Monday, October 30, 2006

More About The War On Terrible

Thank you for all of your comments about this post. This is what I love about blogging- exchanging ideas with each other. I am so grateful that we can discuss and not debate. When the world sees us bicker over things, we totally damage our witness for Christ. So, thanks for being honest and loving!

After posting about Halloween, I have been extra sensitive to the subject while in stores today and even while surfing channels on television. This entire issue has just really forced me to think and to search down deep to find where God would have me stand. To tell you the truth, I am looking forward to November 1. (I realize evil doesn't come just one day a year dressed in a cheap costume. Nonetheless, I will be glad when it is over. )

Last night I was surfing channels and stopped cold at ABC's Wife Swap. In case you aren't familiar, the show pairs two families together (or pits them against one another) who are usually complete opposites. The wives switch families for two weeks. The first week, the "guest" wife must abide by a manual of household rules left by the "real" wife. During the second week, the guest wife applies her rules to the running of the household. At the end of the show, the two couples sit face to face and talk about their experiences. There is much angst and gnashing of teeth, which makes for exciting, dramatic television.

I have watched the show before. Most of the time I am just interested to see how others live their lives as wives and mothers. I am also interested to see how they handle the swap itself.

This particular episode really disturbed me.

In the tradition of Halloween, last night's episode was about a rural/conservative mom who does everything for her husband and kids, and a mom who leads her family into W*CCA (witchcraft). I am purposely leaving out some words to avoid some searches to my blog.

In the very beginning, I thought "Should I just turn it to something else?" But then I decided to see how the W*CCA wife/mom would share her religion and how the media would portray it. I was most interested in how the rural/conservative mom would react to the witchcraft of the other family. Seeing this show in the past, I thought I knew how it would pan out- Good vs. Evil.

I was wrong.

The rural/conservative mom was portrayed as the slave-type wife who does everything for her husband and kids, has no money "of her own," must ask her husband for money, cooks, cleans, and the whole 1950's nine yards. The media loves portraying what I call a "traditional" wife as a woman trapped in an archaic world, ignorantly living in the dark in need of immediate rescue. (I don't know about you, but I do not need to be rescued. Jesus was the first to liberate me long ago.)

This particular rural/conservative mom was not really traditional, in my view. The balance of respect and equality was not there. Of course, one only sees what television reveals but, overall she was definitely more conservative than the W*CCA wife.

What initially disturbed me was when the rural/conservative mom read the W*CCA mom's manual. The manual outlined plainly that the family was "magical" and that their lives were immersed in witchcraft. The rural/conservative mom said, "Well, I don't see anything about Satan yet," and she read on.

Wow. As long as the magic and witchcraft did not specifically recognize Satan as the power, it was perfectly benign. (For me, there are only two powers. If the power isn't from God, then it must be from Satan.)

This is when I knew I had to keep watching the episode. I kept thinking the rural/conservative mom's eyes would be opened, that she would begin to cry and want to leave. Even more disturbing is that she never thought about her own family, her own children being influenced 1000 miles away by a woman who proclaims herself as a goddess.

It never happened. It ended up being a battle about power- who had it, who should have it, and who would end up with it by the end of the show. It was a battle between women and men. It was never about good or evil.

The rural/conservative family never presented themselves as Christian. For all we knew as viewers, they could be believers or lost. What saddened me was that I knew, right then and there, sitting in my comfy chair, watching this show, that I underestimate the number of people who may not know Jesus.

Not just about Jesus. To know Jesus. I believe, at least my hope is, that if this rural/conservative family had been Christian, rooted deeply in The Word of God, there is no way they could have gone on to participate in the show, surrounded by witchcraft and magic. (I have to add here that the W*CCA family was portrayed as nice, loving, earthy and harmless. Are you surprised?)

After being saddened by it all, I remembered a comment by Grafted Branch. Then it dawned on me- the battle of good and evil is about power! Satan wants it and God has it. Eve wanted it long ago in the garden! Nothing has changed. Women are still deceived by the great deceiver today, October 30, 2006. He appears to us as an angel of light, hiding himself as inappropriate political correctness, women's "rights," and the "I'm Ok. You're Ok" mentality that is rampant today. He doesn't show up on our shoulders as a red man with horns and a tail! That would be too obvious.

So now I have to decide what to do with this sadness and disappointment. Blog about it and let it go? Pray about it today and forget about it by the end of the week? I think there is a real reason for the Halloween discussion and the fact that I saw this particular episode of Wife Swap.

If nothing else, it has taught me to stay alert, stay in The Word, and not to stay in my little niche of life. I have to remember that there are people out there who still need to hear the Truth in the Gospel. They may not hear it from anyone else, so I need to be prepared to tell them myself- me, the mom and wife who does the laundry and cleans the bathrooms. Me. Regular. Plain. Me.

Only Christ adds to the Church, but surely I can be His Feet, His Hands, and His Mouth sharing the only saving power in existence- the blood that He shed for the world. He did command me to share the gospel with all the world. But, sometimes I think He meant I am only suppose to give to missions or volunteer at church. Sometimes that is exactly what He wants me to do, but other times I get too comfortable there and forget that He may want me to actually share the gospel with someone myself.

Makes me want to squirm in the proverbial pew for a moment. That's uncomfortable. And, you know what? Maybe it's time for me to be a little uncomfortable in the pew. Only then will I wake up and pay attention to the message.


Julie said...

Wow, Mealnie. What an excellent post.

I LOVE what you said: "Evil does not come just once a year dressed in a cheap costume." IF ONLY! Then, of course, evil would be easily recognized by everyone.

As it is, Satan cloaks himself with words like "harmless" "magical" "just fun" ad nauseum. The lost are perishing because they are deceived. They do not realize or recognize that there even IS a battle between good and evil...and how they are unwitting participants!

I TOTALLY agree with you that ALL power comes from one of 2 sources: God or Satan. Period.

Well, there is a feeble amount of 'will power' that man has, but it always fails in a matter of time.

We, as believers in and lovers of Christ, are called to: love the unsaved; pray for those around us on a regular basis (at the store, in the car, on a walk...); and be LIGHTS by our ACTIONS of LOVE.

The Word of God says that the world will know us in this way:

"By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another - if you keep on showing love among yourselves." !John 13:35

In the meantime, when we watch shows like this, it's an awesome opportunity to pray, and ask God to reveal the truth to those families.

Sorry for taking up so much space and leaving the longest comment in blogging history EVER! LOL

Susanne said...

Very powerful eye opening two posts, Melanie! And Julie's comment is also very timely! Julie's third paragraph speaking of how the lost are perishing because they are decieved and do not recognize that there is a battle and that they might be unwitting participants gave me pause to think. And I thought how sad it was that it is not only the lost but also some of us "churched" folk also. We turn a blind eye to a lot of things God calls sin or dangerous to our souls and make excuses.

These two posts have really caused me to take an examination of my own life and what I have brushed under the carpet and what my life says to others, most importantly the lost. Do they see the power of God and an uncomprimised love of God and people or do they notice no difference? I will be thinking on this a lot over the next days. Thanks Melanie for a courageous couple of posts!

And I think I beat out Julie in the longest post ever contest. :v)

lrlwreath said...

This is a timely post. My middle school son came home yesterday and said "Mom I had a friend come up to me and ask, Should I be a Christian or W*cca?, and I told him he should be come a Christian because that is the only way". Then son asked me to explain what W*cca was. I am still struggling on that. I gave him a bit of an answer but not that well. Well son said his friend came up the next day and said "I decided to be half Christian and half W*cca because that is what my parents are". That comment grived my heart in sooooo many different ways. If you have an answer you could give my son I would love to hear an explanation of what "W" is without going overboard.

Julie said...

Melanie, I hope you don't mind me adding this:

A scripture about witchcraft:

"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God." ~ Deuteronomy 18:10-13

lrlwreath said...

Thank you for your comments on my blog about my question. I have looked up some information. Thank you.

Linda said...

Thoughtful, intelligent post, the kind where truth is knocking at your heart's door. I want to be used, too, but it's actually more difficult because i work in a ministry, and most of my family are believers. I do try to stay sensitive when I interact with people. Believers forget how insidious evil is; no one, for example, sets out looking at porn and says, "I'd like to become addicted to this and ruin my relationships with my family." It's a gradual process in our society, a desensitization.

Shannon said...

Melanie - This was a great post. I watched a tiny bit of that episode and my thought, too, was of the family left behind as a witch moved in to care for them! The part I saw had the traditional dad talking about how much he had learned about how hard his wife works and how he's going to help out more...I just wanted to scream. It seems the media always works that way - traditional men and women just need to be liberated and enlightened. And so many people totally buy into this because they don't know the One True Liberator.