Thursday, July 27, 2006

TV and Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will."

When Paul exhorts his audience to NOT be conformed to the pattern of the world but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, he's saying, "Don't engage in mind-numbing worldly activities, but immerse your mind in the Word of God." Read and study the Scriptures, because it is in them that we have life.

It seems that, if not the whole world, then America at least, is "united" in the pattern of TV watching. We watch half-hour situation commedies and hour-long dramas and are entertained. But after a while those get dull, so in comes reality television for our amusement. "Think" about this (that is to say, use your mind): the word amuse, by which we get amusement, is made up of "a," which means "against," and "muse," which means "think." So when we are watching TV for amusement, we are turning off our brains and encouraged not to think. TV watching is by definition against thinking. It's the exact opposite of Paul's exhortation to be transformed by the (daily and continuous) renewal of your mind.

I've lived without cable tv for 9 months now. My only tv in the house gets only one channel, ABC, which is arguably the worst of the 4 major networks. I might watch an hour a week, if that. And it's such a change from the period of time before cancelling cable. I spend the additional time working on the house, spending time with my wife, studying the Bible, and reading extra-Biblical non-fiction. There was a time of withdrawal, and I can always take advantage of the tv (or let it take advantage of me) if I really need to turnoff my brain,but I am to the point of loving life without television. I think I'll miss it once the NFL season starts, but really, which is more important: a-musing football or my mind to the glory of God?

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