Convictions or Compromise?

A man walked into a Christian bookstore and saw a display of hats with the letters WWJD on them. He was unaware of what the letters stood for so he asked the lady at the counter to enlighten him.
She explained that the letters stood for “What Would Jesus Do?” and that the idea was to encourage people to ponder that question before making decisions. The man thought about this for a moment and replied, “I don’t think Jesus would spend $16.95 for that hat!”
His amusing response made me laugh but it also made a really good point. Though we can’t know for certain that his assumption was right it does make me think seriously about other choices Jesus would face in our culture.
Have you ever taken the time to consider what Jesus would or wouldn’t do when it comes to today’s media choices? Wouldn’t you love to peek at His plate after walking through our generation’s all-you-can-eat entertainment buffet? Would His plate be empty?
We could easily be convinced that it is impossible to ever know the answer to those questions since Jesus never mentioned Xbox 360, PS3, handheld games or Nintendo Wii. The apostle Paul never wrote about prime time, late night, cable or satellite. I don’t recall anything in the Bible about YouTube, Facebook, MySpace or Outlook. What about country twang, rock stars, hip hop and pop tarts?
Thankfully the Bible doesn’t have to be that specific in order to find a good path through today’s media jungle. The Bible says that we have been given everything we need to be spiritually equipped in this life, “…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3) We have a tendency to want a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts but the real key is found in Biblical principles that can encourage and help strengthen convictions about entertainment in a culture plagued with compromise.
I had mentioned a couple of words just now that I would like to make sure we understand… principles and convictions. A principle is a “general law or truth from which others are derived”. The word conviction means “the state of being convinced” or “a fixed or strong belief”. I’d like to give you my personal definition of conviction… it is something you believe so strongly that it will guide your actions even when under pressure. Compromise is just the opposite, it is giving in to pressure. It is like the weak link in a chain that will break when tested by force. 
This generation is under a lot of pressure to go along with the world without thinking twice about the impact that poor media choices and poor use of time are having on our relationship with God and with others. One of the oldest tricks in the book (Genesis 3:4-6) is the lie which basically says “don’t listen to what God says, this choice won’t affect you in a negative way.” We are still believing this lie and suffering the same consequences of pain, misery, loneliness, heartache and death. God has a better plan and He has given us principles for guidance so that we can experience life to its fullest.
This article is the first of a series that will help encourage you to discover those Biblical truths and begin to understand the importance and rewards of media discernment in the light of following Christ.

More Articles by Phillip Telfer

Phillip Telfer

Phillip Telfer


Phillip Telfer has ministered to youth and families for over 20 years, sharing at camps, retreats, schools, conferences, and churches around the country. He is the director of Media Talk 101 which is a non-profit ministry dedicated to teaching media discernment in the light of following Christ. Phillip recently authored the book “Media Choices: Convictions or Compromise?” He also produced and co-directed the award-winning documentary Captivated and founded the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild. Phillip is passionate about family-integrated church and ministry and serves as the teaching pastor at Living Water Fellowship in Bulverde, TX. He and his wife Mary have been happily married for 26 years and have been blessed with four children and one grandchild.