In terms of news, it's a whole new world. I've related elsewhere how starved of international news I would wake up in the middle of the night to record the BBC broadcasts played by my local NPR station from 1-5am. I had a blank tape ready to go and when I would get up, I would hit record just to grab 45 minutes. Some nights I might succeed in grabbing another side. I would wake up extra early on Sunday mornings to listen to a Radio Netherlands programme. Foreign news just wasn't available. The Internet changed that but for a long time even that was somewhat limited.
The resources available for Christians are both overwhelming and amazing. There's so much available you can't take it all in. What a blessing.
Or is it?
Christians more than anyone should have a sense of the sinfulness of sin and man's capacity to distort, his tendency to self-deception. The politicized Christians of the United States have seemingly handed over their consciences and faculties of discernment.
For all the Internet has to offer it would seem the Political Church is little interested in purveying solid truthful information. I wouldn't want to be some of the Christian News broadcasters on the Day of Judgment. They will have much to answer for. Not only have they (in many cases) deliberately disseminated distortions and disinformation (a little nod to Spiro Agnew) but they have wasted the resources they've been provided with. Rather than help the people of God they've worked to stir them up to political ends, to manipulate them utilizing fear, anger and hate.
Recently I encountered an ostensibly Christian news source criticizing the Obama administration over wood stoves. What's next I thought? Recently I had a strange experience with American Family Radio (AFR). I kept getting in and out of the car at different points throughout the day, and every time I turned on the radio station within a few seconds I would hear "Barack Obama". You know how you turn on the radio and it takes you a second to clue in to what they're talking about? As I'm listening, each time, one of the first things I heard was the name of the president. And obviously what they were saying wasn't very nice. Are they about witnessing Christ or attacking Barack Obama? That day it was pretty clear. It was weird.
Granted he's a failed and terrible president. Who cares? Whether we have Nebuchadnezzar, Nebopolassar, Nabonidus or Belshazzar, they're all rulers of Babylon. Some might be better than others but even the terms 'better' and 'worse' have to be understood in context.
But these people don't feel that way. They never talked this way about Bush. In fact they cheerled for him as he waged war, spied on Americans, tortured, threatened, killed and stirred up much of the trouble that presently plagues numerous parts of the world.
So now what's the great information these fine Christian leaders are going to make sure we get... news we can use, right?
Woodstoves. Obama wants to come into our houses and take away our woodstoves.
Whenever I hear these things I am immediately sceptical and thus far I have not once been misled by this instinct. Usually about 5-10 minutes of online research debunks these claims and this one regarding woodstoves was no different.
There are proposed regulations which affect woodstoves. This doesn't affect outdoor wood boilers which not a few people would like to see restricted. Your freedom to burn wood can mean torment for your neighbours. It's one thing to have them out in the country but many people run these things in town and it can be awful.
Regardless of the merits or demerits of the law, the Christian news reporting was simply false. They led people to believe that existing wood burners are going to be tagged and confiscated. The responses especially in the comment sections were not only sinful (threatening violence) but hysterical and incoherent.
I guess the Internet is a blessing in the sense it can be utilized to question and debunk the lies of the Christian media!
But seriously, what a shameful thing. The Internet has the capacity to be a useful tool that Christians can utilize to positive ends. Instead it has become a tool of manipulation and apparently many Christian leaders have somehow rationalized in their own minds that the end justifies the means. They somehow feel that they've been handed an ethical blank check and if they distort facts and/or their context, it's okay as long as the greater purpose is served.
They are gossips and tale-mongers on a societal scale. They are slanderous whisperers and backbiters. The fact that they are leaders is in itself judgment on the apostate American Church. Refusing to trust in Christ and follow His ways they take it unto themselves to fight a worldly battle for control of the City of Man. And like the lost they rage, boast and employ the tools of violence and deceit. They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.