No aspect of the American culture fares as poorly on television as organized religion. The economics of the medium, the secular mood of writers and producers, and the lack of evangelical zeal in the vocational dimension—these combine to effect an ecclesiastical blackout on our living room screens.
To the liberal mainstream of American Christendom, this is of little concern. Many a modern prophet does not regard the Christian message as distinctive and is not quite sure what the Church is for. His causes are championed aggressively enough in the mass media by revolutionary politicians and new-morality entertainers. So who needs the Church on television?
To the concerned evangelical, however, lack of visibility on the cultural frontiers should be a vital issue. He is under a biblical mandate to spread the word. He sees the potential to confront every man, woman, and child with the claims of Jesus Christ. And he feels that as a taxpayer and loyal citizen he deserves equal time in governmentally regulated media to present ideological options to the happiness-is-things or action-is-everything philosophies that pervade so much of today’s viewing. But all he gets is an occasional Billy Graham crusade and a small assortment of Sunday-morning services.
On page three of this issue, the reader will find a pioneering article in which Ronn Spargur seeks to insert a wedge for religious interests. Mr. Spargur presents a well-thought-out proposal that takes account of all sides of the problem. What he suggests is for the good of the country and the industry as well as the Church, and we feel it merits serious consideration.
Let one thing be clear. CHRISTIANITY TODAY is not launching an anti-media campaign, as Spiro T. Agnew has been accused ...1
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