Maybe I’m being heretical here, but I think it’s too simplistic and maybe inaccurate to say there’s no lasting value in entertainment at all. And maybe it’s just my misunderstanding of Scripture. But as I read it, the Bible seems to be full of stuff that’s reasonable to call entertainment.
Like, Jesus’ first sign in John is to provide the alcohol for a party. In general, the accusations against him was that he was a party animal (a “glutton and a drunkard”, a friend of sinners). One of David’s jobs was to provide entertainment for Saul. There’s no indication that this was a bad thing. Paul makes sports references in his epistles. Running the race, training, competing for a prize.
And just in general, it seems like God *commands* His people to celebrate, feast, whatever, a lot. There’s just a lot of entertainment type stuff in Scripture, and not all of it is necessarily what we’d call inherently God-centered, like the sports stuff. Meaning, it’s not all Christmas pageants and worship music. There’s entertainment there, so I think there must be some value to it. Even, dare I say it, lasting value.
Yeah, the problem of our generation is that we value entertainment too much, not too little. But just philosophically, based on how I read Scripture, I think there’s some good in entertainment.
I think the biggest thing for me is this. There is an appropriate place for dourness and a healthy fear of the Lord in Christianity. But that can’t be the primary thing that characterizes or drives us, I think. Scripture uses the words joy and rest far too much for that to be true. And if our desire to eliminate entertainment is driven by fear, that strikes me as not being a good thing.