Several years ago, a cartoon appeared in the New Yorker magazine depicting a frustrated father changing a flat tire in the rain. His two children are peering out the car window. In response to their complaining, he says, “Don’t you understand? This is life. This is what’s happening. We can’t switch to another channel!”
Television and reality – does the former distort the latter? For more than a decade, media analyst Kenneth Curtis measured TV’s impact on society. He concluded that the omnipresent, flickering screen constantly tries to tell us what behavior and attitude are desirable. He described the effect of TV as a subtle process that has become a significant force in defining reality.
If this is true, we had better be very careful about what we watch. The networks are not committed to portraying Christian values. Many things that are presented as acceptable are in fact dangerous. Furthermore, watching TV tends to make us passive observers rather than participants in solving life’s problems. The violence, sex, and materialism we see on TV tend to make us insensitive to our unique calling as Christians to be salt and light in a sinful world. I’m convinced that Christ would not lose Himself in front of the tube every evening just because it’s sitting there.
By meditating on God’s laws, we can maintain a spiritual perspective. Anything on TV that fights God’s order distorts reality – it’s beyond entertainment. – Martin R. De Haan
Your thoughts are shaped by what you see,
And thoughts affect your soul;
So if you’d profit from TV,
Be sure you’re in control. – D. J. De Haan
If you have half a mind to turn on the television, that’s all you need for many programs.
- July 1, 1987, Our Daily Bread