The Reality Test
Even in comedy, unrealistic plots and stereotyped characters often indicate a warped moral perspective. Programs that do not depict the painful consequences of wrong actions distort reality. Just as we should not spend our lives aimlessly associating with evil people and fools as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, we also should not invest valuable time watching immoral and frivolous television programming.
"Do not be deceived, bad company ruins good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Every family member should learn to be a critical viewer, ready to switch off junk productions that are done in poor taste. We all should be willing to explain our viewing choices to other family members.
The Morality Test
We live in a fallen world. Consequently, all good art acknowledges the reality of evil. Art that ignores evil has no depth. The greatest writers and playwrights of the ages—people like Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Goethe, Eliot, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Melville—have always grappled with evil.
But they portrayed evil without glamorizing or sensationalizing it. Sometimes actors need to play roles portraying immorality. But a good program distinguishes between acting and exhibitionism. As the commercial networks, to boost ratings, promote more and more soft pornography, we should keep in mind the simple insight that fornication acted out by professional actors and recorded on film for public entertainment is still fornication. Human sexual intimacy is too precious to be prostituted by the media under the guise of realism or artistic freedom. Similarly, both the testimony of common sense and academic circles affirm that media violence, even when simulated, has the effect of desensitizing viewers, lowering their inhibitions, and creating an appetite to see more. Today’s media, like the Roman circus, often exploits evil rather than exposing it, gaining viewers by inflaming their passions.
If we regularly test our TV viewing by these three standards, Reality, Value, and Morality, we will probably find that it will be greatly reduced—or even eliminated altogether. Your family’s use of the media says a lot to your family and friends about its values, priorities, goals, and dreams.
How do you set TV viewing standards for your family?
Some contents of this post taken from Setting TV Viewing Standards by Radio Bible Class Ministries.
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