Nicely Written To Visually Rotten
From Written to Visually Rotten.
Del Potter, M.A.A.
September 9, 2020
Are we being conformed to this ‘visual’ world, or being transformed by the renewing of your mind with the written word from this world (Ro. 12:2)?
Reason For Concern
From inquisitiveness (imagination) to lasciviousness (fascination). We have moved away from the deductions of the mind that are self-determined through reading and writing comprehension to the reduction of the mind through the barrage of still and motion images that have been pre-determined without regard for an individual’s terms (public) or for their formation of valued based objective moral (private) concepts.
After explaining to his disciples that He came to fulfill the law not do away with it (Matt. 5:17), Jesus says: “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28).”
Reason For Pause
In a literature-based culture the terms Jesus uses here are quite unambiguous. Terms such as “woman”, “lust”, and “adultery” would have been truly clear written terms in the Mosaic written law. So Jesus takes it up a notch and clarifies the written public terms and how it can and would visually effect the formation of (private) concepts they would have already formulated in their mind because in reality woman exist and they can be pleasing to look at in a good (sacred) or bad (lustful) manner. To a nominalist these are merely vague unrealistic words, but in reality these are words to describe objectively real concepts that we see take place in reality like adultery (adultery doesn’t materially exist but it does exist in the minds of those who physically perform it!). This is why, I think, Jesus says in the very next verse “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Matthew 5:29).”
Reason For Truth
Jesus is giving us a very early insight and warning on how moving from a literature based culture to an image-based culture can affect our use of terms or formation of concepts, for reading something effects only the person individually reading it but if it’s image based not only does it affect the person but now it can affect all those who are within visual distance! At one time immoral graffiti and language was limited to what it was written on whether by walls or bathroom stalls but now in a heavily image based society it’s all over TV, and internet chat rooms where not just individual persons can and would be affected but millions all at once! Without a doubt the world is twisting the terms and garbling the concepts. From quality to quantity. From intention to an almost unlimited use of horrible extensions. The problem with evil isn’t so much evil in of itself (written). The problem is with those who acquire (image) and possess it for themselves. James points this out quite clearly when he says “each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death (James 1:14-15).”
An image based culture, if allowed, constricts, confines, and conforms us to the worlds pre-determined immoral standards (Ro. 12:2) without regard for our individual’s terms (public) or for our formation of valued based objective moral (private) concepts found only in the logos of God which should be the sole image stamped and coined on the tablets of our hearts (Matt 22:17-21). Now, this is an image I long to see!