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Censored!

by Robert Berendt

The dictionary defines a censor as a person authorised to examine letters, books, films etc. and to remove or ban anything regarded as harmful. Not many years ago our nation censored books and films with the thought of protecting our culture and our thoughts. Communism, immorality and irreligious propoganda would have been considered harmful. Many nations today strongly censor what comes into the land and what their people read and see. Religions strongly censor books such as the one written by Rushdie, and some nations ban certain movies, pornographic literature and even the Bible. Families also jealously guard what enters the minds of their children.

In contrast, the western world has lowered almost all barriers to influences of any kind. Religions of all kinds are allowed to flourish, moral standards have fallen dramatically. Foul language and what was once considered crass is now common in movies, books and out of the mouths of children. We have travelled so far to ensure personal freedoms that the act of censorship is treated with disdain. Increasingly we find unhappy and unfulfilled lives. We have become irreligious, disrespectful of authority, disrespectful of parents and adults, permissive towards harmful behaviour, deeply affected by harmful drugs, and filled with cares for the self. In short, our peoples are dying due to a lack of standards and the knowledge and application of what is right and good. We no longer passionately love our country because we are confused as to what our nation stands for, and what it is, today.

The problem has come down to the family. Mom and Dad used to be strong in censoring who your friends were, where you went, what you bought and what movies you were allowed to see. Parents guarded their children against the influence of harmful, twisted and perverted thinking. They felt it their responsibility to guard young and immature minds until those minds were able to be strong and make decisions based on a solid foundation of knowledge of what is good and what is evil. Societies supported parents in their concerns.

Strong forces now undermine the authority of the parents and rob them of this responsibility. The children suffer the most, but parents suffer long and hard through the agonies of the children. Parents pay a huge price for forsaking this responsibility. We are made to feel guilty because we say no. We are told that our schools are teaching values and morals. "I think not!" Children learn families can consist of two men or two women; sex is okay as long as you are safe; there are things you should not discuss with your parents, and humans are the product of evolution and are just animals.

How do you as a parent feel about your child learning these things? Can eleven or twelve year olds resist error and false teaching? As a minister, teacher, father and grandfather, I know the answer is No!

It is our responsibility to think for them until they can think for themselves - to teach them to think - and that does not happen until after the teenage years are over. Wrong values and distorted mores breed lifestyles that lead to anguish and terrible disturbances for young people who are influenced to act by those confused standards. Every one of the children who carelessly lose their virginity, every girl who has an abortion; every young person contacting venereal disease will pay a price for their action, leaving them scarred for life. The areas of self-respect and dignity, along with family responsibilities, are irreparably affected. I want to protect my children and my grandchildren from this type of damage to the self, and I know you do too! God commands that we protect them!

Though we are fighting a losing battle on the human scale and know that only the return of God’s Kingdom will solve the problems of this world, we must continue to fight, kick and struggle against all that is evil and wrong. We must apply censorship for the sake of our young. They are defenseless without Mom and Dad. It takes courage, understanding, patience, and all the great qualities of character, for parents to censor the music, movies and books that come into their homes. It also requires parents to censor their own activities. It is pointless to tell your child not to smoke because it will damage their lungs while you light up! Children need to see strong examples of correct living. Parents need to stand in the gap for their children. If we fail, our children will pay a huge price during their lives. The results are guaranteed. You will find them written up in 2 Timothy 3:1-7.

Young people will chafe under censorship. They will complain and have great arguments—such as "you don’t trust me" or "I’m old enough" or "I’m not stupid" or "you are old fashioned." You have probably heard a hundred varieties of these arguments. Each one ought to be a red flag for a parent. Too many parents and adults capitulate rather than find out what their child REALLY knows.

I recently listened to a song entitled "If you want it to be good girl (get yourself a bad boy)" by the Backstreet Boys. Two preteens had the music and seemed unaware of the words of the song. The words are unacceptable and the theme is clear—yet the youngsters did not know the implication of what they heard, and only after a forced discussion did the full meaning begin to sink in. Even at that point the comments were "well, we like the melody." In fact, the song had virtually no melody, only a beat and words with meanings that were not so hidden. Let me quote several lines:

"If you want it to be good girl, get it from a bad boy

"Days are fine, your Momma shouldn’t know

"Get it from me."

It would be a good education for parents to sit down with their children and write out the words for popular songs such as these—an education for the parents as well as the children!

What will it be for your children? Are you willing to go to the wall? Do you love them enough? Can you censor what comes into your home and do you have the determination, courage, patience and trust in Almighty God to do what is right?

I hope and pray to God that we all have the kind of mettle that will allow us to say enough is enough to the garbage that goes into the minds of the young. True love means to chastise, correct and teach! Parents who refuse to correct their children are showing a lack of genuine love for them (Hebrews 12:6-9).

Our heavenly Father is watching us. Do we sigh and cry for the evils of the land or do we look back longingly? We need to look forward to a Kingdom where pornography will not exist, where all young bridal couples will be virgins, where curse words are stricken from the thoughts of mankind, where the concern is outgoing and not directed to the self, where there is a fear and respect of the Almighty Creator and His values and commandments. These commandments were given for our good. Breaking them leads to sorrow, guilt, depression and ultimately unfulfilled lives and death. Let us choose wisely. God sets the path before us just as He did to Israel of old. He still encourages us to choose life. Be on guard, fight the good fight and mark evil "CENSORED."

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