After spending 25 years without a TV, I decided last November to buy a TV licence and get one. The advent of Freesat was one factor in this decision. For the cost of a satellite dish (£80) and the cost of a box (£30) you can get the Freesat selection of satellite channels, plus the option of being able to manually tune in to many others. I think there are 17 so-called “Christian” channels broadcasting from satellites at 28degE (the direction in which the dish is installed), of which only 4 are on Freesat, 9 others I have programmed in manually. All are rubbish.
Having said that, there are one or two programmes that are worth watching, notably:
R.C.Sproul (9.30am Mon and Tues on UCB)
Peter Masters (5pm Sat on UCB)
Michael Youssef (4pm Sat on Daystar)
and Bible Study (9pm Mon and Tues on Revelation)
The Revelation channel attracts my interest. It is British, and run by a group of people from New Malden, which I think is near London somewhere. The good thing is that they are evangelical, young earth Creationists, and Bible believing. The Bible Study programme referred to above is one of the best programmes on television. Three people get together to study a Bible passage, and as it is live, viewers can email in their comments as the programme is progressing. They also have a phone-in time on the Monday, but the programme usually (sadly) degenerates at this point. They have had hoax callers in the past, and there is really no need for the phone-in at all in my opinion. As with all Bible study discussions, different people have different points of view, but it is a good thing to at least discuss these things, even if you don’t agree with them.
However, there is a big problem with Revelation TV. Too many of the scheduled programmes are produced by Messianic Jews who have completely deluded the production team into believing that God still has a purpose for Jews (i.e. those claiming physical descendency from Abraham) today.
Romans 2-5 is so clear:
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (2:28-29).
All the promises that pertain to the Jews in the Old Testament never were really to all the physical descendants of Abraham, but to the true Jews, the True Israel, i.e. those who have truly been born-again of the Spirit of God, whether Jew or Gentile. Those physically descended from Abraham have no special privileges other than the fact that they were the “keepers of the oracles of God” (3:2) and were the line through which Christ would come. Now Christ has indeed come, these privileges are no longer there. Indeed their “house is left to them desolate.” (Matthew 23:38).
But on the “Q&A Show” on 10/4/11, an email came in asking what happens to Jews if they die without Christ. The founder of Revelation TV Howard Conder and two guests from Jerusalem all said that “God will judge justly,” deliberately going out of their way to make sure that they never said that they go to hell fire, which would be the correct answer.
On Bible Study on 18/4/11 they took time out from their usual study to have a special programme on the Passover. During this programme it was mentioned that some notes were available to anyone who asked, entitled “Passover or Easter?” This title alone “assumes the sale.” It asks “Should we have Passover or should we have Easter?” It deliberately does not give the option that we shouldn’t have either (which is the correct answer). We are all agreed that Easter is a pagan festival and nothing to do with Christianity, but they were all pushing for Christians to return to celebrating the Passover, and presumably all the other Jewish festivals as well. But “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). We don’t need the typology of a sacrificial lamb any more. As for their argument that when the Passover was instituted in Exodus 12:14 it is stated that it was a “feast to the Lord” and that “ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever,” well we do still keep it – in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper or Communion.
Also, every Friday evening at 7pm they have a “Shabbat Meal.” I don’t know what they believe about which is the true Sabbath day – maybe they are Saturday sabbatarians, I don’t know. I heard on this programme a few weeks ago, someone say “The doctrine that the church has replaced Israel is a doctrine from the pit of hell itself.” Language like this is not suitable. All right, it was from one of the guests on the show, and he is entitled to his own opinion, but the presenter (a messianic Jew) never rebuked him or stopped him from displaying such an attitude live on TV.
On Bible Study 11/4/11 someone phoned in and asked “What is the difference between the Jewish religion and the Church of England?” Now, I thought is was just some ignorant person phoning in, as, I think, did the presenters. They told her that the Jews don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah and the church does, which is the correct answer. However, I thought about this afterwards, and I thought maybe the person phoning in wasn’t so stupid after all. They have maybe been watching Revelation TV for some time, and seen so many Jewish programmes on that she became confused. These programmes give the impression that there is little difference between Jews and Christians, whereas there is a vast difference between the two religions. Jews are going to hell (unless they embrace Christ) and truly born-again Christians (Jew and Gentile) are all going to heaven.
Last week (12/4/11) the TV station had their monthly fundraising programme “Building the Foundations.” They told viewers that in March they had a £38,000 deficit, and so set up a “faith target” which they wanted to reach of £40,000. They actually got £40,700, and so they are all jubilant and saw this as an answer to prayer. I don’t blame them, I would think that too, if I was in debt and suddenly the exact amount of money came in just on time. But my heart is broken. How can they get away with thinking this, and carrying on in their own sweet way with all the resources and finances available, to propagate their erroneous beliefs, whereas I (and indeed many others) haven’t got these resources, so we end up with no-one listening to us? Of course it is all in the Lord’s providence, but we need to think about this carefully.