Spiritual War Of Life
Al Menconi says that in the spiritual war of life, he believes the ammunition that the enemy uses in today's war is entertainment. "Entertainment is aimed at attacking our spiritual life," he says. Al's goal is to educate and equip Christian parents, leaders and youth to consider the values communicated in their entertainment - especially today's music - and encourage choices consistent with God's Word. He wants to help parents deal with setting proper guidelines, which teach kids how to think biblically.
Menconi asks families to do one key thing as a first step to changing entertainment influences. He encourages families to go on a Christian Music Diet for 30 days, so they can become brainwashed. "Yes, indeed, we need to wash our brains," he says, according to Romans 12:2 that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Amazingly, most Christians don't listen to Christian music at all! Adult Christians mainly listen to mellow rock, country, soul, and R&B. They could be into the Christian music scene but they are not. We should make the most of every opportunity. Eph. 5:15-20 says we should sing a spiritual song in our hearts to the Lord. Menconi says there is a direct relationship between singing in your heart to the Lord and giving thanks.
Research shows (George Barna) that the vast majority of young people raised in Christian homes will not live for Jesus as an adult. Menconi believes that is because they are not taught how to think biblically. Consider the fact that kids will typically spend about 45 minutes in Sunday School and an hour in church each week, but they will spend 47 ½ hours a week with entertainment. Therefore when entertainment comes along it undermines what they believe. There is a direct correlation between what Christians do via entertainment and their spiritual beliefs.
Set The Example
To make a difference in how Christian kids respond to entertainment, Menconi says the first thing is to challenge the parents to set the example. "Set examples in your home," he says. In Sunday School kids hear good teaching, but at home they turn on the typical TV show which undermines what Sunday School has taught. Satan gets us laughing at sin. Things we laugh at affect us. Kids say they can watch sex and violence and are not bothered by it. Why not? Menconi says it's because we've become callused to the things that offend God.
The majority of Christian kids are listening to and watching the same stuff the world listens to and watches - the music, videos, movies and internet. What is seen as acceptable in entertainment, soon becomes what is acceptable in society. Where once most people said homosexual behavior is a sin, popular TV characters have made it acceptable to the point where people think you are wrong to think otherwise. "It is made commonplace through entertainment," Menconi says.
Menconi gives certain guidelines, suggestions - not laws - to help families begin to transform the spiritual climate in their homes.
1. Have no more than one TV in the house. More than one tempts your family to be more fragmented.
2. Turn off the television when eating dinner. This should be family communication time.
3. Never use TV as a babysitter.
4. Any show, music, or movie that is openly against biblical values was not allowed in the Menconi home. If you would not allow strangers into your home to perform sex acts in your living room, why allow such acts through TV?
5. Menconi believed his children needed "their space" and the parents went in only when invited. His daughters could listen to secular music there if it wasn't openly against biblical values.
6. Before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m., any music played in the home had to be Christian music. He wanted his family to be thinking about "things above, not things of this earth" (Col. 3:1-2) first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
Founder, Al Menconi Ministries, Carlsbad
Menconi trains parents & leaders on today's entertainment influences
Speaker and Teacher; has spoken at every major Christian music festival
National Youth Leaders Convention Sunday School Convention
Assoc. of Christian Schools International
BA, education, San Diego State University
Married to Jan, two adult daughters