By C.W. Scott
The Carnival of Death temptingly deceives the masses regarding worldliness. Satan and the men of the world set the standards by which individuals are to be entertained. This has caused the amusement problem to be one of the greatest of our time. “Less work and more leisure time,” is the clarion cry from all parts of the earth. It should be recognized that recreation is not generally evil but amusements of the present day have gone from bad to worse and have become so polluted and corrupted that every true disciple of Christ must watch and guard against the corrupt and filthy characterizations of men and women devoid of purity. The reason many affirm they do not see the harm and evil is because “the god of this world hath blinded their minds.”
Writing and thinking about amusements in the Carnival of Death, your attention is directed to three besetting evils. First, the game of cards! Spot cards are a game of chance rather than a game of skill. It is nothing but a form of gambling and Christians are as out of place with cards in their hands as a gospel preacher engaging in a dice game. Card playing is incompatible to the ways of Christ. One may talk of ungodly movies and obscene plays around the card table but it would not be the time to talk about God, Christ, prayer, righteousness and purity. Mothers have been shocked to learn about their sons and daughters playing cards for a jack pot of several dollars but think nothing of the cut glass bowl or other prizes won by them at the modern bridge and card social. Pray tell me the difference between the conduct of parents and their children. Christians need to think of their influence in such actions. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). It is impossible for card playing, gambling with the use of cards to add to the spiritual statue of the player and neither will it add luster and glory to the majesty of God. Let none of you be deceived!
Let us secondly, take a serious look at the modern theater and the reruns of film with its worldly, carnal portrayals. Never before has there been such widespread publicity been given to the base, grossly immoral and wicked behaviour of men and women as is true in our day. Pornography is created and placed freely before the public by men and women devoid of shame. Galatians 5:19-21 presents to us the Holy Spirit’s warning through the apostle Paul regarding the lusts of the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like.” Surely, these are works that find their place in the Carnival of Death. The Christian is to flee all such carnal works and behavior. Paul added, “They that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 1:21). The majority of pictures flashed upon the screens today paint vividly the above evils upon the minds of the viewers.
Immorality is being portrayed today for the amusement of people and the actors and actresses in real life live as wickedly. Language and scenes are both heard and observed by the family that would cause some mothers and fathers to almost faint were they to hear their own sons and daughters speak and act in like scenes before them. What Christian mother or father would take their children to see and observe the activities of the “red light district” or the habitat of the prostitutes? Would any caring parent take their sons or daughters on a tour of the brothels, lounges or the “honky tonks” with their nudity, drunkenness and profanity? Most parents would avoid such action with all their wickedness and yet many will pay others to reveal and expose all of these things to them on the screen! We need to remember that the apostle Paul wrote, “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2). Christians that are always following in the “footsteps of Jesus” will never be seen in a dirty theater or sitting in their own homes gazing upon the nudity, promiscuity, fornication, adultery, drunkeness, etc. accompanied by the vile and suggestive double-talk of the players.
The loose morals with all of the debauchery possible displayed in the films or movies of our time has most certainly greatly contributed to the breakdown of homes and home life and are a major factor in the ever increasing number of divorces. Is there any genuine Christian who feels comfortable in hearing and seeing the sordid scenes created for the amusement of the worldling? Would the professed pure-minded child of God feel at ease, comfortable in witnessing or revelling in such things at the second coming of the Lord? I am persuaded to the contrary! Such is to be identified as a part of the Carnival of Death.
The modern dance with all the suggestive and base movements of the participants is another most corrupting and destructive worldly pleasure. Everyone is able to discern that it is truly of the world and not of God. The scanty, immodest apparel worn to the dance is certainly not conducive to holy and pure thoughts. Why is the dance so popular? The modern dance is founded upon sex and the lust of the flesh which are both to be controlled and not encouraged. Think of the near-nudity, long and late hours, the impure air and all the other body destroying factors! Dancing is truly a Carnival of Death to health and spiritual purity. What a hot-bed for evil thoughts, desires and carnal acts! No wonder statistics reveal with each decade of time that seven-tenths of all of the fallen girls and women in the United States can be traced to the influence of the dance. Men and women do not generally seek one of their own sex. Destroy sex in the dance and dance is over! It is sex that makes the amusement popular!
The modern dance is indeed the Carnival of Death to health, modesty, morality, virtue, Christian power and influence. Know ye not that the Holy Spirit has declared, “They that are Christ’s have crucified (put to death) the flesh with the passions and lusts” (Gal. 5:24). It has been written:
“Wherever you go, never go where you fear
Lest the great God should ask you,
‘How comest thou here?’
Turn away from each pleasure
You would shrink from pursuing,
If God should look down and say,
‘What are you doing?’ “
Brethren and friends, let us all awaken to the possibility and task of removing all worldliness from our lives that the Savior may receive unto Himself at His coming “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” but a body of faithful believers holy and without blemish. This can never be done, as far as each of us is concerned, if we do not flee those things that compose the Carnival of Death to Spiritual Life. May God richly bless your life of purity.
Truth Magazine, XX:14, p. 6-7
April 1, 1976