The Massachusetts Act
In the early 1700’s before the American Revolution took place we find that the Puritans had a great influence on the early colonies. In 1750 the Massachusetts General Court passed an official ban called the Act to Prevent Stage-Plays and other Theatricals which remained in place for the next 40 years. This act was to make the citizens wary of “the many and great mischiefs which arise from public stage plays, interludes and other theatrical entertainments, which not only occasion great and unnecessary expenses, and discourage industry and frugality, but likewise tend generally to increase immorality, impiety and contempt of religion.” Wow. What would they think today? If they thought back then that entertainment led to the “increase of immorality, impiety and contempt of religion” what would they think of the risqué movies, shows and theatrical productions of today? Our Adversary, the Tempter, uses the art of entertainment today that there is no doubt concerning the increase of immorality, impiety and contempt of religion in their entertainment productions. What do our children see at the movies, on cable, on the internet, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Disney, Hulu, Amazon Prime and now in the PlayStation and X-Box games containing their crude graphics and explicit language. And yes, it is sad to say that some adults are mired in these shows and games. We are reminded in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 “abstain from every form of evil.”(NASB). Does evil abound in the entertainment venue? They promote wickedness, adultery, fornication, divorce, lying, theft, murder, homosexuality, greed, rebellion, anger, wrath, revenge and all this and more under the license that it is not real but just a harmless movie or video game for entertainment and pleasure. Our children see no harm in this form of entertainment and often are heard saying “yes I know that it is not real and I would never act in any of these ways.” Society today disproves that this is not the case. Our Adversary has influenced our children’s minds already. Do we not see immorality, impiety and contempt of religion among our children and even adults? Is this a snare to us as parents in trying to raise our children and grandchildren to be holy and separate from the world? So often we do not see it as a snare but look upon it as a temporary babysitter for our children while we can relax or accomplish some other needed chores. Most definitely it is a snare and we must endeavor to be on guard at all times in what our children or grandchildren are being confronted with. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good…” and then it states “abstain from every form of evil.”(NASB). Again we have the admonition in Romans 12:9b “Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.”(NASB). May we pray to God for guidance and letting us see the deceit and craftiness of our Adversary and to recognize the lies that the world puts forth. May our minds be refreshed in the truth each time we read and study the Holy Word. Let us act now to save our children and grandchildren from this evil and wicked world.
- Larry Bumgardner