"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour…" Ephesians 4:25
Villifying the Victims and Justifying the Villains
Over the last 37 years that I have been serving as missionary to the persecuted in Africa, I could not help but notice how frequently the mass media chose to target those targeted by international communism, or racial Islam. Is it just coincidental that during the Rhodesian War, the Border war in South West Africa/Namibia, the riots in South Africa, the Killing fields of Mozambique, the civil war in Angola, the massacre of Matebele tribesmen in Zimbabwe, the Red Terror in Ethiopia, the holocaust in Rwanda, the Jihad in Sudan, the wave of church burning in Northern Nigeria, the persecution of Christians in Egypt, or any other of the many calamities and conflicts in Africa, most of the mass media have chosen to confuse the issues, avoid the heart of the matter, vilify the victims and whitewash the villains.
After one interview with a journalist from The Argus concerning our work in Sudan, I asked: "Why is it that The Argus continually publishes Pro-Abortion articles and ignores Pro-Life events such as the Life Chains and the National Day of Repentance?"
The answer was astounding: "Well, we're pro-choice".
"Yes, I understand that, but surely it is your intention to report events and present the facts, without fear or favour, from both sides?"
She smiled and shrugged her shoulders: "Well, I'm pro-choice. Every journalist that I know is pro-choice. And, well, I guess we're just biased!" she grinned broadly.
That was a remarkable honest statement, but there is no doubt that most of the print media in South Africa is overwhelmingly pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality.
Although most journalists and editors will claim that they are objective, even the most objective journalist has to admit that they collect far more facts than they publish. There is the judgment on what to cover, how to cover it and what facts, opinions or viewpoints that they have come across to include in the story and which to discard.
Secondly the reporter or editor decides which of the facts should be included in the first paragraph of the story and thereby emphasized above the others.
Thirdly the editor will decide whether the story is placed on page one, or page sixteen. On page one it will attract far more attention than it would on any other page.
Fourthly the editor choses which pictures will illustrate the article and what captions they will receive. The pictures themselves may be edited to emphasise the point being made.
Spiking the Spiritual
Although at one time, particularly in the early part of the 19th century, journalism emphasized God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, most modern journalists choose to spike the Spiritual. At one time newspaper articles pointed out that kings who disobeyed God were exposed and deposed. Those who engaged in duels were without true honour because they sought esteem amongst men more than following God's commands. Lightning storms were seen to demonstrate Spiritual lessons. Lack of repentance was shown to have murderous consequences.
Publishing God's Obituary
However, as non-Christian secular humanist journalists came to dominate newspapers, they redefined reality by excluding the spiritual realm. Many editors actually tried to publish God's obituary declaring: "God is dead!"
Typically newspaper stories present random events in a chance universe. Journalists who believe in evolution tend to evidence the Humanistic worldview that we came from nothing, we're going nowhere and life is meaningless. Instead of seeing patterns in events, journalists with a materialistic worldview simply see random effects of time plus chance. Governments rise and fall, corruption occurs, people are murdered, cars crash, natural disasters occur, some people abuse children. However, there is no explanation. No patterns are exposed. There are no lessons to learn (Well aside from Christianity is the root of all evil. Believing in God is dangerous and all whites are racist.)
Behind the News Headlines
The fact that most murderers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time will not be emphasised. The fact that most vehicle accidents are alcohol and drug related is apparently irrelevant. The Islamic doctrine of Jihad and its role in over 90% of the wars and terrorist campaigns in the world today will not even be referred to. The Marxist ideology of dictators and mass murderers such as Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Mengistu, Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe will scarcely receive a mention. In fact, I regularly get challenged by people denying that Mugabe is a Marxist or that ZANU-PF is a communist revolutionary movement, as described by themselves in their own constitution.
The Unmentionable Facts
Apparently personal beliefs are unimportant in the mind of many modern journalists. The fact that AIDS was originally called GRIDS (Gay Related Immunisation Deficiency Syndrome) and that a vastly disproportionate percentage of homosexuals contract AIDS is ignored. Most humanist reporters who believe in a materialistic worldview refuse to consider the possibility that AIDS could be a judgment of God and a warning to promiscuous and adulterous individuals who violate God's commands. If such a possibility is even referred to, it would be in the context of ridiculing the idea that the terror of AIDS provides us with an opportunity for repentance.
Deflecting Attention Away from a Homosexual Paedophilia Scandal
The homosexual paedophilia scandal within the Roman Catholic church is reported as a church scandal though most churches condemn perversion and paedophilia. The homosexual infiltration of Roman catholic parishes is ignored as not important, or relevant to the story.
A Challenge for Life Changing Repentance
Few journalists today will consider the perspective of the Lord Jesus when reporting on man-made or natural disasters. "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:2-5
Christian journalism should recognise the reality of the spiritual realm. Firstly God is sovereign, so no events happen by chance. History is His Story. Nations rise and fall in response to how they respond to God's Word and Law. Obedience to God's Word has produced the most productive, prosperous and free nations in History. Disobedience to the Law of God has had disastrous consequences.
There is evil in this world. Satan and his legions of fallen angels, demons, are active in the world. Although we may not always perceive it, we are involved in a great Spiritual World War between God and His angels and the devil and his demons.
Mankind is fallen Creation. Man is created by God, but our human nature is sinful. Because we are created by God there is some good, even in the worst of us. Because we are fallen there is bad even in the best of us. Suffering and evil are the result of man's rebellion against God since the Fall. "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." Galatians 6:7
God is ultimate reality. Our basis for knowledge is God's revelations. We can know what is right and what is wrong from the Word of God. The purpose of our existence is to glorify God and to worship Him forever.
The destructive tendencies of sin within each one of our hearts is very real. Without the Grace of God and the Redemption brought about by Christ's sacrifice on the Cross we would all be doomed.
God really does answer prayer. Not by making us feel better psychologically, but by actually transforming earthly situations, although not always in the way we expect.
By seeking to exclude spiritual realities from the front page, secular newspaper editors are ignoring fundamental reality.
Biblical Examples of Balanced Reporting
We can find good examples of complete news coverage in the Bible. The report on the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus takes into account both the physical events and the spiritual dimensions. The battles and conflicts against the Philistines in Judges reports factually the interaction of spiritual and material forces.
The conquest of Canaan by Joshua and the Israelites not only includes military and sociological details, but is clearly shown to be God's Judgment upon wicked and immoral people, even as His mercy, guidance and protection is bestowed upon the Hebrews.
The ancient Bible book of Job reports a series of sensational disaster stories - a family wiped out, their house destroyed by a tornado, herds stolen, physical affliction, mental turmoil, marital dissention, not as random events in a chance universe, but as part of a drama involving Heaven, hell and earth. The report on Job's tribulation begins with the conflict between God and satan. The drama on earth is seen in the light of a dialogue in Heaven.
Of course earthly reporters do not have access to what is going on in Heaven at this time. The inspired Biblical reporters were privileged to have God reveal facts that we could not discover on our own. However, we do have the Bible to enable us to understand earthly events in the light of Spiritual realities. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." John 1:1. For any journalist wanting to present a compelling report which is accurate, interesting, relevant and insightful, the Scriptures provide many case studies.
1 and 2 Kings and Chronicles not only report on the various national leaders and their achievements, but expose their failures and evaluate them in the light of how faithful they were to God's Law or not.
The Gospels and Acts include first-hand, eyewitness reports of miraculous healings, deliverances and all the drama and intrigue of the plot by the Jewish religious leaders to arrest Jesus of Nazareth, the treachery of Judas's betrayal of Christ, the political double-dealing and cowardice of Pontius Pilate, the brutal tortures and execution of Christ and his triumphal Resurrection from the grave.
"In the past God spoke… through the prophets… but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son…" Hebrews 1:1-2
Distinguishing Between News and Views
We need to recognise the fact that in every news story we are not only receiving information, but we are being influenced. The news media includes more views than news. The particular worldview of any journalist will come through. Underlying every article we read is the worldview, whether it be theistic, pantheistic or atheistic.
To evaluate any journalists' worldview we should ask:
1. What are his fundamental beliefs about life?
2. What is he using to interpret the facts?
3. What are the practical implications of his worldview?
4. How consistent is his worldview?
5. What implications would it have for me personally?
6. What would it mean for the world in general?
Recognising Humanistic Bias in the Media
You can recognise some of the basic tenants of Humanism in most newspaper articles and in many films and news programmes.
Materialism maintains that there is no reality beyond the physical.
Existentialism evaluates everything from subjective personal experience.
Agnosticism maintains that it is impossible to settle the primary questions in life because of the limitations of human knowledge.
The Evolutionist maintains that we are matter in motion, evolved slime, monkeys who mutated, from goo to the zoo to you. From mud to monkeys to man. A cosmic accident. The result of random chance.
Marxism maintains that everything is primarily determined by economics.
The Hedonist maintains that we should live for our own personal pleasure.
Relativism teaches that truth is only whatever a particular individual or society decides that it is. There are no absolute standards of right or wrong, no universal truths and no absolute code of conduct. All truth is relative.
The Utilitarian declares that "the end justifies the means". The belief in radical individualism and autonomy unguided by virtue is the essence of utilitarianism. Personal happiness and success are to be achieved and justified by whatever means are necessary to obtain them. Using circumstances and people is justified. The goal is everything. Whatever means are needed to reach it are utilized and justified.
The Secular Humanist declares that: "There is no God to save us; we must save ourselves!"
The Post-modernist says: "There is no absolute truth; we must create our own!"
And the New-ager declares: "There is no God; I am my own god!"
Dr. David Noebel observes: "At first the temptation is to see mankind as God. Then it becomes us as God. Then finally it is me as God. So the progression moves from the worship of man, to the worship of us, to the worship of me. In the end all anthropolators become idolaters. I am god! Like little anti-Christ's that exalt to magnify themselves in the temple of their minds."
The Humanist Agenda
Much of journalism today promotes the Humanistic agenda: that man is a product of evolutionary chance and that this theory must be taught as a fact of science at school. That education must be controlled by the state; that education must be Secular and free of moral absolutes. That sex education must be compulsory in schools. That pornography should be allowed as "free speech". That abortion is a "woman's right". That homosexuality is an acceptable "alternative lifestyle". That criminals are "victims of society" requiring treatment and rehabilitation, rather than punishment.
The Curse of Socialism
Despite the devastation and destruction wreaked by socialism throughout the last century, it is incredible how many journalists believe in the unworkable economics of socialism. As seen in Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea, socialism destroys incentive, initiative, income and industry. Yet it still seems to be the favourite form of economics promoted in all too many newspapers and programmes.
Superficial and Sensational
Superficial, sensational and immoral material predominates in the modern entertainment industry. It is producing an increasingly superficial, selfish, mindless and immoral society. However, it is just this kind of entertainment that receives most of the attention and accolades in the average Secular newspaper. Those like Mel Gibson who try to produce an accurate and realistic film on the life of Christ receive abuse and scorn.
Most journalists reject the Law of God and instead vigorously promote situation ethics, amorality, existentialism, hedonism, pornography, homosexuality, sex education and abortion.
Evolution is an attempt to abort God retroactively. Evolution destroys all meaning, purpose, direction, justice and hope in life. Yet evolution is the favourite theory of origins promoted in most Secular publications today.
Secular Humanism is attempting to kill God by eradicating Him from the classroom and the minds of the next generation. Many in the news media are seeking to assist in this. By eliminating the Bible as the basis for all knowledge, humanists are removing the very foundation of truth. They are prohibiting the only objective standard by which reality can be evaluated.
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16
Learn to Discern
We need to be careful and critical in what we read. We need to be selective in what news sources we trust. We need to read and listen with discernment, evaluating everything in the light of the Scriptures. Subscribe to trustworthy Christian newsletters and magazines, listen to faithful Christian radio programmes and visit reliable Christian websites. Visit Henry Morton Stanley School of Christian Journalism website and Facebook page for audio lectures, videos, articles, lectures and links for bold and Biblical Christian journalism.
"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:50
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Dealing with Deceit
How Propaganda Changes Perceptions and People
How the New World Order is Hijacking Civilisation
Resisting Babylon and the Beast
Some recommended Christian Media:
ASSIST News: PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609, USA , Email:
http://assistnews.net/index.php/contact-us, Web: www.assistnews.net.
Christian Action: PO Box 23632, Claremont 7735, South Africa, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
From the Frontline podcast: http://fromthefrontline.podbean.com/
Frontline Fellowship News: PO Box 74, Newlands 7725, South Africa Email: email@example.com,
Gospel Defence League: P.O. Box 832, Milnerton, 7435, Cape Town.
Mcalvany G2: https://mcalvanyintelligenceadvisor.com/special-offers-Daily-G2.
Mcalvany Intelligence Advisor: P.O. Box 84904, Phoenix, AZ 85071, USA, Email:
https://mcalvanyintelligenceadvisor.com/contact, Web: www.mcalvanyintelligenceadvisor.com.
Movieguide: 2510 G, Las Posas Road 502, Camarillo, CA 93010, USA, Web: www.movieguide.org. World Magazine: P.O. Box 20002, Asheville, NC 28802, USA, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
World Net Daily: WND, P.O. Box 1627, Medford, OR 97501, USA, Email:
http://www.wnd.com/contact-wnd/, Web: www.wnd.com.