One thing, however, was of concern to me. In a section of the talk about finding things to work on in your life, Wendy said "I need to work on watching more junk TV". She went on to explain that watching TV shows like Sex and the City might provide opportunities for spiritual conversation. As I thought more about this (with our TV stowed safely in the cupboard), two things came to mind.
Firstly, are we supposed to enjoy watching these shows? If we don't enjoy them, how can we connect with others on the basis of these things? I find it impossible to enjoy TV shows that make comedy out of vile things. Since marriage, sexual immorality has become increasingly horrifying. When I read facts about it in the context of someone's life (such as in a newspaper or biography) I feel a kind of horrified sadness. How can something so wonderful and pure be turned into something so impure and destructive? Should this not grieve us?
Secondly, the purpose of evangelism is to bring disciples into the church. The Great Commission commands us to disciple the nations in all God has commanded. Numerous times, God commands us to flee and to hate what is evil. I don't suppose TV shows are excluded. While Wendy may be able to watch these things without sin, there would be many immature Christians in her audience. It is easy for new Christians to be crippled when they continue with viewing habits that legitimise sin. They often have a desperate need to be renewed in their minds, and portraying junk TV as a positive part of life is surely unhelpful.
I recognise, as I write these things, that many godly people I love watch a whole lot of junk TV and have a many justifications for it. I clearly disagree with the what-you-watch-doesn't-matter folks, and am grieved to hear of what others enjoy. I've tried to be careful not to rant in this post, however, and hope I've conveyed love for my brothers and sisters who disagree. I can't comment on TV better than John Piper does in Don't Waste Your Life:
TV still reigns as the great life-waster. The main problem with TV is not how much smut is available, though that is a problem. Just the ads are enough to sow fertile seeds of greed and lust, no matter what program you're watching. The greater problem is banality. A mind fed daily on TV dinimishes. Your mind was made to know and love God.The Great Commission is about teaching people to know and love God. I really don't see how Sex and the City will help.