Christians… Doing the Least with the Most
The earth and people have been around for about 7000 years. Where are we in history? The industrial revolution started about 260 years ago. We are past the millennia of being in an agrarian world, struggling to grow enough plants and animals to survive. We now live in a technological utopia of creature comforts and most of us don’t even know it.
1 Timothy 6:8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
We have a lot more than food and covering. Internal combustion transportation, air travel, climatically controlled environments, refrigerated food as well as food from all over the world (nothing is ever out of season), lots of clothes, indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water, electric lighting, sprinkler systems on timers, electric motors, robotic and non-robotic machines including those that wash and dry our clothes. Shopping malls, theme parks, video games, the internet, photo copiers, computers, blue tooth, oh yes, and TV.
We have the 5 day x 8 hour work week. Much of the work is done sitting in an air conditioned space with breaks every two hours.
Short version. We went from working hard all day long when the sun was shining (or more by fire light) 6 or 7 days a week to about half as many hours doing easy-peasy work without sweating. What do people do with that windfall of extra time and energy? Glad you asked. Here is a graphical representation of a typical work day:
The other slices of the pie are: getting ready for work, driving, dinner, running errands on the way home, and since this is for Christians, quiet time. There are the “have to” slices and the time left over is devoted to TV. Not included was social media etc. Everything I have read on the subject indicates that those internet things are far smaller than TV. Also, TV includes streaming on a non TV device. Who actually sleeps 8 hours a day? You don’t do errands every day. Dinner is with often concurrent with TV. Dare I mention that you can do the quit time thing during commercials? The “profit” of ones investment of time to do the things that make living possible is typically spent on TV. Brilliant. Some of the statistics on TV viewing habits in America can be confusing. Some stats are how many hours a day a TV is on per day per household (not individual viewing) and is probably in excess of 50 hours a week. For individuals, here is an internet sampling for individual viewing:
TV might be the most popular American pastime. On average, 55% of Americans spend one to four hours daily watching TV, and 22% watch four or more hours every day. CivicScience tracking finds that hours watched have largely remained constant throughout 2022.
How much TV do you watch on average each day? Estimates suggest that in 2022 U.S. adults will spend an average of around three hours watching TV each day. Feb 14, 2022
Three hours a day is like a part time job. I have read from more than one source that TV viewing releases endorphins (chemicals that that make you feel good) in the brain (Hey Dog. We did some really good sitcom last night. I got so polluted.). That makes sense because TV is fun fun fun. As far as entertainment / amusement goes, TV has the highest return on investment. Broadcast TV is free and if you shop around, you can find the cable package that fits your budget and busy lifestyle. It is effortless. You only have to be awake. It’s not like hard drugs. You can still hold down a job and operate a motor vehicle when not doing TV. But when you are doing TV, you might stay up later at night and you may become addicted to endorphins. Work will seem so hard (no endorphins). You can listen to the radio while going home to get your fix. Stores and other public places play music for you. One wonders when people stop and ponder the big questions in life that TV has not already answered for them.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Could it be that 3 hours of TV a day could be a sort of obstacle or encumbrance if we are running a race?
Titus 2:6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;
What’s not sensible about lighting all spare time on fire?
Who has time for good works?
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Who has time for good works?
Time management tip:
There are plenty of books, articles and videos about Christian time management. How about this? Turn off the TV. What other time management plan or tactic recovers 1000 hours a year in one easy step?
There is a 24 hour fill in pie chart later in the document to see where all the time goes. 4 copies should work: week days, Saturday, Sunday, and weekly average.
Most Christian teaching I have seen and heard in regard to TV is that it is a waste of time and there are unrighteous themes. One concept prevalent in Churches is that avoiding nudity is enough. Really? Even sitcoms and dramas, with actors fully clothed, have clever story lines to try to get you to want these two love birds to get together and fornicate or adulterate. The following is typically portrayed as acceptable, normal, and quite often funny: Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, masochism, transvestites etc. No skin necessary to get the points into your head through repetition. It’s normal, it’s not wrong, everybody thinks so.
In one recent staged event called a “Town Hall Meeting” aired on CNN, “The most trusted name in news”, the female candidate for president is asked a question by one of the directors of a political activist organization. Her answer went something like this. “This guy thinks that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Fine. He should marry one… If he can find one” (much laughter). The voice of man asking the question changes from a west coast accent to a southern accent when asking a hypothetical question of a straw man. Apparently the straw man is a prudish, ignorant, puritanical redneck Neanderthal of a man and an isolated social outcast among people in general and specifically women. Really? Plenty of women and men at Churches all over America believe the same thing. This candidate probably would not have us believe that most married women would be disappointed if their husband was not seriously considering homosexuality as a component part of their marriage? She does however, paint a false picture of a country where almost no one believes in traditional marriage. Her statement is obviously ridiculous but most in the room and at home did not catch it, being well trained by TV to not think critically when the TV is on.
People believe what they believe. Why did she make such an obviously false statement?
Have you heard of Dr. Solomon Asch? It’s worth a quick read on Wikipedia. His conformity (line) experiments showed that lots of people will lie about something as unimportant as the relative length of two lines on a chart so as to not look dumb in front of a small group of strangers that they will never see again.
Now it should make sense why this candidate would insult millions of Christian voters. It is probably an attempt to shut their mouths on this subject. The content of much of TV portrays a world that does not actually exist. If the story line, the reporter, or the guest being interviewed says “nobody believes that anymore”. If the viewing audience believes it, a lot of people will be silenced. It is social engineering wrapped up in entertainment or “news”.
Quite often the character being corrected on a TV show will have no valid response to the verbal slap down. This promotes learned helplessness in the viewer. The majority of people think X. There is no valid argument against X. The situation is hopeless. I should keep my mouth shut.
Here is a recent example. I understand that the child TV character, “young Sheldon” says he does not believe in God because 1. Science explains everything in the natural world (assuming this includes the currently accepted main stream theories on the subject of the origins, the statement is false) 2. Belief in God to explain everything is an unnecessary redundancy (Because #1 is false, #2 is also false). Listen to Dr. Gish decimate the theory of abiogenesis using high school level biology (see QR code for videos). The character’s sister tosses him a couple of absolutely stupid questions to challenge his beliefs. So ends today’s TV lesson about the existence of God. Tell me about how the living room couch is not the “seat of scoffers”.
Disney recently aired a cartoon that among other things teaches that all whites are racists. Does that include Lincoln, the organizers [Quakers] of the first “underground railroad”, and white participants in the civil rights movement?
We are in a war and TV is Sesame Street for the masses. It teaches us what to think believe and feel. How to act, talk, and interact with those around us. It tells us what is true and false, what is historical and what is mythological. It tells us who we are and who we should strive to become.
“Doing the least with the most”
We live in a time where people work less and not as hard as they did for 99.7% of human history.
People (including most Christians) waste almost all their spare time and most of that is spent on TV.
They don’t think critically about issues. In fact, they don’t think much at all because the electronic stream of pictures and/or sound almost never stops. They lack imagination, ingenuity, and drive. They can’t think of what to do, or how to do it better, and they lack the motivation to try. Besides, “it probably will not do any good anyway”. Might as well watch our favorite shows instead. In regard to time, energy, technology, information, and communications (force multipliers), we are better positioned to do battle against the world the flesh and the Devil than any other time in history but most Christians have decided to literally and figuratively sit this one out.
God created a finite number of angels during creation week. Soon after, 1/3 of a finite number of angels rebelled with Lucifer. At first it must have been easy for fallen angels to give individual attention to the inhabitants of earth (only 2). Currently the task may be daunting. Perhaps fallen angels have successfully hijacked the technology of television and just about everyone in the world will sit down daily to be tutored in what the enemy thinks people should think, feel, believe, say, and do.
Perhaps Pastors and teachers could suggest turning off the TV? Crazy idea, right? Lots of pastors watch TV. Some pastors even mention it in their bio on the church web site (Favorite pastime: Binge watching netflix). It would be hypocritical for them to suggest no TV or drastically less. Perhaps pastors should be willing to lead by example and turn the TV off or get rid of it altogether. Ask yourself if giving up temporarary pleasure is worth eternal gain. Then on Sunday morning, if you say more than “waste of time and unrighteous themes” and suggest turning it off rather than filtering content. Watch the energetic reactions from addicts. “Pharisee”. “Quit playing Holy Spirit”. “It’s a gray area”. “I work hard all day long and I need to relax when I get home”. “It’s family time”. Translation: You are not going to take away my drug. No. It’s just a suggestion. It’s between you and God. Too bad they are not this motivated about good works.
Again Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
If God designed a unique set of tasks for each individual Christian to do that fit into a master plan for the Church and the world, what happens to the master plan when about 90 percent of Christians do next to nothing. If God wanted a revival (great awakening of Christians within the Church) and a lot of the first string players are bench warmers, I suppose God could send in a few alternate 2nd stringers from among the 10% who are active to fill in on big projects but in the big picture, The 10% can’t do their job and 9 times more to cover for those who are missing in action. If we all did our part. What we would accomplish would be beyond current comprehension.
If 1000 average TV watching Christians gave up TV, it would free up over a million hours a year. That does not directly translate into a million hours of doing the good works God planned for them to do. They might get more sleep. When Their brain is no longer on a leash, they may realize there are thousands of better thing to do with their time besides what the myriad of socially engineered Zombie-Vidiots do with their copious free time in techno-utopia… TV. I believe much of their time would be devoted to service if that was their motivation to quit TV.
FYI: Faith without works is dead. There may be some other underlying issues in the lives of individual Christian TV addicts that you may need to help with.
It may be hard to get people motivated at your church and there may be some resistance to biblical truth. Your 20 minutes of influence on Sunday Vs 20 hours of the world’s. I suppose it is to be expected. Perhaps they are having a hard time being a good parent to themselves. I think most will not be willing to stop watching TV and wasting time in other ways. Perhaps they could at least cut back.
Where is todays John Wycliffe, Johann Sebastian Bach or Hudson Taylor? Where are Church’s creative, innovative, and driven individuals who break the mold? Many of them are too busy doing this and that and having “fun”. Winning is fun and it’s our turn at bat!
The world’s militaries are large and the chains of command have extensive layers from commander in chief to the boots on the ground. Not so with God’s army. There is no layer between us and God. But the Church needs help. The Church needs its leaders (pastors, elders, deacons, and teachers) to lead by example. Are you in?
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Trump was born to complete the task that Jesus started. He knew the time would come to answer his calling to stand up and step in at this time in human history. Trump is not bound to any religious indoctrination and therefore he’s totally receptive to what has to be done so that our Heavenly Father’s will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.