Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11
Pam and I watch television. We're not alone. The people in China watch American TV too.
Modern technology has made it possible for America's mainstream programs to be picked up and streamed into many Chinese homes, which bothers the Chinese government. Reacting to the immoral garbage their populace is watching, the Chinese rulers have instructed program providers to cut out scenes of one-night stands and extramarital affairs.
The Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television has told program providers they are to censor any episode that shows too much physical contact, or those that show murders, or suicides, or kidnappings, or drug abuse, or gambling, or things supernatural.
All of this has caused some upset among the companies that provide the programs. In the face of government-mandated censorship, TV companies are saying, "If we chop all this stuff out of our programs, we've got nothing left to show the public."
And that, my friends, is a sad commentary on American TV. It is sad so much of that which is dark in human nature is the center of our entertainment, and it is equally sad the noble, the uplifting, caring, gracious, sacrificial things people do will never make it onto TV because such things are considered too boring.
Frankly, I'm amazed. I'm surprised a godless government recognizes the junk we bring into our homes. The garbage we watch can negatively impact individuals, families and the nation.
It is sad for us that the Chinese communists seem to have grasped the validity of Jesus' words. They know that "out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person" (Mark 7:21b-23).
Now while the Chinese government is censoring things for its people, America, with freedom of speech, has no such desire. So does that mean there is no escape from the flickering screens in our living rooms?
Not at all. All we Christians need do is turn the set off; turn the channel to another program, and do it so, at least in your household, the Lord, who remains your unseen Guest, will always be glorified.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that my nation, my home, and my life may pursue that which is good and forsake that which is evil. May the Savior who has given His life for my forgiveness and salvation never be uncomfortable with any entertainment at my home. This I ask in the Name of my crucified and ever-living Savior. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries