Visual Communication Dictates Trends In and Out of the Church Walls

“What goes in is what comes out” remains a quote that Christians stand upon to communicate a simple biblical principle: what a man pours into his spirit is what comes out through words and actions. In the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, Luke 6:45 states, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

Today’s culture relies upon visual communication, which is the most natural form of human interaction. An article by Hewlett Packard describes how evidence suggests that people communicate more effectively visually than by any other form of communication.

Pastor Patrick Kimberland of Butterfield Church in Van Buren, Arkansas claims, “all the latest fads and fashions are dictated through the media circles of today.” Kimberland has served as a youth pastor, senior pastor, and evangelist for 26 years. He graduated from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri in 1992 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies. Since then he has traveled around the country preaching the word of God. He is a husband and father of two active teenagers. As a pastor, he has assisted a number of individuals (in and out of church) who battle against the troubles that plague society today, such as sexual immorality, drugs, alcohol, and pornography. “Christians struggle with the same temptations as all other people,” said Kimberland.

According to Michael Novak, an author, philosopher, and theologian, there are three major influences on society: political, economic, and moral and cultural. Media and film fall under the moral and cultural influences. Technological advances have made movies, television programs, and video games accessible to children and teenagers which introduces them to violence, sex, and foul language at young ages.

Dr. Debra Kowalski, a child psychologist, stated, “With children having so much exposure to the media, the messages that come across are very important and they shape how a child sees the world and what a child sees as important. A lot of the messages related to violence and sexuality can negatively impact a child.”

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Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University study in 2013, Cell phone and internet usage among teens. Created by Kendee Hughes via Easel.ly

According to a study released by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University in 2013, 78% of all teens have a cell phone of which 47% are smartphones. Twenty-three percent of teens have a tablet computer, and 93% have a computer or have access to one at home. The Internet is readily available for young men and women to play video games, watch movies, and view anything they wish to see.

Teenagers around the world tend to idolize famous individuals in movies, bands, and television. “When people see their role models doing things, they feel like it is fine for them to participate in such acts as well, said Kimberland, “Our society is greatly affected by the language, immorality, drugs, and alcohol use portrayed by these role models.”

However, Christian films have the opportunity to offer a positive message without exposing families to the negative facets of violence, sex, and immorality that are often portrayed in those movies made in Hollywood. Kimberland believes, “Christian films provide a way to reveal the answer to our everyday challenges that all people face.  The greatest way to honor the Lord is seeing the transformation that God can bring into a person’s life.”

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