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#2. DON'T WATCH THE NEWS ON TELEVISION

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#2. DON'T WATCH THE NEWS ON TELEVISION

Introduction 2

Many Christians agree that television is generally bad, yet they still have one in their house because they like to watch particular programs, which they see no harm in. Therefore, this bible study will examine the news in the light of scripture, and see why it should generally be rejected by sincere Christians. There may be exceptions to this at some time, but of all the programs that Christians watch on television, the news seems to be the most popular. They argue that they want to know what is going on in the world so that they can see how it fulfils prophecy. They reason that if they don't watch it, they may miss out on some vital information. However, the word of God tells us:

(Proverbs 3:5) "do not lean on your own understanding."
(Proverbs 3:7) "Do not be wise in your own eyes:"
(Proverbs 23:4) "cease from your own wisdom."

God has never told us to get our information from the secular media, who are spiritually blind to the truth, and he will not allow faithful and obedient children of his to "miss out" through being obedient to his word. However, because of the popularity of this particular program, the scriptural opposition to watching the news will now be set out.

#2.11 TALE-BREARING IS FORBIDDEN

LEVITICUS 19:16 (God)
16 You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people: neither shall you stand against the blood of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

PROVERBS 11:13 (Solomon)
13 A talebearer reveals secrets: but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter.

PROVERBS 18:8 (Solomon)
8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

PROVERBS 20:19 (Solomon)
19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets: therefore do not meddle with him who flatters with his lips.

PROVERBS 26:20-22 (Solomon)
20 Where no wood is, there the fire goes out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.
21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Note: "You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people:" (Leviticus 19:16), ought to be enough to show any sincere Christian that tale bearing is wrong. It is contrary to a faithful spirit (Proverbs 11:13), it wounds the innermost parts of the heart (Proverbs 18:8), the "belly" being figurative of the spiritual heart (John 7:38), and it is a direct cause of strife (Proverbs 26:20). Notice that where strife is, "there is confusion and every evil work." (James 3:16). So as tale bearing causes strife, it must also produce confusion, and every evil work, and it is motivated by hate, not love (Proverbs 10:12). Newscasters are nothing more than professional tale-bearers, they tell tales about anyone and everyone that they are expected to, and sincere Christians ought not to listen to such things. Nothing good can come of it, because a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit (Matthew 7:17-18; Luke 6:43), so why bother with it at all? If it is because we enjoy it, then we ought to note the principle in the word of God:

(Romans 1:32) "those who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in those who do them."

#2.12 IT MAY STOP US FROM SOWING AND REAPING

ECCLESIASTES 11:4 (Solomon)
4 He who observes the wind shall not sow; and he who regards the clouds shall not reap.

Note: This scripture shows that when people look at the circumstances around them, it can stop them from doing what they should do. In a spiritual sense, sowing is spreading the word of God, and reaping is seeing souls brought into the kingdom of God. We need to be aware that the Devil will use any means he can, including news bulletins, to deter Christians from doing God's will. We should be guided by God's word, not news bulletins:

(Psalm 119:105) "Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path."

#2.13 THOSE WHO ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD ARE THE SONS OF GOD, NOT THOSE LED BY NEWS BULLETINS

ROMANS 8:14 (Paul)
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God

Note: This really goes hand in hand with the previous sections (See #2.11; #2.12), because words are spirit as Jesus said (John 6:63), and if we are truly sons of God, then we are led by the spirit of God, and not by the news bulletins. God has his own way of communicating with his people through his spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11), and he needs no other method, otherwise we might ask, how did the apostles survive without television? No brothers and sisters, God doesn't need newscasters, but the Devil is making much use of them, and we ought not to listen to the Devil's words, that was Eve's first error (Genesis 3:1-3).

#2.14 WE ARE ADMONISHED TO THINK ON GOOD THINGS

PHILIPPIANS 4:8 (Paul)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.

Note: This scripture has been examined earlier (See #1.10 Note 1) and we have shown that it involves thinking about the word of God. Now be honest! Are we obeying this scripture when we listen to and watch the news? No way. The news is almost entirely evil, usually if it is not "bad news" it is not news at all. If we spend time watching, hearing, and meditating on evil things, then the same is going to go into our hearts and it will affect us. Don't look for the exception:

(Galatians 6:7) "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap."

#2.15 DON'T GET ENTANGLES WITH THE AFFARS OF THIS LIFE

PROVERBS 26:17 (Solomon)
17 He who passes by, and meddles with strife belonging not to him, is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

2 TIMOTHY 2:4 (Paul)
4 No man who wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.

Note: The news is invariably about the affairs of this life, which we are here told not to get entangled with. The one sure way to avoid it is not to watch it! Otherwise we may get entangled in thinking about it, in conversation about it, or even doing something about it. This will not please God if we are one of his chosen soldiers. Look at two examples:

Example 1: Jehoshaphat was basically a good king, he walked in the ways of David (2 Chronicles 17:3), he had prepared his heart to seek God (2 Chronicles 19:3), sought God (2 Chronicles 17:4), walked in God's commandments (2 Chronicles 17:4), and removed the groves and the high places out of the land of Judah (2 Chronicles 17:6; 19:3). He gave good instruction to the judges which he set in the land (2 Chronicles 19:5-7), and he gave good instruction to the Levites also (2 Chronicles 19:8-11). He trusted God in battle against the Moabites and Ammonites, which resulted in a great victory (2 Chronicles 20:1-30), and generally did right in the sight of God (2 Chronicles 20:31-32). However, he made a foolish alliance to help Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, in his conflict against the king of Syria (2 Chronicles 18:1-3). He meddled with strife which did not belong to him (Proverbs 26:17), and being temporarily spiritually blinded because of his error, he ignored the prophecy of defeat by Micaiah (2 Chronicles 18:18-22), and went to help Ahab in battle (2 Chronicles 18:28-29). For this error he not only almost lost his life (2 Chronicles 18:31), because "a companion of fools shall be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:20), but the wrath of God was upon him (2 Chronicles 19:2). It seems he did not learn his lesson from this, because later he joined himself in a different venture with Ahaziah, another wicked king of Israel (2 Chronicles 20:35-36), but just like his first venture in partnership with Ahab, this one was also a complete disaster. The reason was, "because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah," (2 Chronicles 20:37). What does it mean for us today? Simply this, God does not like his people associating themselves in any venture, or cause, or purpose, with the wicked of the world. If we do it, then the same God that caused Jehoshaphat's ventures to fail, and brought wrath upon him, will also cause ours to fail, and bring wrath upon us. He will be more displeased with us though, because we have the evidence of Jehoshaphat's errors for an example. As far as watching the news is concerned, even though we may not get involved physically, we may still get mentally and emotionally involved in affairs of this life which we should not be thinking about.

Example 2: Josiah was a very good king of Judah. He was only eight years old when he began to reign, but he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD (2 Kings 22:1-2; 2 Chronicles 34:1). He sought God while he was still young (2 Chronicles 34:3), he destroyed the groves and the carved images, and cleansed Jerusalem and Judah from idolatry (2 Chronicles 34:3-5). He cleansed the temple from perversion and idolatry (2 Kings 23:4-12), and gave instructions to repair it (2 Kings 22:3-7; 2 Chronicles 34:8-12). He showed great concern about the disobedience of his forefathers when the book of the law was found (2 Chronicles 34:14-28), and was humble and tender hearted towards God (2 Kings 22:19; 2 Chronicles 34:27). He made a covenant with God to keep the law, and made the people join with it also (2 Chronicles 34:29-33). He kept the Passover (2 Kings 23:21-23; 2 Chronicles 35:1-19), and instructed the priests and Levites concerning their work (2 Chronicles 35:2-6). He removed the spiritualists and mediums out of the land (2 Kings 23:24), and he executed the idolatrous priests who sacrificed on the high places (2 Kings 23:20). He was such a good king that it is said about him:

(2 Kings 23:25) "And like him there was no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him."

However, Josiah made one fatal mistake. He "meddled with strife belonging not to him" (Proverbs 26:17), and "entangled himself with an affair of this life;" (2 Timothy 2:4), when he went out to war against Pharoah-Nechoh (2 Chronicles 35:20). He ignored the warning not to meddle (2 Chronicles 35:21-22), he was wounded by the archers, and died (2 Chronicles 35:23-24). The warning for us today is clear. When we watch these things on the news, we are doing the same in our heart as Josiah did in the flesh, and God has not changed (Hosea 4:6; James 1:17).

#2.16 DON'T BE A BUSYBODY IN OTHER MEN'S MATTERS

JOHN 21:20-22
20 Then Peter, turning about, sees the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, who is he who betrays you?
21 Peter seeing him says to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22 Jesus says to him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you? you follow me.

1 PETER 4:15
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

Note: The news is all about other people's matters, isn't it? and here we are told not to be a busybody in such things. While we are looking into other peoples affairs we are not concentrating on the things that God expects from us, and Jesus did not let Peter get away with it when he asked, "Lord, and what shall this man do?" (John 21:21). His answer to us today would be the same as it was then to Peter, "what is that to you? Follow you me." (John 21:22). Are not these scriptures a clear instruction not to watch the news?

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