AIM: To help develop a Christian view of the media.
OBJECTIVES: By the end of this unit participants will have
discussed their choices about what they watch on television (and read);
begun to think through their reasons for their choices;
been introduced to the idea of “a Christian mind”.
Introduction to unit 5 min
Discussion on Starter “What would you watch?” (page 3) 20 – 30 min
Leader – draw out principles 5 min
Bible Basis “The Christian mind” (Hand out page 4) 5 – 10 min
Extension – discuss Films/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet (page 3) 5 – 10 min
Conclusion and introduce unit 3 (HAND OUT page 5 THIS week!) 5 min
KEY ISSUES: We are all influenced by what we see and hear. Our attitudes, values and morals ARE subtly moulded. As Spring Harvest asked a few years ago, “Who’s pulling the strings?”
Honesty, mutual acceptance and charity will be important in discussion, without any judgemental attitudes or destructive criticism of each other. Christians do have differing levels of sensitivity to language and visual images. What would be unhelpful to some could be completely harmless to others.
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
Programmes may affect our attitudes to wealth and materialism, success, violence (doesn’t TV show a thousand deaths a year?), religion, spirituality and the occult, relationships and sexuality. Our Christian standards may be eroded without us realising.
1. “Soaps” may be relatively harmless, but if we just can’t bear to miss the next episode are we “addicted”? (Soaps take the top four places in viewing charts!)
2. Spectator sport seems innocent, but should we really want to stay up so late, night after night?
3. Is “television Christianity” a valuable witness, or too bland to be worthwhile and leading too many into a false sense of “religiosity”?
4. Were the 20 minutes a week of astrology on GMTV (at one time) and so many other daytime programmes totally harmless, or fuelling the rise of “New Age” cults?
5. What effects do the adverts have on us all (even if we think we don’t watch them!)?
6. Are the extra choices of cable/satellite/digital channels a blessing or a curse? Can a Christian justify spending that amount of money – and time – on that great god “entertainment”?
7. The internet brings only new channels but also in e.g. youtube new ways of sharing content.
BIBLE PASSAGES: On page 4.
READING FOR PARTICIPANTS and LEADERS: The Renewed Mind Larry Christenson
WORK TO DO BETWEEN SESSIONS:
1. THINK about the TV you watch this coming week, how much, when and what. Consider “fasting” from TV (or newspaper) for a week and devoting the time to prayer!
2. Prepare for unit 3 (page 5 – HAND OUT this week!)