Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: media

Where is the way where light dwelleth?

Earlier  today I re-blogged two posts that pointed to inconsistencies in US media coverage of President Trump’s actions. I was not wanting to make a political point, after all I am a Canadian, but trying to point out the folly of trusting the media to shed light on current issues.

Someone, I think it was Stephen Leacock, once wrote: “The combined labours of many scholars has shed much darkness on the route taken by Hannibal and his army to cross the Alps. As they continue their research it is probable that we shall soon know nothing at all.”

I was living in Toronto in my early twenties and a provincial election campaign was drawing to a close. One day the Telegram newspaper appeared on newstands with huge headlines proclaiming that the leader of one of the minor parties had switched allegiance to the Conservatives, The next issue of the Globe and Mail pointed out that this was true, but hardly a scoop as that event had occurred three years previously.

Thankfully there are still some journalists who prefer truth to hysteria. News stories written by the others should be taken with a grain of salt.

The title of this blog is a quote from the book of Job, chapter 38, verse 19. As Christians we should not give credence to the type of news stories that would whip us into a perpetual state of indignation. That is definitely not where light dwells.

To find the true light we need to look far beyond the political arena. The crisis of this day, this week, this month, will pass and be forgotten. But the true light is eternal and unchanging.

The apostle John tells us in the beginning of his gospel that Jesus is that true light and that light is available to everyone. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians tells us that we are to shine as lights in the world. We can’t do that if we let our thoughts and feelings become stirred up and confused by the shrill alarms coming from the media.

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And man, this clever fellow, seems to have become sleepless in order to invent ever new instruments to increase noise, to spread noise and insignificance with the greatest possible haste and on the greatest possible scale. Yet everything is soon turned upside down: communication is indeed soon brought to its lowest point with regard to meaning, and simultaneously the means of communication are indeed brought to their highest with regard to speedy and overall circulation; for what is publicized with such hot haste and, on the other hand, what has greater circulation than — rubbish!

Søren Kierkegaard, first published in 1851

Manufacturing the illusion of diversity

In the city that is an hour away from our home there are 2 synagogues, 2 mosques, 1 Buddhist temple, a few other religious groups and 150 churches, and probably an equal number of Christian charities, para-church organizations, schools, etc. It is true that the majority of the population never attend a worship service of any kind, but among those that do the overwhelming majority prefer something with a Christian flavour over any of the other options.

We were in a coffee shop in this city a few days ago and happened to meet an acquaintance who writes a weekly feature article for the religion page of the daily newspaper. She said the newspaper has told her that she is writing far too much about Christians and should look for things to write about other religions.

Now I grant that the newspaper has the right to do this. But it is just one more evidence that the media today are creating the news, not just reporting it. Most of the people involved in the media are committed believers in the “diversity” zeitgeist. “Diversity” in quotation marks for the simple reason that these people do not believe in the kind of diversity that presently exists, only in their fantasized wonderland which excludes everything that most people consider to be normal.

This is why the media have become cheerleaders for everything LGTB, reporting breathlessly on the great step forward this movement represents in the progress towards fulfillment of human potential. At the same time, if they ever report on anything Christian, the writing drips with disdain for the hopelessly backwards ideas of Christian people. Of course, the media simply represent the prevailing teaching in our universities and schools.

I consider it a hopeful sign that more and more people are opting out of the public education system, choosing either to send their children to a private Christian school or to home school them. Technology offers us the means to access other news sources and to share news on an individual level. Discernment is needed here as much as in reading the mass media, pretty well everyone has some sort of agenda in choosing what news to report or comment on.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).

Here is part of Daniel Whedon’s commentary on the above verse: “To this world—The word for world here, αιων, signifies not the physical frame of the globe, (for which κοσμος is the more proper term,) but the living world or age of man. The nonconformity here does not consist of that cheap nonconformity which consists of a peculiar fashion of coat or bonnet. Christianity does not prescribe a certain fashion or costume, or a special grammar. Conformity to our age in things involving no sin or moral depravation is right. It is a waste of moral strength where there is so much real sin and ruin in the world to expend our efforts on incidental trifles. And it was a terribly heathen world in which these Romans lived and the apostle wrote. Christianity had not softened and shaded the world to its own likeness. Hence the external non-conformity of that age meant a wider contrast than is possible now between the Christian and his more immediate surrounding world. Yet in the receding background our present age darkens into a darkness almost as deep as heathenism itself. The age still largely lies in wickedness.

“Transformed… renewing… mind—The apostle strikes deeply. True perfected faith renews the mind, and changes it from the world’s fashion to the model of God’s will.

“Prove—That is, may test or ascertain by a full, rich actual experience. The will of God here is God’s wish or requirement from us. And the terms good, acceptable, and perfect are not, as in our translation, adjectives qualifying will, but adjective nouns in apposition with it. The real meaning, then, is, Ye may prove what God’s requirement of us is; namely, the good, the acceptable, and the perfect. Faith, therefore, is our self-commitment to God, and to all goodness, acceptability, and perfection.”

Perhaps Christianity did for a time “soften and shade the world to its own likeness,” but that is fast disappearing. A Christian’s survival in this present age depends on not permitting his mind to become conformed to the thought patterns of the surrounding world.

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