How about we plumb some deep waters…but depths we need to consider?
I am concerned about a trend I see in society, but especially among Believers. We are losing our ability to think critically about important matters.
It alarms me that we passively swallow what the media—secular or religious—present without thoughtful scrutiny. For the media to “have a story,” they must have conflict, sensation, or both. Absent these, they have no story and it is a “slow news day.”
Add competition in the marketplace, especially with the advent of satellite feeds and independent reporting, and it is critical that the media report controversy and sensation.
There is slim chance for you to receive a fair and balanced report given these parameters. Maybe no chance.
Media has an agenda and is working their angle. They must get you to listen to them versus their competitor. If they fail, they go out of business.
Therefore, you and I must consider reports thoughtfully, not passively. The days of Walter Cronkite—“And that’s the way it is”—are gone.
Why am I writing about this unspiritual topic when my normal customary thoughts offer spiritual perspectives?
Listening and thinking are spiritual.
As a Believer nothing in your life is unspiritual. You are spirit, God is spirit, the devil is spirit, the demons are spirit, the angels are spirit, your friends are spirit. Do you understand? You are a spiritual person, living in a spiritual realm, filtered through the natural, physical, and visible (2 Cor. 4:18).
Scripture teaches that we appraise all things because we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:15-16). Further, in light of the fact that we live in a fallen and dangerous place—like sheep among wolves—Jesus exhorted that we are to be shrewd (Mt. 10:16).
When you watch and listen, do so actively, with acknowledged dependence upon the Holy Spirit for guidance and discernment. Recognize that you live in occupied territory. This world is not your home; you are simply passing through (2 Cor. 5:20).
I am not saying everything you hear on the news is anti-Christian. What I am saying is that your enemy, the devil, has an agenda larger than the wars, the President’s popularity, and the financial-market report. He will “spin” society for you to his own advantage, either now or later, and he will do so relentlessly. The fact that most of what you hear is slanted doesn’t help matters.
You must be wise. Little-to-nothing you receive from the media presents a balanced, fair treatment beyond the simple report. It can’t—they can’t—unless the outlets wish to gamble with market share.
Whether you listen to Christian radio or NPR, follow MSNBC, Huffington, the Times, or Fox and O’Reilly, talk with your Father about what you hear, see, and read. Seek the considered opinions of those you respect. Ask about and understand the other viewpoint from yours. Study the Scripture. Pray for wisdom and discernment, and pray as well that God’s will is done. Then, draw some conclusions.
It is noteworthy that the Bible calls the devil, the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:22). I don’t want to get too mystical, but at face value this verse implies that everything that travels through the air is passing through enemy-held territory. And not only is he the prince of the air, by implication he is also the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).
We live in a spiritual world that is not at peace spiritually. It is filtered to you via the airwaves. We must be discerning, shrewd like serpents, just as Jesus counseled.