The Many Ways Television Ruins Christians

Posted by on Mar 3, 2008 in Theology

INTRODUCTION

 

Humans were created to become friends of God. Thus they were made a little lower than God (1) and given the opportunity to choose between knowing God and the fruit of a forbidden tree. Satan distorted what God said and persuaded them that the fruit would give them the knowledge of good and evil and thus a quick route to power. Ever since that disastrous event, all knowledge has had good and evil applications; almost none more than television.

There is nothing intrinsically evil about television anymore than there is about gunpowder or atomic power. The problem lies in the fact that humans choose to serve Satan whose lies have easily convinced them of TV’s many pleasures, the end of which like the sweet tasting fruit Adam and Eve ate, is their destruction and enslavement.  Satan has found the ideal medium to convey his lies, for TV always lies all the time.

 

SATAN IS THE AUTHOR OF LIES

Only God can create. Satan cannot create an idea or concept or mathematical equation or substance of any kind. However, he is extremely intelligent and very adept at distorting the truth in such a way that it still seems to be true. Surely the best deception is to convey a near truth that takes people away from pursuing and knowing the truth. The honest and selfless pursuit of knowledge will lead to the source of truth, who is God. Satan’s objective is to distort the truth in such a way that people turn from God. Satan fills the minds of people with semi-truths that gradually turn them into his slaves. He has no interest in people per se, but wishes to use them in his campaign to overthrow God.  Satan always attempts to thwart God’s desire to reconcile, free and recreate fallen humans to be the glorious friends He designed them to be.

Satan’s principle aim is to enslave humans and entice humans to destroy each other. We will be so effective at this that there will come a time when, apart from the intervention of God, there will be no humans (2). Humans are defined as those whose spirits are in-filled with God’s Spirit (3). Thus only Christians can be fully human. Satan cannot enslave Christians but he can make them confused and apathetic.  That is all he needs to do.

Evil cannot become stronger but seeks to win by weakening God’s human servants. One of his most effective tools is television. He uses it to promote narcissism and inculcate dehumanizing concepts.  For example, he is able to entice Christians into “loving themselves” by distorting the Word of God which states that Christians must “love their neighbors as themselves” (4). Through TV and confused “preachers” Satan has deceived many Christians into believing this means, “be good to yourself, look after yourself” with the implication that if you are “good” to yourself you can be good to others. That is certainly not what God ordered. Christians forget that because of the reciprocal nature of love, by loving others, they are loving themselves, at the same moment and in the same manner.  By accepting the love of others they are also being loved. Looking after themselves can seldom lead to meeting real needs and is therefore narcissistic.  This is a common example of how Satan twists God’s law of love to make narcissism look like such a good thing, when it is really one of Satan’s best schemes to confuse Christians.

 

TELEVISION ALWAYS LIES

To assert that television greatly influences the thinking of almost everyone in the world is probably an understatement. Even though not everybody owns a television set certainly everybody talks to somebody who does. Television usually provides entertainment that encourages self-indulgence and passivity. Seldom does it convey news and warnings that might save people. Television is so apparently real that most people seldom question its stated and implied messages. Few people understand how television intentionally and inadvertently always lies, every time.

Knowledge that television is able to convey may be extremely useful. Sadly, most information that television communicates is not only distorted because of TV’s inherent limitations but is intentionally twisted to confuse and instruct people with ideas they do not need.  The saddest part of all of this is that Christians are as or even more susceptible to the influence of television as anybody. It is quite possible they are more vulnerable to distortion because they are more naïve. Wanting to find what is good, they cannot detect evil messages that are entering their minds.

Satan cannot infiltrate the mind of a Christian directly or use one of his demons to implant one of his deceptions. Christians are wholly inhabited by the Holy Spirit. The helmet of salvation protects their heads and the contents thereof (5). Satan encourages Christians to watch TV because that is the most effective way of getting his ideas into their minds. From his point of view, TV is ideal because it has some useful information intermingled with intellectual garbage that lulls the unsuspecting God loving person into watching more TV. That is far from innocent. Some are even stupid enough to believe, that because it has been rated by a government censor, it must be okay for the family.

1.        The big lie of a “documentary”. Television claims to portray “real life”. “The facts” from an on-the-spot reporter. The commentator makes assertions of “these are the latest facts” with such sincerity, few doubt him. Later they tend to say to each other, “Did you see that documentary? It was so awful and so real.”

2.        Television distortions. Television by its very nature is distorting reality all the time. Unfortunately, people don’t consider these inadequacies.  For example, the most potent information in a documentary of a refugee camp is lost.  It is the stench.  It is also the pervasive sixth sense of hopelessness you feel if you are there that TV can never convey.

The distortions of TV are:

a)       Time. Television always shortens time. This increases the number of events per interval, which increases the watcher’s excitement and interest.

b)      Boring parts are omitted. You’ve never noticed any of the actors being filmed in real time while they are sleeping or waiting for some action.

c)       Reduced senses. Television is confined almost entirely to visual senses. You may see some parts of a riot, but you do not smell the burning rubber. Sounds are filtered or recorded, edited and added later. The usual moans and groans, barks and shouts are kept to a minimum so as not to interfere with the auditory sensation that the film editor wishes. The senses are so limited that the usual human emotions in response to the full range of visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, pressure, pain, vestibular, itch, tickle etc. sensations, are seldom felt by the audience.  Who feels nauseated by the TV conveyed picture of blood, and mud from a WW I trench scene?  Observers would vomit if they could also smell the stench of blood, puke, shit, rotting flesh and cigarettes and feel the heavy vibrations of a shell exploding nearby.

d)      Angle of shot. While a person at the film studio would look all around them, the TV camera shoots from a limited number of angles. These are carefully considered to create the impression that the producer wants. You must have wondered what is going on behind the camera and must conclude, “Well, at least as much or maybe more of the real action is behind the camera.”

e)       What is left out?  It is probably as important as what is included. Documentaries seldom even try to convey the complexity of any issues. Reporters heavily influenced by John Wayne’s concept of good guys and bad guys seldom note the internal struggles of one side or another. Producers arbitrarily pick the good people and report it from their point of view seldom noting that the people on the other side are just as human with the same needs and personal conflicts. During the Bosnia crisis Western television depicted events from a Croatian point of view, seldom airing the Muslim or Serbian side. Once a conflict becomes complex and the humanity of the other side starts to filter through, you will notice that most news reporting quickly moves to some other location where the crisis is not so complicated. There they can report with their usual oversimplification.

f)        Producer determines what is important. Depending on what influences are playing in the producer’s mind, he/she will direct the filming so that the “right” emphasis is given. This is the one which is most politically correct.

g)      Network policies. These policies are most influenced by what is more likely to sell ads, which are greatly governed by what consumer’s desire, which is greatly guided by the message in the ad.

h)       Station manager’s choices. Years ago the anchor newsman of our local station, a sincere Christian, and myself produced a good documentary on the effects of pornography. When I asked several weeks later when it would be aired his reply was always, “Soon.” This turned into months and years. Eventually he went into the station manager’s office to ask why they weren’t airing this particular documentary. The answer was as obvious as the nudity that was decorating the station manager’s office.

i)         Oversimplification. Humans seldom can report anything that includes all points of view with the appropriate emphasis, even if they wanted to. Television is most prone to this distortion. Producers deduce that the average viewer is not interested in hearing all points of view and therefore the producer decides what the “average viewer” wants to see.

j)         Special Effects. The stunt men/women and the special effects people invent illusions that are obvious in dramas if the past and future that most people could detect but they don’t wish to.  After all doing so detracts from the plot and the excitement. Too many children accept the reality of special effects and try to enact them.  There are so many scenes showing the heroes running up the city street with an explosion boiling along after them.  Anyone who has been in an explosion knows it is impossible to outrun it.  No thanks to TV, young people keep believing they can throw gas on a fire and run.  Some of the best special effects are so subtle that it takes an expert to point them out.  It is small wonder Jesus needed to point out that all but Christians will be taken in by the special effects of the antichrist and then only by the skin of their teeth (6).

k)       Good guys never die.  The good people are always better shots but even if hit, they recover from their wounds quickly enough to finish the next scene smiling in the arms of a beautiful lady.  Old soldiers know all too well that the bravest are the ones that die first.  It is the soldier that shoots his enemy in the back that lives to return home to a heroes welcome.  This is partly why so many veterans don’t want to talk about their war experience except the funny parts.  With the inversion of Christian values, now it tends to be the evil ones that don’t die on TV.

 

GARGAGE IN GARBAGE OUT

Although much human behavior is guided by their genetically determined constitution, most of what people think arises from their experience, both their personal participation in experiences and their vicarious participation in other peoples’ experiences. Their thoughts are formed by what they sense and how they are taught to interpret those sensations. The Bible makes it clear that humans are to revel in the beautiful and true. However, millions of Christians spend 10 to 20hrs/week passively absorbing Satan’s twisted reasoning, moral filth, distorted views and intellectual garbage.  Garbage can be defined as any kind of trash that is uninformative, useless and dehumanizing. Since what people learn determines how they think and express themselves, the term garbage in garbage out is particularly true with respect to television.

At an average gathering, many Christians spend less time talking about God than they do about the last sitcom or newscast. The garbage they speak arises from the garbage in their head. What’s in their head is determined by what they vicariously experience through television. A good example is how Christians think about global warming.  Far too many blindly accept Al Gore’s interpretation that it is caused by humans and don’t bother to question his very questionable science or consider other possible explanations. I remind them that God is always in control of all things.  God through Christ created the universe and since Satan successfully introduced error through Adam and Eve, He has had to pour energy into our solar system to keep the earth’s orbit from decaying (7). If God ever became so disgusted with sinful human thought and behaviour, that He needed to really shake them up, all He needs to do is to stop protecting them from the consequences of their stupidity and to stop pushing the earth through the friction of its space envelope so that it slows. The orbit will decay and it will get closer to the sun. Thus there will be global warming of the earth’s surface and atmosphere and a lengthening of its days. Even small changes in its revolutions and rotations will create major gravitational perturbations, which will shift Tectons, creating the earthquakes and famine predicted by Jesus (8). Most people do not want to think of any cause of global warming that is not caused by human behaviour and is thus under their control because they would then have to consider how God views them. It is small wonder that Mr. Gore is so popular. What is so sadly disturbing is how many Christians have swallowed the lie hook, line and sinker. The devil through TV has done a good job at both frightening and confusing Christians.

 

MORE DIFFICULT TO LEARN

The brain has a vast capacity, but it is not infinite. Moreover, it has a limited ability to filter and organize incoming stimulus. Since exciting stimulus is more likely to be received, it is more likely to be stored. Eventually a child’s mind is cluttered with irrelevant and distorted information. It is small wonder they have a reduced capacity to retain what they are trying to learn in school and from books when they watch so much TV.  Unless the classroom becomes as entertaining as their favorite television show they are less likely to participate in that experience and learn from it. If as an academic child psychiatrist and psychologist, I recommend to Christian parents whose child is struggling to keep up with classmates, they might try cutting back or better still eliminating TV, they look at me incredulously.

“But how will Johnny be able to talk about the latest show with his friends?  And he just loves the nature films.”

“Sorry Mrs. Kay.  I spend a great deal of time in the woods.  What your Johnny is seeing is not the way it is in nature.”

“Now doctor, the camera can’t lie. I think you are just old fashioned.”

“Mrs. Kay, have you ever seen an old carcass of a cougar killed deer? It isn’t pretty.  It is covered with flies and it really stinks. Does he get the whole picture of wild life from TV?  It isn’t possible. It never is possible for TV to give the whole, true picture.  Your Johnny’s thinking is twisted by the TV’s lies. Moreover his curiosity to learn is saturated with passive experience. Add to that, he absorbs so much TV garbage there is hardly any room for beauty and truth in his mind. In addition, you can’t protect him from the subliminal messages of trailers. You don’t want to hear about the sweet children from loving homes that get hooked on violence and pornography, the parent’s know not how.  Shall I go on?”

 

SUBTLE INCULCATION OF CONCEPTS AND ATTITUDES

Few Christians realize how much of their thinking is introduced through television. Attitudes towards life and death, ethical problems, moral issues of many kinds are easily accepted because the models on television who have those attitudes seem to have all the right characteristics of good looks, money, honor, etc. During the run-up to the American election it is not hard to see how peoples’ attitudes are guided by the media, television in particular. If you doubt this, just calculate the amount of time each network devotes to the different candidates. You will see there is more for the candidates they favor. Since so much of the media is dominated by people who do not have Christian values, it is small wonder they portray candidates who also do not have Christian morals in a heroic fashion. This inculcation of attitudes is done in such a subtle manner that it is seldom detected by Christians. At the same time, the media quickly picks up on any indication that people are not happy with their biased reporting and will pretend, for a short period of time, to be more even handed.

 

REDUCED IMAGINATION, INVENTIVENESS AND READING

Because the brain has a limited capacity and because it will deal with what is most titillating, the more information plugged into it the less the brain appears to spend trying to create sensation, new ideas, concepts, inventions and unique art. A child brought up without television is more likely to play inventive games or make elaborate fantasies with blocks, stones, pieces of tree or grass that come within easy reach. Because these articles are so unlike what he is imagining he must think with more color and drama to create a story that is credible to his own brain.  A child watching TV will tend to use the scenes and characters he so often watches and enjoys.

 

WASTE OF TIME

Anyone who does not have a television reports that they have so much more time available for interacting with their children, reading classic books, gazing at a starry sky, standing up on a moral issue, writing to the editor of the local newspaper, appearing at council meetings and political rallies, picketing abortion mills, serving soup to the impoverished, exercising, chopping wood for an elderly neighbor, building a home operated business, talking to neighbors and friends about Christ, reading the Bible and most importantly spending time in communion with God. God tells us to be very careful in the use of our time (9) and to realize that it’s always urgent because the night is coming when no man can work (10).  From my perspective there has never been a more urgent time than now. If Christians don’t act courageously and soon, there will be little left of the Christian civilization they so easily inherited and so foolishly take for granted.

 

CONDITIONED PASSIVITY

It is estimated that the average seventeen year old has seen eighteen thousand murders on television. In each instance there is a dramatic build up with somebody in a desperate situation looking for help. The natural tendency of all people and Christians in particular is to rush to that person’s aid. Rather, their response is, “Please pass the popcorn,” as they continue to sit. Thus, on eighteen thousand occasions a young person has ignored another person’s desperate plight and continued to indulge themselves. This becomes a strongly conditioned passivity, which in the real situation is impossible to overcome. A small wonder that there are so many injustices throughout the world to which Christians are not responding. “The total number of Christians who perished under Roman persecution during the first three centuries is not known, but probably comes to several thousand. The real age of Christian Martyrdom lay far ahead. At the close of the twentieth century, the organizers of The International Day of Prayer estimated that two hundred million Christians were facing active persecution. “A report from the Christian History Institute put the number of twentieth century Christians killed for their faith at twenty-six million” (11).  Where are the brave Christians who should be protesting on their behalf, and to stand with them and when necessary die with them? The condition passivity created by television has robbed the Christians of their ability to act on behalf of their brothers and neighbors in distress.

 

LAZINESS

There is essentially no satiation of the desire for excitement. The excitement comes to the TV watcher from his/her vicarious participation in the portrayed event. Many people become increasingly lazy, looking less after their own and others welfare and more dependent upon government subsidies and grants. There is clear evidence that the Roman Empire disintegrated primarily because people no longer cared for their crops, businesses and army. They longed “eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses!” (12). The vicarious gratification of participating in exciting or titillating events creates catecholamines (the hormones of an adrenalin rush). When the excitement levels out or when they become exhausted the TV watcher is left with a sense of lassitude and fatigue. People legitimately complain that after a day of watching television, they feel so tired they “might as well just go to bed”. They have done nothing useful throughout the day, but they are so fatigued by their vicarious activity and by the turmoil it creates in their minds.

God instructed his people to work six days.  Most North American Christians read this to mean, no more than six days.  I believe God intends for those Christians who are privileged to only need to work five days or less each week, to spend the other days working for their neighbor’s health and salvation. TV has inculcated the expectation that they can use any other free time for their recreation and made them lazy and selfish.  As for “spending time with the family” they can do this as well and be a better example of a loving father or mother while they work together on a worthy project.

 

LESS SOCIAL INTERACTION AND CONVERSATION

Much of Christian family life is spent watching TV together. The father, mother and children do not face each other, seldom speak to each other and lose tract of what is the experience of each other’s life.   Because the attributes of communication are not exercised, good skills with verbal and nonverbal conversation do not develop as well. With poor communication skills, family members are more likely to become frustrated and irritated with each other. Because there is little pleasure in communicating, family members are more likely to become isolated from each other and less able to empathize in any emotional crisis.

 

HOOKED ON EXCITEMENT

There are few people who don’t enjoy that “adrenaline rush” whether it comes from coffee or the excitement of watching a hockey game. The vicarious participation in a vigorous, sometimes violent, game produces the hormones that would normally be required by the people on the ice. There is no way to expend the energy that arises from eating and sitting in front of a TV so that the watchers become increasingly out of shape and less likely to do anything about their obesity. Their vicariously engendered hormones are seldom expended by heart pounding activity and so their stress levels stay high. Their blood pressure goes up and in not too short a time their arteries harden. The intimae of these arteries crack-creating conditions for clot formation that result in the occlusions and emboli that eventually kill them with heart attacks and strokes. The normal activity of chopping a cord of wood could burn off those catecholamines but few people have any demand for the skills required of forefathers in providing for their families’ food, clothing, shelter and heat.

 

INTERNAL INCONSISTENCIES

When seeing “documentaries” of the distress of people in the Sudan or Afghanistan, the normal response, governed by God-given instincts, is to rush to those peoples’ aid. Christians are not only governed by remarkable instincts but they are commanded to love all their neighbors; and a neighbor is anyone of whose need they are aware. Their mind and heart tells them, “You must do something or those people will die.” They are determined to do something quite significant; at least for a little while then all sorts of excuses arise. Eventually, there is a growing gap between what they tell themselves they must do and what they actually do. This creates not only inconsistencies between belief and behavior but also the basis for personal dishonesty, which Satan uses to further corrupt Christians.

 

RATIONALIZATIONS

Realizing there is so much they should and could do but don’t, Christians begin rationalizing why they don’t. Those rationalizations are simple to begin with eg. “You can’t expect me to tackle all the world’s problems. Besides I must put my family first.” “When I have a chance or when I retire, I promise you I will.” They are so easily convinced to put their first Focus on the Family when Jesus says, that unless a man is prepared to leave family, he is not worthy to be His disciple (13). Ask anyone who has tried it.  If you put the focus on your family, it falls apart. If as a family, you first focus on Christ and His work, the family work, love and learn together. Thus it should always be “Focus of the Family”.

Eventually the rationalizations become much more elaborate, even using scripture verses to support their indolence and inactivity. Once the rationalizations to oneself are sufficiently convincing, they are used to convince others.  Thus they spread from one Christian to the next. The most frequently used is “God hasn’t spoken to me yet” or “It’s not my passion”. This flies in the face of scripture as Christ clearly orders Christians to love our neighbors. Love is not a feeling. Feelings cannot be commanded. It is obedience in action. It is the action of meeting needs. Needs are not so difficult to determine. Science can be a guide to calculating what is the average person’s caloric intake, their need for water, space, rest etc. It is these basic needs to which Christians should be responding. When they do, that person who is being loved is open to the Gospel. Healing, meeting needs and preaching the Good News should always go together. Sadly, the rationalizations for self and family indulgence are not only self and neighbor convincing, they are often put into sermons and “Christian television” where they wreak even greater havoc.  Christians thus become increasingly self indulgent, much to Satan’s satisfaction.

 

NOT OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS

Christians are so saturated with TV garbage, so inculcated with wrong ideas, so conditioned into passivity, so able to rationalize their inconsistency that they absolutely do not want to hear what God commands them. If they just read their Bible and looked about to see what God is doing, they would without those influences, be much more likely to react in love to heal and to introduce people to Christ. Surely Christians can see that the time is short and the situation urgent. Never has there been a time when so many millions of innocent little people are being killed. Never has the Defender of the Fatherless (14) had so many reasons to be very angry. You doubt what I write? Read Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, looking carefully at what God says about “the murder of the innocents”. The Bible also clearly states God will not overlook what happened to these innocent babies. “I will not forgive….” (15). Even though there may be good government, God will not relent; His justice is certain and soon. As Christians refuse to obey God’s commands, they become increasingly alienated from Him. Like the prodigal son, they plunge into self-indulgence until somehow, someday they are awakened to the fact that they are starving for their Father’s love. God helping, they will return to their rightful home and realize it is time to get to work even as the most lowly servant, too often trying to compensate God for all the time that they have wasted.  Yet         it is clear that God creates history, beginning and ending human affairs.  There is no doubt from scripture that He will call an end to human life as we know it.  He will recreate or destroy everything and everybody but the process will be very traumatic, especially for those who, though they are part of His family, have ignored His commands.

 

BONDED TO PORNOGRAPHY

It surprises me how many respected Christians, elders in the church indulge in watching pornography. To their great shame they soon find they cannot stop though they pray hard and struggle mightily. In their efforts to hide their shame they withdraw from family and friends, hoping no will find out. Concerned people often convince them they are depressed. It isn’t long before their marriage begins to fall apart and their children become alienated. Operant conditioning explains that any behavior that is followed by a strong reinforcing stimulus such as the orgasm, will become more frequent and more compelling. Pornography watching is powerfully reinforced by a person’s excited endocrines. That conditioning is very hard to break.  The pornography may generalize to include sodomy, children and animals.  It often begins with an occasional “porno flick” watched on “adult” TV in a hotel or motel when a person is traveling alone.

 

VIOLENCE JUNKIES

As an orgasm reinforces any kind of sexual behavior in which the individual is engaging, be it heterosexual, homosexual, auto sexual, zoo sexual, so a surge of catecholamines reinforces vicarious participation in violence. “Here we are touching one of the most obvious symptoms heralding the moral disintegration of Roman society and its future decadence. “’This civilization was prepared to debase mankind, and itself, in spectacles of unbelievable bestiality.’ As the crowds screamed and jeered, the victims were hanged by their hands and lashed. Vinegar or salt was rubbed into their wounds. They were nailed to crosses and crucified. Nails were driven between their eyes. They were branded with red-hot metal. Their limbs were hacked off, their bodies torn to shreds. They were tied to posts and burned alive.” (16) With increasing ease, it possible to see similar kinds of violence in the quiet of one’s games room.  Unrestrained mixed martial arts, snuff films, and “documentaries” of animals killing and eating each other are easily viewed on a 216-channel cable.  Christians who watch, feel and look very awkward if you try to talk to them about their viewing habits, but they almost always have some rationalization.

 

IMITATION

It is clear that imitation is more powerful than instruction. Those who design advertising know that any behavior (eg. drinking a bottle of …) is more likely to be imitated if the person you see on TV doing it is: being rewarded (eg. surrounded by admiring pretty girls or handsome hunks) is rewarding others (eg. praising a good volleyball shot) and is obviously in control of the situation.  Long ago it was found with good research that children and adults tended to imitate the violence they watch on TV. If people imitate violence they will also imitate the: buying, “worshipping”, voting, attending games etc. they see on TV that people appear to enjoy doing. People will constantly deny what they watch has any impact on their thinking and behavior. Satan really enjoys those denials.

Imitation is more influential on behavior than is instruction.  “Do as I do” almost always wins over “do as I say”. Children are very likely to imitate their parents viewing habits. They will tend to watch the same programs, show the same posture (or lack of posture) and be just as passive in the face of a desperate cry for help.  Children imitate the behavior of their parents that they are seen enjoying, regardless of what the parents say.

Augustine in his Confessions “describes a student friend, Alypius, whose companions cajoled him into attending a gladiatorial show in Rome over his initial protests: ‘The whole place was seething was savage enthusiasm, but he shut the doors of his eyes and forbade his soul to go out into a scene of such evil. . . . (Finally) he was overcome by curiosity and opened his eyes. . . (and) he then received in his soul a worse wound than that man, whom he had wanted to see, had received in his body. . . . He saw the blood and he gulped down savagery. Far from turning away, he fixed his eyes on it. Without knowing what was happening, he drank in madness, he was delighted with the guilty contest, drunk with the lust of blood. . . .  He looked, he shouted, he raved with excitement. He took away with him a madness which would goad him to come back again, and he would not only come with those who first got him there; he would go ahead of them and he would drag others with him.’” (17) “Tertullian warned his fellow Carthaginian Christians to stay away from the amphitheatre shows. This shared experience was real, he said. It bonded people, and they need not be bonded with those who collectively enjoyed human suffering.” (18) So it is with modern Christians who enjoy the modern gladiatorial contests and snuff movies and thrillers and horror shows and science fiction, which increasingly depict the agony and death of the victims. Do Christians watch this as Tertullian or Augustine describe initially with hesitation but with increasing tension and enjoyment eventually convincing others to join them. In like manner, the modern family gaze into the wide screen, their whole mind is fixated, their body responding with hormones that excites them, their spirit increasingly numbed.

The author of lies has helped humans to invent the greatest conveyor of lies humans have ever known. It is small wonder that Christians do so little to defend the Christian heritage and civilization which their fathers suffered to establish. They now watch the events as if it was happening to somebody else when in fact it is destroying them.

 

GIVING UP EASILY

As a result of seeing the rapid action and quick results of projects on TV, Christians easily become impatient. They may respond well to a call for volunteers in a new missionary outreach to young people but when anything doesn’t go right immediately or the funds dry up or there seems little response, they too quickly give up. If questioned on why they no longer turn up for work parties, they state or imply “I now have other priorities” or “It seems God isn’t in this after all” or “I guess it isn’t my passion”.

 

AVARICIOUS

Television makes Christians more avaricious, covetous and materialistic. Advertising supports and is supported by a multi billion dollar consumer industry. This could only happen because the subtle techniques of advertising really work. The most affected by the subtle messages of advertising are those who feel that it doesn’t have any impact upon them.

TV advertising deliberately makes people dissatisfied with what they have and envious of what others have.

TV constructs the illusion that if you had more money or (useless) possessions you would be as happy as the people they depict in the ad. This leads to avariciousness, financial risk taking, gambling and ambition.

Television repeatedly alarms people with news of war, plague and disaster. The most expensive advertising is on either side of the news hour. While the Christian is watching they can only conclude there is nothing they can do about it. Therefore, they don’t do anything about it even when it’s very close to them. They will not avoid the impending disaster. They need to be reminded that Jesus said that when they persecute you in one town run, flee to the next. In this way you will spread the Gospel. God has always used persecution to uproot Christians from their comfort and spread them around the world so they will, this way, spread the Gospel.

 

POOR HEALTH

Human health is at its best when an individual is consuming only as much as he/she needs and regularly struggling with heart pounding effort. Most people eat when watching TV, the wrong food and too much. The excitement in which they participate vicariously engenders hormones that are not needed for fight or flight but they raise blood pressure and increase heart rate. This combination of too much and too little has a very damaging effect on health. Moreover the psychological conflicts seen on TV are more likely to become the conflicts of person’s life but have little chance of being resolved. Mental conflict results in body tensions, which diminish the blood supply to ligaments and cartilage. The resulting anaerobic conditions make the tissues scream in pain. If that persists the soft tissues die of anaerobic necrosis and such conditions as osteoarthritis result.

 

THE NEWS IS NOT NECESSARY

You may contend, dear reader, that bad as it is, we should watch TV just in case there is a warning of some impending disaster, which if we heeded could save our lives. There is no question that the function of the watchman was essential to a middles ages town’s survival. “Hear Ye, Hear Ye. The enemy doth approach.  Hide your families, take your weapons and stand upon the wall.”  The most expensive advertising is either side of the news hour because news is watched more than any other program.  Yet there are few disasters of war or chaos from which people could effectively hide.  Precautions to be safe from natural disaster are seldom heard, heeded or soon enough to prevent personal catastrophe.  To keep the TV on just in the unlikely event of some quake or tsunami warning makes little sense when one considers all the damage TV does.  Such a warning could be conveyed via a permanently warm audio device which is activated by a special signal.

 

LITTLE INSIGHT AND MATURITY

Self-awareness is very important to other awareness. People can spend little time in self-reflection.  They seldom record the insights that their dreams and God give them because the necessary calmness is drowned out by the blaring TV. If they become depressed or anxious they all too quickly ask their physician to prescribe the medication that they saw was so effective on TV. They feel that the hard work of psychotherapy would interfere with their fun time watching a sitcom. Little do they realize that the side effects of those antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications too often interfere with dream sleep and the cycling thru the full range of sleep cycles that is necessary for the brain to retain its efficiency.  It is small wonder that so many of my patients who have been put on psychotropic medication by their family physicians, report major problems with their memory. Too often anti-depressants prevent the experiences of multiple emotions that are necessary for the satisfactory conclusion of grieving.

 

CHRISTIANS WANT ENTERTAINMENT LIKE THAT ON TV

As Christians become increasingly absorbed in television excitement, they want all their experiences to be like that. They want church services to be as entertaining and “uplifting”. It is small wonder that they prefer beautifully clothed choirs, handsome preachers, and pop culture oriented worship leaders. If they were to hear a most informative sermon and if they were to agree with everything that was truth that was taught, they are very unlikely to put it into action because, after all, like television it’s just entertainment.  The real prophets were in the wilderness. Jesus taught people mostly while they were on their feet and thus were more likely to get moving. Now, not only does the pew need to be comfortable, but also the service must be “electrifying”. To keep the people happy, there need be lovely visual effects but these only distract from the harsh reality of God’s word and detract from God’s fascinating glory; if only it were quiet enough and the congregation could look into the heavens instead of vaulted ceilings and stylized “saints” in stained glass.

 

SO WHAT ABOUT GOOD GOSPEL SHOWS AND SERVICES?

There is no doubt in my mind that God can use whatever means He chooses to bring people to the knowledge of salvation, including TV.  But I wonder if the same amount of time, money and effort was expended by Christians quietly talking to their neighbors would not only have brought many more to Christ but matured those Christians in the process.

Entertaining Christian gospel also conditions passivity. People have their minds and senses titillated while they are sitting. Jesus usually taught while people were standing. They were more likely to move one way or another; to follow Him or walk away. Reinforcing sitting with entertainment increase passivity and diminishes the chances that Christians will act upon what they learn.

Christians consume more information about God and the needs of others from good preachers and fully intend to implement what they are convinced they must do. That conviction lasts at least until they begin to enjoy a large lunch and then a football game on TV.  Then their determination rapidly fades and is replaced by some flimsy excuse that shortly becomes a very convincing rationalization in their mind. At least they convince themselves. They have an uneasy feeling that God is not convinced so the rationalizations become even more elaborate all the while affirming, “Lord test me to see if I really don’t mean it”. If God were not so patient, He would take them up on the challenge. The worst result is the growing discrepancy between what most Christians say they believe and what they do. The gap is a measure of their personal integrity.  It is a measure of their dishonesty. That dishonesty is the root of the rapid decline of our Christian civilization.

Do you believe all humans are equal in God’s sight? Do you pray to have God’s perspective? Do you treat all men as your equal? Are you prepared to cut back on your entertainment so your African neighbor is able to have clean water or change your life style a little so you have more time to protest on behalf of the voiceless preborn child or forgo some end of your life medical care so the millions dying of malaria are able to have medication or many other possibilities? These highlight only a few of the glaring inconsistencies most Christians seem to live with so easily. Their inconsistencies result in inner tensions that detract from the health and external conflicts that disrupt marriages, family relationships and church congregations. It would be much better if they heard only one good sermon a year and strove mightily to put in practice what they then believed.  Then they would have the courage of their convictions.

 

ERRORS PROMULGATED AS THE GOSPEL TRUTH ON TV

There are so many errors taught from TV pulpits but modern Christians tend to accept them as gospel. This happens because they are so convincingly persuaded he/she is “the most wonderful speaker”, “who has written X number of books” and “been on Y’s TV talk show” and “shaken the hand of the president” and “has a congregation of Z thousands”. With this type of smooth introduction, gullible Christians are convinced this preacher must be speaking the truth because they are so blessed by God.  These Christians haven’t read their bibles and church history enough to understand that real prophets were surrounded by a few and lived in poverty out in the wilderness.

Jesus commanded all Christians to love their brethren and their neighbors by: preaching, teaching, baptizing and healing. This is clearly an order with no exceptions. That order is: a) understandable because love is understandable, b) doable, easily because with Christ in you it comes naturally c) always rewarded, while we are in the present, in the future of our earthly lives and most fully in heaven (19). With books and TV sermons far too many Christians believe Christ’s command means doing something:

a)       You are “called” to do. No, you do it because you are ordered to do so.

b)      If it is your ”passion”. Wrong, you do it because your neighbor or your brother or sister needs it done even if you have no inclination, talent, or desire to do it eg. wipe the feaces from your dying mother’s wasted body.

c)        If the “doors are opened” for you. No, if you want to be more than a three year old Christian then you push open your own doors, knowing the promise of Jesus to those who will obey his command to preach and heal. “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you” (20).

d)      After you spend time with your “family, who come first”. Wrong again. The focus should not be on your family but on Christ all the time, every time. “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.” (13). You can minister with your family and they will learn by your example. When you focus on Christ your family will be together. When you focus on your family, your family will become selfish and fall apart.

e)       If you are a “minister” of the gospel. This is far from the truth. The split between clergy and laity started early in the church but Jesus taught that no man should be your master or father and that we were all brothers with essentially the same rights and responsibilities. “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.” (21)

f)         When it is convenient.  Wrong.  Paul insisted we preach God’s Word whether it is convenient or not. (22).  After all we serve the greatest King in the greatest army with the greatest support, sure of the greatest reward and with a certain outcome to the conflict.  If Christians lose sight of this they are easily alienated from God by the lies spewing from their TV.

 

MUCH LESS THAN THE PERSON GOD INTENDED

God desires mature friends. Maturity usually comes only with crises. Modern TV saturated Christians tend to be immature and narcissistic. The “fall’ brought us to a very low state compared to the person that is a little lower than the angels God designed.  Yet Christ in love died for all and offers His life and love giving Spirit. With our eyes and ears fixed on Christ we can work out the salvation He gives us and become like Him.  When the eyes and ears of Christians are fixed on TV they become but a shadow of the Person I Should Have Become (23). But God doesn’t give up on us. Under the present conditions, I believe He will bring a major crisis that will shake up and wake up Christians, especially to the fact that they have done almost nothing to stop the murder of many millions of His precious innocent preborn babies.  Too late current Christians will realize they should have repented for their TV induced indolence long ago. They should have vigorously protested abortions, defended the preborn, handicapped, poor and elderly with their time, energy, clear thinking and their lives. Yet it may not be too late for us all to get on our knees and ask God to forgive us for wasted time, thinking and quietness robbed by the constructor of lies thru TV.

 

THE NET EFFECT

Television through lies, distortions, sordid scenes, violent conflict, distorted sex, flippant commentary, illusion-filled entertainment, alarming news, twisted opinions, made Christians lazy, passive, unable to think straight, filled with garbage, hooked on entertainment and violence, pornography rationalizing their inconsistencies, dishonest to themselves and indifferent to God while wasting vast amounts of time and money.  For what benefit do they do this?  Very little, that a scientist can see. They have led themselves into temptation and succumbed to Satan’s distortions.  No, they cannot become one of Satan’s minions for they have been bought with a price and are now eternally part of God’s army and family.  But their ineffectiveness in the face of overwhelming destruction to faith and family is aiding Satan almost more than if they were directly helping it.  God will not tolerate the destruction of His family, so He must soon intervene directly.

The net effect is dehumanization. Satan desires that people become less than human. It began with the dehumanization of the preborn, then the handicapped, then the elderly and eventually it spreads to everyone so that nobody considers anyone to have worth, certainly not sufficient worth to bother defending at risk of their comforts, let alone their lives. Jesus predicted that humans would destroy themselves and be destroyed by the events they invite by their sin there would be no humans left (2) unless He came again.

 

A CASE IN POINT

There are very few Christians who would not agree with the statement, “The preborn child is as much a person as you and me”. They seem to really believe it. If they say this and don’t mean it, they are lying. If they say they sincerely believe this to be true and don’t do anything to protect that baby, they are also lying. After all, it isn’t what we say we believe but where we put our beliefs into action that makes us a person of truth. Thus there are many millions of Christians who are constantly lying.

 

“Cheaters never prosper and liars never can,

It’s truth and gravity that win.

They damn each sinning man.” (24)

So the Christians have once again swallowed the apple.  They have found that the knowledge of good and evil brought by their TV does not bring them the power of true knowledge but the bitterness of often tasted illusion.

It is time to rise up and throw the television out into the junk pile where it belongs.  Maybe then, they can reassert their humanity and learn to protest the dehumanization of preborn children.

 

SUMMARY

As the result of watching television and directly proportional to the time they spend doing that, Christians:

1.            Are more easily confused about the truth and accept the lies TV always conveys.

2.            Have minds crammed with lies, irrelevant information, and dehumanizing depictions of preborn, disabled and elderly people so that is how most Christians think and speak.

3.            Have brains so filled with exciting nonsense or vileness or violence that they can’t readily learn from history and the Word of God.

4.            Be inculcated with dehumanizing attitudes, particularly towards preborn children.

5.            Have reduced inventiveness and ability to attend to the universe and discover its truths.

6.            Waste time they should spend worshipping their Lord and serving Him by loving their neighbours.

7.            Be conditioned into passivity, which blocks their quick response to needs of others.

8.            Be lazy in serving their Lord and fearful of difficult tasks.

9.            Have less social interaction and conversation between family members.

10.            Be hooked on exciting violence, suspense or horror.

11.            Have internal inconsistencies, which form the basis of personal dishonesty.

12.            Develop rationalizations with which to excuse themselves and convince others to do the same.

13.            Disobey God who commands them both to preach and heal.

14.            Become bonded to pornography.

15.            Become a violence junkie.

16.            Learn thru imitation to act and think like TV heroes and have their children following their example.

17.            Are more impatient and give up easily when encountering difficulty and opposition.

18.            Are more ambitious, materialistic, covetous and avaricious.

19.            Have poorer health.

20.            Keep listening to the news, which most often cannot help them escape disaster.

21.            Are not as open to learning about themselves or becoming wise.

22.            Want to be entertained and have lovely church services conducted by well-trained staff.

23.            Far too often accept as truth the erroneous pronouncements of slick TV preachers.

24.            Do not mature into the person God wants them to be.

 

I realize this short treatise will not convince many no matter how rational the arguments or how well scientifically supported are those arguments. People will respond with a need to relax or a need to keep up to date with world affairs or it’s really quite harmless or if it’s so bad why is everybody else doing it. I ask only that people will try to step back from their rationalizations and at least try it. Best of all, I hope people will throw their television onto the garbage dump where it belongs. They cannot forget that the author of lies is using the medium of lies to dehumanize them and to make them less than they should be so they are more easily confused and made apathetic, especially now when their Lord and Master is so urgently ordering them to get going and get loving.

There are so few benefits and so many ill effects arising from watching TV, one must ask why are Christians so unable to avoid watching TV for so many hours. Their compulsive watching shows how effective has been the father of lies in using this medium of lies. The only way to understand this is to rid yourself of your TV and watch none other for at least one year. I give you a guarantee it will change your life for the better.

 

 

REFERENCES

 

1)       Psalm 8:5.

2)       Matthew 24:22.

3)       I Corinthians 3:16.

4)       Matthew 22:37 – 40.

5)       Isaiah 59:17, Ephesians 6:17.

6)       Revelation 19:20.

7)       Ney, PG Global Warming: An Alternative Hypothesiswww.messengers2.com.

8)       Matthew 24:7.

9)       Ephesians 5:16.

10)       John 9:4.

11)       Byfield, Ted (ed.). The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years. Volume II. Edmonton. 2002. p 100. ISBN 0-9689876-1-1.

12)       Ibid., p. 106.

13)       Matthew 10:37.

14)       Deuteronomy 10:18.

15)       II Kings 24:4.

16)       Byfield, Ted (ed.). The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years. Volume II. Edmonton. 2002. p 99. ISBN 0-9689876-1-1.

17)       Daniel-Rops, Henri. The Church of Apostles and Martyrs, 2 vols. New York: Image Books, 1962. p 97.

18)       Byfield, Ted (ed.). The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years. Volume II. Edmonton. 2002. pp 98-9. ISBN 0-9689876-1-1.

19)       Ney, PG The Law and the Essence of Love. Pioneer Publishing, Victoria. 1975.

20)       Luke 10:19.

21)       Matthew 23:8.

22)       2 Timothy 4:2.

23)       Ney, PG Deeply Damaged. Pioneer Publishing. Victoria. 1997. p 307.

24)       Ney, PG Songs Jesus Loaned Me. Pioneer Publishing. Victoria. 2007. p 23.