I overdosed on TV as a child, so I haven't tuned in for decades. This makes me entirely irrelevant at parties, but I don't get invited to many parties anyway.
A couple days ago someone told me about a TV series that she thought I would like. We went to Blockbuster and rented one season's worth of episodes. The first one I watched was hilarious. I am not an easy laugher, but I was laughing enough to apply for a job on a laugh track. This was great, I thought-funny without being raunchy or vulgar. Give me more.
Well, the second episode introduced some sexual innuendo. I overlooked it and kept watching for the laughs. But by the end of a couple of episodes I felt like Pinocchio after a few hours at Lampwick's Pleasure Island. The feeling lingered and I went to bed feeling oddly soiled. I prayed. I sought God's perspective on the TV show. I made two lists: one of the reasons why I should keep watching (there are several more seasons) and another of the reasons why I should stop immediately.
The only reason I could come up with for the first list was the one referred to in the first paragraph above: It would be a shared experience with my culture, enabling me to better understand it. (Even as I wrote that it felt bogus.) Here were the reasons in my second list for not continuing to watch the TV series:
- The dirty feeling afterward.
- We are told to "walk as Jesus walked" (1 John 2:6), and I can't picture Jesus sitting on a couch, passively taking in the sights I took in.
- Scripture says, "Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves" (Romans 14:22). I am not at all sure that I would not judge myself someday for approving of watching that show.
- God commands us to love Him with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. I don't believe that finding enjoyment or interest in that TV show meets that bar.
Then I fell asleep. In the middle of the night I woke up with a single word in my mind, a word that is not part of my working vocabulary: "abomination." Because it was so foreign a word to me, and because I was still thinking about the TV show, I took it as the Holy Spirit's opinion of the show. Besides, as a wise friend once told me on another occasion when I was trying to discern God's will: "Andrée, there are two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness." My friend proceeded to point out that anything that tends to the Darkness is darkness.