Brace yourselves. It’s time to talk about the media.
I’m not talking about what you should and shouldn’t watch. I’m not talking about media addiction (which is a fun topic actually – I’ll have to tackle that sometime). I’m talking about how Christians are portrayed in the media.
Because we have to face facts: we’re kinda the running joke.
Need an annoying neighbor? It’s a Christian. Need an unpopular kid/nerd? It’s a Christian. Need a villain? It’s a Christian. Need a hero? Definitely not a Christian.
News broadcasters must love us. Or rather, they probably love those of us who are more on the fringe than mainstream or are obnoxious. When was the last time you heard a positive message about a Christian which wasn’t condescending or judgmental? We Christians really are on the outside of society which makes us the center of the media.
I long ago stopped being surprised by this. Why? Because Jesus warned us this would happen.
And all nations will hate you because you are my followers… (Matthew 10:22)
And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mark 13:13)
Even those closest to you – your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends – will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. (Luke 21:16-17)
If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. (John 15:18-19)
Mentioned in all four gospels, it’s clear that we are outsiders – we shouldn’t expect to be loved and accepted because of our faith. There is something about the Savior that is offensive and scary to those who don’t believe him to be their salvation so we shouldn’t be confused or upset when we are put down on account of Him. I’m not saying we “deserve” the media abuse (though oftentimes I think we do) but if you’re a Christian and expect to be loved and adored, you’re going to be sorely mistaken. How we respond to the criticism and disfavor, however, is of the utmost importance.
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (John 13:35)
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This post was inspired by an article by Relevant. Read their article, entitled “Christians, Their Media Portrayal, and Myth”, by clicking here.
All scripture passages were taken from the New Living Translation.