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|
Watching Out for the Tiny Compromises
“. . . Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
— Daniel 3:4-6 (NIV)
Never discount the power of peer pressure. Peer pressure is one of the most powerful forces under heaven. Peer pressure can get you to perform in ways that violate your deepest beliefs and convictions, can get you to do, or not do, things that can cost you deeply in your relationship with God. And few industries are better at harnessing the power of peer pressure to gain conformity than the entertainment industry. In this section, let’s consider the “bow-down-or-else” principle.
Not infrequently, it seems that our professional peers in entertainment deliver bow-down-or-face-the-furnace ultimatums. Oh, they’re not that direct. It is the suggestion that one who is pro-life is an ideological enemy and not one suitable for a job promotion. It is the inference that one who doesn’t cooperate with the “casting couch” practice will never work in the industry. It is the strange looks one gets when one objects to homosexuality as a destructive or morally unacceptable practice. When that pressure is felt, we need survival principles.
Survival Principle: Tend tiny, moral decisions. Your soul is not sold in one great auction; it is bartered away in thousands of tiny trades.
Most moral trades are influenced to some extent by peer pressure. We often make moral “B” choices because they seem, at the time, to be the socially acceptable actions to take. We rationalize these little trades with lines like:
• “I don’t want people to think I’m a fanatic/a religious nut/a prude/a Puritan/ narrow minded.”
• “I know lots of Christians/ministers/Christian leaders who see nothing wrong with it.”
• “Why can’t I be a Christian and still be cool/’with it’/on the cutting edge?
• “This isn’t a big deal.”
Interesting, isn’t it, that the officially sanctioned peer pressure, “Bow down and worship or immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace” could have been met with a dynamic equivalent of each of the above arguments. Note, too, that apparently all the rest of the captive Jews did bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold. They temporarily saved their necks, but they didn’t experience the supernatural deliverance and blessing of God.
Years ago I watched a spiritually alive, Christian secretary at a production company sell her soul by degrees to a Jewish atheist boss and end up in heartache. One “B” choice was an all expense paid trip with the man to England . . . sharing his bedroom. The peer pressure was more than she could handle.
Survival Principle: Seek your security in Christ. Security, for the Christian, is never based on what one can see; it is founded on promises given by a loving, Heavenly Father.
The insecurities of the entertainment industry are nearly overwhelming at times. A prominent actor once told me, “I’m only insecure when I’m working and when I’m not. When I’m working, I’m afraid it won’t last, and when I’m not, I’m afraid I’ll never get another job.”
Those media professionals who have their security in Christ are able to weather the shifting winds of corporate favor, the terrorizing mass layoffs, the horrific political infighting, and the fear of trips to the unemployment line. They know that, as King David said, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25)
I know a producer who turned down a big project for Steven Spielberg when he had no other work, because it had some occult content that violated his Christian convictions. His unbelieving partner didn’t share his beliefs but went along. Since then, this man has been delivered from a number of “fiery furnaces” and has been honored and successful. His security wasn’t with Spielberg; it was with the Savior.
This producer didn’t overlook a “small” moral decision, and he found his security in Christ. Both good decisions.
Like to have the entire collection of Dr. Poland’s words of wisdom from the book of Daniel? Then purchase “Lion’s Den Survival Principles” (the book) with 25 chapters and 58 survival principles. Order for $11.00 including shipping and handling from 330 Sixth Street, Redlands, CA 92374, or call 800-552-1248 to order.