Friday, July 1, 2016

Our Window to the World

Dear Friends,

In the early morning, I watch television for 90 seconds. Yes, that’s right. CBS offers “Your World in 90 Seconds,” and if I’m near a TV set, I tune in because I want to know what’s going on. 

Just as I look out my sun porch window to see the world around me—flowers, trees, birds and squirrels—television allows me to look out a global window. But unlike my backyard world that always tells the truth—if the sun is shining, it’s probably going to be a nice day; if I see clouds, I know it might rain—television truth is subjective, truth seen through the eyes of a reporter. And sometimes, like Pilate, I wonder, “What is truth?”

For instance, reporters seem very surprised by gun violence. A man takes an assault rifle and kills dozens of people. This is most unusual. But is it surprising? If he’s a young gunman, he’s been watching violence on television his entire life.

Young people viewing the world through television may think that it’s perfectly OK to lead promiscuous lives. I heard women on a talk show debate whether it’s OK to have sex on a first date. Morality was not an issue. It was simply a discussion about women’s preferences—now or later. Why then are we surprised when entertainment translates into life for our teenagers?

Then there’s what we do not see much of on television: The importance of faith, the dedication of missionaries, the rewards of morality. In a book, The Age of Missing Information, Bill McKibben shares what he learned by watching a single day’s programming on 93 cable channels with what he learned atop a mountain. I read the book years ago and just may reread it. 

Maybe I’m old fashioned—well, there’s no maybe there—but I think we would be a lot better off if we spent more time gaining a perspective of the world from God’s Word and good literature rather than from television. Yes, television offers a window to the world, but as a Christian I want to view the world from God’s perspective rather than that of a sponsor. How about you?

Have a blessed day.


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