Should Christians watch television soap operas?

First, let’s read a few verses from the Apostle Paul that describe such programs in exquisite detail: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).

No one who claims to be Christian would admit that the way of life portrayed by soap operas is one they should follow. Pointless adultery, fornication, hatred, deceit and murder permeate each episode. Such “works of the flesh” are even lamented by some television critics—and these are people who often make NO claim to follow Christ!

Of course, it is wrong to physically take part in such acts as Paul described. But Matthew 5:27-28 warns that we must not take part in them mentally by watching them take place! Soap operas and other such shows are of zero value to the spiritually-minded Christian.

God wants us to live abundant lives: “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (III John 2). There is no way in which we can prosper by watching soap operas. They will not help you “grow in grace and in knowledge,” as the Apostle Peter admonished (II Pet. 3:18).

Of course, the guidelines applying to soap operas apply to all forms of entertainment. A Christian must exercise wisdom and discretion when making such choices. Activities such as playing music, exercising, reading a book, painting a landscape or gardening are all excellent and constructive substitutes for television and movies filled with violence, fantasy and nudity.

If watching television, carefully avoid programming containing the “works of the flesh” Paul warned about. Remember that those who practice them will not be in God’s kingdom!