June 4-10, 2012
Editorial: Everyone is a medium for sharing the Gospel
Translated by Lydia Ma
We often rely on the media when it comes to understanding the world and such knowledge helps us become responsible citizens and stewards of creation. Fierce competition among television networks in Taiwan in recent years has not only resulted in this country having the highest number of satellite news gathering trucks per land area, but also made national news increasingly unprofessional and entertainment-oriented. There have also been more and more instances of journalistic ethics left in the dust in favor of whatever news can boost viewership. In fact, it is not unusual to see reporters use sensational clips taken from Youtube as a source of news or jump at the first tell-all story they can find.
Such a trend in Taiwan has been to the great detriment of the Taiwanese public because we lose many opportunities to learn about what is going on around the world and are worldview becomes increasingly narrow. This trend can sometimes even harm our economy and our health. For instance, the overly-reported incident of Japanese-Taiwanese entertainer Kawashima Makiyo, who beat up an elderly taxi driver a few months ago, got everybody in Taiwan talking about social morals. But the incident was also reported and replayed so many times that many important national and international issues, such as the safety concerns regarding all nuclear power plants in Taiwan, the import of U.S. beef, and the Euro crisis, were put in the backburner because they were not “entertaining” enough.
From newspapers to news networks, much of the news that we see has been sifted and filtered so that it is sometimes difficult for us to judge what is important. For this reason, we need to get news from various sources if we want to seek out the truth of what really happened. It is only then that we can form our informed opinions on a matter and respond and take action. This process also transforms us into a medium for sharing information and galvanizing various sectors in society.
As Christians, it’s important to think and discuss what constitutes quality media communications. It is important for us to not only have an accurate understanding of current events, but also have an accurate understanding of Christianity. We cannot be complacent with merely listening to a 40-minute long sermon every Sunday. Instead, we must search the Scriptures and seek to understand God’s work in this generation. We must be aware that there are indeed various religions and faith traditions, seek to understand and differentiate them, and then, seek God’s guidance. It is only then that we can boldly step out and proclaim the Gospel and become a channel of the Good News.
In other words, every Christian is a medium of evangelism and it is our responsibility to make known God’s justice and grace. Ralph J. Begleiter, a former CNN world affairs correspondent who has worked in 100 countries and all 7 continents for 2 decades, once said that the media should be reporting news that readers “ought to” know, instead of news that readers “want to” know. So, as we become a medium proclaiming the Gospel and all sorts of mission strategies, let us be mindful of what things constitute as core and necessary content instead of seeking to please the tastes and whims of our audiences. As we strive to promote mission movements, let us also focus on the needs of remote villages and marginalized communities that need our support.