Quotes about Television
In the United States preschool children constitute the largest television audience and their weekly average viewing time is at least thirty hours. By the age of seventeen the average American child has logged fifteen thousand hours watching television.
Television encourages passivity and diminishes creativity. And it disrupts natural family life. Worst of all, it induces what has been called ‘the television trance.’ It has not merely blurred the distinctions between the real and unreal for steady viewers, but by doing so it has dulled their sensitivities to real events.
It seems almost inconceivable to believe that there was life before television. As good as the medium is for some things, it is an instrument of death to conversation in most families. Add computers, a personal CD player, and speed-eating and we’ve successfully killed off the last remnants of conversation in most families. Frankly, most families have no meaningful conversation at all. Days and weeks pass, if not months and years, without the skimpiest morsel of a good conversation. When I think about this, I almost weep for the magnitude of the loss. A mudslide of media has pushed our families into a cold ravine. We exist together for as long as we can make it, but we don’t know each other. Without face-to-face communication, the home has become an electronic desert.
As you sit down to watch TV, count the minutes. How long until you hear the first swear word, how long before the first sexual joke, how long until a violent act takes place, or how long until a child shows clear disrespect to a parent? Probably not too long! Start watching for these things, and you will be amazed. Analyze the humor in a show. Often it centers on foul language, sexuality, or disrespect or rebellion, and the limit is always being pushed.
Humor can be a means by which the world subtly influences us. When we laugh at something, we tend to accept it and think it is okay, good, or appropriate. Slowly, over time, we begin to accept things that we rejected earlier. We begin to ignore our moral beliefs, we compromise with the world, and we sin – first in thought and later in word and deed. The next time you watch a sitcom, analyze what you’re really laughing at. You probably won’t laugh as much anymore – you’ll probably turn the TV off.
It is impossible for any Christian who spends the bulk of his evenings, month after month, week upon week, day in and day out watching the major TV networks or contemporary videos to have a Christian mind. This is always true of all Christians in every situation! A Biblical mental program cannot coexist with worldly programming.
Statistics show that the average child living at home in America watches at least twenty-eight hours of television each week. (For some kids, the total is much higher.) Programming that targets young people is often the very worst at deliberately glamorizing sin. By the time most young people graduate from high school, they have been overexposed to the grossest kinds of evil through “entertainment” media in mind-numbing ways – so that nothing seems particularly appalling anymore. After all, drug use, immorality, violence, and profanity are standard fare on television. When a whole generation has been raised on a steady diet of that stuff, it’s no wonder that sin no longer seems exceedingly sinful to them.
“Am I Addicted to Television?” With the aid of this list below, allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart! 1. You call someone to videotape TV shows that are on the same time as the ones you are watching and presently videotaping yourself. 2. You watch a program with the anticipation of seeing a sinful act. 3. You enjoy the sinful scenes on the show. 4. You eat your dinner in front of the TV. 5. You neglect your spouse or family for a TV show. 6. You look forward to a TV show more than you look forward to next week’s church service? 7. You miss Wednesday evening prayer meeting for TV. 8. You begin to role play the parts you see on TV on a serious basis. 9. Your conversation is replete with TV reviews and anecdotes. 10. TV replaces your Bible reading or devotion time. 11. Family Worship has been replaced by a TV program. 12. You know more about TV than Scripture. 13. No one is allowed to speak while the TV is on. 14. You begin to start empathizing with the characters the actors are portraying. 15. You rush home so you will not miss a program. 16. You watch TV late into the night consistently. 17. When company visits, the TV remains on. 18. You disturb others on the job by discussing a TV show. 19. You yell at the TV when a certain scene unfolds. 20. You become angry when “there ain’t nothing good on TV tonight.” 21. You let TV do your thinking for you. 22. The only book you read is TV guide. 23. You turn the TV on the moment you enter a room. 24. The TV is on when you are doing your chores. 25. You do not want people to visit when your programs are scheduled to come on. 26. When people visit, you wish they would leave so you could watch your programs. 27. You laugh at the very sin which sent Christ to the cross. 28. You have every premium cable channel like HBO, Cinemax, etc. 29. You constantly flip channels with your remote control. 30. You begin to adopt ideas and attitudes contrary to Scripture. 31. You find more pleasure watching TV than being with God’s people. 32. You go nowhere but have become a couch potato.
Television programs are designed with the purpose of reprogramming your mind by breaking down your defenses so you will accept a lie as truth.
Here are some things to consider when you make your media selections:
1. Does it mock Christianity? For the most part, the networks mock no other faith but Christianity, and they do it often without fear of reprisal. We will never stay excited about church and Bible reading when it’s either ripped to shreds or totally ignored in the media choices we make. 1 Timothy 1:18-19, “Fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”
2. What is the primary message of the episode? In October 1990, Bill Cosby had a one hour show which focused on one of his teenage girls and the subject was whether she should have pre-marital sex or not. The advice given was “wait until you are ready or wait till you are in love.” No mention of waiting for marriage. The focal point was to endorse pre-marital sex and leave it to the discretion of the teenager. Even when everything else appears to meet your approval, perhaps the greatest danger is the message that is pumped into your minds through great persuasiveness. The power of media can make the lies very believable. Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
3. Does it glamorize rebellion? Does the show focus on rebellion to any type of authority, such as parents, police, teachers, government, etc. This is why many Disney movies never made it into our home. 1 Peter 2:13, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution.”
4. Does it glorify controlled substances? Does the show make drugs and alcohol more respectable? The majority of the shows glorify alcohol. And by all means keep a close eye on the commercials. Young people view approximately 20,000 commercials each year, of which nearly 2,000 are for beer and wine. For every “just say no” or “know when to say when” public service announcement, teens will view 25 to 50 beer and wine commercials. Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”
5. Does the program push evolution as fact? When programs are aired which show a clash between Christianity and Evolution, the Christians are always portrayed as religious idiots while the evolutionists are shown to be the intelligent, scientific and logically minded. Rarely if ever is Creationism even given a fair shake as an acceptable alternative. Romans 1:25, “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”
6. Are there occultic overtones? If the program contains subtle or blatant endorsements of psychics, new age themes, mediums, or portrays witches as good, moral people (a big one nowadays), this is a satanic attempt to get you to accept the occult by dressing it up. Ephesians 5:11, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.”
7. Are there sexual suggestions? Are unbiblical sexual scenes portrayed as acceptable? Are images placed in the mind that are not wholesome? Is the show using inappropriate sexual innuendos or immodest physical exposure? It’s interesting how Hollywood inundates this unbiblical material into nearly all their productions, but rarely presents the often experienced consequences of these actions. Ephesians 5:3, “But immorality or any impurity…must not even be named among you.”
8. Is violence glorified? The number of murders seen on TV alone by the time an average child finishes elementary school is 8,000. The number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18 is 200,000. Proverbs 3:31,“Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways.”
9. Is vulgarity a part of the script? Is there foul language used? Moreover, is God’s name taken in vain? That’s not just His name followed by the “d-word;” it’s His name used in a way simply as an expression such as the popular “Oh my…” Matthew 6:9, “Hallowed be Your name.”
According to Nielsen Research, parents spend 3.5 minutes with their children each week in meaningful conversation. The average child watches 1,680 minutes television each week. Throughout that television time, the average child will witness 8,000 murders before he or she finishes elementary school and they will witness 200,000 violent acts.
What does your child think about television? Do they say, “All television shows are to be forbidden for every Christian.” That’s Pharisaical legalism filled with judgmentalism and self-righteousness. Or do they say, “All television shows are fine because TV’s are not condemned in the Bible.” That is mindless living with a total insensitivity to personal godliness and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The best response would be, “I personally choose to avoid these types of shows as a result of biblical principles and a conscience shaped by the Holy Spirit through prayer.” That’s what we are shooting for as parents!
Yet what the Bible teaches is that the evil one uses all things for his disposal as well. His schemes are subtle and well-disguised (2 Cor. 2:11). He “disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). He is “the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44), and his influence over unbelievers to accomplish his purposes is powerful (Eph. 6:12). Throughout history he has proven very effective to take every medium as a channel for his deceptive purposes. And with our nation glued to the various forms of media, we’d have to be very naïve to believe he doesn’t have his slimy arms all around this incredible opportunity as well. Therefore, perhaps especially as it pertains to media, we need to “stand firm” (Eph. 6:13), relying upon our spiritual armor in particular the “Word of God” (Eph. 6:17) and “prayer” (Eph. 6:18). The call is to be vigilant and “alert” (Eph. 6:18).
The TV is my shepherd, my spiritual life shall want, It makes me to sit down and do nothing for the cause of Christ. It demandeth my spare time. It restoreth my desire for the things of the world. It keepeth me from studying the truth of God’s Word. It leadeth me in the path of failure to attend God’s house. Yea, though I live to be a hundred, I will fear no rental; My “Telly” is with me, its sound and vision comfort me. It prepareth a program for me, even in the presence of visitors. Its volume shall be full. Surely comedy and commercials shall follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in spiritual poverty forever.
You see, if you aren’t talking to your kids, someone else is. The statistics indicate that teenagers are spending three hours a day watching TV. Preschoolers are watching as much as four hours per day. If teenagers are listening to three hours of TV every day and averaging five minutes a day talking with their dads, who is winning the influence battle? If your preschooler watches four hours per day, how many hours is he hearing from you about how God runs His world? It doesn’t take X-rated violence, sex and language to have an ungodly influence. Even the “good” programs for children can be “bad company” if they offer an exciting, satisfying world that ignores (or denies) the sovereign God of the Bible. Do you really want your children to get the impression that it’s okay to ignore God most of the time?