Although various forms of transmitting pictures electronically switched into high gear in the 1920s, most Americans became aware of "television" when it was introduced at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. There, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the opening day address, and his speech was not only broadcast over various radio networks but an estimated 1,000 people also viewed the Roosevelt telecast from about 200 television sets scattered throughout the New York area. But it wasn’t to be until after World War II, that the 200 TV sets in existence would take off like wild fire, and become as common in the American home as a car out in the driveway.
In the overall history of mankind, living with (and dealing with) televised programming is a relatively "modern" happening. Sometimes I wish the TV had been around at the time of Christ so we could have captured His thoughts on how to use it wisely. But alas, there is no mention during the Sermon on the Mount about TV. No parable taught by our Savior to prompt us into healthy media choices regarding viewing habits.
Fortunately, although never referring to television directly, God has a lot to say in His Word that can help us navigate this important and impactful medium (check out Psalm 1 and Colossians 2:8 for starters). In addition, I’d like to outline several common-sense principles that can help us with TV viewing: