It doesn’t matter if we believers befuddle our minds with
television; we are still saved. Those who claim that our safety in Christ, under
God, depends on whether or not our Christward affections are single and pure,
are mistaken. We are saved by grace.
But television is a deluding influence, a deception, able to corrupt the
apprehensions and subtly seduce believers from a singleness of purpose. In this
capacity, television could potentially keep believers from 1) becoming mature in
Christ (Phil. 3:15), 2) receiving a reward at the dais of Christ (1 Cor. 3:15, 2
Cor. 5:10), 3) receiving a wreath of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8), and 4) ruling
with Christ among the celestials (Rom. 8:17, 2 Tim. 2:12). But again, as for
general salvation, we are saved by grace, even if we have Gilligan’s Island
reruns laminated onto our cerebellums.
Is one called to press on into salvation (Phil. 3:13-15), or is
one called to love this current eon, as Paul’s ex-friend Demas (2 Tim. 4:9)? We
have no doubt that Demas was saved (Philemon 24), he just became spiritually
sidetracked when he got cable.
Satan has given up fighting salvation
because the cross won that for all (2 Cor. 5:14, Rom. 5:18, Col. 1:20). But God
has given Satan the power to set up deluding influences, not to keep people from
getting saved, but to keep those who love The Beverly Hillbillies more
than the truth from becoming spiritually mature.Paul says that "Satan himself is being transfigured into a messenger of
light" (2 Cor. 11:14).
The Greek word here translated "light" is "phos," from which we derive our
English words "phosphor," and "phosphorous." A phosphor is "any of a number of
substances that exhibit luminescence when struck by light of certain
wavelengths, as by ultraviolet." And we know that a television screen "is formed
by coating the inner end of the tube with any one of several types of chemicals
known as phosphors, which have the property of glowing when subjected to
bombardment by a beam of electrons" (Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Reference
I know that some are laughing at this. If I were saying that watching
television could endanger one’s salvation, I would deserve the ridicule. But if
I’m saying that television keeps believers from studying the Scriptures, from
nurturing family relationships, and from becoming mature in Christ, then those
who were just laughing might now be squirming.
Does any of the above apply to computers? All of it. It’s the phosphors, man.
* * *
The apostle Paul knocks at the door of the home of Jack Dankworth. Jack, a
believer, also believes in The Price is Right."
"Carol, get the door."
"Why can’t you get it?"
"Phyllis is bidding on a refrigerator."
"Jack, look here. It’s Paul."
"The ‘To live is Christ’ guy."
"I love that show! Tell him I’ll be there in a minute."
"He’s standing right here."
"Oh, gosh. They all overbid. Can you believe that? They’re going to have to
"What was the lowest bid?"
"Nine-hundred and twenty-five dollars."
"For a refrigerator? Who bid that?"
"That dummy in the red sweater. Alan."
"I’d bid seven and a quarter."
"How much did our refrigerator cost?"
"About four fifty—but that was three years ago."
"Is ours the same brand as that one?"
"What brand is that one?"
"I have no idea. Probably a Frigidaire. They always give away frickin’
Frigidaires. Frigidaires must be horrible."
"Ours is a GE."
"I don’t think so, Jack. I just noticed the one on television has an ice
"I always wanted one of those. Why didn’t we get an ice dispenser?"
"I guess I’d bid seven fifty."
"Shhh! Here’s the actual retail price ... Seven-hundred and seventy-five
dollars. I can’t believe it. Alan won."
"I wonder what he’ll get a chance to win now?"
"It’s gonna be a car, Carol; mark my words. It’s always a car at this point
in the show, and it’s gonna be a Pontiac.
They always giving out
Pontiacs; Pontiacs must be really bad cars."
do you know it’s going to be a Pontiac?"
"Trust me. Just be quiet and trust me. I’ve just got a feeling."
"Oh, look. A Honda Civic."
"Jesus! I can’t believe it. It should have been a Pontiac."
"Did you just hear the door close?"
"It’s a curtain, Carol. The car was behind a curtain; you’re thinking of the
old ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ show."
"No, I mean it sounded like our door just closed."
"Oh, look, it's the Over/Under game. This game is all luck; no skill
"I could have sworn I heard our door close."