Monday, November 16, 2009

Christians and Soap Operas?

"We are no longer able to
hear God. There are too
many different frequencies
filling our ears."

   - Pope Benedict XVI

I once got sucked into NBC's daytime soaps and I was amazed at how it seemed to rule my life. I HAD to see it or tape it for later. I had nightmares that my husband was cheating on me. I was very irritable on a regular basis. When the TV was off for a week, I noticed a significant change in my behavior and dreams - and so did my husband.

Years later I still notice people's addiction to such shows. I worry about their life choices, mentality, behaviors. I was reminded of this often at the local clinic, until surprise surprise - it is now against the rules to have soaps on tv in the local clinic waiting rooms. I am certainly glad for everyone's sake.

So here are some wonderful articles I found regarding this matter. Of course some families say why stop at soaps - just keep the TV off.  Well, that's not such a bad idea some days - except for my daily dose of Fox News!   : )

"With only One Life to Live,
I didn't want to spend mine in front of the TV."

Should Christians watch television soap operas?

First, let’s read a few verses from the Apostle Paul that describe such programs in exquisite detail:

“Now the WORKS OF THE FLESH are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).

No one who claims to be Christian would admit that the way of life portrayed by soap operas is one they should follow. Pointless adultery, fornication, hatred, deceit and murder permeate each episode. Such “works of the flesh” are even lamented by some television critics—and these are people who often make NO claim to follow Christ!

Of course, it is wrong to physically take part in such acts as Paul described. But Matthew 5:27-28 warns that we must not take part in them mentally by watching them take place! Soap operas and other such shows are of ZERO value to the spiritually-minded Christian.

God wants us to live abundant lives: “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (III John 2). There is no way in which we can prosper by watching soap operas. They will not help you “grow in grace and in knowledge,” as the Apostle Peter admonished (II Pet. 3:18).

Of course, the guidelines applying to soap operas apply to all forms of entertainment. A Christian must exercise wisdom and discretion when making such choices. Activities such as playing music, exercising, reading a book, painting a landscape or gardening are all excellent and constructive substitutes for television and movies filled with violence, fantasy and nudity.

If watching television, carefully avoid programming containing the “works of the flesh” Paul warned about. Remember that those who practice them will not be in God’s kingdom!

Click here to read:

… “It is unfortunate that TV viewers who become addicted to soap operas are often sucked in after watching only two shows. TV viewers are lured back by the need to satisfy their innate curiosity, desire to "root" for their favorite character and a strong sense of loyalty. The story itself with its ability to continue from day to day can connect to the viewing audience because as in real life, our stories do not end after one single day, but continue on and on.

The continuing story of the soap opera creates an addictive and obsessive emotional reaction in the viewing audience. These addictions can destroy marriages and relationships, interfere with work performance and interfere with the living of a normal life. Soap opera addicts will do anything to get their daily "fix" of soap opera viewing.

Soap opera addicted audiences become obsessed with soap operas after being constantly exposed to divorce, unplanned pregnancies, affairs, weird nuns and rich playboys on a daily basis. This is worse than any known narcotic. These people are getting high by watching soap operas.”

Soap Operas and the Heart
by Sarah Brown

"Many Christians believe that as long as they aren’t the ones active in the sin, they aren’t sinning. But watching soap operas and other immoral shows or movies can be committing sin in our hearts. In Matthew 5:27–30, Jesus talks about not only committing adultery, but having lustful thoughts in one’s heart, and explains that it is a sin. Also, by allowing ourselves to view the act of sin (real or fiction), we are making ourselves vulnerable to the present sin, which could have long-term consequences." (Click here to read more)

A Christian's Look at Daytime Soap Operas by Tyrone Short
Religion and Prime Time Television
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