Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
C. Mervyn Maxwell
North American Seventh-day Adventists who spend considerable time viewing television appear to be increasingly patterning their lives after those lifestyles portrayed on commercial programs, consequently experiencing some of the problems (e.g., divorce) that secular individuals experience, yet tend to reject those who question television, nor seek to understand the impact television viewing has on character development, spirituality, and lifestyle values.
Using recent scientific research as a basis, a seminar was developed that was designed to inform church members of the impact that indiscriminate viewing of commercial television programs has on character development and personal lifestyle values.
The seminar was presented three different times with an attendance of 83, which represents 22 percent of the published membership of the participating churches. Prior to attending the seminar, participants (1) viewed varied amounts of television, (2) did not necessarily exercise discrimination in program selection, and (3) were not completely aware of the principles and standards that can guide in program selection. Participants were unaware of much of the findings of recent research regarding the impact of television on the human psyche. Participants responded favorably, and responses on the final questionnaire indicated that participants (1) had either reduced or eliminated their viewing, (2) had begun exercising discrimination in selecting programs, (3) were following specific principles in their selection of programs, and (4) evidenced a greatly increased familiarity with the findings of recent research.
Television has been characterized as one of the most difficult subjects to address in the present-day church. It is also one of the most needed subjects. This project demonstrated that it is possible to successfully address television in a positive manner provided (1) there is a solid basis to what is being presented, and (2) presentations are made in a non-dogmatic way.
Mass Media--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Television broadcasting--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists
Glass, John, "What You See Is What You Get: A Media Seminar For The Renewal Of Christian Values" (1992). Project Documents. 363.
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