Andy Griffith & The Rifleman – what are we watching?

Think about how far we’ve come as a nation….

I’m reading a book called The Harbinger which takes the prophecies of Isaiah on Israel and overlays those over the U.S. today.  It’s scary.  Israel turned from God and turned to other idols and despite the warnings of the Prophets, they continued to pursue their godless ways.  Once God’s blessing was removed, Israel was broken and consumed by its enemies.  While I’m only 1/3 the way through the book (I read 75 pages in one sitting yesterday which is unusual for me), I see where he is going.  America is on a very dangerous path.  From the rise of radical Islam to the rise of China as a world power to the breakdown in Europe and the moral collapse in America, it seems we are heading for a fall.  9/11 was only the start.  We’ve been warned.


And so Andy Griffith passed away about 10 days ago and TV Land has been running Andy Griffith marathons celebrating his life and the show.  I’ve always loved the Andy Griffith show and enjoyed the reruns this weekend.  In addition, AMC has been running The Rifleman on Saturday mornings and some Saturdays, I’ll watch it while reading the paper and drinking coffee.

I’ve really enjoyed both of these shows and coupled with the book I’m reading and other thoughts, I’m really struck by just how much our culture has changed over the past 50 years.  Andy Griffith used to be primetime TV.  It was good, clean humor that showed the importance of values and family.  Both of these shows held up strong men who were focused on doing the right things, standing for honor and in both cases, were widowers raising sons alone.  It was fatherhood.  It was the importance a strong man has in a young boy’s life.  There was no divorce, no teenage pregnancy, no lesbian couples adopting children trying to convince us that their lifestyle is “perfectly normal”, no drug interventions and there was no “Criminal Minds” where sick psychopaths murder teenage girls and the FBI tries to stop them.  There was no Oprah, no “Strange Sex”, no “50 shades of grey” and no Kardashians.  There was no Bachelorette where model-looking men try to sweep a plastic-looking woman off her feet by jetting her to remote, tropical vacations declaring their undying love for her.  There was no obsession with sex-craved vampires or man-eating zombies.  There was no 48-hours mysteries which usually chronicles some affair that leads to a double-cross and a murder.

Think about it.   There was Andy & Barney and Lucas McCain.  50 years ago the top 20 primetime TV shows included Bonanza, Gunsmoke, My 3 sons, Andy Griffith, Rawhide, Lassie and Dennis the Menace.

Compare these shows and what our families were watching and taking in to the list above of what we are watching today.  Listen to the message of those shows of the early 60’s about family, faith, hard work, ethics, integrity and commitment and compare that to the message of today.  Oh my how far we have come as a nation.  Look at the idols we worship today.

We cannot totally insulate ourselves from the society we live in but we are absolutely kidding ourselves if we don’t think the message of the TV isn’t having an impact on our homes right now.  What are your kids watching?  What’s on Disney?  What’s on MTV?  Does it matter?  Are they even aware that you are concerned about it?  Are you having conversations with them?

Our nation has clearly turned its back on God.  We’ve thrown God out of the schools, out of the government and out of our message.  It isn’t about God.  It’s about me – what I want, who I am, what I feel, what I need – and TV glorifies that and so do the books you and your wife download onto your Kindle.

We must be vigilant.  We cannot let our guards down.  If sheriff Andy Griffith was your grandfather and he appeared in your living room today from 50 years ago in the past, what would his reaction be to what you are watching?

Unfortunately, we must be The Rifleman in all areas of our lives – on guard and ready to stand up for truth and honor and decency.  The idols we worship must be broken.  The Lord is calling us as men to lead…

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

May the Lord have mercy on these United States of America and may a mighty revival rise up to save this nation.  Come Holy Spirit, come.






5 thoughts on “Andy Griffith & The Rifleman – what are we watching?

  1. Thanks for the great message. Isaiah 6: 9-13 says it all. Only after they had come to the end and had no where to turn but to God (NIV comments). I believe the word remnant will become popular in the last days.

  2. great comment Oscar. The writer of the book said that after 9/11, we briefly turned back to God, went into the churches, united as a nation and started talking about God. But…it was short-lived and soon we were talking about building those towers back even stronger than before and we ignored the root of the issue – the moral decay of America. Isaiah 9:10 talks of the building of brick coming down and man rebuilding it of stone and then in 9:13 it says, “The people did not turn to Him who struck them; they did not seek the Lord of Hosts. So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail…”
    God have mercy on us….

  3. The “Televised church:” Have we been, are we being “televised,” as in deceived by evil presented as good, however subltly, and repeatedly, then brazenly after we have been desensitized? After we have been proded into questioning if good is really true? Do we dare call abortion evil -out loud- do we dare insist on righteous sexual behavior – out loud? Do we dare call the people to repent as Jonah did?

  4. As a therapist, I am confronted by “modern day values” and quite frankly, these values make me sick sometimes. I believe that the vision of Mayberry keeps me grounded and gives me hope to continue my work. I encourage everyone to examine what motives them and why, so that they can have a clearer understanding of themselves. Keeping God in the center of their focus, keeps them focused on sound Christian values that guide their thinking and result in more rewarding experiences in life. I challenge you to to the same.
    Fred Remick

  5. Thanks for sharing this important message. America has been and continues to decline morally. What is shown on TV and the internet these days is a reflection of that decline, but not the cause of it. Beginning in the 1950’s, our Supreme Court began removing God from our public society and institutions. I pray for a revival as well, but regardless of the future direction of our country let us remember, Philippians 1:27-30b NLT: “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ…standing side by side, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together.” “For this world is not our permanent home, we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” (Heb 13:14 NLT).

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