Buying and reading worldly newspapers and magazines

 

 

The sons of this world are dominated by the desire to know as many things as possible about all the latest events; wars, murders, divorces among actors or showmen and their new affairs, all kinds of scandals which happen in all circles, the results of the soccer championship, or the basketball championship and so on; just to mention some of the things those who are outside want to know. To understand how widespread is this desire it is sufficient to stand for a few minutes before a newspaper kiosk and see how many people buy newspapers and magazines.

Now it is a good thing to reflect upon this behaviour. First of all, let us wonder: ‘Why are the sons of this world so attached to newspapers and magazines? Why can’t they do without them?’ The answer is because they are under the power of the devil (who is the prince of this world), who rules over them causing them to read all the things which don’t edify and which pass away. This is how the devil manages to distract people, so that they might not seek God and be interested in the things of God; by causing them to read newspapers and magazines continually.

This answer of mine may seem an overstatement to someone, yet nobody can demonstrate that this is not the truth. Answer this question of mine: ‘Why, when we proclaim the Gospel, that is, the Good News of the Kingdom of God, to the children of this world, do many of them say to us: ‘That’s an old tale!’ and they depart in a great hurry saying that they have no time to listen to us, while when they are alone they spend many hours reading all kinds of newspapers and magazines with all the latest and most sensational news? Don’t you think it is because, as Paul says, “those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh” (Romans 8:5 – NKJV)? Of course, that’s the reason, it cannot be otherwise.

And why, when you want to give a Gospel or even the whole Bible to the sons of this world, many of them refuse to accept it because they are ashamed to accept freely the written Word of God, and some of them accept it and after a while throw it away, while each month they spend so much money to buy their favourite newspapers and magazines which speak about things that pass away, that can’t edify them nor save them? Don’t you think it is because they are ruled by the devil, who doesn’t want them to read the Word of God because he doesn’t want them to be saved? For sure, the devil uses all these newspapers and magazines to corrupt people, to distract them and to discourage them from believing in God. For the worldly newspapers and magazines induces people not to believe in the existence of God. Have you ever heard someone say to you: ‘If there is a God – as you say – why is there so much wickedness and injustice in this world’? As far as I am concerned, many people have asked me this question so far. Well, don’t you think that it is bound to happen that those who daily feed on the wickedness and injustice committed by men all over the world are induced to question the existence of God and His sovereignty? Of course, they speak in that way because they ignore the existence of the devil and his devices, yet the fact still remains that if they read the Word of God instead of the bad news, faith would come in their hearts and they would believe in the existence of God and in His sovereignty. But how can faith come by reading worldly newspapers and magazines? But all these things concern those who are outside. So let us come to those who are inside. What shall we say about them? It must be said that among God’s people it is not a rare thing to find believers who buy newspapers and sport magazines, fashion magazines, car magazines, etc, daily or weekly or monthly. They are dominated by these things, they can’t do without them (bear in mind that I am not speaking about useful magazines, such as a magazine which helps you to learn a job, but about useless magazines full of perversions, obscenities and vanities and profane arguments). For it is not a rare thing to see in their homes, and in their cars, all kinds of newspapers and magazines; perhaps you can’t see the Bible for it is not there, but you can see their newspapers! Obviously, since a man tends to talk about what he reads and hears, when you hear these believers talking it seems you are hearing some children of this age because they show that they are acquainted with all the wickedness, the obscenities, the injustices, the latest political, sporting, cinematographic, and musical events, and they talk about them even with pleasure! They have time to talk about the perverse and vain things they read in their newspapers, but they have no time to talk about the things of God which are written in the Word, for they say that they have something else to do and therefore they can’t talk at length, and in addition to this they show a terrible ignorance of the Word of God. When they talk they cite with much enthusiasm and a striking precision many details about the bad news they have read or about the latest worldly ‘happenings’, but if they hear someone citing with the same enthusiasm and the same precision the Scriptures then they begin to say: ‘Brother, be careful, the letter kills but the Spirit gives life’, and ‘Be careful, the devil also knows the Scripture and quotes it sometimes!’ In other words, they are so corrupt that they take more pleasure in reading the vanities than in reading the Scriptures, and instead of being glad to meet some believers who know the Scriptures and speak about them seriously, precisely and deeply, they are sorry; that’s what we deduce from their conduct. What I am saying to you is a sad thing, a very sad thing, yet it’s true. I feel sick at heart when I see that unbelievers are so much attached to their newspapers and magazines while many believers are not at all attached to the Word of God; when I see that unbelievers read so many vanities and obscenities and perversions, while many believers read the Word of truth so rarely.

Why should then a believer abstain from buying and reading these newspapers and magazines (dailies, Stop, Novella 2000, Sorrisi e Canzoni, Grazia and many others) to which the children of this age are so attached? Because in reading them we defile ourselves! I myself have experienced what I am saying, therefore I know what I am talking about. If I asked you: ‘Do you feel you defile yourselves when you read the Bible?’ You would answer me: ‘No, not at all, rather we feel we read and assimilate pure and holy words’. Why would you answer in this way? ‘Because the Bible is the Word of God, and the Word of God is very pure: “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6 – NKJV), says David; that’s why you don’t run the risk of defiling yourselves in reading them, because they are pure. However, if I asked you: ‘Do you feel you defile yourselves in reading the articles which are in the newspapers and the magazines?’ In other words, ‘Do you feel as you feel when you read the Bible?’ What would you answer me? Certainly, if you are honest and examine carefully the reaction of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you, you will have to say: ‘As a matter of fact, in reading the articles in the newspaper we defile ourselves in a certain measure, also because our eyes see certain bad photos which are in it, it is as if we get dirty and we immediately want to cleanse ourselves’.

Let me tell you now something about the photos which are on the newspapers and magazines. It must be said that no matter what kind of photos they are, they help to sell more newspapers and magazines or to draw people’s attention to the article which is on the newspaper, this is something that the subeditors know very well. However, there are certain disturbing photos; photos of wizards while they practice their occult arts, photos of dead and wounded people, and seducing photos of women dressed indecently; it must be said that all these things defile our spirit and our flesh in a certain measure. In addition to this, we must consider the fact that the money spent to buy these newspapers and magazines is wasted money and we, as believers, must not waste our money but we must spend it wisely.

Beloved, let us spend our free time on reading the Word of God because it is truth, it lives and abides forever: let us say together with the Psalmist: “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things …. Incline my heart to Your testimonies …” (Psalm 119:37,36), so that our delight may be in the Word of God till the end, and the love of the Word of God might not be chocked by the deceitful love of newspapers and magazines and novels which is so widespread all over the world.

We live in this world and we don’t pray that God should take us out of the world, but that He should keep us from the evil one because we know that our enemy walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and we need God’s protection to stand.

We know that all the world lies under the sway of the wicked one and that the devil uses also the newspapers and magazines to turn away the believers’ eyes from reading the Word of God and to corrupt them by causing them to conform to the pattern of this world. So let us watch and pray without ceasing, lest we buy newspapers and magazines and read them with the same passion the children of this age have.

 

 

 

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