The "Bread & Circuses" Coma
A few years ago the Lord spoke this promise to me, "Out of a land of great distraction, I will raise up a people of great devotion." I want to be a part of that promise but realize that it won't come to pass without some serious spiritual and cultural opposition.
The term "bread & circuses" originated during the times of the Roman Empire. Although the term is rarely used today, I believe the strategy is prevalent in our Western culture. I am susceptible to it and I think you are as well.
Back in the day emperors would provide food & entertainment to keep the common man entertained, appeased, and distracted from civil affairs. A definition of the term "bread & circus" means to provide mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace leading to an erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man.
You don't have to step foot back in time or visit a Roman Coliseum to slip into a "bread & circuses" coma.
A video game obsession that gets all encompassing....a daily TV routine that becomes guarded or "sacred"....constant news and social media updates barraging your mind and pounding on the door of your heart, vying for your attention. It is not hard to become dulled and distracted by all the “bread & circuses” going on all around us.
Radical Christianity doesn't require that I live in the desert eating locusts and honey like John the Baptist. It doesn't mean that I can never look forward to a night of Netflix with my wife to temporarily escape the demands and pressures of the day.
But it does mean that I seriously take to heart Jesus' words in Matthew 6:33 to seek first the Kingdom of God.
"The divided heart tries what the undivided heart does." -Lance Wallnau
I am praying the prayer of David for myself and our church family, "Lord, give me an undivided heart that I may walk in your ways."
As Christ-followers we want our lives to count for all eternity. We want to bring our Father's Kingdom down from heaven to earth. To live that kind of intentional lifestyle requires making small, conscious decisions to not live an over-entertained and under challenged existence.
Which areas of your life are you fighting off a "bread & circuses" coma?
- This blog was written by Pastor Joshua Finley as part of the Radical Series at Elim Gospel Church. Pastor Josh is the Lead Pastor at EGC.