MadMomma wrote what is sure to become a controversial post eschewing one of the cultural idols even Christians have made a sacred cow. Today, I will stand in solidarity with my lovely and gracious wife and agree that the television is best described as (and I believe I heard this from Doug Phillips of Vision Forum) “the black Babylonian box of death”.
Any time you mention that watching of television is not the best use of a Christian’s time, the standard issue reply falls under Christian Liberty. Sure, what’s on the idiot box may offend you and your family, but it’s okay for mine because of Christian Liberty.
The obvious fault with that argument is sin is not included in Christian Liberty. Only someone with their eyes closed will deny the way sin is depicted as acceptable by the American Entertainment industry. From taking God’s Name in vain to positive portrayals of liars and adulterers to attributing God’s creation to a random naturalistic process, television programming does not glorify God.
We are perfectly willing to proclaim our chief end, but our practice occurs only when it is convenient. Since (if?) our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, how practically does that manifest itsself in our lives? Does it include bringing into our homes the man glorifying filth that proceeds over our public airways?
At this point some will argue that either they do not have small children in the house to see the filth or they will prevent their little ones from seeing the bad stuff. I will never understand the false dichotomy that says adults may expose themselves to sins to which we should not expose children. It appears to me if it’s sinful for children, it’s sinful for adults. But once again, we fulfill our chief end only when it is convenient.
Part of the problem may be traced back to the syncretism between the church and our culture. We live in a society that is dominated by individual rights. We are bombarded by messages of the right’s of children to have this or that, the rights of one group not to be offended by another. This attitude of my rights being of primary importance has polluted the church. My right to (fill in the blank) trumps my duty to glorify God.
But another aspect is simply our sinful nature. Much like babies, we want what we want when we want it the way we want it and how we want it.
Francis Schaeffer wrote about how we pursue the god of personal peace and prosperity. The LORD God who created us and sustains us has His place, but so does our personal peace and prosperity. And since that includes entertainment, we will entertain ourselves into an apathetic self satisfied state while God’s Kingdom and His gospel are neglected.
This negative effect is clearly seen in our families. Much has been made about how the divorce rate for Christians is equal to that of the world. I even recently read (but have not confirmed) that the lowest divorce rate occurs in the demographic of atheists. A major contributor to this is that family life in many of the ostensible Christian homes centers more around television than God’s Word. Both as families and individuals, less time is spent in the Bible than the TV Guide.
We would all do well to examine our priorities, seek God’s glory and put our things in their proper place.