How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news. - Isa 52:7
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.
Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. - Eph 6:12
There is not a week that goes by that I do not hear a Christian conclude that the national media has a liberal bias, either in conversation, on talk radio or in sermons in church. The Christian church has been quite prolific in its view of the media. The purpose of this article is to evaluate this statement and determine if it is true and if so, what can believers do about it.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit a friend who is a producer at one of the major three news networks in America. We toured the studios, learned about her world and saw first-hand the challenges she faces in this extremely competitive, ego and power-driven industry. It is an intoxicating environment that can overtake anyone because of the power it affords those who work in it.
Spiritual DestinyThe national media is the prophetic voice of the nation. Its primary role should be to report what is taking place in the nation and the world. It is to proclaim truth and expose unrighteousness. It is to inform the nation of current events in an unbiased manner. Media today does provide some of this. However, because so few in the media have a biblical worldview Satan has largely operated at the top of this mountain. He does this through a highly professional mix of reporting truth and exposing unrighteousness, but without any redemptive purpose. Instead, the spirit behind the media is designed to create fear, despair and hopelessness and can often present situations inaccurately to portray something that is good to be evil. National media has great power to persuade public opinion. The way in which they report news shapes our view on what is happening in society, right or wrong. Media is one of the most important culture-shapers on a culture. Ruling Principality:
In order to view media we must recognize that there is a spiritual battle taking place in our world. We are not just fighting people in the media, but we are fighting a principality that is in control of that medium. The Hittites described in Joshua 1 and Deuteronomy 7 represents the media. Apollyon is the name of the ruling spirit over the Hittites. Apollyon means "destroyer" and "destruction"; means to fear, promote terror, especially as it relates to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It promotes infighting and division throughout society. It is the bearer of bad news. Media can serve as a pawn by Satan to deliver and communicate fear and despair to culture.
Consider Ephesians 6:12-13:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
These demonic influences can cause deception, lack of truth telling, manipulation of truth, partial truth, and can become a source to instill fear in society. It can also shape culture to be viewed in an ungodly and humanistic way. How do these spirits get a foothold?
Influence from demonic principalities has taken place over several decades since television began. With the advent of broadcast journalism people have turned to television for their news. Journalists who prepare to become news journalists are more often trained in Ivy League schools. These Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale and Columbia, despite having a Christian foundation, have now become the primary liberal educational institutions of the nation. Those who graduate from these schools have received a steady diet of an anti-Christian worldview. Consequently, when these people take on high-level journalistic positions, they represent this worldview.
Journalists are trained to be neutral in their reporting. However, a journalist's view often comes through in subtle ways in the manner in which the reporting is delivered. It is unrealistic for Christians to think the national media will report without their worldview eventually showing up in their reporting. The only what to change this is to impact the individual who will then adopt a Christian worldview. Sadly though, less than 19% of the Christian population has a Christian worldview. So, how can we expect the media to have a Christian worldview if we in the Body of Christ do not even have one? We are losing the culture both within the Christian community and outside the Christian community. Prayers of Repentance
One of our first acts required to begin reclaiming the media is to repent as believers. Those believers in the national media must repent on behalf of the larger media industry of reporting a worldview that focuses on humanistic foundation without God's role in society. We must repent of propagating fear and inaccurate reporting about people and situations.
We must pray for the airwaves to be filled with truth in reporting, righteousness in the way reports are prepared, stories of nobility, justice, truth, virtue and praiseworthy things. It must replace stories that promote fear and anxiety and unbalanced view of situations and people with accurate reflections of what is taking place and the people involved. We must have representatives at a national level willing to stand up for righteousness when they are confronted with bowing down to the god of power and influence that contradicts our worldview. Yet, we must also follow Jesus' instructions to live as sheep among wolves and be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matt 10:16-20). This is not an easy assignment in such a pressure packed industry. Consider Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego who refused to bow down to the god of Nebuchadnezzar:Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." (Dan 3:16-25).
In order to better understand the national news lets get a profile of the typical national news journalist:
- Educated at Ivy League school - liberal worldview.
- 90% or more will hold a Democratic view of politics (Fox Network may be exception).
- Live in a bubble - don't drive, live in New York City, and work in Manhattan where less than 1% is Christians.
- Cannot relate to common challenges of middle class.
- Everyday they see what is bad in society and often cannot reconcile the evil in the world they see each and every day.
- They are lied to every day by those wanting to manipulate public opinion. ("Why should the church be any different?" they conclude) "Who can I really trust?"
- It's especially hard for Christians in media to recover when a Christian is the source of dishonesty or failure in integrity. It tarnishes their faith and their secular counterpart uses this as ammunition against their own faith.
- They are seen as a means to an end. A resource to power and influence to advance themselves. Feel used.
- Many Christians hold a narrow and judgmental attitude toward those in the media.
- They often live in an insulated world. i.e. No car. No gas needed. Ivory Tower lifestyle.
- Pray for the Church to regain its biblical worldview
- Pray for journalists and their needs. Let us pray for a biblical worldview to be manifested through the media and those who work in the media.
- Pray that Christians model what we really believe. We must begin demonstrate the love of Christ to those in the media. Most journalists know what Christians don't believe in, but need to know what we do believe in and we must model it.
- Local churches should adopt those in media if they live in a city where national media is headquartered. Send notes that you are praying for them. Food baskets, etc. when major stories are breaking.
- We must pray a prayer of repentance for the media and the deception that is coming out of secular media. Pray that God will raise up new generation of godly representatives in the media. Pray for truth and righteousness to come forth. Bind the strongman that wants to instill fear in people through the media. Bind that spirit that wants to manipulate and report news that is either untruthful or slanted to persuade inaccurate reporting
- Pray for those believers in the media to have the spirit of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego who refused to worship the god of Babylon.
- Pray for Nehemiahs to be raised up to rebuild the wall of the media of righteous reporting. Alice is key representative as Nehemiah in her industry. She is to learn what this means and to teach it to others in media.
- Take an interest in journalists as people.
- Career doors in national media are often very difficult to break into without an insider family member or Ivy league connection. Pray for doors to be opened to Godly men and women in media.
- Serving those who serve high profile individuals must be done with great sensitivity. Avoid name-dropping. You will compromise their ability to have influence.
- Christians a desiring a career in media and journalism must consider the extraordinary commitment required in education, training, work hours required, and the impact on family life.
Scriptures to Pray
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. 2 Cor 10:4-6
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Prov 25:25-26
As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country. A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well. Isa 52:7
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Eph 6:14-20
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints - and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.