Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Technology That Changed the Family, the World, and the Church


Dan.12: 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

There are some of us whose life has seen many significant changes in this world. This is no nostalgic sentimentality, nor is it a “life used to be better in the 50’s” opining. But so many things have changed over the last 50 years including attitudes, morals, the family, wealth, and yes, the church. Like lightning things have been ushered in that altered our perception of reality, and certainly our perception of truth.

These changes have not just chipped away at our understanding of life itself, but these changes have set in motion a colossal metamorphosis of the mind, the soul, and the spirit. And even though it was a day by day process, still the transformation was remarkable in its velocity and revolutionary it its cultural alteration. In essence, in a little over fifty years technology has been leveraged to completely capture the masses and lead us away from what we knew and practiced and into a dramatic realm which increasingly rejects that which seems old and demands that which is new.

And so the culture became fluid and exciting. But in the midst of all this revelry certain things began to be seen as too intransigent and thereby must give way to the rising tide of the new way. And as the culture changed and moved on, so did the world. And as the world changed, so did the church. Sometimes the change was gradual, but sometimes it was overnight. But no one could deny that change had not only come, it was now a continuing way of life.

And as the title of this post indicates, certain technologies were instrumental in leveraging this change. Yes it was electricity, and yes it was radio, and yes it was the automobile, but perhaps the greatest and most profound instrument of change has been the invention and the proliferation of the television. It is this invention which many thought would soon die out that has taken hold of the minds and hearts of men and guided and formed their thoughts and opinions with subtlety and creative genius until everything had been impacted by its alluring and persuasive communication.

And it wasn’t just the communication itself, but it was the communication along with the consumption of time which made television the life changing force it is today. It is the supreme taskmaster which cries out like a multitude of Geek sirens and imprisons all who turn to listen. There is nothing that has changed the culture like television, and nothing like television has dictated what people think and believe. How clever to concentrate on the eye gate and add the ear gate and add the element of time. We now could do almost anything while watching television. And advances in color and clarity and sound only made it that much more alluring. And at the beginning it was at least a time where the family gathered together, but soon with more and more channels more television were scattered around the house which separated the family and even allowed teenagers to watch things they should not. Yes, what was probably an innocuous piece of technology had now become a full blown source that divided families, mesmerized minds, and produced the perceptions and truth which the producers themselves hold. And it all made sense. In fact it was so persuasive that many times you were affected most by what you watched last.

Well this phenomenon continued for decades, and at first the church resisted, but eventually the church crumbled under the weight of this technology. And late in the 1940s some evangelists used television to preach the gospel. It was expensive but souls were saved. But somewhere in the 1950s there arose a phenomenon called “Christian television” when evangelism was no longer the motivation, but now speaking to believers was the focus. And that phenomenon continued to grow until some professing Christians actually purchased entire stations and by suggesting to onlookers that God wanted them to help “spread the gospel” they raised incredible funds to purchase these stations. Today there are scores of Christian stations and hundreds of Christian programs. And millions upon millions of dollars are raised whereby thousands of men and women have become unbelievably wealthy. It has become a lucrative business where a small portion goes to helping people and the portion that does is recorded and shown in order to raise more. Sadly, the unsaved world’s assessment of Christian television is painfully accurate.

But through this portal we call television the church has been deceived and led astray from truth and the Person of Jesus Christ. And the secular part of television has stolen time from believers until prayer is a lesson in history and Bible meditation is embarrassing. The spiritual lives of believers have dwindled down to a convenience if in fact most even have a spiritual life. The time and dedication to television has drained the life and power from the church, and the preachers are complicit in the plan. Truth lies in the streets and the demands of a hedonistic lifestyle have allowed any spiritual practices to wither on the vine.

And not only do believers watch television asif they were worshiping an idol, but millions upon millions of evangelical church members watch what obviously must displease the Lord and offend the Spirit. Professing believers open their eyes and hearts to almost unbelievable violence, cursing, and sex on television or the movie theatres. There are all kinds of excuses and rationales that are presented, but none can hold up to Biblical scrutiny. And all this has come through the technology of television. Yes now pornography has come alive through the internet, but the church has been readied through the systematic brainwashing of television and the demands of time through the same.

And if we can see these changes with an overall view of the past fifty years we must see how devastating and prolific they are. And words like these seem so outdated and archaic. But yet the church and its hirelings continue to drum up new ideas and new activities and new and innovative sermons that at least engender a Sunday morning’s hour long interest. And with the creation of the half hour sitcom and the hour long reality programs along with the age of the remote, the attention span of the average believer has been reduced to minutes. And now with being trained to multi-task believers can sit and listen to the preacher while doing mental assessments of an assortment of other things.

Slowly but ever so surely the depth of the Christian faith once delivered to the saints dripped away until the shallowness we now see is embraced as orthodox. And the compromise has been so dramatic that many caricatures of Jesus are taught and embraced throughout the evangelical community. And in almost every congregation people have their preacher/teacher heroes they have seen on television or have been pulled in by their attractive books and teaching guides. But how many believers pray more than they watch television? How many read God’s Word more than they watch television? How many witness more? In fact how many of us do anything more than we watch television? Quite an indictment on us all.

So what should we now do? What should be our course of action? Perhaps more penetrating is what would the Spirit have us to do? That which could have been used for good has become an idol and has been brought right into the church. And most of what is on “Christian” television is comical, worthless, carnal, and many times bizarre. But even if there were no Christian television at all, and even if believers did not subject their eyes to inappropriate programs, the television still shapes people’s minds and instigates hatred and hubris in people’s hearts. So many believers walk with disdain and even hatred in their hearts for liberals because they have lent their ears to unwholesome words coming from the television or sometimes the radio.

And I do not believe the church has the spiritual tenacity to seek God with all our hearts and to allow the Spirit to break up the fallow ground. In fact, I do not believe the church even desires to change at all. The road we now walk is way too comfortable and self affirming to elicit any desire to seek a change. Let all things remain as they are and continue to go down the path called apostasy. And at the end the fallen angels will sing our requiem complete with upbeat music and colorful overheads and large debt ridden buildings. Perhaps they will make a CD of that event and give it to professing believers for a seed faith gift.


Cherie c. said...

Or Perhaps this was all foretold and now we are witnessing prophecy.

Wasn't it Paul who wrote Romans.
Romans 1:30
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

"Inventors of evil things." Television. I must admit I used to have it on in the morning as I was having my Bible time, but no more. It was distracting and I was convicted. Time with the Word is short enough. I do not want, and I am sure the Lord does not appreciate the competition.

Another evil invention, feminism. Women's Liberation. What utter evil. No woman can have it all. Work, home, children, husband; something always suffers and we can see now it is the family. The Yahoo CEO made it very evident who was her priority when she had her baby. Yahoo. I try to be a Proverbs 31 woman, but not in the context of which it is being manipulated.

I like to watch cooking shows, home improvement shows, how things are made shows and sports. I watch the news at times, but not so much anymore. I have to watch to see what is going on in this world, but I do not like it.

I enjoy more time spent here, in the Word, and I am working on my prayer life. I am not perfect, but He is changing my heart each day. And I am getting more sleep. At night when I am sick, I turn on the old fashioned tv in my room and turn to the music channel with Christian music. I believe there is a channel with music and scripture with beautiful nature scenes.

My husband is one of those who thinks tv is real. Lately he is on a mission to get me to hate the pro golfer Tiger Woods. He doesn't accept that I view Mr. Woods the same way I view him, a sinner in need of a savior. It makes him very angry. See, if you ask my husband, he knows God. Although hate is in his heart, he knows God. He wants me to hate this man, but like the abortion doctor who just got convicted of murder, they are all equal to me. All of us are sinners, some of us are now saved, but sinners non the less.

The Bible foretold of this. (so awesome is God's Word) There is technology being developed as we speak that will enable all of us to see live (not previously recorded live) but live, in real time, events as they are happening from our mobile phones and other portable devices.

Revelation 11 is so close. All we need is Elijah and Enoc to appear. Are they the two witnesses spoken of in Rev. 11? They are the only ones who have not died in the Bible so it could be. But as the scripture says:

Rev. 11:9-10
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

How do you think nations and tongues will see this event? TV. TV on mobile phones, tablets, maybe even Holograms. This is both scarey and cool knowing that God's Word is true and we are witnessing prophecy as it happens.

Time to get back to God brothers and sisters. Increase your time in the Word, increase your time in prayer, increase your time with each other for support. Time is short and we need to prepare. I know I am working towards that end.

Love you all,
your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie C.

Anonymous said...


For a few days I didn't have time to watch the evening news and nightly political discussions. The lack of talk and contention and debate and political commotion and false statements, etc. for that short time made a big impact on my 'calm' meter. The frustration of hearing paid voices make allegations, accusations and never solving anything is emotionally and spiritually draining.

Aside from some positive purposes that the internet may have, like reading sites like this, the internet is turning people into needy craving attention addicts. Will there ever be a revival before the Lord returns, if the majority are all plugged into the visual on screens almost every moment of the day. It's the kids, cell phones, and blackberries, and texting, then laptop screens, screens in vehicles, on plains, to entertain kids - screens in church! Why do we need screens in church? We can see the pastor from the pews. Why have more images of the pastor while he teaches? Images, the very thing that Satan will use once the anti-Christ is on the scene. People I encounter in stores now almost have on their cellphones talking to someone telling them what they're looking at in the aisle, non-stop talking about nothing, that dulls their senses and keeps them addicted to being constantly listened to. What kind of adults will these people become? Are we entering a phase where our next generation of doctors, surgeons, medical care workers, police, teachers can't function and train and concentrate on one thing because they're so accustomed to being the center of attention. If the Lord tarries, society will be teemed with unproductive zombies.

The enemy really has us cornered on this one. If it doesn't stop, and if the Church doesn't turn from it's apostasy, will we be begging the Lord to send us to remote villages in every third-world nation just to get away from the swarm of noise. Noise, noise noise, and we become dull of hearing the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. I don't believe God's creation was made to tolerate these audible, visual distractions at such a high rate, day in and day out. Maybe I have that sensitivity to lights and noise, and am hyper-sensitive, but the constant buzz, phone ringers, beeps, and electronic noises and loud music and hyper-brain over stimulation gives people headaches and anxiety and if they have to turn it all off they get depressed. Hence, our need for anti-anxiety medications, and sleep-aids, and calming tranquilizers. It's like a never-ending cycle.

I am afraid for these times. It may be possible we may never see great revivals, possibly small ones in quiet places here and there, but it's going to take a major change to shake people out of their electronic stupor.


Reine Gnade said...

In my opinion the invention of television was a beautiful gift from God, but any gift can be abused and misused by self seeking men and women.

Chris Baumgart said...

Thank you Rick, for the last couple years I have watched and studied Christian programming to measure what "truths" are preached or taught based on the accuracy of scripture... Spiritual sanctification is 99.9% avoided. And when mentioned it is tangled up with a thick haze of ignorance. What is first and foremost the most difinitive revelation you and I can have is how God gives us the opportunity to live, to be partakers in the holiness of Jesus Christ. Faith. And acting on the promises and example of the Word frees us from any and all bondage of sin. This should be the banner flown above every Christian broadcast worldwide. God requires a sanctified heart to dwell in Heaven. Now tv viewers would see and understand this objective and lay hold of the study of Gods Grace, patience and love for us... But daily reminded that though the word this is obtainable, the sanctified heart. So we grow together... But NO! Christian Tv preaches our bondage remains in this life, God help you who listens... So as a nation of Christians who wander in this darkness justify their lust to continue in sin, Satan has this Church weak, and almost useless. Brothers and sisters pray to run this race to win. God will use you to reveal what our tv cannot. Good news for me, my Television is no longer master in this house. (I write this on my iPad...the new contender:)

Anonymous said...

Every where I go, people are on their phones - driving, at restaurants, grocery shopping, book stores and yes, even in church! It blows me away - people are in their own little world oblivious to others who are around them. As for TV, if you desire peace, shut it off! If you want to see your quality of life improve - shut it off! You will be amazed at how much more time you'll have in the day. Just some friendly suggestions.

Anonymous said...

The internet is now the thief in the household.