Is it sinful for Christians to watch TV?

A 2013 study has shown that graphic violence and gore are becoming increasingly common on TV dramas. | Pixabay/Pexels

As graphic violence, gore, nudity and swearing become more common on many of today's popular television shows, some Christians are left wondering whether they should be watching TV at all.

While the Bible does not condemn means of communications like the television, it warns against certain types of content.

Throughout the pages of the Bible, Christians are told to guard their eyes and be careful about what they watch (Matthew 6:22-23, Psalm 119:37, Exodus 20:4-5).

A study conducted in 2013 has indicated that graphic violence and gore are increasing in TV dramas. Unlike sex and language, graphic violence on television is not regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and TV networks have taken advantage of the lack of regulation by releasing a barrage of violent shows.

Despite FCC regulations, nudity and graphic sex is still a common feature in some popular shows such as HBO's "Game of Thrones."

Kevin DeYoung, a senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, recently wrote an article expressing his concern for Christians who watch the popular HBO show.

"It seems to me sensuality--of a very graphic nature--is a major part of the series. And still, a good number of conservative Christians treat the series as must-see TV. I don't get it," he wrote.

"I just want to ask one other question: Does anyone really think that when Jesus warned against looking at a woman lustfully (Matt. 5:27), or when Paul told us to avoid every hint of sexual immorality and not even to speak of the things the world does in secret (Eph. 5:3-12), that somehow this meant, go ahead and watch naked men and women have (or pretend to have) sex?" the pastor continued.

J.I. Packer, the author of "Knowing God," warns Christians about the dangers of making pictures or art of God because it could eventually lead to idolatry.

Mark Bellenger wrote in his blog on ApplyGodsWord.com that Packer's warning can also apply to the images that people watch on TV because the more people see something, the more they will subconsciously come to accept it as truth.

Apart from the problematic content, watching television cannot be deemed sinful in itself. Television is a powerful communication tool that has been used by Christians to spread the Gospel across the globe.

There are Christian film studios that are dedicated to the goal of providing family-friendly and wholesome entertainment that is fun, entertaining, inspirational, and educational.

PureFlix.com, a family-friendly video-streaming service, offers a wide selection of movies for all ages, kid's animated titles, documentaries, how-to's, hobbies, educational, health & fitness, sports, outdoors and travel plus many inspirational and devotional titles.

Like Netflix and Hulu, PureFlix.com offers the first month for free and gives its viewers the option to choose from thousands of titles without paying a fee.