"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."
A recent news item came to my attention. It seems that major network television wants more liberty to "speak freely," using outright obscenities and sexually explicit material on air. They claim it is in keeping with the smaller, cable network programming, with which they compete. The inference is that censorship is against first amendment rights, plus it's practice is simply archaic today.
Really? How sad.
The other night, after the Super Bowl, I watched a major network program which gave me a preview of how the "relaxed" language rules would sound. It really grated on my nerves! I have heard a great deal of obscene garbage spew forth in my life; most all of us have. But it still doesn't settle with me. I pray it never will!
As people of Godly faith, we don't usually make a habit of expressing ourselves in such indecent ways. We are guided by a higher moral standard, and practice the kind of actions and speech which is pleasing to God, and to most other people as well.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, describes what a danger our words can be, and the impact they can have in our lives. In (James 3: 3-5) we read:
"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder...Likewise the tongue is a very small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark."
Here, James conveys the idea that if we can learn to control our tongues, wewill do a better job of controlling our entire manner in all areas of life. But if we let our mouths go untrained, even to a small extent, we can cause so much damage to ourselves and others as well..."consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark..."
In (VV9-11), we find these words:
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"
Here, James continues with the irony of unchecked speech and a Godly way of life. The two are completely irreconcilable. They cannot co-exist because sin and holiness do not mix. That's why we struggle with both good and evil desires in our lives. One must rule over the other, and it is our choice as to which one it will be. But only one can be "master!"
So then, let's apply these thoughts to the issue of more explicit programming on TV. It obviously caters to the ungodly, which is the unfortunate majority in our world. Such freedom of speech will bring more viewers and, in turn, more revenue to the networks. Afterall, profit is the whole idea.
But what is the true cost of such action?
This move will only serve to further bankrupt our already dwindling righteousness, in this country and around the world! At a time when we should be tracing a path back to good, wholesome values, we will continue our march towards unholy devastation!
Will it take eternal loss to stop this travesty of Godliness? I suppose it just might...