Concerning the Evening News
Herein, I have decided to randomly throw out a question that will probably be controversial, because I am curious to see whether you, my readers, have particular thoughts about it. Let me be clear that in asking this question, I am not necessarily condoning one position or another. OK. Without further adieu, here is a passage of Scripture and the question that popped into my mind after reading and thinking about it for a little while.
Hear, you who are far off, what I have done; and you who are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.
That was Isaiah 33.13-16. When I read the phrase “who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil”, the first thing that came into my mind was news media. I have observed that news media (in general) capitalizes on evil events that fill our world, using them to captivate and entertain audiences, and to prosper financially as a business. All of this is done in the name of keeping the world informed. And we, in an honest attempt to be responsible, informed American citizens, regularly take in such coverage.
I believe there is a place for being informed. I believe that we as believers would not be abiding by the Word if we were to simply hole up under the “ignorance is bliss” mantra so as to remain untouched by the world (which is an absurd thought in itself… but I’ll leave that for another post). That said, what counsel does this passage of Scripture give us regarding the consumption of news media (which is invariably full of all manner of sin)? In light of these words from Isaiah, are believers to refrain from watching the news? Is there a fine line between staying informed and shutting our eyes from looking on evil? If so, what is it?
Feel free to comment. Any and all thoughts regarding this topic are welcomed. I do not have any definite thoughts regarding this issue at this time, but it is my honest hope to think more about these things and write a follow-up post later.