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MOVIES: ‘I’m glad I have a TV, but …’

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) — Recently I began watching ION TV’s repeats of the police drama “Rookie Blue” (2010-2015). I found myself intrigued by the series because of its charismatic characters and thoughtful storylines that continued over several episodes.

But before you add it to your “binge watch” list, let me assure you this is not a promotion for the cop/dram.

While appreciating Rookie Blue’s positive view of police work, the camaraderie and loyalty of the main characters and their commitment to doing what’s right even at a cost, I slowly began to realize that the show was bent on supporting a worldview that ignores religious or traditional family values.

So, if I’m not recommending Rookie Blue, then why, you may ask, am I writing about it? Well, it’s a case study of television’s prevalent bias regarding biblical doctrines, even in shows we like.

Though television programming often presents positive examples of how we should treat our fellow man, the medium is woefully inadequate in presenting Christian tenets. There’s a good chance a program routinely making its way into your living room contains content not in keeping with a Christian’s lifestyle.

An example from Rookie Blue: a male officer who discussed placing marriage first before bringing children into this world was chastised by a female cop who matter-of-factly proclaimed, “You don’t need to be married to start a family.” Sadly, several of Rookie Blue’s main characters when off duty treat sex casually, giving the impression that abstinence before marriage is no longer a valid concept.

And the series conveyed various other assaults on traditional values. During one segment, a domineering man, supposedly steeped in old-fashioned family values, disciplined his young daughter not just by forcing her to spend the night in the woodshed, but locking her in the woodshed’s freezer for good measure. His submissive “religious” wife allowed her children to be emotionally traumatized by her abusive husband.

This, by the way, was the nearest the program got to exploring the mindset of people of faith.

In Rookie Blue like many other shows, our culture has replaced one longstanding value system based on biblical principles with another that demands change for the sake of secularity.

If you’re wondering why I continued watching the series, I felt obligated to view most of the episodes in order to fairly grasp the show’s social agenda.

Though it had a large cast and aired for six seasons, I found no positive portrait of a believer throughout its run. Even a minister who marries the main couple in the last installment is presented as dour, emotionless and joyless.

I don’t watch much episodic TV. My observation of Rookie Blue reminded me why. Even as innocuous entertainment, the show featured many situations that, whether designed to be or not, were counteractive to scriptural directives.

While many films and television offerings stimulate our more carnal desires, the Bible steadfastly maintains that it is the spirit that needs to be satisfied. Let’s face it: Hollywood’s entertainment machines aren’t geared to nurturing the spirit. Watching a glut of these programs simply isn’t conducive to spiritual growth.

The conceit and rebellious nature of many world leaders, educators and entertainers causes them to search for meaning any place but at the feet of Christ. They walk the dark corridors of life, searching for — but never truly finding — the light.

To identify and fend off the entertainment world’s temporal bombardment, parents and children alike need to know God’s guidelines and why He gave them to us. Otherwise, we may also walk those dark corridors.

The Bible is our lighthouse. By studying Scripture, we gain an understanding of the nature of God. And by knowing God’s Word we see through any ungodly standards that creep into our lives by way of the media.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

I’m glad I have a TV, but I’m all the more grateful that I have the light of God’s Word.

    About the Author

  • Phil Boatwright