Love the insight in this article. We have been discussing this for a long time and it's one of the biggest reasons we don't have regular tv in our house. We have no cable, no antenna, no dish. We get no channels. What we watch is very very limited in the form of movies. Since breaking away from the whole movie, tv, and hollywood scene we are so much more sensitive to the garbage and worldly messages prevalent in just about every movie, tv show and commercial. It's really sickening the things people think are entertaining these days and willingly and without much thought sit down and watch each night and week. Even more so when we see and hear that families watch those shows with their children. It's disheartening the sin we laugh at in those same shows. What are you watching? Is it edifying to the soul? Would God laugh at what you are laughing at. In Christ there IS much freedom, but as Paul said, "all things are permissable for me, but not all things are profitable."
The Battle of the Teachers
"Recent data indicates that, on average, children in the United States spend approximately three hours a day watching television. This invited 'guest' into our homes has the potential to significantly shape our children's development."
That statement was issued this September by the Federal Communications Commission. It seems insightful. But its split infinitive is not the only split in officially stated FCC policy. For the federal government's concerns about shaping children are by no means a match for what should be the concerns of Christian parents.
The split occurs between the FCC's opening statement and its ensuing policy on how the significant shaping should be done. For the only answer the feds have is "to offer educational and informational children's programming."
Time to draw your Ephesians sword. It is time to split.
There are two pressing questions: 1) What "educational and informational programming" is suitable? 2) Who decides what "educational and informational programming" is suitable?
Answering those questions should lead Christian parents to other questions. To start with, "What TV shows, if any, should kids be allowed to watch?"
The FCC and the networks have been wrangling over "educational programming" for years. But that conflict has been merely about what can be considered "educational." So in a way, it doesn't really matter who wins the debate. Either way, Christians lose.
Christians need to listen to someone besides the government or the entertainment industry. What neither of those entities admits is that all TV programs are educational.
Every program that children (or adults) watch influences their thinking. That's because every one of them is created by people. All people have beliefs, which they use in the shows they produce. They can't help it.
That's why the Bible tells us things like "test the spirits" and "be careful" and "test everything."
Being educational isn't bad. The problem lies in the ideas being taught. That's why many Christians (like me) keep their TV sets turned off most of the time. So many TV programs are ungodly and shameful--because the beliefs of the people who make them are ungodly and shameful.
Without Christ, no one understands education or truth either one.
God's word tells parents to make sure their kids learn to live for the Lord. And God's word tells parents to teach them how to do it. The government and the networks aren't Christian parents. The wrong people are trying to teach your kids how to think and what to think.
The Bible doesn't say, "Don't watch TV." The Bible does say, "Don't be deceived." The Bible does say, "Don't be foolish." God wants your kids to know the truth. The world doesn't have it.
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith," says 1 Corinthians 16:13.
"Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray" (1 John 3:7).
There are only two kinds of education. Watch out for the wrong kind.
-- Norm Bomer