TELEVISION: THE IDLE CHRISTIAN’S IDOL


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TELEVISION:


The Idle Christian’s Idol

Amos 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion…
4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their COUCHES, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall…

Psalms 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.

Long before 1950, holiness was compromised through hanging around the wrong friends and reading novels that promote, glamorize or indulge in sin. A little later, radio had some impact in spreading worldliness. In the 1950’s, TV was introduced. What happened then to the average, relative innocence that children possess? It went out the window.

In the 1950’s, couples were shown sleeping in twin beds. But Satan is subtle. Lois didn’t stand too close to Superman (the new pagan “hero”). But Satan is subtle. In the 90’s, the show became “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” Notice how “Lois” is mentioned first. (Believe me, I have never seen such a show; but I can read headlines.) They would not dare call a show “SuperMAN” in this corrupt age. This is why today the Methodist’s hymnal has songs referring to God as a “she”!

The 1960’s brought “The Brady Bunch” and showed a couple in the same bed talking. You say, “But the marriage bed is undefiled”. Sure. But a marriage bed with millions of eyes watching is NOT undefiled! “M.A.S.H.” brought discussions of sodomy. “All in the Family” crossed lines with sexual jokes. 1987 would bring sex to the TV screen. Shows such as “Seinfield” would bring sex and comedy together in ways never before attempted on standard TV.

A Walk Down the Slippery Slope of Television’s History


A study by the Centers for Disease Control, published by the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), revealed that homicide rates doubled between the introduction of television in the 1950’s and the end of the study in 1994. A 1957 British study examining the effects of TV on youth aggression called attention to the prevalence of “swearing” among adolescent school boys as a possible proof of TV’s negative consequences. Yet, investigators doing a similar study on youth aggression in the 1990’s must count the numbers of police arrests, homicides and gang memberships! It is Satan’s slippery slope. And too many Christians in this day and age are now too drunk and numb to even see what hit them! In 1989, the results of a five year study (by the APA) indicated that the average child has witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence on television by the time he or she has completed sixth grade. By the time that same child graduates he or she will have spent 22,000 hours watching television – twice as many hours as he or she has spent in school! This brings us to the year 1989.

From 1989-1999

There race down to Hell picked up incredible speed in the decade from 1989-1999. Notice the following statistics:

“In terms of sexual and violent material and coarse language combined, the per-hour rate almost tripled from ’89 to ’99. On a per-hour basis, sexual content more than tripled from ’89 to ’99. Foul language was more than five and a half times as frequent in ’99, and the curse words used were, as a group, far harsher in ’99 than in ’89…instances where sex was mixed with violence or was graphically depicted went up significantly in percentage terms…Overall, material in the sexual subcategories was more than seven times as frequent in ’99. The most dramatic increase therein was in homosexual references, which were more than twenty-four times as common.” (Media Awareness Network)

Could it get any worse? Certainly. Christians were now so drunken by the worldliness of the previous decade that they melted in front of the hellish, bluish glow like the proverbial frog, ready to justify the next installment of Luciferic brainwashing. And the Devil was not about to disappoint his new friends! The show must go on!

From 1999-2001

Are you still justifying your television worldly Christian? In the past three years, worldly television has become even more vile:

“Los Angeles – Childhood innocence and television are an increasingly uneasy mix, according to a study released Wednesday. Youngsters watching TV during the so-called family hour last season were exposed to bawdier humor and more coarse language and violence than in 1999, according to the Parents Television Council. ‘I don’t think enough parents realize just how awful it’s become,’ L. Brent Bozell III, president of the conservative watchdog group. ‘Some of the worst programming is now being put on during that hour and it’s being directed deliberately at children.’ Bozell noted that the study looked at broadcast television, ‘not late-night, obscure cable.’ The group studied 200 hours of programming airing in 2000-01 on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, WB and UPN during the first hour of prime time – 8-9 p.m. on the East and West coasts and 7-8 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones. More than 10 million children, on average, are watching television during that hour, according to Nielsen Media Research figures cited by the study. Overall, coarse language was up 78 percent to 2.6 instances an hour compared to 1999, the PTC study said. If milder curse words….were included in the tally, the per-hour rate of foul language usage would reach 6.1, Bozell said. Violence rose 70 percent to 2.8 occurrences per hour, the study found…sexual material…was rawer than in the past….[sin deleted – cannot say in mixed company], homosexuality, pornography, [cannot say in mixed company], and [cannot say in mixed company], that a generation ago may not even have been discussed on late-evening series were mentioned on FAMILY HOUR SHOWS, the study said…It’s a ‘Friends,’ syndrome, said Bozell, referring to the popular 8 p.m. EDT Thursday NBC sitcom that is known for its racy story lines. ‘Everybody jumps from one bed to the next. And life is good.’…” (AP, Aug.1, 2001)

Where Does It Go From Here?

After a decade of mocking parental authority and turning husbands into effeminate weaklings ruled by their wives and children, TV is now ready to turn its hatred toward those who would expose their evil:

2 Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, DESPISERS OF THOSE THAT ARE GOOD,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of PLEASURES more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.

But instead of turning away from these types of people, Christians across the land JUSTIFY their “right” to invite these people into their living rooms for entertainment! Christian, get ready to watch your brothers and sisters (whom you call “legalists” for their obedience to Scripture) ridiculed and mocked on television. How far will you go? It is no wonder. The precious names of Jesus and God are continually used in vain (as exclamations and cuss words) in almost every television program. If Christians will endure the name of their Lord being mocked and used in vain, they will certainly endure a continual mockery of their brothers and sisters. Is this just more fundamental “extremism” and paranoia?

Agape Press (July 26) has an article showing how modern programs in the past couple of years have mocked God and Christianity. Programs I have barely heard of, and certainly never seen were mentioned in the news article. The article documented that programs such as “Chicago Hope”, “The West Wing”, “Futurama”, “AllyMcBeal”, “Seinfield”, etc., all either had episodes where God was cussed out, or they portrayed born again Christians as hypocrites and mocked the lifestyle. The article closed with the following words: “America in the year A.D. 2001 is not Nero’s Rome of A.D. 68. At least not yet.”

What will it take to get you to chunk your TV in the trash?

LESTER ROLOFF ON THE IDOL OF THE HOUR

“You know what I think the greatest idol in America is? There’s no doubt about it at all. It’s television…I believe you call it “progress”; I call it the Devil. I’ve said that years ago; haven’t changed my tune. I’m not going to. ‘Cause I know what you’re doing. You sit there in front of that old one-eyed idiot for hours and hours and hours. It ruins your eyes. It ruins your soul. It ruins your children. It broke up your family altar…It’s ruined our preachers….It’s the idol of the hour!!

“I’ll tell you one reason I know it’s the idol of the hour – when it gets you, you can’t get loose from it. It’s Hell’s boa-constrictor… Homosexuals, and all sorts of immorality, broken homes, everything that I stand against that dirty monster stands for….I’ll fight it till I die…God’s people have been wounded. We’ve never had one revival, not one revival since television came out…I do not believe there’s one preacher on the face of this earth that owns a television set that’s ever been in a real Heaven sent, I mean window rattlin’…sinner saving, Hell robbin’ revival since he got his television set…You might have a had a few additions to the church, but you’ll never see the power of God as long as you’re sitting in the picture show…God’s people are backslidden…Souls are going to Hell…And the churches are like morgues and funeral homes…

“If you read my mail you’d know what I’m talking about…I know the preacher. I’d say he’s number one. I get letters all the time. About January they begin to come, maybe a little before. ‘Brother Roloff, my heart’s broken.’ Some old saint in the church, you know, still got conviction, says, ‘Our church just gave our pastor a big four or five hundred dollar color TV for Christmas.’ Can you imagine that? It’s a wonder the Lord wouldn’t blow it off the face of the map…It’s a wonder He don’t just say, ‘I’ll just pinch all your heads off right now.’ Wasting God’s money! Of course I’ll tell you why they gave it. The old boy will quit preaching against it!…Let’s get to one thing that’s killing the preachers, hear? Let’s get at the thing that’s killing the church members today…Let’s talk about the thing that’s eating people up…Let’s talk about the biggest idol America’s got right now, see? A preacher, pastor of a First Baptist Church in the city…he had driven 75 miles to get to the old fashioned revival service. Said he had a wonderful time…He wrote me a letter and said, ‘Brother Roloff, that settled it for us. We’ve been thinking about getting a TV set; we’ll never get it! We made up our minds tonight.’ A few weeks after that I went up there to preach a meeting and walked in his living room. He said, ‘There it is.’ I said, ‘Yep. I noticed it’. He said, ‘I want you to know though, that I didn’t buy it. He said, ‘Eleven deacons bought it and brought it over here and gave it to me.’ I said, ‘You must have quit preaching against it. If you’d been preaching like you ought to, if you had the conviction like you use to have when you wrote me that letter, you’d busted a hole and hung it around the [deacon] chairman’s neck and told him to haul it’! I’m just asking you, do you want God to keep you? If you do, get out of the world!! Quit living like the Devil and his crowd! If you can be entertained by that filth and immorality…you’re backslidden and may not even know it…I’ve never received one letter.

“This is 100%. I’ve never received one letter that said, ‘Brother Roloff, I believe you misled us. You got us all stirred up one night…My husband and I went home and we couldn’t sleep. We got up and we decided [to get rid of our TV]…But you know, since our television set is gone, we just can’t pray like we used to…I just don’t feel like reading my Bible. When I had my television set it just reminded me to pray and read my Bible, and it made me a soul winner..’ What are you laughing about? That sounds preposterous and silly and absurd doesn’t it?…Just the opposite has been so. Ah, those sweet letters! I can see the tear drops…’Brother Roloff, we’re back to God now. Our old family altar’s got the heat back in it. We’ve got the fires burning again… My little children are more obedient…My husband has time to talk with me. And we read the Bible together…It’s been all good’…Preachers! Don’t leave it up to the people. Tell them what the Bible says about it. Mothers and Daddies!…[Quit] letting your home be run by your bunch of children. They haven’t got any sense…They’re too young….If you’re forty years old and they’re about fifteen, my soul! You ought to have at least three times as much sense as they’ve got!…Keep yourselves from idols.”
(Lester Rollof, The Family Altar Program: “Who Does the Keeping?”)

WHAT “HOLINESS” MEANS

The Devil has been at work redefining Biblical holiness. He has seduced many Christians into thinking that holiness consists of whatever makes a person feel momentarily peaceful or happy. Others have come to believe that holiness is whatever entertains church-goers in the “name” of God. Others believe it is obedience to the inward “voice of God”, regardless of what the Written Word teaches. And finally, the last group of incontinent believers think that holiness is whatever they “feel” like doing. They imagine that since they are now saved, their feelings are automatically pure and practically sanctified.

To resist the Devil’s attack, let’s first notice the definition of the word “holy” according to some English and Bible dictionaries:

“From ‘whole’ – entire, complete, sound – perfect, synonymous with good, pious, godly. 2. Consecrated [from sacred – set apart]” (Webster’s 1828)

“…derived from a word meaning ‘free from injury’, thus ‘whole’. 1. Set apart from ordinary use.” (Oxford)

“…recoil or the repulsion (from sin and vices).” (McClintock & Strong)

“…to separate”. (New Schaff-Herzogs)

“Separateness” (Funk & Wagnall’s Bible Dict.)

“Pure: relative to man, absolute to God” (Funk & Wagnall’s English Dict. (1895)

There appear to be TWO specific definitions of the word “holy”. First, the word comes from “whole” and therefore it means complete or sound. Secondly, the word implies a separation from contamination. Both of these definitions find their perfect unity in the symbolism of physical health. Perfect physical health is a picture of perfect moral health. Thus, a creature “free from injury” is a creature that is “whole”. Therefore, a man that is “free from sin” is a man that is “holy”:

Matthew 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be WHOLE.

Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and SINNERS?
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be WHOLE need not a physician, but they that are sick.

It is easy to see the relationship between the word “holy” and the word “whole” (i.e. “whol-ee”). The person that is physically sick is not “whole”. The sinner (i.e. morally sick) is not “holy”. The person that is physically whole is free from disease or affliction. The person that is morally holy is free from moral contamination.

Notice what the Israelites were to do with the unclean leper:

Numbers 5:2 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead:
3 Both male and female shall ye PUT OUT, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell.

He that is not whole must be put away from those that are whole. Or, to phrase it the other way, that which is whole must be separated from that which is not whole. Now we can see where the two definitions evolved. The “healthy” Israelites were to be “separate” from the unhealthy, lest diseases spread throughout the camp. In the same manner, the Christian that will be morally healthy, perfect and complete in Christ, must remain SEPARATED from the morally impure!:

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye SEPARATE, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…

2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

1 Corinthians 5:13…put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

There was a time when Christians had to go to the wrong side of town to become “contaminated” by the stain of worldliness. But today, wicked people are invited into the very living rooms of Christians! Entertainment is one of the chief ways that everyone is becoming increasingly defiled with wickedness. It is a vicious circle. The greater their defilement, the more filth they seek. People who are not blatant devil worshippers are nevertheless entertained by devil worshippers! It’s all for the sake of pleasures (2 Tim.3:4). People who are not adulterers are entertained by adulterers, blasphemers, etc. Thus, if they do not become initially defiled in the exact same extreme, they nevertheless become defiled!

Thus, you have good girls, raised in decent homes, who are not fornicators or adulterers, but yet they can sit and watch a popular movie with a naked men, blasphemy, fornication, crude jokes, etc. and NOT BECOME DISGUSTED or even BLUSH! This is the unclean defiling the clean. They are no longer holy; they have been defiled. If they continue to immerse themselves among the unclean, they will become even more defiled!:

Haggai 2:12 If one bear HOLY flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be HOLY? And the priests answered and said, NO.
13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.
14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD…

Your Christianity doesn’t spread to that TV set or movie screen! You can watch it every hour of the day and you will not make those TV actors and actresses any more holy! But they WILL certainly defile you and corrupt your desires, inflame your lusts, and desensitize and sear your consciences. The common deceptive practice (in disobedience to Romans 13:14) of “only watching good things on worldly television” does not work. First, there are no really good things on worldly TV. Second, you usually have to watch it before you find out you shouldn’t have watched it. Third, the Christian that begins to partake of worldly TV “only a little” is soon so doped up by the thrill of sensuality and “adventure” that he or she rapidly loses the ability to discern what is good or bad. Christians! Separate from TV and worldly movies before your daughters and sons lose their innocence and you lose your spouse, or before God gets angrier than He already is at your idolatry and flirtation with the world:

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

OBJECTIONS ANSWERED

1. “But the computer is just as bad as the TV!”

This is a common argument often used by those who are looking for a reason to keep watching worldly television programs. First, I readily admit that the computer can be just as bad as TV. However, at present there is a BIG difference. A Christian that has no worldly, violent computer games, who only uses the computer for word processing, and to check and send e-mail, and to search family friendly web sites, is NOT the same as the Christian with a television (hooked up to worldly, secular programming). The Christian with worldly TV has very little control over what comes on the screen. Cuss words, nudity, violence, blasphemy, all can flash across the screen before he or she can grab the remote control. And these are only the blatant sins. Worldly people also have an ATTITUDE of sin. And every program (even the tamest) will have many commercials filled with women to entice men, etc. The day it becomes impossible to know what is coming across the computer screen will be the day it is time to also throw the computer in the trash.

Also, the man that has no Internet blocker, who might be inclined to use the computer in an evil manner, should NOT have a computer hooked up to the Internet at all.

And finally, the Christian man who allows his wife and children to chat to who knows who, and visit any web sites indiscriminately, is very foolish. He is not “keeping” the garden. Just the other day, knocking on doors, I met a poor Christian man who had just lost his wife to another man through Internet chat lines! Guns, knives and cars can be very useful, and do much good. Yet, they can also do much evil in the hands of disobedient children, etc. I presently view the computer in this same light. It can be used for good, provided Christians go out of their way to insure that no evil sites can be visited, and that there is constant accountability of each other (by viewing the browser history, etc.). I repeat, when the computer begins to flash worldliness on the screen in a manner that cannot be controlled before it is too late, then it will be time to send me your postal addresses and I will go back to mailing out hard copies of the Kingdom Alert!

On the other hand, a television set, if it is hooked up to worldly programming in any form, will automatically spew forth sin in a manner that CANNOT be controlled before the damage is already done.

2. “But this will cause problems in my household. My wife and kids will be angry.”

Brother Ron Williams has a good tract that answers this common excuse:

“Dad, all of the terrible moral and spiritual devastation from TV occurring in your life and in your family is your fault! You see, you are God s prophet, priest and king in your home. He will hold you responsible as the head of the family. You are the protector of your family against evil influences; and how in God s name, and based on the Bible, can you say you are protecting them from evil influences when you allow the TV sewer to freely run in your home? Some men say, “if I get rid of my set, there would be World War III with my wife.” I know. Since you have allowed this evil in your home, she is probably hooked on the soaps and other choice tidbits of moral sewage. You will also face a battle with the kids, since they are similarly hooked on the violence-filled, immoral cartoons. This is not to mention your friends and relatives who would believe you to be a weirdo, a kook, and that you would be depriving your family. Why, in order for you to get rid of your set, you would have to be a man! If you keep the TV sewer in your home, do not expect a pleasant time at the Judgment Seat of Christ (11 Corinthians 5:10). Tolerating this sin and even enjoying it calls into serious question your faithfulness to Christ and stewardship.” (Ronald E. Williams, Director, Hephzibah House)

Joey Faust (Baptist)

http://www.kingdombaptist.org/kb2/index.cfm?filename=article504.cfm

 

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