[forthright] When the Media Talks Religion

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2007 11:03:45 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Heavenly Connections

When the Media Talks Religion
by Tim Hall

Flipping through the channels recently, I came
across a program on The History Channel that
caught my attention. The program focused on
archaeological discoveries in the region of Sodom
and Gomorrah. These were then compared to the
Bible record. "This could be good," I thought, and
settled in to expand my understanding.

Within five minutes I had abandoned all hope of
being edified by this program. Instead of
strengthening my faith by pointing to
corroborative findings, the show was pulling out
all stops (it seemed) to weaken a person's faith.
The Bible was treated as a collection of fables
that might have a shred of reality, but certainly
not to be taken seriously.

It has happened on numerous other occasions. A
Hallmark presentation a few years ago depicted the
story of Noah. When Noah's ark was shown being
attacked by a ship commanded by Lot, I knew
something was seriously awry in their version of
the truth. Truth, of course, wasn't their
objective; entertainment value was.

Christians should brace themselves anytime a
program is offered on television on Biblical
events. Magazine covers promising to reveal "the
whole truth" about the historical Jesus should be
viewed with great skepticism. There have been a
few fairly accurate portrayals of Biblical events
in recent years, but very few.

Paul pointed to a fact that ought to be the basis
of anyone's faith. In Galatians 1:11,12 he wrote,
"But I make known to you, brethren, that the
gospel which was preached by me is not according
to man. For I neither received it from man, nor
was I taught it, but it came through the
revelation of Jesus Christ" (NKJV). For anyone
desiring to know the true faith of Christianity,
this has to be a bedrock principle.

Far too many depend on humans to tell them what
God has revealed. The problem is that humans are
imperfect. Though they may have several academic
degrees, they still hold a bias that may intrude
into their teaching. Though they have no intention
of harming anyone's faith, by their imperfect
knowledge they can lead many astray. People may
mean well, but their ability to accurately teach
truth is less than perfect. (That applies to the
one writing this article.)

We must each honestly ask, What is the source of
my faith? Has it come from man, or from God? We
won't receive the truth exactly as Paul did;
Christ won't confront us in a blinding light as we
travel down the highway. But the Bible is God's
perfect revelation of truth (see 2 Timothy
3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:3,4). As long as my beliefs
rest ultimately on the revealed will of God, then
I'm likely going to know the truth.

The cover of the latest issue of your favorite
news magazine promises to enlighten you on what
the Bible really teaches about a sensitive issue.
Be skeptical. Remind yourself that only God is
always true.

"Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven"
(Psalm 119:89).

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