Quotes About Entertainment
These are quotes about entertainment from throughout Christian History. You should also see Christian Quotes on Gladiators, as that was a common form of entertaiment in the Roman empire.
Taking Aim at Rome's Audacious Claim is coming in September, but you could read one of our other books while you wait. Our new books and author page is up at RebuildingtheFoundations.org.
Theophilus, A.D. 168
We are forbidden even to witness shows of gladiators, so that we do not become partakers and abettors of murders. Nor may we see the other spectacles, lest our eyes and ears be defiled, participating in the utterances they sing there.
For if one should speak of cannibalism, in these spectacles the children of Thyestes and Tereus are eaten. As for adultery—both in the case of men and of gods ... —this is made the subject of their dramas.
But far be it from Christians to conceive any such deeds. For with them temperance dwells, self-restraint is practiced, monogamy is observed, chastity is guarded, iniquity exterminated, sin extirpated, righteousness exercised, law administered, worship performed, God acknowledged. Truth governs, grace guards, peace screens them. The holy word guides, wisdom teaches, life directs, God reigns. (To Autolycus III:15)
Clement of Alexandria
Let spectacles, therefore, and plays that are full of vulgar language and of abundant gossip, be forbidden. For what base action is it that is not exhibited in the theatres? And what shameless saying is it that is not brought forward by the buffoons? And those who enjoy the evil that is in them stamp the clear images of it at home. And, on the other hand, those that are proof against these things, and unimpressible, will never cause to stumble in regard to luxurious pleasures. (The Instructor III:11)
Tertullian, c. A.D. 210
The heathen, who do not have a full revelation of the truth—for they are not taught of God—consider a thing evil or good as it suits self-will and passion. They make that which is good in one place evil in another and that which is evil in one place in another good. So it strangely happens, that the same man who can scarcely lift up his tunic in public, even when necessity of nature presses him, takes it off in the circus as if bent on exposing himself before everybody. The father who carefully protects and guards his virgin daughter's ears from every polluting word takes her to the theater himself, exposing her to all its vile words and attitudes. The one, again, who in the streets lays hands on or covers with reproaches the brawling pugilist, in the arena gives all encouragement to combats of a much more serious kind. And he who looks with horror on the corpse of one who has died under the common law of nature, in the amphitheater gazes down with most patient eyes on bodies all mangled and torn and smeared with their own blood. No, worse, the very man who comes to the show because he thinks murderers ought to suffer for their crime drives the unwilling gladiator to the murderous deed with rods and scourges. The one who demands the lion for every manslayer of deeper dye will have the staff for the savage swordsman and rewards him with the cap of liberty. Yes, and he must have the poor victim back again, sothat he may get a sight of his face-with zest inspecting near at hand the man whom he wished torn in pieces at safe distance from him. (The Shows 21)
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