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RADIANT LIFE (TEACHERS GUIDE) TEENS SUNDAY SCHOOL RESOURCE SEASON 14 JANUARY – JUNE, 2023 SUNDAY, 25TH JUNE, 2023
Unit 6: MEDIA ALERT
Study 4:REALITY CHECK
Text: Gen 6:11-13; Proverbs 24:1-2; Matt 26:52; Romans 1:32; 1 Cor 6:9,15-20
Key Verse: Colossians 3:2
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (KJV).
Ten feet tall and bulletproof with a gorgeous woman on his arm. That’s the way most action moviemakers tend to portray the “heroes” in their movies. Rarely do such movies have a realistic scene. Three-to-one or even five-to-one odds are no problem for such typical hero in any kind of fight. Such character rarely takes a fatal bullet or dies of knife wounds or brutal beatings, not even at the end of the movie. And the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease is virtually non-existent. The makers of such movies reserve their graveyard scenes for the bad boys or insignificant good guys whose only purpose is to move the film along.
Teenagers have a natural tendency to feel they’re indestructible, and they like to identify with the heroes in these movies. Such attitudes, however, can be dangerous.
As you prepare to teach this study, consider the television shows and movies that you watched as a teenager. Who were your heroes? How do they compare with more modern heroes? If you realize that you’ve allowed yourself to sin with your entertainment choices, ask God to forgive you and to help you set the right example for your students. If you recall how entertainment affected your behaviour, share appropriate examples with your class.
>>The Basic Message: Explain to students…
•WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
The entertainment industry makes such things as violence and sexual immorality appear normal, but these behaviours have serious consequences.
•WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Imitating and seeking entertainment in the worldly lifestyles portrayed in the media lead to separation from God.
Choose you entertainment carefully and pattern your life after God’s Holy Word, not movie industry.
>>Activity Option: Have the class discuss the following question:
•How realistic are the people and lifestyles we see portrayed on television and in movies? [Note that they’re quite unrealistic.]
>>Study Overview: Explain that today’s study will consider:
•The prevalence and irresponsible portrayal of sex and violence in today’s media.
•Why we shouldn’t be entertained by sinful behaviour.
•How we can gain some control over the media’s influence.
>>Inform and Discuss
a). Murder and Mayhem
1. How do you think people might be affected by the violence they see in the media?
>>Guide: Explain that experts have found that violence in the media affects people in a number of ways, including the following: i. Pre-schoolers who are exposed to violence on TV are more physically aggressive and more likely to be bullies when they’re older. ii. Children and adults who watch violent programmes are often fearful that they themselves will become victims of violence. iii. Media violence has been proven to trigger anxiety and depression. iv. Watching repeated acts of violence often desensitizes people to the real-life pain and suffering of others. v. Some children and teens have died or killed others while trying to imitate or recreate acts of violence seen in movies and television.
2. Read or have volunteers read and explain what each of the following passages teaches us about violence:
•Gen 6:11-13 – People had become extremely violent toward one another before God sent the Flood. Cruelty and violence will ultimately be judged by God.
•Prov 24:1-2 – Violence arises out of wickedness. We should avoid associating with or imitating violent people.
3. What are some consequences of violence that the entertainment industry almost never shows?
>>Hint: Things you’re not likely to see include surgeries to repair broken bones and fractured skulls, long-term disabilities, large medical bils, psychological damage to victims and their family members, inmates growing old in prison, death sentences carried out, and people entering eternity unprepared to meet God.
4. Read or have a volunteer read Matt 26:52. Why do you think movies and television shows are so full of violence? And how did Jesus respond to Peter’s attempt to solve problems with violence? [Hint: One reason is the perception that violence sells. Much like in the ad industry, entertainment executives are primarily concerned with making money. If people are willing to buy movies filled with things like violence and profanity, studios are willing to create them. But we learned from Jesus’ response that most people who turn to violence will eventually experience violence themselves.]
b). Sex on the Screen
>>Guide: Explain that sexual content is another element the entertainment industry relies on to boost its ratings and profit margins.
1. What percentage of the television shows popular among teens do you think contain references to sex?
>>Guide: After hearing students’ responses, share with then the following facts: i. Every year, most teenagers view about 14,000 TV references to sexuality, including sexual remarks, sexual innuendoes, and jokes. i. Premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality are common themes in soap operas and talk shows as well as sitcoms and reality shows. iii. Less than 5 percent of the sexual remarks teens hear on television deal with abstinence or sexually transmitted diseases. Then point out that all these send a dangerous message that i’s okay to have sex outside of marriage.
2. What are some of the consequences of sexual promiscuity? [Hint: Consequences include sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancies, guilt, diminished enjoyment of marriage, and broken homes. Because sex outside of marriage is sin, there are also eternal consequences.]
3. Why do you think these consequences are rarely discussed in movies and on TV?
>>Hint: Many people don’t want to hear about them . They would rather be entertained and have their own sinful lusts fulfilled.
4. Read or have a volunteer read 1 Cor 6:9,15-20. What do these verses teach us about homosexuality and sex outside of marriage?
>>Guide: Explain that no matter how the media portrays it, the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality and sex outside of marriage are sin. When we accept Christ as Saviour, we are spiritually united with Him. When we enter a marriage relationship, we become united with another person for life. Sex outside of marriage introduces an unwelcome third party into the relationship and brings dishonour to our bodies and to Christ.
c). Mind over Media
1. Read or have volunteers read Romans 1:32; Col 3:2. Why does it matter what we watch, as long as we don’t take part in immoral activities ourselves? [Guide: Explain that the word translated “approve of” in Romans 1:32 points to casually enjoying or being entertained by the sins of others. It’s wrong to find entertainment in sinful behaviour – even when it’s someone else’s. We need to remember how evil, disgusting, and tragic sin is in the eyes of God. As believers, our worldview isn’t going to match movie makers. And, for the most part, it shouldn’t. Movie makers twist evil and present it disguised as entertainment.]
2. Ask students why believers would take pleasure in watching people engage in activities that separate them from God. [Guide: Point out that such behaviour show a lack of respect for God’s standards, weakens our spiritual sensitivity, and makes it more likely that we’ll take part in in ourselves.]
>>involve Them: Distribute paper and pens or pencils. Ask students what guidelines they think Christians should ‘follow when watching movies and television. You can help guide the discussion by asking questions such as. “What activities are not acceptable for Christians to watch?” Help them craft a set of guidelines and list them on their papers. Encourage them to keep these in mind when making viewing decisions.
>>inspire Them: Remind students THE BASIC MESSAGE of this study (pg.), explaining WHAT the Big Idea behind the study is; WHY it matters: and HOW we can live the lesson captured in this study.
>>Ministry Activity: Distribute paper and pens or pencils. Have students list all the movies and television shows they’ve watched over the past month. (They won’t be asked to share their lists.) Then have them look over their lists and try to imagine watching these same movies of programmes with Jesus sitting beside them. Have them cross off the movies or programmes they can’t picture watching with Jesus. Encourage them to consider not watching these kinds of things in the future.
>>Teacher Hint: Ask yourself…
1. Do students understand the real-life impact that television has due to its portrayals of sex and violence?
2. Are they more sensitized to the media unrealistic presentation of violence and sex outside of marriage as having little or no negative consequences?
3. Do they see the hypocrisy of not committing a sin but being entertained by watching someone else commit that same sin?
Daily Dew Drops
Mon: He Bore Our Sins – 1 Pet 2:24-25
Tues: An Advocate with the Father – 1 John 2:1-2
Wed: Our Mediator – 1Tim 2:5-6
Thurs: Our Judge – Acts 17:30-31; 2 Cor 5:10
Fri: All-Knowing Judge – Rom 2:16
Sat: Go for Spiritual Crown – 2 Tim 4:8