"A question of earnest import"

It is Sunday morning. In the United States over one hundred million radio listeners and fourteen million TV viewers are participating in what has been termed "hand-on-the-dial" religion. The Christian Century, March 1, 1978; Sitting at home in front of television or radio sets, they form a vast congregation or "electronic church." Tried and true entertainment and promotional methods supply the techniques to produce slickly packaged presentations. For many people, these programs supply what they feel is a genuine religious experience.

And yet this mass-media approach to worship does raise some questions. Isn't there a danger that manipulative entertainment techniques, emotionalism, charismatic personalities, and hype could obscure the need for individual devotion to the Supreme Being? Might not radio and TV, by their very natures, foster a passive, complacent view of worship? Many Christian churches are worried about these crucial issues.

Burning mental bonds
July 7, 1980

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