There seems to be an increase these days of video depicting death. I realize this could be taken to the Nth degree (videogames, movies, television), but that’s not what I’m talking about. I mean real, violent, verifiable death.

A short search on the internet can bring up any number of videos showing the topic. Years ago, “Faces of Death” was all the rage, and led the way as a catalyst for satisfying this desire.

As humans, we’ve always had a taste for this. I think it can be a positive force to see some of the reality of death via the news networks and commentary on the events of the day. Too much of American society has shielded and watered down the reality of death, detaching us from the rest of the world and what happens everyday in every corner of society, especially in wartime. But turn on any cable station, or do a simple google search, and you will be sure to find it.

What I find disturbing now, and what seems more prevalent in recent years, is viewing death as entertainment. News networks (especially those who do not operate in the 24 hour news cycle) showing this as part of recent events is one thing. Posting and sharing video of death via social networking sites, youtube (if you get away with it), or other video sharing sites is completely another thing, though. Doing so serves little purpose, and acts only as a form of entertainment for many, as is indicated by any number of comments you see posted on any given video page of one of these horrific (and often violent) acts.

It’s disgusting, and it’s a harrowing perspective of the society we live in. To share and spread videos of someone’s last (and sometimes brutal) moments does little good in edifying another. It serves no purpose, and only shows the weakness and frailty we all possess. Above all, it is too clearly an indication that, as a society, we really have no concept of the finality of death, and do not realize that when those acts take place, it is often not by the choice of the one who passes, making that lack of control all the more difficult to witness the act itself. Most importantly, it drives home the reality (for some, anyway) that we all have a day of reckoning. We all must make a choice in life….to serve Christ, and spend eternity with Him, or to deny Him, and spend an eternity seperated in damnation.

And so it makes me wonder, in those moments I’ve been unfortunate enough to fall across these scenes…..where was that person with Christ? What did he hold fast to? Did he know his eternal destination, or did he meet eternity unsure of his place in the Kingdom?

We take death far less seriously than we should. When we view death as entertainment, I fear where we are as a society, and know that only the grace of a loving God can fill the void that causes us to turn to such horror and view it as “entertainment.”

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  • Mike B  On October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I went and saw the movie Law Abiding Citizen this week. It turned out to be a total gore fest. My wife and I left 30 minutes in when the main character used a steak bone like a machete to the side of someone’s neck.
    I understand it’s fake. However, i believe these two entities feed off each other.
    Take movies like Saw, and Hostel, there is nothing entertaining about either one. Yet people flood the movies to see them all in the name of “entertainment.”

    The pursuit of Holiness makes no distinction between fake death and real death. Followers of Christ as a whole, need to stop finding the “line” not to cross.
    Put away things that do not edify.
    And if it doesn’t bother you, it needs to.

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