Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Media Matters

In the last few months I have spent a lot of time listening to, watching, and reading Christian media. This is kind of new for me, but my grief led me to strongly desire more of what the Lord had to say about life and hardships. I found answers and comfort in some of these things.

I have always enjoyed talk radio, but in the last year I discovered Christian talk radio. I've learned so much and have been so encouraged by the teaching ministries of David Jeremiah, Alistair Begg, Philip de Courcy, and many others featured on a couple of local radio stations. One of my favorite shows is Pastor's Perspective on KWVE. That's a live radio show where Pastor Chuck Smith answers questions from callers. He's a wealth of knowledge and I love hearing his responses.

I've also discovered some Christian television programming like Wretched, Zola Levitt Presents, and the Hal Lindsey Report. In my opinion, these are quality productions, and they are nothing like your typical cringe-worthy television evangelism. Wretched calls out false teachings within the Christian body. Zola Levitt Presents showcases excellent portrayals of Biblical stories, and covers current issues in Israel. This show in particular has given me the desire to see Israel for myself. Hal Lindsey considers weekly events in light of Biblical prophesies - something I've always been interested in.

I have also found some wonderful historical fiction written by Christian authors. In the last month or two, I have devoured Israel, My Beloved, by Kay Arthur, Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers, The Chronicles of the Kings series, by Lynn Austin, and I just finished Demon: A Memoir, by Tosca Lee. In addition to enjoying my favorite genre (historical fiction), I'm also learning spiritual truths. In particular, Lynn Austin's series really made me think about trusting God, pride, and spiritual idolatry. Here I was, reading for pleasure, but learning some really valuable things at the same time. Things that stuck with me.

Okay, so why am I telling you this? Because being exposed to media (radio, television, and books) that are complimentary to my world view has made me more sensitive to media that are not. The programming that is featured on network and cable television is becoming more and more base, and there are themes in almost every television show that I have previously enjoyed watching that require me to compromise my values in order to enjoy them.

King Solomon said in Proverbs 4:23:

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

That means to value and protect your mind, emotions, and will. Am I doing that if I'm watching secular media? Or am I exposing my heart to things that can damage it? Things that can replace what God wants for me with worldly imitations.

So, I feel that I'm at a crossroads in this part of my life. That I will have to be more discerning about what I watch come the fall television season. I've already decided that there are some shows that I just won't watch anymore. Shows I really looked forward to each week. You'd probably be surprised at which ones because I don't think they stand out as being offensive. But I want my heart and mind to be as uncluttered by the world as possible, and eliminating some television programming is an easy thing to do in that regard. And yet, so few Christians seem to consider doing it. We are supposed to be in the world, but not of it. However, we are consuming the world's messages and values every time we are exposed to it's media. Over time that has got to change our hearts, and obviously not in a way that brings us closer to our Lord.

I guess I'm just becoming convicted in my heart about this, and I want to honor that by making more discerning choices about what I listen to, watch, and read in the future. There's only so many hours in a day. I'd rather spend the short time I have on things that edify my spirit than things that bog my spirit down. How about you? Are there media influences in your life that you feel you need to eliminate?

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on those things.
~ Philippians 4:8 ~


  1. I am actually a strange creature in that I would rather write or read than turn on the television or listen to the media. I have actually become a Podcast junkie and find myself listening to Christian based podcasts or educational/informative ones. I do admit there are some shows I watch periodically that are probably not a good use of my time, but I can go days (maybe even weeks) without mainstream media.

    Your consideration towards filtering what goes "in" makes sense considering where you are in your life. I think it's only natural to re-evaluate these things and make shifts accordingly. I believe the body mind and spirit are all connected and eventually we make choices in all three areas that compliment our beliefs and resonate with us. It's a beautiful unfolding really. :)

  2. We actually just cancelled our cable for this very same reason. There is just so little on television that is worth watching, it wasn't even worth having it anymore. Philippians 4:8 has been convicting me for a long time. Now that our cable is gone, I haven't even missed it. It's amazing how much more time you will find in your day.:o)


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