The Bible and TV

July 11, 2008

15He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,
16he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him; his water will be sure. (Isaiah 33:15-16)

Hopefully the title and Scripture passage provided a good introduction. I want to draw out only the application toward television. These two verses give a great application and promise to Christians – avoid television and dwell in security. The vast majority of television is created by the world for the world: meaning, it celebrates sin – murder, lying, homosexual relationships, disobeying parents, insubordination, and on and on.

We are not discerning enough with what goes into our heads. The Bible tells us that a righteous person “stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil” (v.15). It is your (and my) motivation to hear and see evil that invalidates God’s promise to us to dwell in security (v. 16). Do you desire to hear about bloodshed and see evil? Yet what are most TV shows about? A comedy about disobeying parents and authority altogether? A drama about a murder and trying to bring the killer to justice? A comedy/drama about illicit sex? And many more.

Someone might object by saying that the Bible itself contains these things. Consider the difference in origin. The Bible is from God. Where is our entertainment from? The intent of the Bible is for us to grow in the love and knowledge of God through Jesus Christ. What do the authors of the shows you watch intend? The Bible is a history. Does your entertainment give history?

Now, of course, these questions are just to get you thinking about how you decide upon what to watch, what to listen to and what to participate in1. I don’t mean it to be exhaustive, just to get you to beg the Holy Spirit to reveal how you might best glorify God in time you might normally title “free” so that you might “dwell on the heights”.

1 see my comment on video games here (under joshua)

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