Amusing Ourselves to Death

There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Godhaving a form of godliness but denying its power.

II Timothy 3:1-4

I recently revisited Neil Postman’s 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death.

Ironically when Postman authored the book 35 years ago, he was concerned about the overall impact of technology on our culture. At the time, he was addressing television. Even without understanding the context, his commentary could absolutely be applied to the impact of the internet and social media in society today.

Near the end of the book, Postman contrasts the worldview presented by George Orwell in Animal Farm with the worldview presented by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World

Postman’s concern of what he saw a Huxley’s prophetic position is “not that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they did not know what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking.”

In Brave New World, Huxley wrote of a culture so consumed with entertainment that truth was no longer discernable and entertainment was the end goal of all things.

I mention this because I think it is an accurate impression of American culture in 2020.  We no longer have clarity on what is true. We spend hours each day seeking mindless entertainment on screens without even realizing that we’ve stopped thinking at all. 

As Christians we should not be surprised by the historical moment we find ourselves in today.  When Paul wrote to Timothy he made it clear that in the last days people would be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

Over the last several weeks I have shared information about the impact of technology on our children today. As we close this portion of the series I challenge us as parents to do the hardest thing— to THINK DIFFERENTLY than the world around us. We must guide our children to BE DIFFERENT in their use of technology. 

One of my greatest fears in life is that one day when I stand before Jesus and give an account of how I used the time he gave me on earth I will have to look into his eyes and not explain a horrible sin in my life but have to explain the amount of time I wasted. 

Doug Langhals, HHCA Head of School

As Christians we are called to capture each moment for Him, not for our own mindless entertainment. 

May we model for our children what it means to live a life of purpose, not to live for amusing ourselves to death.

In Him,

Doug Langhals
Doug Langhals
HHCA Head of School

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