Uphill Battle

I typically don’t really watch TV, mostly because it disinterests me and I don’t find it that entertaining. On the occasions that I do turn on the tube it’s to watch The Simpsons and Everybody Loves Raymond while I prepare and eat dinner. Even when I do turn on the TV to watch something, it’ll be Fox News or C-SPAN (I know, I’m really getting old). But last night while I was flipping through the channels to get to Fox I came across MTV. It’s been a while since I’ve caught up a little with the #1 influencer in pop-culture. I had a computer to rebuild, so, being the student of my missionary field that I try to be, I thought, “Let’s see what teenagers are watching on here lately.” What I saw horrified me.

It’s a show called, Next. It’s kinda the same idea of Blind Date except for gays. A group of five guys in their early twenties compete to win the affection of another guy that’s about the same age. They go on a date, flirt, drop sexual innuendos, enjoy time as a couple and at the end decide if they’d like to go on a second date or back out and get some cash… Okay, here’s the part where I freak out… WHAT IN THE WORLD?!! Am I the only one who sees the HUGE detrimental affect this will have on teenagers? Is MTV intentionally making an effort to erode heterosexual relationships and thereby destroy marriages, the foundation of any great country? Has our country’s demise really fallen this low that it accepts a show like this on the biggest TV network that intentionally targets teenagers and young adults? This show portrays homosexuality as being a completely viable lifestyle that is acceptable and natural. Teenagers are already struggling with sexual identity. Why is MTV and other like-minded influencers of pop-culture pumping out this kind of demoralizing message…. Blah blah blah, I don’t have time to continue my rant. You get the idea.

So I watched Next for about 10 or 15 minutes and couldn’t take it any longer. I finally found my comfortable Fox News Network and heard the latest on the 16-year old teenager suspected of brutally murdering the wife of a prominent defense attorney. He broke into the house, beat her 30-some times on the head with a piece of molding, and then proceeded to carve pentagram into her back. Even after this, he hang around the corpse for a while, almost enjoying its company. The motive for the murder is still under investigation, but what we do know is that this teenager was a normal every-day baseball kinda kid until his half-sister was killed in a car accident two years ago. His friends say that he became very closed after this event. He started dressing in black, isolated himself, and adopted a gothic lifestyle. The trigger for this murder, however, seems to be the fact that three days earlier his parents finally filed for divorce.

Talk about a teenager who’s hurting, wow! A little bit of love, time, and personal attention from almost anyone could’ve completely altered the direction of this kid’s life. We can all talk about how awful this event is, and it is, but what about the countless other teenagers out there who are currently sharing in his pain and life experiences? Those are the ones we need to reach out to and connect with. Christ’s love needs to permeate their experiences and we’re the ones to take it to them.

I feel that the goal of reclaiming the American teenager is an uphill struggle. Culture and society is working against us. The decline of marriage and family relationships are making the job nearly impossible, both in homosexuality and in divorce. It’s very frustrating to see these things happening in our world. I wanna reach every teenager out there and it’s hard to know that I can’t. However, it does serve as a grave reminder just how important my job is, probably one of the most significant ones out there. If I can reach the American teenager and help alter their perspective on life and their world, maybe marriages can again be solidified and numerous murders and suicides will be prevented. With a strong generation of teenagers that are willing to say “No!” to the morals and values of their culture, this country will be a very different place. The future of America rests on the shoulders of our youth workers.

So for now, I’m gonna leave my TV turned off until I’m ready to see another accurate portrayal of the hopeless world in which I live.

Posted on October 22, 2005

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