proof Positive, Nedley Publishing Co., Ardmore, Oklahoma, May 1999, excerpt from chapter, “The Frontal Lobe.”

Health – Is Popular Culture Healthy?

Our young people are growing up in an age where they are exposed to hundreds of television channels showing all manner of programs on different subjects. They also have immediate access to an unlimited amount of information to people near and far through e-mail and instant messaging. Besides the computer, there are DVDs, video games, magazines, advertising and malls to fill each young person’s life. Most young people between 2 years old and 18 years old will spend at least, if not more than, 5 hours a day absorbing this so-called popular culture. This popular culture is a very destructive force in their lives because of the values at its foundation. The culture of past generations in the Western world used to reflect Christian values, but the popular culture today reflects different values. We are now in serious danger physically, mentally and spiritually.

Instead of benefitting from our Christian cultures and background, the popular media is now implanting bad values, attitudes, and beliefs in our young people. They are being brainwashed as to what they need, and the majority of the time, their wants have no redeeming value. Anything that may be emotionally, socially or spiritually unhealthy is impressed upon the young people and is very destructive. Some examples include advertising that connects certain toys, clothes, food, or drinks with being popular or cool, or music that encourages racism, sexism, drug use, or violence.

We must remember that even “good” popular culture sometimes is not very good for young people. Many of the daily activities which include television, computers, ipods and cell phones teach children bad habits which include:

  1. Teaching them to be observers and not participants.
  2. Experiencing life vicariously instead of directly. In other words, the experience is felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of another.
  3. Sedentary games instead of physical activity.
  4. Indirect social contact with others rather than real contact. Many people today have lost the ability to interact positively with others. Even in families there is no interaction; many do not talk with each other because they have nothing to say.
  5. Preventing them from participating in activities that will support their intellectual, emotional, cultural, spiritual, and physical development.

Julius Gilbert White explains as follows:

It is a matter of common knowledge that human existence consists essentially of the exercise of three sets of powers: (1) the physical, (2) the mental, (3) the spiritual.

The physical body and life provide the habitation for the mental powers, which give life to them and so make their function possible.

Likewise, the physical life and the mental powers combined make it possible for men to meditate upon and conceive spiritual things, accept spiritual ideals and truths, and render a spiritual service, and so have a spiritual experience. Without the physical life there can be neither mental powers nor spiritual experience.

Everything depends, then, upon the physical life, which is the foundation of the entire structure of human existence, including the spiritual life, which is the highest object of man’s existence.

“The physical life consists essentially of the use of five senses—abilities to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. If the foundation be destroyed the entire structure is ruined.” Julius Gilbert White, The Christian’s Experience, (Northwestern Publishing Association, Sacramento, California) 37, 38.

The devil wants to destroy the foundation of our young people. He knows that if he destroys the physical life, then the mental powers and spiritual experience will also be destroyed.

The following is taken from an article in the magazine Parenting.

Television, movies, and video games glamorize violence, sexuality, wealth, celebrity, and the use of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. Fashion and celebrity magazines affect how girls think about their bodies, the amount they diet and exercise, and the occurrence of eating disorders. The internet gives your children limitless access to a universe of inappropriate information. In sum, popular culture in excess and without guidance is destroying your children psychologically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically.

Popular culture is like a network of saboteurs that infiltrate your family’s lives with stealth and deception, hiding behind entertaining characters, bright images, and fun music. You probably don’t notice half of the unhealthy messages being conveyed to your children. It is also an invading army that overwhelms your children with these destructive messages. It attempts to control every aspect of your children’s lives: their values, attitudes, and beliefs about themselves and the world that they live in; their thoughts, emotions, and behavior; their needs, wants, goals, hopes, and dreams; their interests and avocations; their choices and their decisions. With this control, popular culture can tell children what to eat and drink, what to wear, what to listen to and watch, and children have little ability to resist.

The mere presence of popular culture shouldn’t be your greatest worry. Rather, your greatest concern should be the influence that this presence has on your children. Few people really understand how popular culture affects children’s lives. Even fewer people realize how truly harmful it is to children, families, communities, and to our society as a whole. Popular culture attacks children at their most basic level, the values that guide their lives.

Popular culture promotes the worst values in children and disguises them all as entertainment. Reality TV, for example, has made the “seven deadly sins”—pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth—attributes to be admired. Throw in selfishness, deceit, spite, humiliation, cruelty, and vengeance—all qualities seen and revered in popular culture—and you have the personification of the worst kind of person. Popular culture makes heroic decidedly unheroic values, characters, and behavior. Source: www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles (look in the index for “Know your Children’s enemy”).

Remember the family unit. “Let parents seek, in their own character and in their home life, to exemplify the love and beneficence of the heavenly Father. Let the home be full of sunshine. This will be worth far more to your children than lands or money. Let the home love be kept alive in their hearts, that they may look back upon the home of their childhood as a place of peace and happiness next to heaven. The members of the family do not all have the same stamp of character, and there will be frequent occasion for the exercise of patience and forbearance; but through love and self-discipline all may be bound together in the closest union.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 176.

So, shut down the computers and turn off the TV and cell phones and spend some time doing things together as a family. You could put on your running shoes and take your children for a walk out in the sunshine or dig a vegetable garden. Be creative and choose activities that are physically, mentally and spiritually healthy that will build tight family bonds and happy memories.

Do your best to keep your family healthy!

Health – Sight & Sound

It is so easy to get into a groove of everyday living that often we do not realize the effect, or impact, that different sights and sounds around us are having on our emotional well-being. I would like to share with you an excerpt from one of Vicki Griffin’s books, Guilt-free Gourmet, pages 377–380 (Remnant Publications, 1999). The main title is Television& Music. The subtitles are real eye-catchers:

* * * * * * *

Serenity—Or Insanity?

As we have been studying various Christian lifestyle issues, we begin to see some interesting contrasts. The principles of living that are taught in the Bible tend to promote strength rather than sickness, order rather than chaos, genuine pleasure rather than artificial stimulation, and soundness of mind rather than depression and mood swings.

God’s prescription for leisure time is no different—He offers serenity instead of insanity, joy instead of jitters. “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).

Biblical counsel on how to live is so critical to health, happiness and salvation that we are admonished: “Receive My instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold” (Proverb 8:10).

Recreation—Or entertainment?

A trip to the park, zoo, or museum—hobbies, crafts, reading, volunteer work, a picnic, building project, even chores—these kinds of recreational activities have a positive impact on the stress system, immune system and mood. They promote a healthy appetite, sound sleep, a sense of well-being and relieve tension.

That’s recreation—but much of today’s entertainment has far different effects. Unfortunately, the above-mentioned activities pale in comparison to America’s major pastime: watching television. Television—is it a harmless outlet for the harried, or an entertainment trap that ensnares and destroys?

TV ADs: The Automatic Income Reducer!

Television and movies seem to be a major pastime of both young and old. It is estimated that 99% of American households own at least one television. The average person spends more than seven hours a day watching TV—2,555 hours per year. Motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar calls TV “the automatic income reducer” because of the non-productive, wasted time spent there!

The average child watches 31 hours of TV every week, which is 5,000 hours by the time they enter the first grade, and 19,000 hours by the time they finish high school. By the age of 16, a typical young person will have viewed 200,000 acts of violence, and seen 31 incidents of sex, violence and profanity per programming hour. …

TV: Gradual Brain Drain

According to a study conducted at Yale University, children who watch a lot of television are more aggressive than non-viewers, show decreased reading ability, lower levels of imagination, short attention spans and higher levels of restlessness and hyperactivity.

Watching violent television produces biological effects in the body. These effects include cardiovascular stress, suppression of the immune system, and elevated levels of three different stress hormones, especially cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels are associated with neural damage to the hippocampus area of the brain, and are implicated in poor memory, senility and chronic depression.

One study of 1,100 television-viewing children showed that watching “reality-based” programs for as little as two hours a day increased the incidence of aggression, stealing, bullying, temper tantrums, and impulsiveness. These characteristics increased over time.

Now For the Real News

An interesting study from London, England, showed that watching just 14 minutes of negative news significantly impacted anxiety and sadness levels in viewers. In addition, they were more likely to evaluate their own life problems in a catastrophic or disproportionately negative way, compared with non-viewers. Reading printed newspaper accounts, however, did not produce the same effect.

Music, Mind and Mood

Certain types of music also seem to reduce stress and enhance brain function. A study conducted by the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California has confirmed that soothing Mozart sonatas and similar complex, highly structured music seem to stimulate cognitive and neural pathways, resulting in IQ scores as much as 10 points higher in test subjects.

Conversely, the harsh rhythms of rock and jazz interfere with abstract reasoning and can actually destroy delicate brain nerves. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University reported that students who listen to the most rock have the highest levels of anxiety, depression, and “sensation-seeking.”

Heavy metal and rap music is associated with increased incidence of behavior problems, drug and alcohol use, sexual activity, low grades and criminal arrests. When young David played his harp for the moody King Saul, he was “refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” I Samuel 16:23.

Rhythm and Reason

The Bible says: “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.” Proverbs 20:12. We are accountable to God for the use of our sensory organs as well as our time. And right use brings blessings! God’s television and magazine guide can’t be beat!

You will find it in Psalm 101. It is not only worth reviewing—it’s worth living!

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We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made and we must take care of our mental, physical and spiritual life; otherwise, the devil will walk right in and destroy us mentally, physically and spiritually.