But, I was speaking of voyeurism. Voyeurism once applied to the interested viewing of another by a hidden observer as they dressed, undressed, made love, bathed or engaged in other intimate actions. With the advent of modern media, it applies to much more than a “Peeping Tom”: reality TV, movies, violence; and all from the safety of your easy chair as a detached viewer. What does this say about us? It always surprises me to listen to a couch potato criticize an athlete. I have competed enough to know that things look vastly different from mid-field than they do from the bleachers. We as a society get entertainment value from watching others excel, others do and dare, others sin, others kill. But is it remote, detached and devoid of effect? Experience seems to militate against any such assertion. And, it can get pretty ridiculous. Drive through town on any afternoon and you will see the logo of ball teams on car and truck windows, often with an off color remark about another team. Fans have rioted and assaulted the fans of other teams. Really? It isn’t as if the fans were down on the field. And the players were not at “war”. They are simply earning their living and might be traded at any time to another club. Would to God that believers exercised such strong loyalty toward Christ! When was the last time we missed church or time in the word so we could watch a game, race or whatever? If we can quote the names and stats of players, is it too much to ask if we even know the books of the Bible?
Before I go too far with this I need to say that watching movies, athletic contests, etc. is not wrong in and of itself. I enjoy a good ball game. But it isn’t my life, and I am not trying to live out my fantasies by watching. Too many of us in America are seeking fulfillment through observing the lives and actions of others. If this was not so the Kardashian’s would be broke! Paris Hilton would not be a household name, Survivor would tank in the ratings, porn stores might go broke (I wish!). To anything that draws us to listen, watch or do, we need to apply the guidance of Scripture. Is it true? Is it just? Is it worthy of praise, pure, excellent or admirable? Not everything adds up to that standard. When I was a kid, people did stuff. Now, many if not most, watch stuff. All I am saying is that doing so carries a price tag if what we take in as a steady “diet” is unworthy and ungodly. We have gone from being a nation of doers to being a nation of watchers. And with a steady diet of watching, some can and will cross the line to doing in the most ungodly and toxic of ways. That’s all I am saying.