Survival Principles #15

Identifying With the Sins of Your Community


Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!

Dr. Larry Poland Twitter

“ . . . O, Lord, the great and awesome God . . .we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.”

— Daniel 9:4-6 (NIV)

The woman manager at one of the big three networks expressed her grief at the moral impurity of her employer’s programming. “Sometimes I feel dirty taking a paycheck from a company that would air such hideous stuff,” she said. She asked for prayer as to whether she should stay in her job, even though she was in the financial controls department far removed from network program decisions.

“Wait a minute!” you say. “She can’t accept responsibility for what other people do! It’s not her fault if those in her company make decisions or produce product which pollutes the moral environment, steals the innocence of children, or defies the laws of God.”

In Daniel’s awesome prayer for his people in Daniel 9:4-19, he clearly identifies himself with behaviors in which he, personally, had no part. He catalogs the sins of his community in extremely graphic terms—wickedness, rebellion, turning from God’s laws, refusing to listen to the prophets, and such. The attributes he describes could not have been further from his personal pattern of life and godliness. Yet, here he is, accepting some level of responsibility—of social and moral concern. He intercedes on behalf of his own sinful people and pleads with God for forgiveness and mercy. He says, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.” (Daniel 9:18)

Survival principle: Believers in a hostile environment cannot “hole up” in some underground bunker as the war rages overhead. They must take up arms with the weapons of the Spirit and intercede on behalf of the collective war effort and even the sins of others.

I’ve thought of placing signs around Hollywood that say, “Is all of Hollywood going to hell . . . or it is just me?” In this insanely individualistic American society, we Christians sometimes think the sin around us is far removed from our personal lives and responsibilities.


Godly people recognize that they are “priests,” “mediators,” and “agents of redemption” of the pagan society around them. They know they are providentially placed in the midst of evildoers and evil works to do what they can to redeem the lost people and the evil practices.

If all of Hollywood goes to hell, the believers in Hollywood will both suffer serious consequences and bear some collective, spiritual responsibility. The same holds true for the setting in which you serve.

Get involved. What if God is withholding his redemption of your company, studio, network, or profession until you intercede with Him on its behalf?

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