Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Hot will it Get ?

Do you know the real message the media culture is communicating? Is there a singular story, a general theme? Whether it’s on a conscious or subconscious level, we are being told, “You, as an individual, are the center of the universe.” You are more important than anything else. Your needs, wants and desires must be met at any cost.

The message comes in the form of instant gratification and the glorification of wealth, power and sex. This helps to explain our obsession with consumerism, which is at the root of most of our problems.

Businesses and corporations want to sell you something. Media outlets need cash to produce programming. In turn, they are able to create content that can influence the culture. Their influence turns into desire. As desire increases in the culture, it creates demand. Demand fuels the cycle, which takes us back to square one.

Craig Detweiler, a professor at Fuller Seminary in California, puts it this way. “The media is a process lived in the marketplace, driven by consumerism, fueled by advertising, and obtained by celebrity.”

The media crisis is everybody’s issue. Every Christian must play a part in finding a workable solution. Our ability to function as a Christian and be effective in our ministry is directly proportionate to our response as the Body of Christ to the media culture crisis. Currently, we have no plan. We have no strategy. No unified effort. I think we need one.

Consider this analogy. Have you ever tried to work outside in the sun on a hot summer day? Let’s say a really hot summer day at 105 degrees. How productive are you? Everything is a challenge. It takes every effort just to stay cool and survive. What would happen if you turned the temperature down to say 90 to 95 degrees? It would still be hot. But it would be a little bit more bearable. Perhaps we would be more effective and productive in our work. What if we could get the temperature down to 80 to 85 degrees? Now the environment would no longer be in the way. We could be fully productive and no longer concerned with just trying to survive. The media culture is like a hot summer day at 105 degrees. It makes us ineffective. Somehow, we have to find a way to turn down the temperature. By doing so, no matter what our ministry, we will be in a better position to further the cause of Christ. The reason that ministries are not successful is because of the environment the media culture has created.

This is every Christian’s issue—yours and mine. No matter what the cause or ministry, from the pro-life movement, outreach, youth ministry, teaching, local church, family counseling, etc., we all can play a part that will make a difference. Our part is to turn down the temperature. Everyone playing their small part equals the whole. The first place to start is by not believing everything the media is trying to sell you. Search for the truth by looking for media choices that supports a different view than the one that is being communicated by today's media culture

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