Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Media and The Church

I watched the Nightline special about idol worship featuring Mark Driscoll a few months ago, and it really got me thinking. The media has SO much influence on what people think about the church. The main video clips that they used to illustrate church was with an organ and hymns. This is not what the contemporary church is like at all.

I also feel as though they made Christians look as if they were not intelligent, but all about "feeling good inside." I could be completely off in this and have missed the point entirely, but that's what watching those clips made me think.

It's as if they are portraying the church as a group of people who do not live under freedom, but simply under a set of rules that are just put in place in order not to allow them to have "fun." For example, whenever a Christian is portrayed on television to be practicing abstinence, they are seen as ridiculous and they never know why they are doing what they're doing, except for the fact that it's what their pastors and parents told them to do.

Real Christianity is not what the media portrays. However, I think it is important for Christians to see how non-believers view Christianity so that we might be able to most effectively minister to them. For anyone who has seen the movie Saved! knows what I'm talking about. This movie is absolutely filled with what the world thinks of us as Christians. It mocks, pokes fun, and desecrates Christianity in a way that is really depressing. Worship times are seen as just concerts with everyone putting their hands in the air for no apparent reason, gospel messages that are given are only of fire and brimstone, even the best Christians in the movie lead double lives, and so on. While this movie is upsetting though, I do believe that it is important for all Christians to see it so we can be aware of what people really think.

Everywhere you look on television you will find that Christianity is misrepresented. It is very rare for Christianity to be portrayed in the correct light so that people may see it for what it really is. While it is important to have a sense of humor about these things as well, we also need to be sobered to the fact that the people who make fun of Christianity, whether it is in the form of innocent humor or malicious slander, there is at least a small kernel of truth that they really think those things themselves.

And instead of judging those people like so often happens, it is important that we pray for them and minister to them so that they may see the real love of Jesus, instead of having their stereotypes confirmed. I know that I personally spend too much time judging those that make fun of Christianity instead of feeling pity and compassion for them, so I am very challenged by this as well. Can we do this? Can we reach out to those who hate us because of our faith, and hate the church? It may be difficult, and it may be uncomfortable, but God did not call us to live comfortable lives. He called us to live holy and blameless lives, and through living in that manner we will have difficulties.

But remember this: we still have freedom here in America, even if it is being taken away little by little. We are so blessed to be in this country, because there are people all over the world who are dying for their faith. We really do not have to worry about this here. So instead of becoming lazy and comfortable, why don't we take advantage of our situation and reach out to as many people as we can?

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