This is going to be a long day.
This is indeed possible, yes. However, I would not encourage purposefully gorging yourself on evil material in order to open up evangelization opportunities. That's not what this argument is about.
This has to do with Christians reading and/or listening to stuff that is somewhat philosophically neutral. It doesn't blatantly contradict Christian beliefs, nor does it have "Christian" blatantly slapped on it. There is stuff that nobody needs to be watching that is just blatent trash that will make for no productive conversations whatsoever that is 100% pure lies. We're not talking about sick comedy movies, we're talking about a dark commentary on the lowness of human depravity which calls out that depravity as the evil it is. The work I was talking about had nothing to do with gorging myself on bad material, it had to do with work about innocent kids stories that weren't labeled Christian, but they didn't teach anything wrong either.
I'm familiar with the "sick songs mall expierience", heh. In fact, a couple weeks ago I was getting my hair cut and the place was playing the nastiest songs. I didn't get emotionally shook up over it, because I knew WHY the songs were bad - they were advocating and promoting abusive, not God-honoring relationships.
In fact, I could make a HUGE case about how getting worked up over evil is letting it win.
We're not supposed to be like "it's EVILLLLL!!!! RUUUUUUNNNNN!!!" We're supposed to stand against evil and say "This is wrong, and this is why it's wrong!" Knowing why something is wrong provides a huge amount of emotional peace.
Indeed, we are not to be scared of evil or scared at all. Instead, we are to rejoice that Jesus has conquered evil and sin and death! We have nothing to be afraid of anymore! Indeed, we can ask God for anything we need to further step over its corpse in our own lives. Not only that but
...we are called to assist others to do the same! And if the way that God chooses to help someone is through a discussion about a book, that's totally a valid means in which to do that!
In further event, knowing why something evil assures (at least in my mind) that I WILL KNOW that it is evil. If you don't know why something is evil, then why is it evil? If there is no reason for it to be evil, is it? Now the devil has you. You have to know the answers. And the only way to know the answers is to engage these things instead of becoming emotionally shook up and shrieking "it's eeeviiiilllll!"
You know what I did in the case of the hairstylist situation? I actually told her that the music was bad and that it was advocating abusive relationships. True story. Maybe I should have taken it further and presented the gospel or asked to speak to the manager. But I bet that you would have walked out of that haircut place and never gone back. That wouldn't have solved anything. But maybe my comment about the music might have inspired the person cutting my hair to rethink her relationships in her own life. Maybe she will speak to the manager to get the music changed to another station. It's these small positive impacts that add up.
And yes, we do have the power to make them. I remember how helpless I was as a little kid too, being held down and trying to step out. It's a sucky feeling, feeling that you can't do anything to improve your life or the world around you.
It's in this victory over evil that Paul writes about mental discernment in that passage you mentioned. The man is saying, evil is a defeated enemy. Don't bring it back to life. We're supposed to meditate on good, noble, true things because we can. And making sure it doesn't come back - and getting more people to embrace the victory - is how we roll. As Romans says,
The entire passage is about how God is for us and how we walk forward in God's love and power. You don't have to fight evil, Hanna. It's already been defeated. You can rely on God to help. He has already won.
Yes, evil loves to entice, but it also loves to scare, threaten, and rattle. I have been threatened with a lot of things for my commitment to following God and understanding the truth, and the thing is to never shrink back or give in. But if you're scared of songs at the mall, what happens when someone tries to get you to take a job that's not going to help the spiritual battle you're fighting? What happens when someone threatens to throw you out on the street if you don't do what they want that's wrong? Sometimes it tries to rattle you into an angry response that would hurt someone or just waste your energy.
At any rate it appears that this first section evidences an attitude of panic. If I had this attitude toward life, I don't think I'd even be alive today.
It's only the most hilarious Christian kid's show ever. It also has the best "gratuitous dance numbers" (actual show quote). The best ones are the old ones such as the Fiendish Works of Dr. Fear, the Incredible Force of Joy, Shattering the Prince of Pride, etc. Look it up - you can probably find it on YouTube, Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, etc. You also MUST must find the soundtrack of songs it is the best. (Trust me, the jokes are actually good. Like really good.)
I believe that we should not purposefully run away from it, either, but instead confront it, face it, argue with it, meet it where it is, etc. We should not embrace it, we should end it.
My question is, if he attacks you, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to run away or are you going to try to turn the situation around for God's glory and honor? That's what more than conquerors means. Because of God's power and direction, God even uses the forces of evil for our good and his glory. It makes our light shine even brighter.
"You despicable fiend that has entered my fortress, I must've left you in somehow. You have trespassed my dignity, slandered my honor, and stolen the last of the chocolate chip cookies. Prepare to die." pulls out sword (of the spirit) with epic shiiiing noise
cue epic fight to the death
Usually my battles take forever though. Several months later, after multiple prayers for guidance and assistance of various kinds...
Miss_S lops off the head of whatever evil beastie invaded and sighs. Now she has to go through the entire fortress and figure out how she managed to let that thing in here. Time to pray for guidance to find the hole. And cleaning up the mess in here. Ick.
The closest I heard to this was the attraction of radicalism. It's how feminism went from a fringe group to the mainstream. However, since Christianity is the most radical belief system of all time, the attraction of radicalism could actually work in our favor. In practice, however, that usually doesn't happen - Christianity is TOO radical for it to be attractive, and true belief in it is never based on the desire to not conform.
I don't believe in conspiracy theories. That's actually an example of the attractions of radicalism, because all conspiracy theories are radical since most people don't believe in them. I believe that you need logical proof for an argument if it is to be ventured. This is not to be confused with the idea of an individual preference or conceding an unknown. Most conspiracy theories try to explain an unknown that is actually an unknown. There's no way to disprove a radical theory about an unknown because I don't know that it isn't true. But there is no way to prove a radical theory about a unknown either because you don't know either. It's incredibly unproductive because you don't know. It's a waste of time - either find out the facts and know what you're talking about, or concede the fact that you don't.
This doesn't rule out conspiracy theories as a source of amusement, but if you're basing your life on them, that's another form of evil that's scaring you, i.e. "this could happen and people could make it happen if they believe". Right. Then don't contribute to the epidemic and don't believe it, silly. Let all of those wackadoodles jump off their own theoretical cliffs, and start paying attention to the actual landscape. Because only real cliffs can kill you.
This is a hard one, because any form of media can be used to back up an argument and I like to know what people are talking about. For example if I have a friend who is a fan of a movie on the bad ends of the spectrum and they are actively using it to defend their viewpoints I may decide to watch it so I can take down the dark powers in the heavenly places. I've read evolution textbooks for this reason.
It's not something I would just do for kicks and giggles - I would need a powerful and compelling reason to do it and a point of investigation to follow.
Finally, if Jesus conquered sin and death and endured the scathing comments of the Jewish leaders, I don't think he would want me to get lured away. God has already seen all of the nasty films humanity has ever produced and will produce and he saved us anyway. In addition, he has infinite understanding of my intentions and can guard me from foolishness. I trust him.
This does not mean that you should not listen to your mom as regards what you read, watch, and listen to. Children are to obey their parents in this regard and I'm not counselling insubordination. What I'm trying to stop is the idea that you have the right to rebuke other people for their media choices and say "this is EVVVVIIILLLLL!!!!" all the time when people are just trying to enjoy a good story (check that "rejoice in the lord always" verse above). And as @Iliara_Mustardtop referred to,
Now if there is a text limit on yonder forum, I've probably hit it. Let's see...