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Archive for June 30th, 2011

John Sommerville is the author of how the News Makes Us Dumb.  Before news became an industry, Sommerville writes, society was held together not by news but by its cultures.  People shared “fairly settled assumptions about what was reasonable, natural, expected or good.”  Scholars call this a culture’s metanarrative — a  narrative that “binds our thinking.”

The Bible provided this metanarrative for Western civilization.  Even nonbelievers were familiar with its stories and ways of structuring moral and social reality.  But the media — the news industry — changed that.  People in this industry generally disregard or blatantly defy the Judeo-Christian narrative.  They believe it’s their job to shape our thinking.  They are constantly raising questions that cause people to doubt Christianity or any cultural traditions grown out of Biblical thinking.  Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, writes, “The result is that many people accept the idea that we should be constantly reevaluating what we believe and understand about the world — including our religious beliefs — but news stories cannot replace a culture’s metanarrative, because, by its very nature, the news gives priority to the shocking and the new.  It is a cycle of endless deconstruction.”

“The good news,” writes Colson, “is that Americans are recognizing that the ‘news’ is becoming a little more than vulgar entertainment, largely irrelevant to our lives.”

A good practice is to use the news for appropriate and limited purposes.  Sommerville offers this suggestion: “We should balance our bloated appetite for news with a cultural diet rich in books, reflection, and discussion.  And we should put the news through a mental metanarrative grid — asking ourselves if the ‘news’ being offered up reinforces our cultural story — and our views of Christianity — or tears it apart.”  Colson agrees.  “The news may make us dumb — but reading and discussing great books, especially the Bible, leads to the kinds of wisdom that brings real understanding.”

Appreciation to How Now Shall We Live Devotional
by Charles Colson, Tyndale House Publishers

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Benjamin Rush signed the Declaration of Independence.  He also served in the Presidential administrations of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.  Each came from a different political party.  How could Benjamin Rush serve Presidents from three different parties, and what was his own party affiliation?  He once proclaimed:

I have been alternately called an aristocrat and a democrat.  I am now neither.  I am a Christocrat.  I believe all power . . . will always fail of producing order and happiness in the hands of man.  He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him.”

Rush made his choice of candidates based on which one better stood for Godly principles, no matter what party affiliation.  As Proverbs 29:2 states:

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

What legacy will we leave the next generation?

President James A. Garfield, a Christian minister, reminded Americans: ” . . . [T]he people are responsible for the character of their Congress.  If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.  If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”

Source: Original Intent by David Barton

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Some would claim I am guilty of heterosexism if I do not embrace the practice of homosexuality or the teaching of the homosexual lifestyle to children in school.

Then, does it follow that I am also guilty of some form of “racism” if I do not embrace thievery, alcohol or drug abuse, adultery, cheating, rape, pedaphilia, or murder (to name a few) or the teaching of these practices to children in school?

All of these practices are harmful.  It is for that reason that God’s Word consistently warns against them and calls them wrong.  Vibrant civilizations have always warned against them and called them wrong.

What, you say?  A person with homosexual tendencies is born that way?  Cannot the same be said about the person who is an alcoholic or prone to violence?  Thus, the practice of self-control.  Restraint.  Setting of boundaries.  All for a person’s own good as well as the good of his neighbors.  If someone is looking for help in practicing self-control and — in fact — putting the old, harmful ways behind, tell them to give Exodus International a call.   This group offers the same hope for “recovering homosexuals” as Alcoholics Anonymous does for “recovering alcoholics.”

It is bold and progressive to demean me with words like heterosexist.  No matter.  I am going to refrain from embracing a dangerous lifestyle even while I embrace the person struggling with it.

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