I’ve been thinking about watching TV. I ought to unplug my TVs—at least for a week. Even if just to see if I could do it. I can think of 15 reasons why I, personally, ought to unplug:
1. TV is the number one secularizing influence in my life.
The Devil has a million ways to get at me, but television is his best way of “getting into my head.” TV is the most effective influence to make me a less-committed Christian. If I keep watching it, I’ll become even more secular in my mind-set. I should unplug my TV.
2. TV is my biggest time robber.
I waste time on other things, but TV is the biggest black hole of all. Where does TV time come from? It is time which could be spent on better things. Working in the garden. Spending time with my kids. Having a chat with my husband. Going for a walk. In fact, the average person logs more time in front of the TV than doing anything else, except sleeping. The average American adult spends 3½ hours per day watching TV. That is 52 complete 24-hour days every year. We adults spend a full 12 years of our life span watching TV (we spend four months in Sabbath school).
I sometimes complain, “I don’t have enough time.” But the truth is, I have the same amount of time Jesus Christ had—24 hours each day. It’s not how much time I “have,” but how I use my time that is my problem. I watch TV far less than the average adult, but it’s still my single biggest time robber. I should unplug it.
3. TV softens me toward sin.
The television is highly effective at brainwashing. It seduces me into accepting sins the Bible clearly rejects. Its story-telling and interview formats raise feelings of sympathy, compassion and understanding for behaviors I know are wrong. Right now it is trying to convince me that marital unfaithfulness is normal—even attractive. And, increasingly, TV will try to persuade me that homosexual behavior is simply an alternative lifestyle of people “born this way.”
If I keep watching TV on a regular basis, it will surely convince me to soften my view of these sins. I have watched how this happens to me. I am at first outraged by what I see. I angrily switch to another channel or turn it off completely. But, over time, the outrage dissipates. Eventually I allow the offense to pass by with only a verbal rejection like “that’s not true” or “that doesn’t fit with what the Bible says.” Finally, I quit making verbal comments and hardly notice. Sin has lost its shock. The more I watch TV, the more “understanding” I become toward sin. I should unplug my TV, shouldn’t I?
4. TV presents a false view of marriage.
Because it is an emotional medium, TV constantly focuses on falling in love, having sex, and breaking up. This is a false view of marriage. Most of marriage is, well…boring. It’s not all stimulation and excitement, with wild and wonderful trips to Acapulco. Marriage is mostly routine, based on commitment—not the romantic ideal presented on TV.
And beyond this false view of marriage, TV is constantly biased against the biblical pattern of marriage. While two-thirds of US adults are married, television constantly focuses on singleness and single parenting, and brainwashes us to believe married life is neither average nor normal. And even when it does feature married couples, these couples are awful examples of regular married life, let alone a Christian marriage. Marriage is tough enough work in today’s world, without the influence of television dragging me away from the biblical model. I suppose I should simply unplug my TVs—all of them.
5. TV gives me a distorted view of religion.
The media’s anti-religion bias is deep. Researchers from Duke, Northwestern, and The University of Dayton studied 100 episodes of prime-time TV shows including 1,464 speaking characters and 70 hours of programming. Ninety-five percent of the people showed no discernible religious affiliation whatsoever. And of the 5% which made some reference to religion (mostly to prayer, such as “thank God” or something similar), a full half of these presented the religious message in a negative light. This shouldn’t surprise me. Only 7% of TV executives attend church regularly, while 97% are pro-abortion and 80% pro-homosexual. It shouldn’t shock me that the television constantly brainwashes me toward a negative and distorted view of religion. I suppose I might argue that my mind is made up. But what does this do to children? And religious programming is no better. Religious TV portrays such a sick view of true religion that viewing secular programming might be safer.
A fact that I am ashamed of is while watching the History Channel one night, they featured Moses encounters with Pharaoh and the plagues that God poured out upon the Egyptians. By the time I was done with that program, they had me almost believing some of what they were presenting. They tried to prove that the “Red Sea” was actually a reed sea, very shallow and could just walk through it. They were trying to convince me that through natural events the plagues were brought about, instead of God’s miraculous decrees. Oh really? I have to admit, I opened myself up to the secular world view of the Bible and almost had me convinced. Hmmm. Maybe I should unplug the TV.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
To Be Continued:
15 Reasons I Should Unplug My TV PART II