Sometimes I wonder if Satan has strategies that we don’t recognize. When we do actually give him any credit, we usually think in terms of very personal struggles. But is it possible that, like the US foreign policy, he’s as much concerned with subtle cultural changes as with destroying individuals?
I was flipping channels late the other night and one of the Friday the Thirteenth movies was one. Now, I’m not a big horror fan, but I have seen some of the Friday 13th shows when I was a teenager. I had the TV muted and subtitles on so I wouldn’t disturb my boys, and I thought I’d watch a few minutes just for kicks. I was sort of curious to see if I’d still find them as scary as I did 10 years ago.
I found the movie incredibly _boring_. And I remembered parts of it that scared me silly a decade ago. This time, they just looked silly. I don’t think it was just that I’m older and more mature – books and movies still give me the creeps sometimes (Mothman scared me silly). I really think the difference was that _I had the sound off_.
Leandra had watched a couple of movies while she was on bed-rest: Daddy Day Care, and What a Girl Wants. Again, not to disturb the boys while they were napping (and also b/c of a tiny bit of language we didn’t want the boys to hear), she watched them with subtitles on and the sound muted. Her take was that they were decent, but not great.
We talked about this a bit, and we suspect that these moves were unimpressive simply because there was no sound.
That brought to mind something I heard a preacher say a few years ago about TV. He said that, on average, the shot changes every 7 seconds. He said to mute the TV and watch a sitcom and count. Commercials were even worse.
I’m not the kind of guy who sees a demon behind every bush, but I do wonder if Satan is manipulating our culture in subtle but significant ways. For instance, could it be that without the frequent scene changes and soundtracks, our forms of entertainment are just _bland_? And could this be some kind of strategy to reduce our attention span and build up a need to be constantly amused so we can keep our attention on something?
It’s not hard to see what sort of ramifications this would have. Without a reasonable attention span, is anyone really going to read Romans? Spend time in prayer? Listen to expositional preaching and teaching? Can we sit through sermons that talk longer than half and hour and don’t have enough good jokes or touching anecdotes? We fall victim to emotionalism in our worship. Nope, don’t want to sing “Amazing Grace” – that just too long and it’s kind of boring. The Bible? Boring. Now, put it in a magazine format and just maybe I’ll glance at it.
This is just an example. There are plenty of others.
If I were Satan, I’d use strategies like this to keep people from the things of God. I just wonder if he does actually use these strategies. I can’t think of anything in the Bible that clearly indicates he uses this approach. But it certainly makes sense to me.