by Del Tackett
The role of media in a culture, especially in our modern world, is difficult to overstate. Quite frankly, it is huge and, I believe, it is THE MOST influential element in our society, bar none. Although it has become a tired cliché in Christian circles to complain about the media, this should not fool us into dismissing the reality of the incredible weight and sway that it carries. And, therefore, to not only better understand how and why things are happening in the culture around us, but to also guard ourselves, our families and one another against this most powerful, ubiquitous force that inundates our lives moment by moment.
Although the term “media” was originally used to describe the “medium” by which messages were communicated, i.e. the newspaper or the radio, it has exploded in modern times because the rise of technology has provided individuals and organizations capabilities to craft and deliver messages in a myriad of ways and forms. Long gone are the days when “media” had a small touch upon the American who might buy a newspaper if the headlines were bold or who might, in the evening after family supper, turn on the radio to hear Lawrence Welk or to possibly hear a news broadcast if war was breaking out. In addition, these were days, not perfect mind you, but days when the general population carried a fairly consistent and solid biblical worldview. They were more firm in their belief in God and in things that were right and things that were wrong.
Today, however, we are confronted with media messages everywhere and virtually at every moment. Media has sought to become omnipresent. Computer technology, the internet and now mobile devices have opened a 24/7 window into our lives through which streams an incessant flow of headlines, sports, entertainment, notices, communications, emails, tweets, instant messages, attachments, and links upon never-ending links to a bottomless pool of even more media content for your health, wealth, cooking, travel, political, gaming or any other mind-numbing, world-wide-web searching interest, where each Google query can give you millions of places to go and each of those places linking to a gazillion more places.
And we haven’t even mentioned yet the wealth of movies, videos, music, MP3-downloads, You-Tube, Facebook or the old-fashioned TV set, now upgraded to a screen that takes up half of your wall and a cable or satellite feed that brings you hundreds and hundreds of channels. If you want to sit and watch the life of another family going about its daily life rather than go about your own daily life, you can do so.
And as if this weren’t enough, we could look further and list the books and magazines and newspapers and billboards and advertisements that inundate virtually everything we have listed so far…they pop up continually on every electronic device we own.
It is everywhere…absolutely everywhere.
It is mind numbing.
But it is the messaging that we need to concern ourselves with, because the messages are the truth claims that bend our hearts and our souls…that seek to pull us into its mold.
And when the media becomes controlled by a worldview that is contrary to a biblical worldview, its ubiquitous presence can overwhelm us with false messages, both direct and indirect, blatant and subtle, conscious and unconscious.
This is the case that we face today with blue media. It seeks to squeeze us into its worldview mold. And, unfortunately, it is doing just that because along with its overwhelming presence, we have an increasing weakness in our faith in God and belief in moral absolutes. When these two are coupled together, you have a prescription for a culture that can be easily swayed by a single viral video or a few headlines or the right news anchor commentary. We have become a nation that is rootless, blown to and fro with every wind of teaching. And that teaching, or messaging, is coming primarily through blue media.
Have you been surprised by the rapid change of moral values in this nation? Are you surprised by way the Federal Government gets away with burying us under a debt of a hundred trillion dollars, or lawlessly thumbs its nose at the U.S. Constitution, or rules against the religious freedom of business owners, yet it remains completely unchallenged? Are you surprised that certain politicians can get away with things for which others would be thrown out or put in jail? Are you surprised when certain events get blown into superheated controversies and others are buried? Look no further than blue media and blue journalism.
For the Christian, we need to be cautious in several areas.
Number one, we need to make sure that we don’t allow this to destroy our hope or our joy or our faith, or any other of the Christian characteristics that mark us as a disciple of Christ.
Second, we need to recognize the danger that a blue media presents to us personally and to our families. I’m not in the prescribing business, but it would be wise to consider a survey of what your family and your children are consuming and how much. One of the most dangerous modern inventions for Christian families are private ear buds.
And third, we need the encouragement of each other. The overwhelming presence and influence of a blue media and the modern world is more than you or I are able to handle by ourselves. We need to be obedient to the Lord and gather together with other believers for prayer, for contemplation, for encouragement, for edification.
There is a huge remnant in the land. Be encouraged by the faithfulness of the Lord. We remain for such a time as this!