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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christian TV

When I actually watch anything on television, it's usually on one of the Trinity Broadcasting Network channels. Not because I'm a particularly fiery-eyed saved soul - I'm not entirely sure what 'saved' entails - but more by default.

Conventional network television drives me up the wall. The shows are either soaked with gratuitous sex and violence, or descend to a smart-alecky idiocy as they plumb previously unattainable depths of comedy. (For the most part, okay? I know there has been quality programming, I just can't think of any.)

The commercials, consumerism in action, are almost a relief.

PBS used to be a refuge, but lately they've been broadcasting really depressing stuff, narrated in a minor key. Yes, the Outer Banks of the Carolina Coast are beautiful, but when they're described in a funereal tone, they sort of lose their appeal as a potential vacation destination. PBS does have some good music, though.

Which leaves Christian TV (we don't have cable, so ESPN is merely a rumor in this house). Their version of MTV, "JCTV" is pretty good...mostly music, and not all religiously-themed. They play some nice songs and videos by artists that are broadly identified as Christian.

The preaching channels are decidedly mixed. Some of the guys and gals provide good, sound theology and interesting insights into the faith.

These are unfortunately the minority. A large group of preachers are vitally concerned with trying to decipher exactly when the Second Coming will happen...something that even Jesus isn't supposed to know. Seems a bit of a futile course of study, kind of like flat-earth map making.

Another focus is on prosperity...which boils down to, "God loves a cheerful giver, so send us money, and you'll get your 'investment' returned many fold".

It's a useful interpretation of the parable of the sower, but there's one problem...Jesus was talking about God's message, not cash.

Oh, well. At least they give us reruns of Bishop Fulton Sheen, every Saturday morning.

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