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Scene I

(Colin and Doreen (husband and wife) enter the kitchen with bags of groceries. She starts putting them away while he takes their Bibles off the top of one of the bags, puts them on the counter and takes a seat at the breakfast-bar counter.)

Colin: You know, dear, I've been thinking about the pastor's message this morning. He definitely has a point.

Doreen: You know I don't want anything in our house that isn't Christlike. We've 'spring cleaned' our house and gotten rid of non-Christian things; our rock music tapes and questionable books but, if there is anything else I'm as willing as you are to dig it up and get rid of it.

Colin: Those two points he made keep ringing in my ears. 'Could we just open our house to Jesus to walk through and let Him look at anything He wants without any shame or embarrassment?' (2 Peter 3:10-14), and in the area of spiritual warfare, that sent shivers down my spine: "Can we rebuke Satan and he must flee us or does he have some claim on us whereby he can give the rebuttal 'I don't have to go, those items they have are rightfully mine, and by their claim on those things I have a claim on them?'" I want to make sure there is nothing that can't be given to Jesus, that belongs to us. Let's start in the shed, go through every box and shelf, get the attic, the kids' rooms, the den, everywhere. Leave no stone unturned.

Doreen: Like I said, we've gone through everything before, but ok. If we do find anything, we need to show it to the children, they need to understand the cost and learn how to evaluate good and evil.

(Colin nods affirmatively.)

(By this point the groceries are put away and in comes Bobby their12- year-old son.)

Doreen: Bobby, go get your sister, your dad and I want to discuss the message we heard with you this morning.

Bobby runs out with an O.K. yelling PAM! PAM!

Scene II (Den)

Colin and Doreen are in the den. Colin is picking up some of the trash and stuffing it in a sack of burnables. Doreen is closing the last book in a set of encyclopedias.

Doreen: Done! That's the last of the encyclopedias. Going through them is exhausting.

Colin: Don't tell me. I did the Britannica set, remember?

Doreen: Well, now I know what you went through.
(Doreen gazes at the pile of trash.)

Doreen: Just look at that pile! I never would have believed there was so much. Maybe we should have burned as we went instead of piling it here in the den.

Colin: Well, I wanted to hold off to get a better idea of how much we found. We're almost done, and when the rain lets up we'll take it out and burn it. Tomorrow I'll take the non-burnables to the dump.

(Doreen has picked up a glossy book and is going through it. She uses her pen to black out a bad picture.)
(Colin looks and notices the book has coated stock.)

Colin: Dear, here.
(He tosses her an eraser off the desk.)
(She catches it.)

Colin: I found that on the glossy paper you can erase the ink. It comes off perfectly and the books still look great.
(Doreen tries it.)

Doreen: Hey, that works wonderfully!

(Colin has tidied up the pile and mess and is working around the file by the desk. He puts a poster in another language in the pile of 'to be dealt with' stuff.)

Colin: I put those two dinosaur books of the kids in the 'to be dealt with' pile. They teach evolution all through them. I don't think they're necessarily a doorway for Satan, but one thing's for certain, they acclimatize the children to evolution. Even if they don't realize it, they will begin to accept evolutionary ideas with a continual bombardment of terms such as 'ancestors' and 'eras'.

Doreen: I put a video game in there I wanted you to look at. We don't have any really violent ones, but I've wondered about that one.

Colin: I never play them, so I have no idea. What's it like?

Doreen: It has a man who tries to save a princess. He has to get through walls and things. All these weird things keep coming at him that he has to avoid. If he bombs them or hits them with something they temporarily stop and he's rewarded points, there are higher levels you can go to if you survive. I have no idea what's in those.

Colin: The hitting things to stop them is iffy, that's pretty close to pretending to killing things. The Bible tells us to set our minds on whatsoever things are pure and lovely, to actually pretend to kill wouldn't fit that bill. I don't like the idea of having levels of who knows what in some games. With a start like that, who knows where it ends, maybe in dungeons like in some role playing games? Unless there's a way to make sure what's on the other levels, I want it gone. There are also a couple of video tapes I wondered if you could check in there. You're going to you mother's next week, do you think she'd mind if you watched them on her VCR?

Doreen: Well, I can always ask. With hers I can just copy something over anything that's bad. Interruptions in a program are better than obscenity.

Colin: I'll be glad when we get a VCR of our own, but I don't just want these tapes to lie around with bad stuff in them until we do get one. If we can't get them done within a reasonable amount of time, then we'll pitch them.

(Bobby comes in the room at this point.)

Bobby: Here's the mail mom.
(He hands the mail to Doreen and leaves through a different way.)

Doreen: (Thumbing through the mail.) Bills, junk mail, oh, and a trial magazine I sent for. (Browsing through it.) Oh yuk, a horoscope right in the middle! I can see I'm going to tell them I don't want any more of these. Can you believe it, a horoscope in a nature magazine?

Colin: Well, I can see this cleaning out of our house is going to be a perpetual process to guard against getting refilled with trash.
(Colin is still over by the file and turns back to his work. He pulls out a box from behind the file cabinet, opens it up and finds it full of Doreen's old clothes.)

Colin: Doreen, you want to look through this box? They're your clothes.
(He hands it to her and goes back to rooting behind the file.)

Doreen: (She digs through it almost carelessly.)
There's nothing in here. (Just about to quit she spots something at the bottom.)
Oh, wait. (As she sees something.)
You little rascal. (She holds it up for Colin to see, then pitches it in the non-burnables.)

Colin: See, it pays to check every box. You never would have suspected that old pair of Yin Yang earrings was down there, now would you?

Doreen: No I wouldn't. As it was, I almost missed them. Here love, you can put it back now if you would please.

(Colin takes it and repacks the stuff behind the file cabinet. One box he keeps out and puts over in the burn pile. Doreen notices it and asks about it.)

Doreen: What's in that box?

Colin: It's a number of different science fiction novels I planned to read someday and clean up, but I never seem to find time. Slowly your house fills with things you never seem to find time to get to. Besides, I planned to read them for fun, but reading those is work - removing the bad stuff. I hate the obscenity, so the book is no longer entertaining. Rather, it leaves me depressed. Like Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.

Doreen: I know what you mean about the depressed feeling. Look at it this way. It took two months of continual back-breaking, tedious work to go through all our stuff. Can you imagine how long it would take if you chose to read through all of your novels?

(Colin turns to face book shelves and starts looking over the shelves working from one shelf to another itemizing on his fingers.)

Colin: (Finger 1) O.K. now, we went through the photo albums. We got rid of the Halloween pictures and photo's of idols from our trip to Tibet. You got rid of the bad negatives.
(Finger 2) I covered the stamp collection and swaps, there were a number of pornographic art ones and idols there, too.
(Finger 3) I covered the cult books. (Colin looks towards Doreen.) Honey, I pitched the Jehovah's Witness Bible, the Book of Mormon and a bunch of other cult books. I figured we know enough about them that they aren't really any help. When we deal with any of those people, as long as we stick to the basics in the Bible, we're covered. If they won't listen to that, to go into greater detail would be pointless. What I did keep, were the books that dealt with the cults from a Christian viewpoint like the book on Mormons, The Godmakers. To have a few books on the cults to cover for study is one thing, to have multiplied books on such a subject is a doorway for Satan. More than is necessary indicates an obsession with the cults and that alone is the devil's playground.
(Finger 4) (Colin faces the bookshelves again.) The Bible study books. Actually, you wouldn't expect to find anything there, but book after book had pictures of Baal and Asherah. That's equal to the cult books and may be sufficient grounds for Satan to hold a strengthened attack on us because those things are rightfully his.
(Finger 5) The remainder of assorted books.
(Finger 6) The files.
(Finger 7) The pictures, stuff on the wall.

(As Colin looks around his eyes fall on the curio cabinet. He goes over to it. Looking into it he sees the Wedgwood vase. He looks surprised.)

Colin: Here's something we almost missed, look carefully at this.
(Colin hands the mini-vase to Doreen.)

Doreen: (Looking at the vase as recognition dawns.) Oh my!

Colin: Yea, the scene on the one side is fine, but look at the other side. That's a pagan sacrificial scene. They just copied ancient Greek art for their design.

Doreen: This vase may be small, but it's expensive and it's pretty. This stuff is tough, but maybe you could grind it off and smooth it down on this side so it still looks fine.

Colin: Sure, it won't be too hard. You know, as I was going through the book on 'Jewish Knowledge' they had pictures in there of pots, vases and things found around Israel that had been defaced. The Jews would deface any idolatrous figures on the vessels to keep from violation of the commandment on graven images, but so they could still use the utensils. That's the same sort of thing we're doing now. (Colin looks up and finishes his gaze around the room.) Besides this then, I think we've gotten everything. Doing all this, one thing that really shocked me was where I found profane things and how much. The encyclopedias were full of pornography and idolatry. I'd guess out of the set I went through that about 70% of the pictures were either porno or idolatrous. Discussion of an idol is one thing, but everything was covered with such stuff, stairs, buildings, vestments were full of multiplied pictures of them.

Doreen: The set I finished was no different.

Colin: Stuff that I would have supposed were fine, like educational seminar tapes, had swearing on them! Our books on art and photography were filled with pornography. I guess that really shouldn't have surprised me, it's just that I haven't looked at any of them in some time. My comic book collection met the same fate as my science fiction novels. They were filled with sadism, insults and cruelty. It was too much work to either black out the pages or tear them out because there was so much. I tell you, it would be embarrassing to have Jesus as a guest, and He pull a comic off the shelf to peruse.

Doreen: Now that you mention it, when we had the Youth Group over here the other week, I noticed Tom looking over the books on our shelves.

Colin: That was a silent testimonial to him, whether good or bad. That starts me to thinking. That supposedly Christian science fiction book. Suppose Tom saw that book and it looked interesting. We may have silently advertised his writings. Tom may look for this book in the Christian bookstore, sees some of this author's other books, and gets suckered into buying them by the cover. The book we have has been cleaned up of its profanity. I wouldn't want him reading even that one in its 'new from the bookstore state.'

Doreen: Here, I'll get the book (She starts looking on the miscellaneous books shelf.)

Colin: One of that author's books I've read went into a detailed description of an orgy and another book glorified Druidism. His books are more suitable for a cult bookstore, not a Christian one.

Doreen: Here it is.

Colin: Pitch it in the burnables. I can also think of another reason for not keeping it. The same reason we don't celebrate Halloween in any form. When Israel entered the promised land they could have most of the cities they conquered, but the things dedicated to idols were to be destroyed. They couldn't have the gold off the idols. The gold was good and harmless in itself, but since it was off something consecrated to iniquity, it was not to be redeemed. (Deuteronomy 7:24-26)

Doreen: Isn't it like meat offered to idols though?

Colin: Not quite, animals offered to idols became meat that some used evilly. It's like if Satanists get a person to use for sacrificial purposes. They still don't make the person defiled, just victimized. From what I've seen of this author's books, they are tools of the devil. Israel didn't have victory as long as Achan with his golden wedges was in their midst. That good gold was accursed because it came from an accursed city. I don't want us to suffer loss to Satan because of some item of Jericho in our midst.

Doreen: That reminds me, I saw something the other day that's sure to nauseate you. When I was going around to some of the garage sales, I went to one that was a church fundraiser. They had boxes of secular romances for sale. I know it is exceptionally rare for those books not to be immoral. They also had 'adult horror fiction' books.

Colin: Consider the fact also that they are selling books of iniquity to raise money for the cause of Christ. You're right, that does nauseate me.

Doreen: Colin, I feel sorry for Susan. She really wants to do what we're doing, but her husband is not a Christian. She doesn't know what to do. He says it's ridiculous to mark out stuff (Doreen says in a deeper voice as she is quoting) 'It ruins the value and it's too expensive to just throw away.' She's kind of stuck between a rock and a hard-spot.

Colin: There is something she can do that would reveal a heart dedicated to purity on her part.

Doreen: What's that?

Colin: She can alter or get rid of anything that's hers, that her husband will let her, and on whatever he won't allow her, she can renounce its ownership. Let it be entirely his and in his hands since she wants nothing to do with profaned merchandise. Her renouncing it totally to him would speak wonders to him. It would also effect the separation between herself and profanity. If she doesn't want to renounce them, then I would have to seriously question whether her husband is not an excuse for her heart really being set on the stuff. Either that, or she values her husband more than God and His ways.

Doreen: Well in Susan's case, I'm sure she is genuine. I'll have to tell her what you said.

(Colin looking thoughtfully at the pile.)

Colin: Most Christians don't even realize the need for separation. We thought we had until we made a thorough search. Out of those who even desire to clear their belongings of profaned things, I have no doubt we could go through their houses and turn up a pile similar to ours. You know, when we were at your sisters I went with Jeffrey into his room to see his new model. His room was covered with things of violence. He had posters of wrestlers, military fights, and 'destruction toys'. He had robots armed to the teeth with lethal paraphanalia. His whole room gave me an awful feeling. Everything followed a theme of violent strength. Bobby has some robot toys that aren't covered with weapons, but their design fits into the theme in Jeffrey's room. Jeffrey even had some of the same robots, and they meshed perfectly into the setting. Now I'm not against robots, but I'm concerned about Bobby playing with toys designed like that. I know when I think back on the toys I played with as a kid, they hold fond memories. If our kids play with toys like that, when they're older, things of that design will hold fond memories instead of their discerning the destructive, violent nature of the thing. I want them to have a cautious, natural tendency, to say 'wait a minute, is this or that after the spirit of 'whatsoever things are pure and lovely.'' I feel it's something we should get rid of.

Doreen: Well, ok. Bobby wants to do what's right before God, and he trusts our judgments, so I don't see any trouble there. We can replace them with a good toy. We'll have to look. Colin: That's a good idea, after all, we got him those toys in the first place. Hey, the sun's coming out, let's get this out and get it burnt. (Colin grabs a couple of bags and puts on his coat.) Got the matches?

Doreen: I got 'em. (As she grabs some out of a drawer, she grabs some bags and they both head outside.)

Scene Closes


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