Sunday, August 9, 2009

Randy Alcorn: Taking Charge of the Television

Randy Alcorn has some helpful thoughts about taking charge of the television. You do not have to agree with all of it to benefit from his advice. Here are his points (but click through to read his reasons):

1. Keep track of how much time you spend watching.
2. Decide in advance how much TV to watch per week.
3. Use a schedule to choose programs for the week--then stick to your choices.
4. Keep your television unplugged, store it in a closet, and/or put it in a remote part of the house (prevents mindless flip-on).
5. Periodically "fast" from television for a week or a month. Notice the "cold turkey" effects. (Avoids addiction, reminds you of all that can be done when TV off).
6. Choose programs that uplift rather than undermine biblical values.
7. Use the "off" switch freely. If it's wrong and you keep watching, you're saying "I approve." (Unless it doesn't present temptation and you're critically analyzing it).
8. Use the channel changer frequently.
9. Watch and discuss programs together as a family--to avoid passivity and develop active moral discernment through interaction. (Avoid the second TV set that splits the family and leaves children unsupervised).
10, Don't allow young children to choose their own programs--that's the parent's responsibility.
11. Don't use television as a baby sitter.
12. Spend an hour reading Scripture, a Christian book or magazine, or doing a ministry for each hour you watch TV.
13. Consider dropping cable, Showtime, HBO, or any other service that you determine is importing ungodliness or temptation into your home.
14. If you find you can't control it--or you're tired of the battle--get rid of your television.

[HT: Josh Harris; Between Two Worlds]


Anonymous said...

Oh, these are very interesting suggestions. As someone that grew up with cable, I do not think it's that big of a deal especially since I've met many Christian children that are so sheltered they are socially awkward. Choosing certain shows to stick to is a great idea, though. I've done that ever since my family got DVR, which I would recommend to everyone if it's within their budget.

Pastor Phillips, I just stopped by to write that I noticed a lot of people in our church use "lost" a lot and ever since I read Why Men hate Going to Church, it always strikes a nerve when I hear it.

p. 136 “In the Baptist universe you have two kinds of people: the saved and the lost. Men hate to be lost and the only thing worse than being lost is being saved. The term drips with passivity.
“Although Jesus used the term saved a number of times in the Gospels, only twice did He pronounce someone saved. But He called many to follow Him. Hear the difference? Follow gives a man something to do. It suggests activity instead of passivity. But being saved is something that happens to damsels in distress. It’s the feminine role. By calling men to follow Jesus, we put Christ’s offer in active terms that appeal to everyone—especially men.” -David Murrow

Just some food for thought.

Douglas Phillips said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for our comments. As the language of 'lost' and 'saved' I think those are important Biblical words, used by our Lord himself. It may be a blow to our pride to be described that way, but it's still the truth about us apart from God's intervening grace, and apart from the gracious good Shepherd who seeks and saves those who are lost. (Luke 19:10