Should Christians watch TV?

The Bible tells us to ask God to turn our eyes from “beholding vanity”:

Psalm 119:37 King James Version (KJV)
37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

The definition of “vanity” is “inflated pride in oneself or one’s appearance” and “something that is vain, empty, or valueless”:

vanity [noun]
van·​i·​ty | \ ˈva-nə-tē \
plural vanities
Definition of vanity (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : inflated pride in oneself or one’s appearance : conceit
2 : something that is vain, empty, or valueless
3a : dressing table
b : a bathroom cabinet containing a sink and usually having a countertop
4 : the quality or fact of being vain
5 : a fashionable trifle or knickknack
6a : compact entry 3 sense a
b : a small case or handbag for toilet articles used by women

The TV receives many shows with scenes of violence, and the Lord hates those who love violence:

Psalm 11:5 King James Version (KJV)
5 The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Scenes of violence on Television commonly depict people throwing punches at each other, but the Bible teaches the opposite, that if your neighbor slaps you, to not retaliate, but to “turn to him the other” cheek:

Matthew 5:38-39 King James Version (KJV)
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Many movies broadcasted on TV portray drug and alcohol use as being socially acceptable for those with high status or class, but the Bible warns against those who seek “mixed wine”, that it “biteth like a serpent”, “stingeth like an adder”, for they will “behold strange women” and “utter perverse things”:

Proverbs 23:29-35 King James Version (KJV)
29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Many times on TV people begin to fight because of drug or alcohol intoxication, and the Bible quotes wine as a “mocker” and strong drink as “raging”:

Proverbs 20:1 King James Version (KJV)
20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Another content classification that people commonly watch on TV is nudity and sex scenes, but Jesus made it clear that to “looketh on a women to lust after her” is already committing adultery in the heart:

Matthew 5:28 King James Version (KJV)
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Even Job “made a covenant” with his eyes to not “think upon a maid”:

Job 31:1 King James Version (KJV)
1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

There are countless TV shows portraying adultery, however Proverbs confirms that whoever commits adultery “lacketh understanding” and does it to “destroyeth his own soul”:

Proverbs 6:32 King James Version (KJV)
32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

Fornication is also widely accepted on TV shows and series, particularly by youth now, but it is forbidden in the Bible:

1 Corinthians 6:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Cheating on spouses is all too common a sight on TV, but God will judge “whoremongers and adulterers” who defile the bed, because marriage is honorable and leaves the “bed undefiled”:

Hebrews 13:4 King James Version (KJV)
4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Coarse language and swearing on TV is very common, but the Bible lets the reader know to “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth”:

Ephesians 4:29 King James Version (KJV)
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Ephesians goes on to call coarse language as “filthiness” and “foolish talking” and “jesting”:

Ephesians 5:4 King James Version (KJV)
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Jesus reminded the multitude that it is “that which cometh out of the mouth” that defiles a man:

Matthew 15:10-11 King James Version (KJV)
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

“Every idle word” that people speak will be judged on judgement day:

Matthew 12:36 King James Version (KJV)
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Watching TV requires eyes to view it, but Jesus proclaimed that “if thy right eye” causes you to sin, to “pluck it out” to save your whole body from hell:

Matthew 5:29 King James Version (KJV)
29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

The scriptures state that we must think upon whatever is “true”, “honest”, “just”, “pure”, “lovely”, “of good report”, “virtue” and “praise”, and sadly most TV shows don’t fit this description as quoted in the verses above:

Philippians 4:8 King James Version (KJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

In fact, today most TV shows fit the description below, including “adultery”, “fornication”, “lasciviousness”, “witchcraft”, “envyings”, “murders”, “drunkenness”, etc:

Galatians 5:19-21 King James Version (KJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 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.