Praising [and Disparaging] the Media

When it came time for me to make a decision about my college major [this was about one lifetime ago], I didn’t jump at a history degree. In fact, even though I liked reading history, I was turned off by the poor quality of teachers I’d had for that subject.

Instead, I majored in radio, television, and film production. My reasoning? I listened to the radio constantly, and I was a devotee of certain TV programs and movies. Pretty deep reasoning, right? Not exactly a focused spiritual moment in my life.

Yet I gave it my all, and my first job was at the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) where I started as an audio technician for programs such as the 700 Club. Not many months after beginning that job, there was an opportunity at CBN radio as an announcer. I jumped at it, and it allowed me to develop certain speaking and communication skills that the Lord has used ever since.

When I went back to college to get advanced degrees in history and switched my profession from mass media to education, I still maintained a passion for communicating a subject in as entertaining a manner as possible. In my teaching, I use PowerPoint extensively [and, I trust, somewhat imaginatively—not merely to make lists of information to memorize]. I sometimes joke that PowerPoint is my outlet since I’m a frustrated film producer.

I say all this to make it clear that I am not someone who likes to pounce on the media. I continue to appreciate well-made TV programs and movies. I also watch a lot of news, and look for fairness in its presentation.

Unfortunately, the media in America has a bent, whether it’s in how the news is offered or via the entertainment track. Many TV shows now have pro-homosexual subplots. The vast majority of films have a liberal axe to grind. News programs are slanted toward a secularist worldview, which seems to dovetail with liberal politics. That’s acceptable for opinion shows, but not for mainline news reporting. Will the media change?

That’s not exactly change I can believe in.

Some Christians, when films and television first appeared, considered them a tool of Satan and declared that Christians should have nothing to do with them. In a sense, that temptation has returned simply because of the antagonism toward Christian faith in much of the modern media. It would be a mistake, however, to turn away from these means of communication. Christians should want to extend the Lordship of Christ into the media world. If allowed to do so [which isn’t always possible], we can make a difference in this world by manifesting the love of God and His principles via every manner of media.

So even though I make disparaging remarks at times at how the media functions, I embrace the technology and seek to use it for God’s kingdom. The more that Christians take this approach, the greater is the probability that we can bring true hope and change.