Culture

The Prophets of the Mainstream Press

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I’m accustomed to feeling frustrated by the way Christianity is presented by the mainstream media. Whether the sources are from the left or right, I rarely see representations of what I would recognize as my faith or my people. And I’m rarely reminded of Jesus.

But something’s happening. In the midst of our cultural Christianity, as this political context is revealing strange allegiances, as violence across the globe is tempting us toward fear and hate, we’re being forced to make hard (but purifying) choices.

If prophets arise at times of upheaval, calling religious leaders to accountability, reminding us what the Lord requires of us, are we watching prophets at work in this public arena?

If prophets both criticize and energize, grieving what is and dancing for what is to come, could this be their moment? Will God use it to call the Church back to its purpose? Will He call others who haven’t known Jesus, to see who he truly is?

Are we watching prophets at work in this public arena? Click To Tweet

I’m rejoicing at the possibility and so have been keeping an anthology of the prophets of the mainstream press. I share some to invite you to celebrate with me:

In his interview on NPR, Reverend William Barber shares this challenge,

“I would say speaking the truth and love, if you’re conservative, biblically you want to conserve love, not hate. You want to conserve justice, not injustice. You want to conserve mercy, and not meanness . . . .”

And Peter Wehner, Opinion Writer for the New York Times proclaims:

“The calling of Christians is to be ‘salt and light’ to the world, to model a philosophy that defends human dignity, and to welcome the stranger in our midst. It is to stand for justice, dispense grace and be agents of reconciliation in a broken world. And it is to take seriously the words of the prophet Micah, ‘And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?’”

Matthew Soerens, of World Relief, speaks truth in his NPR interview:

“We rely on literally thousands of volunteers, most of whom . . . come to us through local churches. And they do so because they’re driven by their Christian faith and by the many commands in Scripture to love their neighbor. And when Jesus talks about loving your neighbor, he makes very clear in the parable of the good Samaritan that that doesn’t get defined narrowly as someone from your same ethnicity or your same religion. And you know what? The Samaritan . . . who helped the guy on the side of the road, he probably did put himself at some risk. . . .

[E]very refugee, is made in the image of God with incredible potential and with inherent human dignity. And if we’re going to respect life – and, again, that’s a value for a lot of evangelical Christians from womb to tomb, we would say – then we need to be concerned about the lives of refugees as well.”

And finally, in response to the slaying of French priest, Jacques Hamel, Giles Fraser, inner-city London parish priest, and opinion writer for The Guardian describes the work of Christ as well as any Easter sermon:

“Jesus absorbs the violence that comes from us not from God. He receives our blows, our punishments, our disdain. And, despite his innocence – or, rather, precisely because of it – he refuses to answer back in kind. No more an eye for an eye.

In other words, the sacrifice of the cross is the non-violent absorption of human violence. The offer of love in return for hate, even to the point of death. This is the horrendous price that peace is sometimes asked to pay. This is what makes the eucharistic sacrifice life-giving and not some historical death cult.”

The Guardian describes the work of Christ as well as any Easter sermon. Click To Tweet

During Pentecost, we at the Missio Alliance writing team and some friends wrote about prayed for revival.

If Revival is a call to return to our true identity as His people, could this be a sign of the seeds of revival in our midst?

(If you’re finding more signs of prophetic truth in mainstream media, please share links or quotes in the comments.)

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