Gallup polls reveal that a large percentage of the American public believe that fast food is unhealthy. Likewise Gallup polls reveal that most Americans believe that the mainstream media cannot be trusted. Yet, most Americans still eat fast food on a regular basis and most Americans consume news from the mainstream media on a regular basis.
The issue is not trust. We do not trust the healthiness of the golden arches and its fellow fast food establishments yet we frequent them. We do not trust the mainstream media yet we still watch and listen to them. It is apparent that trust is not nearly as important as we might think when it comes to deciding what we consume both in the way of food and news.
Perhaps nothing has influenced the thinking of America as much as the mainstream media. Most Americans are influenced in their opinions by what the media says. The liberal media has influenced Christians far more than we realize or will admit. There are reasons why Americans are so prone to violate what they know is good for them and consume what they know is bad for them. Let me give you a few of these.
We are creatures of habit. Most people do not do what they know is right or best but rather what has become a habit to them. Habits control our lives. We get into habits of eating certain foods and it’s difficult to break that habit. The same is true about feeding our minds with bad news. We know they are liberals. We know they are anti-Bible and anti-Christian, yet we consume what they feed us, because it has become a habit for us.
It is convenient. For the same reason we go through a drive-through for fast food we watch and listen to news from the mainstream media. It’s there and easy to get to. Much of the time we do so without thinking. Just as we go to the cabinet and grab a bag of chips we know we shouldn’t eat, we turn on the news and watch news presented by liberals.
It is infiltrating. Almost everywhere you turn you find the influence of the mainstream media. News is everywhere and most of it is not good. Even sportscasting has been infiltrated by the mainstream media’s liberal bias. ESPN has become one of the most liberal members of the media, spewing hatred towards a Christian Tim Tebow while defending an anti-American Colin Kaepernick. Almost everywhere you turn you see or hear the news.
It is entertaining. They know how to get our attention. They get us interested in a consumer news report and while we are waiting for that report we are being fed their liberal and biased stories. It is like going to McDonalds for a salad and smelling the fries while we are there. They know how to get our attention and they know how to keep it. The mainstream media are masters at marketing and at mesmerizing our attentions.
They are authoritative. The news is packaged in such a way as to make us believe that these people are authorities. They might be sitting behind a desk with jeans and flip-flops but we see the shirt and tie and the suit coat on camera. They are attractive and well presented. They are packaged in settings which have been tested for their appeal. They deliver the news in a way that best appeals to our senses. People who present the news are well-versed at making a good impression which causes us to believe them even while we claim not to trust them.
So why are we so willing to allow something into our lives that we know is bad? Perhaps the biggest reason is because Americans have forgotten how to think. In the 1920s our educational system changed from teaching children how to think to teaching them what to think. Children are not taught to logic they are taught to memorize. Rather than learning how to calculate they are taught what they should think.
Our educational system has indoctrinated our minds to accept what we are told as truth. As a result we have inadvertently allowed the mainstream media to tell us what to think. Most Americans know how to listen, but not to logic. That has led to a nation easily influenced by the “truth” presented by the mainstream media.
Why should Christians not allow themselves to be influenced by the mainstream media? If we are aware that they are saying is wrong, why is it such a danger? Knowing something is wrong does not excuse you to allow it into your mind. If you applied the same logic to pornography then you could say it is okay to watch pornography as long as you know it’s wrong. What you allow into your mind is having an influence on your thinking. Knowing that it is humanistic and anti-Christian is not enough.
Even though Christ warned the apostle Peter of Satan’s desire to have him Peter was unable to overcome the temptation to deny Christ when confronted three separate times. Satan desires to have each one of us so that he can sift us like wheat and shake our faith. This is often done through the mainstream media. Christians would be wise to guard their minds from the propaganda being spewed by them.
What about alternative media that calls itself conservative? While I am not against some of the conservative media sources I am still leery of the fact that most of these do not come from a Christian or biblical perspective. While their logic is superior to the mainstream media most of them are influenced by some humanistic ideas. A Christian should be careful how much they listen to these alternative sources.
What should a Christian do to stay informed?
First of all, most news is unnecessary information. We live in an information overload. Our minds are so filled with “news” stories that we have little time to think about the most important things. Let me share with you a couple of simple ways that a Christian can stay informed without being overtly influenced by the news world.
Read the news. When you watch news you are being influenced by visual things over which you have no control. When you read you have more control of the information that is coming to you. I read a few blogs and online newspapers to get most of my news. I am able to decide what I want to read and what is unnecessary. Learn to read the facts and block out the fluff. Get the information you need without being influenced by others opinions. Read the newspaper such as the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps you could read an online paper. Decide what articles to read based upon the subject matter. Do not read opinion articles unless it is someone who has a Christian perspective.
Don’t become a news junkie. When you read a story do not overload your mind with useless information. The mainstream media loves to take a story and turn it into a saga. Be careful to avoid the over-consumption of information regarding a particular news event. If we are not careful we will go from being informed to being inundated.
Be prayerful regarding your intake of the news. Christians ought to always pray about anything we do. That would include the news that we allow into our minds. Ask God to give you wisdom before you watch and understanding to know how to respond to that information after you have received it.
Compare news to scripture. When you receive information always put it into the perspective of the Scriptures. Our response to news should always be based upon scriptural principles not our human responses.
Think on these things. Every Christian should consider Philippians 4:8 when they are consuming any kind of news. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If the news you are consuming does not match up to these requirements, then it’s time to stop. Guard your mind lest you become a casualty.
Replace the bad with the good. If you decide not to eat junk food you need to replace that junk food with good food. Instead of eating chips you could eat fruit. The same is true regarding news. When you have been accustomed to filling your mind with the junk of the mainstream media replace that with something which is good.
There is no question that the mainstream media has influenced the direction of our nation. God’s people must not allow ourselves to be cast under their spell. We must guard our minds and separate ourselves from their anti-Christian and humanistic teachings. We may not be able to defeat them but we certainly don’t have to give them our time or attention.