Pastor's Corner

16 Jan
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Mid-Week Challenge

If you are like many Americans you might find it hard to make it through an evening national news cast.  At one time our family recorded the Nightly News and watched it together after homework was finished.  I’m a news junkie and that little portion of time was something that I used to look forward to with my family.  Today, my wife and I can hardly make it through the thirty-minute program ourselves.  My kids grew tired of my constant pausing of the program to rant and explain the gaps or intentional misleading in the story.  Thirty minutes turned into an hour, so we abandoned the practice.  “Fair and balanced” isn’t much better.  At times it comes across as one sided.  Why can’t we just get the news? Unfortunately, in this day of cutthroat competition we can’t.  Long before #metoo there was #mefirst.  Gone are the days of reporters simply reporting the news and being the most trusted people on TV.  To make it in the industry today one has to have an ego to push through the sea of fellow wannabes to reach that position of influence.  Along the way we have witnessed the fall of many of these folks (think Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly, Brian Williams, Dan Rather, Keith Olbermann, & Megyn Kelly).  Talented, likeable people, who saw their careers come tumbling down because they could not get past themselves and their personal agendas.  So how do we get the news?  Do we just check our brains at the door or cut national news out all together?  Surely there is compromise somewhere in between.  

BreakPoint, a Christian news outlet that I have grown to trust, has a great story on this topic.  They report the findings of a Gallup poll that shows more than half of the American population feels as frustrated with the media as I do. In their article they cite the findings: “A recent Gallup poll found that only 45 percent of Americans trust the media, while an Axios poll found that 72 percent of Americans believe that traditional news media “report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading.”

http://www.breakpoint.org/2019/01/breakpoint-news-you-can-really-use/

They don’t just state the obvious, the article gives us some helpful suggestions when searching the headlines.  First, be discerning.  We can’t just abandon the big outlets but we cannot blindly trust them either. Any information we digest must be filtered through Scripture and good commonsense.  Second, we should read widely and actively. One of the best questions to ask a news story is, “What’s been left out?”  Often secular outlets ignore anything that has to do with Christianity. In addition, one can’t just feed at one source. To get the full story we have to tap multiple outlets.  Finally, and most importantly, even if we aren’t an intricate expert on all things covered in the news, we can always be committed to developing a Christian worldview. The Bible is not only a book to be looked at; it’s a book to be looked through. Through the Scriptures, we can understand the difference between good ideas and bad ideas. And we can better recognize that every story, and every reporter, is coming from a worldview themselves.

So, if you are frustrated with the national news coverage you are not alone, but don’t give up.  Our job as Christians is to engage our culture.  If we are uninformed and ill prepared the challenge will be much harder than it has to be.   

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  Acts 17:11 

Serving the Savior 

Bro. Jonathan

 

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