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Truth ON "magic box"

Where did this toddler pick these words? Yes, he does not remember himself, where. They should have been said by a pretty auntie in a movie.

-  Go for bread? Mom, you don’t even say it! Superheroes never go for bread!

-  Why did you come home so late? We were worried.

-  Mom, it is ridiculous! It’s 21st century!

Is somebody get killed every day in your room? You invite people to visit you, who scorn you and laugh at you? Have you asked somebody to come who would try to assure you that immorality is fun and abuse should be done every minute, so that one does not lose practice?  Will you say, “No”? Yet all this is happening in your house, if you watch TV.  Psalmist David, who in his time knew nothing of TV, said to God, “Turn away my eyes from seeing vanity!” (Ps.119:37) I believe we should better say the same to God as well.

Since long ago, we don’t notice how strongly the TV came into our life and became an equal right family member. According to statistics, five-year-old children spend 4,5 hours near TV a day. Psychologists and doctors from all over the world are troubled by this number. It is proven that TV not only affects our health, but also spoils the character of the little TV fan. Are you concerned that lately your little one has become too nervous? Do you notice attacks of rage? Pay attention to how often he warms himself near the TV set. If the family is used to watching the “box” all day long, don’t be surprised at such behavior.

Experts calculated: that, on average, every 4 minutes there are shown scenes of violence on the screen. And the child’s brain is created in a way that, even without looking at the screen, he absorbs all information that he can hear. Moreover, he subconsciously detects quarrel and threats. And then, no one knows why, he can say to mom: “I will kill you!” and rush with fists the younger sister or kick the favorite dog.

In order to avoid this, don’t allow the TV to become an electronic baby sitter for your child. The toddle glues himself to the screen and watches cartoons. Try to analyze what they show in favorite “Pokemon” and “Evil beavers.” Their heroes endlessly beat each other, do all sorts of harm. Later the child, when playing with peers, copies the behavior of his favorite heroes. Unfortunately, he is not able to critically assess the situation. He does not understand that in real life the consequences of some actions can be tragic. If a person is run over by a car, he cannot, like Bunny the Rabbit, stand up and walk on, wiping off the dust. There was a famous case when a 5-year old boy was left at home with his baby brother. The brother cried for a long time and couldn’t quiet down. Then the boy hit him on the head with a heavy frying pan. The baby quieted down for ever. And the elder one could not realize why his brother did not rise after this, for in cartoons, after such method of shutting up, the heroes would rise at once, as if nothing happened. But in real life things are different. No words can describe the grief of these parents. But it could not have happened, should the son not have watched such cruel cartoons. So, friends, if your children like cartoons, wouldn’t it be better to give preference to good old movies. This will enhance the child’s wish for goodness, forgiveness, and mutual help.

Children are naturally captivated by what they see and what they see has influence on them. When the TV is on, children are directly taken to the cinema world. Why allowing TV to spoil the purity of the child’s mind and imagination?

God is especially concerned about children. He severely punishes all who tempt believing in Him adults, the more so children. He says, “But whoever shall offend one of these little ones who believes in Me, it would be better for him that an ass's millstone were hung around his neck, and he be sunk in the depth of the sea” (Мt.18).  A question arises: what can be more tempting for children that setting them under the influence of modern TV programs?

The older the child becomes, the more he watches TV. What programs are better for a teenager to watch? I believe this question should be under parents’ control. “He is quite grown, let him decide for himself what to watch,” you might say to yourself. However, the influence of the TV on the sensitive psyche even of a senior high school student is very strong. Any movie is always a bright show. If a teenager spends many hours at TV every day, he receives big pressure on the brain. This blocks the process of thinking and creative search of teenagers: they are unable to think! What can be done to change their mental abilities? Spend more time on walks in the fresh air, sports, fellowship with good friends, interesting and creative activities.  Try to watch as little TV as possible, they will only benefit from it.

According to the Bible, all responsibility for children’s upbringing is laid on parents shoulders. What to do? No, restrictions will not work. You will have to start from yourself. And to make a competition to TV stars. Fortunately, God placed in children respect for you and the need in your love. If you don’t learn to touch these strings of the child’s soul even today, tomorrow you will get contempt and indifference instead of gratitude for your labor in the name of their future. Tell your child tonight that you love him. What will the reaction be? Find what you lack in your relationships. And hasten to correct the faults! How many minutes a day do you communicate to your child? 15, 20, 35? How often do you have heartily talks? As long as you are “unreachable,” the good old TV is at their disposal 24 hours a day. And believe me, it is more than enough outspoken. Consequently, our children are growing without a “taboo.”

Youth’s admiration for TV is quite serious. What do they see on the screen today? What moral norms are they propagated? What are they being taught?  Often people turn the TV on to have some rest to their mind. After a busy working day, when evening comes, one wants to turn the TV on and watch something interesting, good and meaningful. However, instead of this, one could hear a cruel quarrel, obscene words, and what is revealed before our eyes, we’d better not see it. Scenes of violence, inhuman, beastly relationships, sadism. This all can be found in action movies so loved by our youth. What kind of people will they grow to be after watching such movies? Each such scene leaves a deep trace in the conscience of the young man, has impression. Why are we surprised when teenagers show cruelty not only with peers, but also with their own family. They were not ashamed to raise a hand to fight, or even to kill for money or gain.

“It does not always happen,” you will say, “And not everyone kills.” May be, but there is time for everything. Drop by drop, the TV-taught cruelty is stored in the innocent heart. It is impossible to get free from it, yet one needs to let it out. Thus, such TV fans give way to their energy, without considering the consequences. They propagate the cult of strength, independence from anything and anyone, self-exultation and excessive pride. How can such person live, if he takes in these qualities in real world? Will such Christian values as forgiveness, love, mutual help and mercy take place in their hearts?  I doubt it.  Yet the Lord calls us to these very values in His word “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever” (1 Cor.13:4-8).  And in another place: “Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Mt.5). Can one have love and mercy, to which the Lord calls, after watching action movies and worshipping the power of strength?

Let’s look at another kind of movies, erotic. In an excessively revealing way, without hiding, without a single reproach of conscience, you will be shown both a so-called beauty of human body and scenes of intimacy and violence.  Why?  To ignite the same low desires in you, to give pictures to your brain which enhance sinful actions and ruin the immortal soul. Let the man desire entertainment, let him flame passions. Let the mind be occupied with whatever, empty, little, meaningless. Let’s ponder, friends, who benefits from this? Who is in charge of this process? Who leads the person farther and farther from God, to leave to room for the Creator and salvation of one’s soul in one’s mind. You and I understand how the enemy of God, the devil, uses any means in this end time, to prevent the man to come to God. He polluted the intimate relations which God sanctified for man and wife, and used them to lead the man into the sin of adultery. And he has many ways of doing it today, television being one of the most successful of those. “Why go to church today,” the devil whispers, “There is a cool movie on. There is no need to think about your sins, everyone has lots of those. You will get the same portion as everyone!” And people easily agree with these proposals, without even thinking who they come from.

Friends, let us think whom we serve?  Who do we follow and where are we going? What consequences are ahead?  What will we achieve in life if we spend the best years of our lives to sit by TV? What will be learn from it? Bible warns us against any slavery. In 2 Peter 2:19 we read: “Promising them liberty, they themselves are the slaves of corruption. For by whom anyone has been overcome, even to this one he has been enslaved.” Do you desire to be slaves of the blue screen, fall into dependence, when one program after another, series after series  hold your attention and it is impossible for you to tear yourself off it? Isn’t it better to lead an abundant life, have our own interesting encounters and impressions, instead of a mere passive following other people’s events.

TV series, so-called soap operas should be the most innocent in moral aspect. Eventful love adventures. Why not watch how people live in developed countries? Of course, their problems are different from ours. But, as it turns out, the rich also cry. Everyone cries, for the problem of sin remains unsolved with every person. Neither vacation on Bahamas, nor the Mediterranean cruise, nor the dinner for two in the best restaurant in the capital will free one from it. These entertainments and costly purchases will not make the man happy, just as the wasted hours spent by the screen.

No doubt, we all want a beautiful life. Yet our life will not be better from what we see on TV. And if the TV heroes have no such household problems as we have, this does not mean we will not have them. And nobody is going to solve them for us. And turning to our real world after watching all pink colors is more difficult, because the contrast between the seen and real is stark. However, one should not think that material wealth and carefree life shown in movies is real. Foreigners also have problems. But thorough those movies, our youth is imparted a consuming attitude to life, the desire to have everything without putting a single effort. Consequently, our heroes tread the path of earning easy bread, not to work and live in luxury. As a result, there follows the growth of crime, robbery, the bigger number of drug-addicts and drunks.  So, is it worth torturing oneself with unreachable dreams, building unrealistic desires?

Recently, there have appeared a number of intellectual programs on TV. On the one hand, it is good – thee is something to watch, to add more knowledge to our brain. But on the other... We are proposed anything to get our attention. Sometimes we watch games in which far from the best human relationships are propagated, such as “Weak chain,” “The third is odd,” “The last hero.” Instead of friendly support, encouragement, the game participant  hears about his underlined drawbacks, remarks about the lack of mental abilities, feels himself useless, defective. It is understandable that the strongest is the one who wins. This is the way of any game. However, here comes the issue of moral and ethical norms. What will such programs teach about? Again, it will be violence, disrespect for the neighbor. Watching them, people unwittingly acquire these character traits. Instead of encouragement, they reproach their children, call them good-for-nobody, or even put out of the room with words “You are the odd one here!” What is left on the little one’s heart? We understand the consequences.

There are many entertaining programs, and it is harder and harder to find one which would carry something sunny, educational, joyful into our homes among them . More often we watch scenes of family quarrels with dirty and adulterous relationships. This is openly talked of in the program “Windows,” possible with the purpose of teaching others to do the same.  Here one can hear mutual insults, threats. So-called heroes often throw their fists at others. All that was carefully hidden before, is now shown to the public eye of the whole country without any reproach of doubt. What good does this program bring to us? It has no moral foundation, no advice for people in a certain situation, no teaching for the audience. Each one can make his own conclusion, and not always it will be the best one. This program leaves people anxious and lost. Will it bring peace into our home? Should we allow quarrels, curse words and reproach into our homes? Friends, you are to choose.

Of course,  people themselves form their culture, habits, traditions. What will we breed? What values will our nation have, watching such programs and learning from them? Let us think if we need such programs? Can one touch dirt without becoming dirty? Will we be able to inhale information which would have no effect whatsoever on us? “The mouth speaks from that which fills his heart,” the Bible says (Luke 6:45). What is our heart filled with today? God suggest a new meaning to us. “All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any,” Apostle Paul wrote (1 Cor.6:12). Hence, it is a good admonition for us as well to filter the information which the world proposes today. Maybe it is important to choose such programs for oneself which will promote our spiritual growth and general development, although they are not many. Which ones to choose, is always up to you.

No one will compete with the fact that TV is a great invention and that some programs have educational character. But Satan uses this opportunity in his interests, to reach his evils goals. Harmful acts by TV for the soul through moral degradation by far outweigh its advantages, for it teaches violence, harms the eyesight and spoils the carriage. You can minimize its harmful influence on you.

Today every adult in our country spends 2,5 hours a day in front of TV. This constitutes the tenth part of life. Let us not forget that we will answer before God for how we spend our time. How much time do we afford to reading of the Bible and prayer every day?   We afford time for communication with TV, do we afford it for communication with our Creator God, who loves us and wishes to bestow His blessing on us?   He calls us from the pages of the book of His prophet Isaiah “Come to Me, and you shall be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is no other God!”

 “Woe to the rebellious sons, says Jehovah, who make advice, but not of Me; and who over with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they add sin to sin. that this is a rebellious people, lying sons. They are sons who will not hear the Law of Jehovah; who say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Do not prophesy to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy falsehood; go out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Therefore so says the Holy One of Israel, Because you have despised this Word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and rest on them; therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant. And He shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces. He shall have no pity, so that there shall not be found in the breaking of it a shard take fire from the hearth, or to take water out of the pit. For so says the Lord Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, In returning and rest you shall be saved; and in quietness and hope shall be your strength.” (Is.30)


translated by Anna Sedova

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