Television, Movies, the Internet, Power Outages, and Christianity

I ran across a comment by Jonathan Edwards (who else? ) over at Tim Challies’ blog and it got me thinking. Here is the relevant excerpt from his comment:

As I thought of the idea of ridding myself of unlawful media (most), it made me concerned – could I live w/o it? I think it brings up something else in my life – my dependency on media vs God. Media fills up the majority of my life (TV, PC, ipod, DVD). I wonder how many are like me.

This really resonated with me. I myself have at times been convicted of the place that all these things have in my (and my family’s) life and have considered chucking them all, only to be confronted by the question: But how would I spend my time? What would my family do for fun.

The idea of getting rid of all the pesky worldliness in my life reminds me of when there is a power outage for any significant period of time. Initially, everyone in the house is frustrated, they walk into rooms and toggle light switches out of habit, they sit down at the computer and stare morosely at the dead screen, they complain to one another about the outage.

Slowly though, they begin to adjust, they play board games, they nap, they read by candlelight, they tell stories, they (gasp) talk to one another. At some point, someone invariably says something to the effect of, “I wish the power would go out more often” or “we never do these things anymore.” In short, people begin enjoying themselves, sometimes immensely so. But the instant that the power is restored, the party is over. Everyone goes back to their own room, to the computer or to the television set, and conversation and books are set aside for a future outage.

Does this seem familiar to anyone else? Are there days that you wish you had spent your time talking to your wife and friends instead of watching a movie? Are movies and television and the internet an almost irresistable temptation for you? I’m certainly thinking about it. Feel free to leave your thoughts as well.

2 thoughts on “Television, Movies, the Internet, Power Outages, and Christianity”

  1. Some suggestions of things to replace it with:

    1. Hospitality – Regardless of how well media excites the lust of our eyes, the pride of life and the lusts of the flesh, it will never surpass the enjoyment of fellowshipping with believers or doing God’s work in evangelizing the lost by having someone who doesn’t know the Lord in your home.

    2. Reading God’s word – How much of the time of Christians is spent studying meaningless things like statistics of ball players rather than studying God’s word? Why not learn things with eternal consequences than studying things that are as meaningful as the gossip page of a newspaper from five years ago.

    3. Meditating on God’s word – God tells us to meditate on His word night and day. He doesn’t tell us to do this to encourage our boredom, but because through it He reveals truth about Himself that are more amazing than the most recent action packed movie.

    Because of our depravity, we constantly want to call evil what God calls good and good what God calls evil. God’s ways really are better than our ways and as far above them as the heaven is above the earth. We should stop chasing the what the world calls fun and start seeking after what God calls fun and we will find that He was right and we are wrong.

  2. Some suggestions of things to replace it with:

    1. Hospitality – Regardless of how well media excites the lust of our eyes, the pride of life and the lusts of the flesh, it will never surpass the enjoyment of fellowshipping with believers or doing God’s work in evangelizing the lost by having someone who doesn’t know the Lord in your home.

    2. Reading God’s word – How much of the time of Christians is spent studying meaningless things like statistics of ball players rather than studying God’s word? Why not learn things with eternal consequences than studying things that are as meaningful as the gossip page of a newspaper from five years ago.

    3. Meditating on God’s word – God tells us to meditate on His word night and day. He doesn’t tell us to do this to encourage our boredom, but because through it He reveals truth about Himself that are more amazing than the most recent action packed movie.

    Because of our depravity, we constantly want to call evil what God calls good and good what God calls evil. God’s ways really are better than our ways and as far above them as the heaven is above the earth. We should stop chasing the what the world calls fun and start seeking after what God calls fun and we will find that He was right and we are wrong.

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