The World Behind Media

A while back we realized that we weren’t really watching television enough to warrant paying for Cable. These days, where we live, people with an old (15 years) CRT television set like us are pretty much dependent upon cable or satellite TV if we want any kind of variety from which to choose. So we ditched cable, deciding to choose what we watch via our Netflix subscription, which costs a lot less. Then came Netflix streamed movies on demand. In some ways, our household now watches more than before, only we choose what we want to watch, and there are no commercials. Well, somebody chooses what we watch.

I’ve always been a bit suspicious of media like TV, though admittedly more suspicious of newsy programs than drama. But then, drama, comedy, and other content all comes from somewhere too. That somewhere involves a worldview and an agenda. Today, I’m wondering just how much the worldview and agenda in family-oriented media contradict Christianity. Surely, there are contradictions, and most Christians realize this. But are we vigilant enough? Or do we too quickly become complacent? How many Christian households are well acquainted with Barney and Teletubbies, and what’s the worldview behind those innocent-looking stuffed aliens? How about Pokémon?

My suspicions here are similar to those of others, who may sound a bit shrill or even wacky. While I do appreciate concerns about moral corruption and insidious agendas to control the world, my deepest concern is about faith in Christ. Let those who want control of the world fight it out among themselves, as long as they leave me alone. Eventually, my family and I will no longer be in this world, and eventually, this world will be no more, while our true lives will be just beginning.

Through Pokémon (originally on videotape from a friend at church), my oldest daughter became interested in the Japanese comics called “Manga,” even finding some books of it in our local public library. I browsed one myself, finding the word “sadist,” which is not yet part of her vocabulary. They’re not checking those particular books out any more. It leaves me to wonder what anti-Christian agenda may lie hidden in the worldview promoted by Pokémon. “Aw, c’mon. Pokémon?” Well? If nobody ever asks, then we may never know. Stories are powerful.

All of this means we should be actively catechizing our families in the truth, and taking advantage of every opportunity to learn from God’s Word. That includes weekly church services, Sunday school, Bible studies, home devotions, and regular discussions to help us exercise good discernment. Some stories provide an excellent opportunity for these discussions. The biblical Christian worldview is certainly in the minority, and while opposing worldviews may not always be overtly hostile, they are nevertheless corrosive to faith, can destroy these short lives we have on earth, and may well lead Christians to lose our true, eternal life in Christ. With that, we should realize that there’s no escape from the influence of such things. We may be able selectively to reduce the influence (like with that Manga book), but we cannot eliminate it. This is the world we are living in.

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