What about Television?

Malcolm Horlock, Cardiff, Wales

It will come as no surprise to you to find that there are no references to television in the Bible. Nevertheless, the Scriptures do provide guidance for the Christian who wishes to know what his attitude should be to many of the things which can be seen on it.

We know that the Lord is very concerned about the mind of the be­liever. Indeed, one of the true objec­tives of gospel preaching is to take captive a person's thought-life and to bring it into obedience to Christ, 2 Cor. 10. 5. The apostle Paul taught the importance of having the mind properly targetted. "Set your minds", he wrote, "on the things above, not on things on the earth", Col. 3. 2 lit. It does the Christian no good to have his mind exposed to the amusements and entertainments of the world.

It is not possible, of course, for our minds to be occupied always with "spiritual" matters. Paul does, howev­er, provide us with a set of criteria which we should apply to those things upon which we feed our minds; "Whatever things are true, . . . hon­ourable, . . . just, . . . pure, . . . lovable, ... of good report (indeed, if anything is of moral excellence and a fit object of praise) think on these things", Phil. 4. 8 paraphrase. This verse provides us with an inspired standard which can be used to test whether the pasture is fit for God's flock to graze in! It is not the Lord's will for us to expose ourselves deliber­ately to television programmes which fail to pass "the Phil. 4. 8 test".

There is no doubt that what we see makes a far more vivid impression upon our minds than what we hear. Yet the apostle Paul regarded it a shameful thing even to speak of certain immoral practices, Eph. 5.12. We can hardly justify, therefore, choosing to watch such things when portrayed visually.

Job could say that he had "made a covenant" with his eyes; why then should he look with lust upon a young woman?, Job 51. 1. Many popular television programmes contain mate­rial which tends to incite lust. The words of the Lord Jesus still stand true, "Every one who looks with lust at a woman has already committed adul­tery with her in his heart", Matt. 5. 28 lit. It is foolish for us to supply fuel for our own temptation. "Make not provi­sion for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, Rom. 13. 14.

Our ideas, values and attitudes are influenced profoundly by that which we regularly absorb. The constant bombardment of our minds by mater­ialism, violence, blasphemy and un-cleanness is not calculated to produce in us the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5. 19-24. The word of God exhorts us, "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind", Rom. 12. 2.

We should also remember that we are stewards of our time. Television can easily rob us of time which could be spent in some form of Christian service, in prayer, in reading God's Word or in doing something generally useful. The Lord's command to us is "walk carefully therefore . . . redeem­ing the time", Eph. 5. 15-16 lit; (cf. Col. 4. 5).

There are 14 articles in
ISSUE (1985, Volume 36 Issue 2)

The Birth of the Bible

Distinguishing Words That Differ: The Stranger (Paper 2)

Five Studies on the Holy Spirit (Part 1)

Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities

Jesus and Divorce

Matthew; Presenting Jesus the King

Notes from Numbers - Chapters 26-30

Proverbs: The King’s Wisdom

The Sayings from the Cross, 2

Some Thoughts on Hebrews 11

Status and State

That the World May Know

What about Television?

‘Your Adversary’

This article is not part of a series

There are 71 articles by this author

1 Corinthians 14 (1)

1 Corinthians 14 (2)

1 Corinthians 14 (3)

1 Corinthians 15-16 (1)

The Coming of the Son of Man (3)

1 Corinthians 15-16 (3)

1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 15-16 (2)

So much Better than the Angels (2)

1 Corinthians 12

Isaiah saw His Glory and spoke of Him

So much Better than the Angels (1)

The Coming of the Son of Man (2)

The Coming of the Son of Man (1)

Jacob at Bethel (1)

Jacob at Bethel (2)

1 Corinthians 8 (1)

The Temptations of the Lord

1 Corinthians 8 (2)

All Things Work Together for Good

A Bird’s-Eye View of Philippians

What about Gambling?

What about Television?

Christ our Forerunner, Hebrews 6. 18-20

Philippians 3. 20, 21 (2)

Absalom and Christ

My Responsibility to Civil Authorities

He Shall Be Called a Nazarene (1)

He Shall be Called a Nazarene (2)

The Gift Laid at the Altar

Possessed and Possessing

This is our God - Introduction, Isaiah 25. 9

This is our God - The God of Unlimited Power and Authority (1)

This is our God - The God of Unlimited Power and Authority (2)

This is our God - The God of Holiness

This is our God - The Eternal God

This is our God - The Presence of God (1)

This is our God - The Presence of God (2)

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Lessons in Service

Philippians 3. 20, 21 (1)

1 Corinthians 9-10 (1)

1 Corinthians 9-10 (2)

1 Corinthians 9-10 (3)

The Church in Ephesus

1 Corinthians 9-10 (4)

1 Corinthians 11 (1)

1 Corinthians 11 (2)

1 Corinthians 11 (3)

Cyril Hocking

The Seven Golden Lampstands (1)

The Seven Golden Lampstands (2)

God and the Gospel

His Own Son

The Lamb and the ‘Beast’

The Parable of the Good Samaritan - Part 1

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant - Part 1

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

The Parable of the Good Samaritan - Part 2

Thy Shield and Exceeding Great Reward

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant - Part 2

The Parable of the Workers in Vineyard - Part 1

The Parable of the Workers in Vineyard - Part 2

The Parable of the Unjust Steward - Part 1

Our Lord’s Outststretched Hands

The Parable of the Unjust Steward - Part 2

The Parable of the Pounds - Part 1

The Parable of the Pounds - Part 2

The Parable of the Unprofitable Servant

Miracles and the Revelation of God

Miracles and the Revelation of God - Part 2