In our church bulletin this morning, there was a flyer for a Christian radio station. I used to listen to Christian radio a lot. In the days when I did not have a television, it was what I would do at night or on days when I was home from school, while I was doing my homework. To be honest, I don’t have pleasant memories of listening to Christian radio. I wouldn’t say that my memories are unpleasant, but they’re not pleasant, either!
One reason that I listened to Christian radio was to learn more about the Bible. But I don’t feel that I learned a great deal about the Bible when I was listening to Christian radio. Rather, I was listening to predictable evangelical spiels that I had heard repeatedly, some of them pretty kooky.
Another reason that I listened to Christian radio was to get inspiration. The problem here is that Christian radio can be a mix. Granted, one can listen to an affirming “God loves you” sort of message, or a message that offers practical insights on how to live life. But one can also hear fear-mongering, legalistic messages. In many cases, the same preacher can deliver both kinds of messages. It’s like he’s using a carrot and a stick, or playing both good cop and bad cop.
The thing is, as I think back to the television shows that I would watch once I got television and watched it while doing my homework, I have largely positive memories. I would watch The West Wing, Star Trek Voyager, Touched by an Angel, Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, and the list goes on. I see those times as good times.
But, come to think of it, I have some good memories about Christian radio. It’s not so much on account of the preaching on it, though I do have a few good memories of that (i.e., the mornings when I would listen to Nancy DeMoss, before heading off to work). Rather, I remember how I enjoyed listening to Christian pop music when I was driving to work. I also remember with fondness Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, which featured stories. Maybe I like music and stories rather than pompous, know-it-all evangelical preachers talking at me through my radio!
In any case, I kept the flyer, but I probably won’t go back to listening to Christian radio. I learn about the Bible from blogs, articles, books, and, well, the Bible itself. And I get inspiration from books and television shows. I don’t want to go back to eating styrofoam or (worse) raw sewage, which is what listening to Christian radio could be like for me.