Sunday, May 10, 2009

Christians and the News

I'm somewhat amused by the media's fascination with swine flu-related panic promotion. It's hard to see what gain there is to be had by journalists for blowing such concerns out of all proportion.

Chuck Colson offers the suggestion that the secular worldview, in which science protects us from disease and capitalism ensures our economic stability, has taken a double whammy in recent months. It's only natural, he says, that this leads to a form of real uncertainty and panic among those most committed to this view.

More generally, I used to wonder why the media tends to be so opposed to Christians and their worldview. I think the answer is a related one. It used to be (some time ago now) that news was that information that was potentially life-changing, knowledge necessary to rightly ordering one's life. Announcement of such news was infrequent and sporadic--it only occurred when real newsworthy events took place.

Today, of course, the news is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and its success depends upon convincing us that we need to tune in hourly, subscribe to the daily paper, check our internet news source at every opportunity.

And this premise, in turn, is contrary to consistent Christianity. That is, we Christians serve a Lord who transcends time, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is not surprised by swine flu, by financial down-turns, or even by horrendous terrorist attacks, much less by the sorts of things that fill the headlines most days. The God of Christianity is in sovereign control of all that goes on.

That being the case, we who follow Christ should be above the panic and the sensationalism that are used by journalists to sell their offerings. I'm not sure at what level of consciousness this understanding is held among jounalists. But I suspect that at some level, most journalists realize that if culture were filled with Christians who consistently lived with assurance of God's sovereignty over all things, it would be a whole lot tougher to find buyers for most of what passes for news these days.

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