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.

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About Joe Eaton

I praise God that my standing before Him has nothing to do with who I am or what I've done; it is found solely in the perfect life that Christ lived in my place, and His which atoned for my sin. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God"..."There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

2 responses to “Concerning the Evening News”

  1. Seth Olive says :

    First of all. I really like your new theme.

    K. Second of all, such things have actually been on my mind, too. So this post was quite timely. You speak of news media and the intake of things evil and vile via that medium. I hadn’t quite thought about the news, but I have been thinking about taking in violence and other forms of “evil” in things such as video games and movies.

    It is an interesting thought, isn’t it? We let ourselves view and take in so much through video games, movies, and media. How much is enough? Where the line between being informed and knowledgeable (in the world and not of it), and being unwise about what we view? I don’t really have any strongly formulated thoughts yet either. 🙂

  2. Daniel Schmitter says :

    First off, I want to ask a question about the scripture text. It seems to be using hyperbole to me (I don’t think we actually have to go around shaking our hands lest we be found holding a bribe). That said, it’s seems clear from other parts of the Bible that Christians should not ignore evil. So here’s the question: could it be that the text is simply saying that we should stay as far away as possible from taking part in bloodshed and evil? In part, I think yes, but I think the text might be saying more than that.

    There seems to be something to the point about avoiding excessive intake of violence through news media. Sometimes we need to hear the gruesome details of sin, but I don’t think this should become a routine (or enjoyable) part of life. Sin should always be a horror and a reality to us. And this makes Jesus all the more glorious.

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