Television

 

 

Television is still considered one of the greatest technological inventions ever made in the field of mass-media. Now, it is common knowledge that television has changed society for the worse. What are these changes? First of all, television has reduced the time which the family’s members spend on talking with each other, for as they have lunch or supper they hardly ever speak to one another about their problems because they are watching television and listening carefully to what the television says. In addition to this, television has helped to increase obscenity, perversion, violence and many other bad things among people. How did television manage to change society? Because of its power, which is very big; those who study the ‘television phenomenon’ recognize that television has a great influence on people, which surpasses human intelligence because it influences the subconscious of human beings.

Now, I’m going to show you from the Scriptures that watching television is harmful to a believing person.

 

● The apostle John says: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

If one considers carefully what is broadcasted on television, he will come to the conclusion that the television broadcasts all the things which are in the world, that is to say, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. That’s why we are not surprised to see that this mass-media has been ‘successful’ all over the world, because the television broadcasts what belongs to this world, and since the world loves its own things, the television is loved by the sinners to the point that they can’t do without it. Watching television is like breathing the air to them, it is like eating bread, it is like drinking water; in other words, it is necessary to them. If their TV set is broken, they call immediately the television engineer to repair it, as if a water or gas piper is broken. Let’s say it very clearly; sinners love television because they find in it all the garbage they like feeding on.

Unfortunately, television is loved also by many believers, who love it as if it were one of their loved ones. They don’t dare to speak against it, and when they hear someone speaking against television they get angry as if someone had touched the apple of their eyes!! They begin to tremble with rage, to gnash their teeth, the colour of their face changes, they can’t stand people speaking against their domestic idol. Yes, it is an idol, because the television has entered their heart, but not without their permission, for they themselves allowed it to enter into their heart and put it into their heart. They adore television, they exalt it, they have bowed their knees to the television which has become their master, they are slaves to it! These are hard words, yet they reflect the sad reality existing in the midst of God’s people today. They like watching television, rather I would say that they watch it passionately because in it they find pasture for their insatiable eyes and ears. They want to fix their eyes on what is passing away, that is, on the vanity of this world, on the deceitful vanities; they watch the fashion shows, the Sanremo Festival, those amusing shows where comedians insult everybody and everything, they watch different kinds of films, they can watch whatever they like! Someone will say to me: ‘What are you talking about?’’ I am talking about the things which are happening in the houses of many believers and many pastors. Why then should we be surprised at seeing such a widespread worldliness among the Churches here in Italy also? Believers speak as the television speaks, they are dressed like the people they watch on television, they behave like the people they watch on television, that is to say, they have the same tastes and customs which are exalted and spread by television (saying ‘by television’ is tantamount to saying ‘by the prince of this world through his sons and daughters who appear on the television screen’). What can you expect then from believers and pastors who are slaves to television? Holiness? Not at all. Maybe justice? Not at all! Zeal for the things of God? No! Brotherly love? No. You can expect from them only indifference, superficiality and thoughtlessness towards the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God!

Why are the prayer meetings ignored by most of the believers? The reason is because when believers come back from work in the evening, the first thing they do is to turn on their television (unless it is already turned on) and to watch all the ‘beautiful and interesting’ things which will be broadcasted that evening. The Festival will be aired in a few minutes! Their favourite comedians, who make them die with laughter, will perform on TV in just a short time! The soccer game of their favourite team will be broadcasted live on TV! The latest film by Tom is on first release! Therefore, they have no time to go to pray to God together with other believers. Why, after the worship service is finished, do most of the believers want to go home as soon as possible? Because they want to be at home in front of their television set at the fixed time, in order to watch their favourite program. And why do many believers arrive late to the worship service? Still because of the television, for they leave their home when their favourite television program is finished or almost finished. How shameful! Many unbelievers are indeed more zealous than many believers, for when they go to the stadium to see the soccer game they arrive even five hours earlier, whereas many believers always arrive several minutes or half a hour later. Why do so few Christians desire the spiritual gifts? Because today almost all are so attached to the television that they have no intention of desiring the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Why is there so much lack of knowledge of the Word of God? Because the faithful spend most of their free time watching television instead of spending it reading, meditating and studying the Word of God as they should do. Then it is right those who stay day and night in front of their television set who get angry when they hear some brothers quoting more biblical passages above the average. ‘Brother, the letter kills but the Spirit gives life’ they are ready to tell you to discourage you from studying the Scripture. However, you know that the meaning given to these words by these believers is wrong, because the apostle Paul by these words meant that the Old Testament (the letter) kills, whereas the New Testament (the Spirit) gives life. I would like to say to these believers: ‘Know this, that the studying and assimilation of Scripture don’t kill, but rather it is your dear serials, your dear soap operas, which are an abomination, your dear festivals, the jokes and the coarse jesting of your favourite comedians, the violence and the obscenities you watch on television, which kill’. For this reason you are dead, even though you have a name that you are alive, because all that garbage you watch on television, which you have put into your heart, chocked the Word of God and you became unfruitful. Why don’t you speak using the Word of God, but you have a very short memory (as if you lost your memory), or you show such a lack of biblical knowledge that it seems that you turned to the Lord yesterday? You look for the book of Psalms between Genesis and Deuteronomy, the Bible is an unknown book to you, your carry it to the place of worship just because you want to appear Christians, but you hardly ever open your Bible at home. You know by heart the times of the movies, the titles of the movies, the actors of the movies and many other things; but you don’t know the Word of God. At your house one can see upon the table in your living room the magazines which speak about the television programmes, whereas he can’t find the Bible. Where is it? When you pray you say always the same things, you don’t pray in faith, you recite your prayers, you don’t pray with your heart. Your prayers are grammatically correct, every word and verb is at the right place, yet your prayers are dead, lifeless, without zeal. I know, all this is discouraging and distressing to those who want to pursue holiness and who seek continually the face of the Lord, yet on the other hand is the result produced by the love of the world and the things in the world when it enters the heart of a believer.

Therefore, brethren, since television promotes the love of the world and the pleasures of it, and tends to cause you to neglect the reading of the Word of God, prayer and the assembling of brethren together, and to cause you to forget the Word of God, don’t watch television any longer because it’s a waste of time and money and through it you don’t bear any fruit to the glory of God. Furthermore, television is a powerful instrument in the hands of the devil to imprint perverse and violent images in the minds of believers, who will think of them when they have turned off their television. Therefore, they will meditate on perverse things instead of meditating on good, right and true things, as the apostle Paul commands us to do (Philippians 4:8) and thus they will disobey God. A similar thing must be said about children, who memorize very easily in their minds all the things they watch and hear on television, and besides this they tend to do what they see on television and to speak the words they hear on television. That’s why they are violent, attached to vanity, and not attached to the family; that’s why when they are rebuked, they answer with bad words and vulgarly and they give themselves over to many vices. We can say that they are ‘brought up’ by the television and not by their parents. They ought to be brought up in the training and admonition of the Lord, but they are left to themselves.

Some of you will wonder why I say these things about television; well, the reason is that I myself have experienced both the harm that it causes to those who watch it and the peace and the joy which one experiences after he is set free from its dominion. Obviously, some will say that I am exaggerated or too much exaggerated; however, I can assure you that if you decide to understand the will of God, and to understand if what I am saying to you is right or wrong, and you pray God about this matter, God will reveal to you that watching television has an evil influence on you and your families and He will deliver you from the habit of watching television, of which billions of people are slaves all over the world. When this happens, you will get rid of your television set, and after that you will inform the RAI (which is the Italian broadcasting company to which every citizen, who has a television set, must pay a licence fee annually) that you have no longer a television set in your house. Your life will change for the better because you will begin to spend more time serving the Lord, as you have never done before.

 

● Jesus said: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single [good], thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).

Our body has a lamp, which is the eye; note that Jesus did not say that the lamp of the body is another member of our body but He said that the lamp of our body is the eye. Now, if this lamp is burning it will enlighten all our body, but if it has gone out our body will be full of darkness. Therefore, if we want to keep our lamp burning (so that it might shine on us) we must see good things, true things and decent things; only on this condition we will keep the following words of Jesus: “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning ….” (Luke 12:35 – NKJV). However, if we fix our eyes on vanity, obscenity, and violence, our lamp will go out, that is to say, our eyes will be lifeless eyes and not living and bright eyes which emanate light from the Lord. Therefore, considering the fact that on the television screen are broadcasted all kinds of perverse and violent images, we conclude that by watching them our eyes become bad and thus our body becomes full of darkness; that’s why it is better not to watch television. Someone may ask: ‘What do you mean when you say that if our eye is bad our body will be full of darkness?’ I mean that, for instance, if we watch on television a sensual scene or a person dressed indecently, we will become corrupted because that perverse scene stimulates or stirs up the lust of the flesh. However, this can be said also about all the other perverse television images (wizards and witches performing their occult arts, people killing one another or beating one another, etc), for they also have harmful effects on our body. For instance, violent scenes promote violent behaviour. Remember that the prophet Isaiah says that the just “shuts his eyes from seeing evil” (Isaiah 33:15 – NKJV) because he (the just) knows the evil effects which a wicked image has on him.

 

● Isaiah says that he who walks righteously “stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed” (Isaiah 33:15 – NKJV).

Now, the television news, which seems so innocuous to many people, gives all kinds of bad news, such as murders, wars, atrocities, injustices, frauds, falsities, perversions and so on: so I ask you: ‘What grace does the TV news impart to you?’ Do you feel edified when you listen to it? Does the news do any spiritual good to you?’ I watched all kinds of television news (even foreign television news) for many years and I can say that I did not receive any spiritual good from them, rather I was disturbed, discouraged and many times I got angry because of certain news. Furthermore, it is a well known fact that the television news gives bad news every day, why then should we rush to listen to it? Oh, that those believers who take delight in the television news and are in a hurry to listen to the daily news were in the same hurry to listen to the Word of God! I think that if they were attached to the Word of God as they are attached to the television news, we would see a great deal of spiritual progress in their life. I think that if they had a thirst of hearing the words of the Lord (which abide forever) and not of hearing the television news, they would be different. But the facts are upsetting: believers know what the television news has said, but they don’t know what God has said in His Word; they remember perfectly what the television news has said, but they immediately forget what they have heard from the pulpit: they remain many hours in front of their television set to watch the television news and all kinds of programmes of current affairs, but they get bored listening to their pastor when his sermon is longer than usual, for at a certain point they begin to look at their watch saying to themselves: ‘When will he stop preaching?’

Many pastors speak about revival; they do a right thing, but I believe that the revival will come when the believers get rid also of their television set and begin to spend their time (which they spend watching television) on praying on their knees, on searching the Holy Scripture and on doing good works. But as long as ALSO the television is so important to them, the revival will not come; the reason is that at the root of this affection for the television there is the love of the world and its worldly lusts. And we know that if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Do not love the world, do not love the things in this world, and then the light will dawn upon you, then the early zeal and power will return, as well as the early love. You will see the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the world will know that God is truly among us; you will begin to see that brotherly love by which all will know that we are disciples of Christ; then the pastors will expose those worldly lusts which today are accepted and thus the sheep of the Lord will pursue holiness because their pastors will rebuke and correct them. Our desire is that the believers may return to perfect holiness in the fear of God and that the Lord may work powerfully among the Churches as He did in the days of old.

Brothers, I implore you in the name of the Lord not to watch television anymore and to take it away from your house. Do not keep in your house this instrument that the devil uses to create strife in your family, to discourage you from doing good works, and to cause you to return to the pollutions of the world, which you once escaped by the grace of God (in other words, the devil uses your television set to destroy you), and for which – do not forget this – you pay a licence fee to the RAI annually!! Imitate that brother who, when he read the following words ‘THE WORLD IN YOUR HOUSE’ on the box in which was the television set he had just bought and which was about to be brought in his house, said to himself: ‘What! I was delivered from this world, why should I bring the world in my house?’ Know this, that you will never regret your decision, I say it again, NEVER, because you will be blessed, greatly blessed. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.

 

 

 

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