I attended a few seminars on the dangers of Rock and Roll music in the late 70’s or early 80’s. At least one of the seminars included playing some of the songs backwards, a technique known as backward masking. When the song was played backwards, there were barely intelligible words that spoke a different message. I remember trying to spin different songs backwards on the turntable to hear what it sounded like backwards. It was a little odd. The idea was that subliminally, you would be hearing things that were unintelligible to the ear but it would affect you both positively and negatively. In addition to music, subliminal messages were used in horror movies. On the negative side, the intent of those subliminal messages and sounds was to increase the intensity of the horror and fear. Some people actually became physically sick during the movies. On the positive side, subliminal messages were used in shopping malls to cut back on shop lifting by saying positive, nice things to you.
When we were youth leaders in the 90’s, we met Phil Chalmers who attended Aurora Mennonite Church. Phil did seminars at churches and high schools on music and media. He put on several seminars at this church. Phil bypassed the backwards masking technique and studied the lifestyles of the artists, broke down the lyrics and encouraged us to actually pay attention to what we were listening to, reading, watching on television and seeing at the movie theatre or on our VHS players. Eminem was one of the artists that he spoke about. A story that I remember about him came out in an interview with the artist. Eminem said that he would not let his child listen to his music. So, it was okay to put it out there for someone else’s children, but it was not appropriate for his own kid. Could be a double standard there.
We were told to be on guard regarding what we were listening to and watching because the artists could slip messages in that went against our faith and values. Now, music and media openly and blatantly attack our faith and undermine our values. We have allowed evil to enter the doors of our houses. Often, we permit our children to listen and watch with little knowledge or concern.
Pastor Ross closed our Sunday service by praying for the families and the community of Parkland Florida, the site of the recent horrific school shooting that left 17 dead. We allowed evil to enter our schools. I heard too many times last week that we’re tired of thoughts and prayers. One news anchor wants to get rid of guns and another anchor wants more guns. Finger pointing is happening everywhere. Social media is anything but unified. Continue to pray for these families and this school along with the community of Parkland Florida. Pray for our schools including our students, teachers and administrators.
What kind of media is in our homes? What are our children listening to, watching and playing? What do our social media accounts look like? What do the social media accounts of our children look like? We can’t be passive about what enters into our homes. Technology has forced us as parents and grandparents to ask hard questions of ourselves and our kids. Commit to communicate with your family and do not trust the job to anyone else. Channel 3, 5 & 8 are no longer a trusted filter for good, safe entertainment. You are the filter for what is good and it takes great effort to stay on top of it.
We have a great children’s and youth ministry at Evermore. Use that to supplement what is being taught at home by you. Don’t rely on anyone or anything else for the first line of defense of your family. #letgodin #keepevilout