The Christian Choice

Last month the very first Christian tablet was released by Family Christian Bookstore called “Edifi.” So what exactly makes this tablet “Christian?” Well the main thing is that it has multiple versions of the Bible pre-loaded, a “porn free” internet filter, and a Christian radio app for music. Everything else is basically the same as any other tablet (their market is more the Kindle Fire market, then the iPad market). When I mentioned Edifi to a friend who wasn’t Christian, his response was: “Couldn’t you do all of that on an iPad as well?” Yes, you can definitely make most tablets as Christian or as non-Christian as you want them to be.

This is definitely not the first product to be a “Christian” version of something. When I lived in Colorado Springs, there was this video/dvd rental store called CleanFlicks. The rental store functioned as a place where you can rent movies that were HEAVILY edited (I believe the chain has closed now after countless lawsuits from the movie industry). You could rent movies that took out any profanity, sex, nudity, and violence (I guess they didn’t have any movies based on the Bible). The idea is that you can go in there and rent any movie and it would be completely “family-friendly.” ( I never had the chance to go in there because my friends and I were too busy going to Blockbuster to find the newest action flick).

Recently, there was a very good blog post by Rachel Held Evans that talked about how Christian bookstores limit what books, music, and movies can be sold in their stores based on any questionable content. Rachel Held Evans explains the issue in great detail in her blog post, so I won’t get into any of it now. I remember when I was in college, the latest P.O.D. album could not be sold in Christian bookstores based on the cover art (the band members were undeniably Christian). An interesting list is this list of banned Christian albums censored in Christian book stores.

As Christians, why do we try to constantly seclude ourselves from the outside world? We like to hide from anything that is bad and only expose ourselves to what is “good.” I once had a friend who told me that they would love to live a community/housing development that was just for Christians. Really? How is that going to help? What I know is that I’m a sinner, saved only by the grace of Jesus Christ. Just because you put a bunch of Christians in your neighborhood doesn’t mean you won’t have problems. Jesus calls us to be light in this world: “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18 NIV) Our lives are meant to reflect Christ so that others in this world can see it.

All of this leads me to a simple word: “choice.” I fully believe that the Bible gives a lot of grey area on things in popular culture like books, music, movies, and art. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are entrusted with what we put into our mind, heart, and soul. Each day we are given a choice as to how we are going to make ourselves more like Christ. If you have any device or media item that pulls your mind away from Christ, then it’s probably not a good thing to be doing.

There is also tremendous truth that God can show Himself to people through popular culture, so eliminating anything that is not overtly Christian would be wrong. I have seen countless movies & T.V. shows that are not Christian, but show me examples of God’s love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy.

I love that God did not make us live in a bubble where we act as robots. A large part of being human is the struggle to make the right choice. As a parent, that is what we’re trying to teach our oldest daughter who’s 4. We teach her what foods are healthy and what foods are not healthy. Most of the time, we allow her to chose what she eats. If she chooses something unhealthy, but gets a stomach ache, well that was her decision (thankfully she loves to eat healthy). We put a lamp on her wall next to her bed, so she can read/play when she can’t sleep at night. We completely allow her to turn it on/off when needed because we have entrusted her in making the right choices. We allow her to get dressed on her own after we tell her where we’re going and what the weather is going to be. Of course, she’s only 4, so we don’t allow her to make every choice on her own. The point being is that we are trying to teach our daughter how to make good choice. I fully believe that this will stick with her as she gets older. She may not always make the right choice, but I trust that most of the time she will get it right.

As a Christian, you have a choice, and that’s the a great gift. Please don’t get me wrong: if you are going to buy Edifi or any other Christian filtered product, I’m not faulting you. There are some who may need a product like this for some reason or another. What I am saying is that as Christians, we cannot expect to have blinders on in this world. We do not need more Christian products, we simply need to use things that point us to Christ and not away from Christ.


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