The Ooze (www.theooze.com), a site for emering Christian leadership, currently has an inspiring article called, “Kill Your TV.” The article makes many good points. Probably the most significant is that these little black boxes have a way of sucking up all of our spare time.
Here are some of the things that TVs don’t do well. TVs make bad babysitters. TVs are not a good companion. TVs are not good teachers. Watching TV is a poor substitute for actually doing something. Sitting in front of the tube is not a good work out. The TV makes a poor diet coach. TVs are not good listeners. TV programs are poor role models. TV shows are substitutes for reality. The TV should be a limited escape that is routinely abused by many Americans.
I could go on for a long time. I think that you get the point.
Jeff Goins wrote in his TV article, “I know church friends that plan social gatherings around weekly episodes of Lost and call it fellowship. At work, there are discussions of who’s going to make it through the first round of American Idol. Most of us, if we’re honest, have been part of these conversations. And many of us are still searching for that life of abundance that Jesus promised and wondering why we’re coming up empty-handed.
“This is the glue that holds America together. This is our community. This is how we know each other. And it sickens me. I’ve wasted years of my life on this little “harmless” escape from reality. Now, I could do the nice thing and tell you that there’s no inherent spiritual evil in watching TV. That there’s lots of good uses to it, and you just need to practice better judgment. That you don’t need to go overboard and do anything radical. But I don’t want to do that.
“You see, I’m tired. I have this crazy idea that the kingdom of God was intended to be something more than good Republicans who pay their taxes and have nice lawns. In the New Testament, I see a band of unschooled men turning the world upside down. And I want that.
“Yet, I’m still dissatisfied. I want to pursue the life I dream about. I want to live out my own story, instead of vicariously seeking one in Jack Bauer. For many, television-viewing is just a distraction. For others, it is a way to wind down for an hour – not four – every night. For some, it really is an idol.”
Well said Jeff! I agree with your description. TV like anything can be bad or good depending on how you use it. If we are being honest, the TV is not the real problem. The real problem is our sinful hearts and fallen human nature. But the TV is a vehicle that can rob us of God’s best. We have to take authority over our desire to be entertained. If we can’t figure out how to use the TV in a balanced way, maybe we need to get rid of it. Sometimes the only right move is to put down the remote, to give away the TV, or to cancel the Blockbuster membership.
That’s what I think that I am going to do. I am going to cancel my Blockbuster Online membership. And I am going to go on a movie fast for a while. Who knows where this fast will lead. I might even extend it to other forms of media. I may need to even take extreme measures. I guess that I could take Jeff’s advice and bash my TV with a baseball bat. But I don’t have the guts to commit electronic homicide yet.
Read Jeff’s article here…. http://www.theooze.com/articles/article.cfm?id=1680