Summary: Four tests to apply to what you want to watch.
Life in the Fast Lane
Television & Movies: Look Out For That Pothole!
Woodlawn Baptist Church
November 28, 2004
Tonight as we continue on in our series titled Life in the Fast Lane, remember that each of these messages has dealt with some pressure that society or culture places on the believer that encourages you to be conformed to this world. We have talked about parenting, marriage, homosexuality, and living 24/7 among others. In each of these, there is tremendous pressure to forsake or simply ignore scriptural teachings in favor of doing what you and I want to do. Up to this point however, most of us have agreed with the Lord about the subjects. I think most of us agree with God about parenting and marriage and homosexuality. Most of us agree with Him about needing to slow down and yoke up with Christ, but tonight’s subject is somewhat different.
If you don’t believe me, turn to Psalm 101, and let’s read a couple of verses together beginning in verse 2.
“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.”
Is that descriptive of you? Do you behave yourself in a perfect, or innocent way? Can you say with complete honesty that you are a person of integrity when you shut the blinds at home? “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes…” Really? Tonight my subject is Television & Movies, and I know as well as you do that unless you don’t have one, or you are extremely selective about what you watch, you have allowed society to pressure you into it’s mold concerning your television viewing habits. It doesn’t take much of this to agree with Paul when he said, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God!”
You may have heard this before, but did you know that by age 17 the average American child racks up over 15,000 hours of watching TV? How many of you would take a child and set them in front of the TV and make them watch it for two solid years, night and day? That’s the equivalent of those 15,000 hours. Back in 1993, a Florida State University study reported that during a typical prime-time hour of television, the characters talk about sex or display sexual behavior an average of once every four minutes, including intercourse, prostitution, rape, innuendos, kisses, suggestive gestures, and homosexuality. “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes?” Once every four minutes hardly qualifies as “no wicked thing!” and that excludes murder, drugs and alcohol, violence, abortion, adultery, anti-Christian messages, the negative portrayal of the family, and of church.
One man has said that television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home, and yet more and more I am not so convinced that we don’t want these people in our homes. As I taught at church camp this past summer, I was amazed at how the youth thought Jessica Simpson and her husband Nick were good Christian role models and they loved to watch them on TV. We want these people in our homes! You may be the exception, but across the board, there is little difference in the viewing habits of believers and nonbelievers, either in what they watch, or how much they watch. You may be like Orson Welles. He once said, “I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.”
It is no secret that television has tremendous power to influence. Many of you can quote lines from movies you haven’t seen in years. Almost all of us have commercials that we can sing or quote.
· How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S
· What fast food chain encourages us to “Think outside the bun?” Taco Bell.
· Which wireless service asks, “Can you hear me now?”
· “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, Oh…” What a relief it is.
We could keep going. Can anyone still sing the Oscar Myer wiener song? How about “My bologna has a first name…?” “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” The dictionary defines influence as the ability to produce effects; exercising indirect power to sway or affect; to exert influence over, or to modify. There is no arguing that television influences its viewers – but what has become arguable is how believers should react to what is being broadcast each day in their living rooms.