Question and Answer
Should worldly entertainments be avoided?
Is it a sin to listen to music, watch films and TV, play video games, watch plays, games, sports, use the internet, read books that aren't about the Bible, etc.? I don't want to sound legalistic, but none of these things are for the glory of God, so should they be avoided?
What a great question! The Lord does exhort us to redeem the time (Eph. 5:16). And Paul follows that up in verse 18 with a warning against drunkenness. How is that relevant to your question? Simply, this way. It is no sin to drink alcohol, but it is a sin to get drunk. In other words, you may righteously enjoy a beer, a glass of wine or anything of your choice, so long as you maintain self-control in your use of strong drink. The same would go for eating: gluttony is a sin, but the moderate and controlled eating of the best of foods and rich desserts is fine. And you are able to see, then, I think, how every one of the activities you ask about fits in with this pattern.
Books, for example, contain useful information, so long as they do not blaspheme or lead you into sinful areas of thought (lust and perversion, theological error or violent behavior, for example). They can be used to help in understanding the Bible or general revelation or for plain entertainment in leisure. The internet is a great research tool and can be used in a variety of ways that are proper and even godly. But it has its sinful applications. The same goes for each of the other activities you mention. The key point is edification. Don't do things that do not edify you and those around you (1 Cor. 10:23).
Start your day and end it in communion with your Lord, sanctify the day and all your activities by prayer and then let your Spirit informed conscience be your guide. Any other way, really, is legalism.
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