First patented in 1884 by Paul Nipkow in Germany, the television has become the most sought out form of medium the world over, challenged only by the recent development of the Internet. With this in mind, I asked myself the question how would Jesus view the television if it had been available in His day? Would He see it as an outlet that could have enhanced His ministry, enabling Him to preach to the masses in a more efficient and large scale way? Would He have used it to send God's message to every Jew and Gentile in all of the civilized world? Would He have rejected the television as a device all too easily polluted by the deceptive hearts and desires of man?
According to Gal.4:4, we understand that Jesus came in the fullness of time. It was at just the right time and place for God's plan to unfold in a marvelous way. We can say with confidence, Jesus didn't view the television as indispensable or even extremely beneficial. Foreseeing it's invention in His foreknowledge, He would have chosen the mid 1900's as the fullness of His time if indeed He felt television was a necessity.
Today we recognize the television as a device that is used contrary to God's plan. It encourages patterns, which not only rob valuable quality time that should be spent with our families, our church, and our neighbors, but it also assaults the very moral values God would have us cultivate.
Consider with me Paul's encouragement to the brethren at Corinth and Philippi.
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (2Cor 6:17). "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phil 4:8).
Radio is not very different. It has been a conduit for much of the same distraction and licentious patterns. It appeals in a non-visual way that is certainly safer to the recipient, or is it? It is my observation that radio can serve as a gateway in subtle less direct ways. For example, in our area the radio station WDAC first aired on Dec. 13, 1959. Since then it has been accepted in many plain churches. Consider with me some of the values promoted.
Patriotism is promoted in terms of God and country, military, and political involvement. Both of which violate the tenants of Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount, and Romans 13.
Christian radio also promotes a progressive and always changing music collection. I trust you understand my emphasis on the word progressive. Remove the prefix "pro" and replace it with the letter "a" and it becomes the word aggressive. Music abounds which fails to complement our view of holiness and our attitude of worship.
In a limited way Christian radio also promotes an ecumenical flavor. It is not so much taught (although some openly promote ecumenicalism) but rather incorporates a multitude of ministries and programs. Would WDAC programming be considered unique? I dare say "no", but would probably rank among some of the more conservative radio stations. WDAC is but an example of why the radio is a concern.
All of the above examples are dangerous in their influence and thought to the clear teachings and example of the Lord Jesus and the New Testament saints, none of which we would allow to be promoted from our pulpits. May God help us to not have it proclaimed in our cars and homes!
I hope we could all agree that television and radio are dangers that can and should be and are avoided.
- Elizabethtown, PA