Where Oh Ice is Your Sting?

The_sky_is_falling The TV stations were abuzz over the weekend painting scary visions of ice storms that would wreak havoc on the Dallas area like a great plague. Many went to Walmart or Target stocking up on supplies as thought a hurricane was about to hit. On Saturday night, I went to Blockbuster–which looked like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange inside as everyone, confident that a great plague was on it’s way that would cancel school and work perhaps for years, rented Blockbuster dry.

Churches canceled services. A Christian unity event expected to draw thousands was canceled as well. All for…

No ice. Not one pellet.

While there may be ice still to come, this got me thinking about the unbelievable amount of trust and influence the media is granted in our country. It got me thinking that someone needs to ask them hard questions about how they do their job, just as they ask hard questions of others.

Perhaps, we should understand that they are in businesses as well as news outlets. They must survive and boost ratings…and this might tempt them to exaggerate even a simple weather story to keep us glued to our TV sets. It might tempt them to interpret the events they report in a sensationalist way for the sake of their own advancement.

I know that many media outlets do the best they can to be as accurate as they can without prejudice, but these questions need to be asked nonetheless. This might encourage the media to be less quick to jump to conclusions about the motives of others’ behaviors, and to carry out their responsibilities with utmost pride and integrity.

This is why preachers should appreciate people who ask questions about what they communicate from the pulpit as well–provided it’s done in love and earnest quest for the truth–rather than hostility or a critical spirit. It’s good for people to listen carefully enough to question what they are being taught, and it’s good for those who preach to know people are listening…for it calls us to be truthful and accuracy in what we say.

Here are the questions for today: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much influence do you think the media has in America? Is that level of influence appropriate? Now, answer the same questions of the pulpit.

What are the implications for us as a society?

And, if you saw the season premier of 24 last night…what’d you think?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Share Your Thoughts

7 thoughts on “Where Oh Ice is Your Sting?

  1. Hey, Tim. Glad you’re back home. Hope you were refreshed on your vacation, though with me, a vacation with the kids is not all that refreshing, just fun. The ones that do me the most good, refreshing and recharging wise, are the ones where me and the wife get away to some place like Mexico or Florida or San Francisco, etc.
    I’m appalled at the power the media has to influence people. I rate it an 8.5. Rarely is there a media source that is not slanted one way or the other, rather than being “unbiased”. Media based bias is viewed as reality, and the result is nobody knows what to think or what is real. Confusion rules the day.
    In a general sense, the pulpit in Churches of Christ is limited in its effectiveness. Traditionally, elderships feel the need to keep a tight reign on preachers for fear of surrendering to him too much control and authority, and becoming like certain pastor led denominations. I think this hinders the influence of the pulpit. In our messed up system, again generally speaking, it is not the shepherd that the church usually hears from most in the pulpit, it is a hireling, and most sheep don’t respond all that well to a hireling. Now, give a preacher permission to be a shepherd (not necessarily appoint him as an elder),or get true shepherds in the pulpit, and things might change.

  2. I think the media definitely has way to much influence and power. People hang on their every word whether right or wrong. I know it probably happens in the pulpit some too. But from the pulpit perspective, we have God’s word to give us the final say on whether what the minister is saying is truth or not. We should be doing that anyway. But where the media is concerned, where do you find truth? Unless you are there, you don’t know the truth. Although the media definitely misuses it’s power, the public needs to stop being so gullible and believing everything they say to be truth. Most of the time, there opinions are just that, opinions.
    As for 24…. AWESOME!!! I know that parts of it were maybe unusually violent, but he was fighting for his life. I think anyone fighting for their life would do whatever it took to survive. I can’t wait for tonight!! 🙂

  3. Tim…I read your blog and understand your perspectives. Last nights episodes were unusually rough from a violence standpoint…and the domestic terrorism actually occurring is what really sets this season apart. Scary thought indeed. Nevertheless, what makes 24 so awesome is the unforseeable plot twists and close calls. So, don’t give up just yet.