I certainly agree that we can turn off the TV and save ourselves from sin, but this is a simplistic, almost self-centered solution. I am reminded of the story of Elijah fleeing from his enemies and hiding in a cave, or Jonah running away on a ship. In both cases, God brought them back to real-life again.
Our society is dying spiritually as our culture disintegrates. I think we should do more than just live in sin-free cocoons and ignore everyone outside of our cocoon.
Like David, we shouldn’t flee our giant, but march out to meet him and destroy him.
There are still “decency” federations around that put pressure on network executives to clean up television and other media. Join them.
And even if you don’t join an organization, you can still carry on your own letter-writing campaign, protesting “bad” tv and praising “good” tv.
If the offensive tv is a commercial, then write to the company and tell them that you are not purchasing their product. This approach has had results; some offensive commercials are removed very quickly.
There are various actors and other people in the entertainment industry who consistently produce righteous and even godly work (e.g., Jay Russell, producer of My Dog Skip and Ladder 49, has stated that he will only produce family-friendly films. e.g., the company that produced the Chronicles of Narnia and *Bridge to Terabithia * has consistently produced family-friendly and accurate films of works of children’s literature). Even if you are not a tv-film fan, it is good to at least be aware of these works and recommend them to people who do watch TV and films.
The current issue of Christianity Today features an article about the current crop of pro-life movies. These movies are there because fans go see them and they make money. This means that there will probably be even more pro-life TV and movies. Money talks–if something is GOOD, we need to support it so that more GOOD is produced. Supply and demand.
The Unit is a fantastic tv show that hasn’t been renewed yet and probably won’t be. According to the fan-boards, the main reason this series hasn’t been renewed is that it is blatently PRO U.S.A. and pro-military (without glorifying the military or war). The Unit “offends” liberal Hollywood establishments. Where are the Christians? Why aren’t people writing the networks and asking that this great show be renewed?
One more approach is to become part of the industry and/or encourage your children to become part of the industry. My daughter is a professional stage manager, and she is seeking involvement with the television/film industry. She wants to do good things. It’s amazing what one Christian can do even in Hollywood or New York.
Sure, you can turn off the TV. But always remember that most of your neighbors aren’t turning off their tvs. Those awful shows and commercials will shape their lives and the culture all around you. Eventually, you will have to interact with this culture. IMO, it is our Christian responsibility to do whatever we can to be lights in the darkness and influence our culture for the GOOD, not just hide out from those things that are destroying our culture.
BTW, I realize that it is very wise to shield children from the bad media, at least until they are old enough to have a well-formed conscience and make godly decisions. I don’t believe it is possible to “shield” teenagers from popular culture. If you are reading this on a computer right now, your teenager has access to popular culture. Don’t kid yourself.