written by: Michael Catt
We live in an age of technology. One area where this technological advancement is most obvious is in television. In the last 30 years, the variety of programming has exploded onto our screens.
When I was growing up we could pick up 3 or 4 stations. Of course, you had to have one of those modern antenna rotators to get the maximum reception. With the advent of cable TV our options are exploding. First there was ESPN and The Disney Channel. Now the market is flooded. If you like old movies, there’s the American Movie Classics. How about cartoons? Turn on The Cartoon Network. Do you need culture and education? Tune in The Discovery Channel or PBS.
There are channels for Science Fiction addicts, Western movie buffs and of course several channels for those who want to see recent movies. If you have SPORTS SOUTH you can watch every football coach’s show within a thousand mile radius. Ain’t God good.
You can now do all your shopping at home with a glut of home shopping networks. With the demise of the Sears Catalog, these channels fill the gap. The beauty of home shopping channels is that they give you great prices on items for your next garage sale.
According to recent reports, the world of 500-channel cable systems is just over the horizon. Although projections are that such systems are three to five years away, remote control addicts are biting their nails to clip through the new line up.
On the development list are more channels targeted to special interest groups. A Golf Channel founded by Arnold Palmer. The channel will feature pro and amateur tournaments, training and talk shows. I wonder if they would be interested in covering our annual church golf tournament?
Sony is sponsoring the Game Show Channel. Just what we need, more shows with slick hosts, airhead models, and cheap prizes. Instead of “Come on down,” someone needs to say, “Shut it off!” However, if you are into game shows, The Family Channel will sponsor the Game Channel with original and repeats of game shows. Just think, two channels to watch the egg heads of the world compete for cash and prizes. What a country!
ESPN 2 will offer more sports. This is a channel wives will grow to hate. Ladies, you may want to go to the other set and tune into Romance Classics. This new channel, sponsored by American Movie Classics will feature TV series and movies on love and romance.
Then there’s the Television Food Network for food lovers. The President of Pacesetter Communications says, “The audience is broad.” I assume there is no pun intended. This channel will bring a new meaning to Couch Potatoes. The trend setters for the 90s may be sofa souffles or rutabaga recliners. Robin Leach has been enlisted to host this channel that “would be like Larry King with a kitchen.”
Now that I think about it this new surge in cable programming may be a good idea. We need to capitalize on it. There should be hundreds of open channels. With that in mind, I would aspire to see a few channels taken into consideration.
The Business Meeting Channel for Baptists who have nothing to do but waste time, energy and words arguing over secondary issues while the world burns in hell. This channel could be interactive and the subscribers could talk back to the moderator, 24-hours a day. See people discuss money already spent. This is not what Jesus died for!
On the Pastors’ Channel, pastors will be able to tell people off who make it their goal to “keep the pastor humble.” The channel offers pay back for the times when we’ve had to be spiritual and wanted to get physical. Programming will follow the interview format of the World Wresting Association. It’s time to rumble.
Then there’s always the Aches and Pains Channel for those who have to go through their medical history every time they see someone. Contestants would compete for gallons of Ben Gay, aspirin and Woe is Me trophies.
You’ll want to subscribe to the Rapture Channel. Split second timing is required to catch the feeling. Videos of Jerry Falwell bunge jumping will be run in reverse every 3 minutes.
Everyone will gather at the TV to watch the Missionary Channel. Slides of apartments in various countries will be shown around the clock. You will hear, “I bring you greetings from _,” in every known language. Prime Time programming will include a computer enhanced makeover of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. Call in your offerings.
As you can see the options are endless and potentially entertaining. I could go on, but I’m out of space. So, how about some ideas from our audience. If you have an idea for a potential cable channel, write us about it. Who knows, your suggestion may end up in a ‘Cable Column, Part Two.’
PROFOUND THOUGHT… “If TV programs don’t improve, I may go back to listening to my wife.”- Henny Youngman.
©1994, I Left My Mind in Mississippi… But I Still Have My Ministry, Michael C. Catt, pp. 44-46.
Michael served as the President of the Large Church Roundtable, the Southern Baptist Convention as an IMB Trustee, President of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Preaching Conference, Vice President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and President of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference. He has spoken at conferences, colleges, seminaries, rallies, camps, NBA and college chapel services, well as The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Michael is the recipient of The Martin Luther King Award, The MLK Unity Award, and a Georgia Senate Resolution in recognition of his work in the community and in racial reconciliation.
Michael and his wife, Terri, have two grown daughters, Erin and Hayley.