I am amazed at what Christians allow in their lives, only to wonder why they suffer so much temptation. I guess I shouldn’t be too amazed since I used to do these things too! I’m talking about television and worldly entertainment. We all know that we are to be separated from the world. We just don’t always know what we are supposed to be separated from. Most Christians use the democratic process in what they allow in their lives. If most people are doing it, they figure it must be right. Today, I want you to reconsider how you live.
We began studying stable Christian groups a few years ago, seeing that much of what we had built our lives on wasn’t Christ. Angie and I wanted our home to be as rock solid as Christ Himself. We home-schooled, as we found it was the absolute best way to “Train up a child in the way he should go”. You’ll notice that it doesn’t say have someone train them, but rather the Word leaves the responsibility to parents. It allowed us to better control the worldly influences that the children had. Remembering the peer pressures that we’d both had as children, and seeing that they would get a better education also contributed to the decision. Sarah was actually told that she couldn’t silently pray over her lunch. This was the last straw in public education for our children.
But home schooling with worldly influence is still a mixed philosophy. If you eat a diet of healthy food and then mix in junk food, you’ll never get ahead. It’s the same logic as eating a cream-filled donut and drinking a diet cola so that it counteracts the sugar! No, my friends, we must be as totally separated from the world as possible.
Television is just such an influence. We started by becoming more discriminating than we had been. We just simply stated that some shows that we had watched before might be on the hit list. I printed out Phillipians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”
I put this scripture on our entertainment center right beside our television. It was large enough to see from the other side of the room. I asked everyone to change the channel if they were watching a show that didn’t meet all of these requirements. Do you know that within one week the girls all came to the same conclusion? “Dad,” they said, “there is nothing that we can watch”! I realized that even the news did not meet the “good report” standard. We decided to take the box out. We did have some withdrawals though. You know, when you’re steeped in something, it takes time to get the stain out. We still have a television and VCR but they aren’t connected to an antenna or cable. It stays in the schoolroom as we have some Algebra courses on tape. Every so often we get it out and watch an old movie. But we are very discriminating.
Now, what about the fruit? After all, if it really is God’s will for you to do something, you’ll reap benefits if you obey, right? The first thing that we all noticed was just how much influence television shows had on us. The children used to constantly quote from movies after just seeing them one time. It was as if they had the script imbedded in their memory. I realized that I did it, too. The music stuck in my head days after seeing a movie.
The obvious smut that we no longer had feeding us, was removed. It made a huge difference in battling temptation. Just imagine a person that wants to lose weight but decides to go sit in the restaurant every afternoon just to smell the food! That’s what we were, “almost partakers”. With the influences of the left wing agenda removed we could not be so pulled between the two worlds of spirit and flesh.
And then we realized an equal benefit. We were no longer watching commercials and being made to want something that we didn’t already know that we needed. If you need something (a newer vehicle, clothes, etc) no one has to tell you. You can then decide what you want without a carefully designed marketing technique to get you confused.
And have you noticed what they usually use to sell their products? That’s right! On most car commercials you see more of the female model (more than Christians should see) than you do the car that they are selling. How could any Christian watch broadcast television and think it’s ok? The phrase “What would Jesus do” makes you wonder if Jesus would watch any television. I don’t think that He would, do you?
And lastly there was the time spent watching. We had to do something different in the evenings. We decided to read, do hobbies, spend time as a family playing games and talking. It brought us closer together as a family. We now have to make the children put down books (including the Bible) to go to bed.
Besides television, we considered going out to movies. We don’t completely denounce them, but there is hardly anything that comes out that’s worth our time. We carefully look up the movie review on sources such as pluggedinonline.com before we decide to go.
Friend, how much are you willing to make investments of sacrifice for your family that will pay eternal rewards? Are you willing to give up that favorite show? Are you willing to spend your time doing something more rewarding than sitting for hours and being misled? If you’ll just stop and consider what you are participating in, I think that you’ll see that there is very little that a Christian should be viewing.
One final thought. The world’s view is to do things (however wrong) in control. All of the beer companies tell you to drink responsibly. Those of the free love movement say to practice safe sex. Television is the same way. Why not say don’t drink, don’t have any sex outside of marriage and don’t watch television? This is what we follow and it has made all the difference!
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; [it] shall not cleave to me.