Adopted by the General Conference in 1983.
NOTE: This position paper and the Technology one were replaced by a new paper on Media Technology, which was approved by the General Board in 2012 and was later approved at the 2013 General Conference.
Inasmuch as the United Pentecostal Church International has taken a positive stand against television as an instrument of Satan to defile the church with worldliness through the viewing of movies and other programs which are contrary to holiness and separation unto the Lord, and
Inasmuch as this stand has proven to be ordained of God in contributing in great measure to the safeguarding of the purity of the constituency of the United Pentecostal Church International, [and]
Whereas many other movements which have not taken this position have sadly degenerated in their holiness standards and no longer live separated lives, and
Inasmuch as motion pictures are utilized by the world as the medium by which the basest and most corrupt passions and activities of men are portrayed on the screen, and the United Pentecostal Church International has traditionally opposed said movie films produced for the entertainment of the ungodly world and have permitted the use of this medium among God's people only in such areas as taking pictures of families and friends and the viewing of educational, religious, or inspirational films, and
Inasmuch as video has now come on the scene and is being used to bring in, preserve, and show television programs, movie films, and other impure and ungodly scenes which the United Pentecostal Church International has consistently opposed for many years, and if unrestricted use is permitted, it [video] will jeapordize and destroy the holiness standards of separation from the world which the United Pentecostal Church International [has] consistently upheld for many years relative to television and motion pictures, and
Inasmuch as there are video cassettes offered to the public free at libraries, and [since for a nominal cost video cassettes] are available at rental agencies and video stores consisting of every kind of film including those X-rated, which are the most corrupt, debased, depraved "imagination" of men's hearts which are on evil continually; [and since] video games of all kind are likewise available; [and since] most video sets are equipped with receivers which can show and tape the television channels,
Be it therefore resolved that the use of video be strictly limited to those areas in which motion picture cameras and projectors are traditionally permitted to be used; namely, in taking of pictures of families, friends, and church activities, and the viewing of educational, religious, or inspirational films which are consistent with wholesome Christian principles.
Be it further resolved that we restate our strong opposition to the viewing of all worldly motion pictures and video films as are being shown commercially in theatres and on television for entertainment purposes for the ungodly masses, and the use of them in any form for God's people.
Be it further resolved that all video receivers be so altered as to be unable to receive television channels.
Be it further resolved that none of our ministers use video in any way except as herein provided.
There were some who voiced their thoughts regarding the resolution which dropped this position and replaced it with the one on media technology:
UPCI General Conference 2013 by Art Hodges: "The goal is NOT to alter or weaken our traditional stance against the evils of television. Rather, it is to strengthen our position against taking pleasure in viewing evil in any form. As with many other words changing over time, 'television' means something different today than it did originally, and perhaps than it will tomorrow."
Historic General Conference 2013 by J. Mark Jordan: "As far as Resolution #2 goes, I believe we have finally arrived at an honest, workable formula for the UPCI ministers who have struggled with marrying technology to righteousness for decades. The status quo with which we came to conference had been awkward and, frankly, disengenuous for too long. Some who were adamantly opposed to television had no such restrictions for computer hardware; others who were permissive with television were on the vanguard against internet filth. The bottom line is that our real position against television from the very beginning has always been content-based, not hardware-based."
The Dangers of Television by John Dinwiddie: "This past conference was different. In this conference held in St. Louis the restriction on having a TV set in the home of a minister licensed with the United Pentecostal Church was completely removed from the manual. Granted, the holiness position of the UPCI still discourages its members from having a TV in their home and, by extension, its ministers should not have a TV in their home either. But it doesn't say they can't. I am afraid that some of the UPCI ministers will go out and buy a TV set. (Some will probably take them out of their garages or cupboards)".
Two News Bulletins from the UPCI General Superintendent by David Bernard: "We must continue to uphold our position on holiness of life and holiness in the use of all communications technology. In view of the symbolic nature of media for our movement, we must be careful not to signal any compromise of belief or lifestyle. We affirm that the decision of our elders in 1954 was correct when they adopted the fourth paragraph on holiness in our Articles of Faith in response to the invention of television and other changes in society. Our goal is to enunciate the principles upon which they acted and apply them in light of technological changes and more complex choices."
The above is a position paper of the United Pentecostal Church International and is provided for informational purposes.
Page Added October 6, 2005 & Updated April 28, 2016
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