Global Village & Christian Media

Technology continues to revolutionize our Christian outreach and culture. McLuhan in Understanding Media speaks about a “global village” that has internationalized our environment. This reality has far reaching implications for all – Christians and the secular world alike. Institutions and Christian households use media regularly to cope with the rise of this new consciousness. Bill Gates (b. 1955), a business magnate, philanthropist, and co-founder of Microsoft, wrote: “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” It has achieved this goal with millions and millions of interactive exchanges worldwide. Today Christians and non-Christians alike, are blessed with an abundance of media to convey their messages. These interconnections include:

Communications satellites

Computers with software, workstations, databases, e-games, e-newspapers, e-magazines, e- graphics, power point, streaming audio and video

Cable channels – news, sports, history, inspirational, and discovery

Cell phones with Internet, pictures, video, and email capabilities

Minicams for making home movies, with surveillance features, recording, and playback

High Definition Television (HDTV) with crisp and well-defined pictures

CD ROM with computer discs for encyclopedias and other data storage

Teleconferencing with interactive features for communication to and from far away places

They are all part of the diversity which this Century’s Communication Age offers.

Christian & Secular Diversity

Max De Pree (b. 1924), a businessman and writer, said, “We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we can both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” That’s why with all the technologies that communicate news, information, entertainment, and sports, have ushered in millions and millions of Christians and non-Christians alike, to be active participants in the global market place. People have opportunities to be themselves by making their feelings, hopes, and desires known to others.

These virtual participants who represent our nations include: linguists, doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists, businessmen and women, construction workers, electricians, plumbers, the unemployed, poor, and homeless. All is required is for them to gain access to computers and the Internet. That’s why citizens don’t necessarily have to be educated, for all it takes is the knowledge to surf the worldwide web. They gain access from their personal devices, from business places, or public libraries to use a computer.

Patience & Perseverance

John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848), a statesman and sixth President of the United States, wrote, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” Christians are encouraged to be steadfast in the face of trials (Job 1-42 KJV). In the New Testament they are to seek and they will find, knock and the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7 KJV). Christians’ achievements depend on how faithful they are in accomplishing divine goals.

With technological diversification it’s for them to persevere in promoting a Christian lifestyle, like those spelled out in The Catechism of the Catholic Church, viz:

A belief in Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection

Being a baptized Christian

The importance of the sacraments

Living a life of regular penance

Making prayer a part of their daily life

It’s for us to bring these opportunities to light in the technological age of our global village.

Four Superb Gifts

Christians discover their gifts as they travel down the road of life. One such gift is helping others. But its purpose isn’t only to enrich people – the poor and well-to-do alike, but to enlighten them. To accomplish these blessings it’s necessary to have an active spiritual lifestyle. A French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher, Voltaire (1694 – 1778) wrote, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Here’s a focus on four wonderful gifts e.g., nature, knowledge, peace, and the Holy Spirit.

Nature

A Liberal politician, philanthropist and scientist John Lubbock (1834 – 1913) observed, “Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountains and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” With ecologically consciousness minds, there’s talk and action about caring for nature as stewards of God’s creation. Each day we should show love for the earth’s trees, rivers, lakes, mountains and valleys. Experience the surge in new life of birds, fishes, and  wildlife in our parks, forests, and jungles. Unlike information in books, Lubbock saw nature as teaching many things.  It gives us joy, comfort, food, clothing, and medicine.

Knowledge

A Classical Greek philosopher Socrates (470/469 B.C. – 399 B.C.) proposed, “To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.” Socrates looked at our senses which are deceptive in a changing world. Even in science when empirical studies are done, there are at times observational errors. People experience the throes of life by hardships, difficulties, and illnesses which teach them lessons. As we endeavor to decipher life’s questions, our thought-processes are often polluted by our undeveloped senses. With years of devoted study we’re left wondering what has happened to the knowledge we once thought true. With these changes we might conclude like the preeminent English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616), that “Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” True knowledge is based on the truth found in the Holy Spirit.

Peace

An Indian politician and attorney, Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) remarked, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” That’s why forgiving our fellowmen and women for wrongs done is important. In tasting of life’s possibilities and being open channels of peace we must continue our missionary work. It’ll be good to practice purity and view it as a goal to perpetuate. As the German born physicist, Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) noted, “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” To find common ground, problems arising between people have to be candidly discussed.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a free gift from God. He’s the greatest any believer can have. Undoubtedly, he’s a life-giving force that’s the light of life. Through him a Christian enjoys a supreme quality of life – one that’s illuminated, new, and full of everlasting love. His indwelling is sustained by a lifestyle of caring and compassion toward others. By living pious lives, believers share jointly in the abiding truth of the spirit. Senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Charles Stanley (b. 1932) wrote, “Earthly wisdom is doing what comes naturally. Godly wisdom is doing what the Holy Spirit compels us to do.”

 

Why Fight Wars?

The Lord said that we must not go up to fight against our kindred (2 Chr. 11:4). “Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak they are for war” (Ps. 120:6-7 NRSV). He however silenced the roaring of the seas and waves, also the tumult of peoples (Ps. 65:7).

The 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 – 1969), five-star general during World War 11, remarked, “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” Good people realize war is disaster and the epitome of stupidity.

Control Our Nature

Gary Zukav (b. 1942), spiritual teacher and author, said, “We are becoming able to see the pursuit of external power for what it is and the futility of trying to escape the pain of powerlessness by changing the world. When we look inward, not outward, we can dismantle the parts of our personalities that have controlled us for so long – such as anger, jealousy, vindictiveness, superiority, inferiority.” Finding answers to war should start with a self-examination. We have to know our strengths and weaknesses to have a balance in life. This goes not only for individuals, but for presidents and prime ministers who govern nations.

Underlying conflicts are the presence of our sinful natures. A founder and teacher of desiringgod.org and Chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, John Piper (b. 1946) wrote, “God created a good world that was subjected to futility because of the sinful, treasonous choice of the first human beings.” This legacy passed down through the ages has shaped our behavior. We should embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ to change our bad choices for the betterment of humanity.

War & Words

Christians hope words are enough to subdue and enlighten those who are opposed to the light. A Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher Sun Tzu (544 BC – 496 BC) said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” Tzu must have been thinking about winning wars through words but not by physical force. Wars of words can be just as devastating like the use of weapons. Psychological warfare may well damage our enemies for generations to come.

A Russian writer – regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910) wrote, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” These two gifts are part of the basic framework in ensuring peace. Such an alliance isn’t be rushed into and forged without understanding. The 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) stated, “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” People are aware what a confrontation of superpowers may mean with the use of nuclear weapons.

Today however, nations wage war against nations. Herbert Hoover (1874 – 1964), the 31st President of the United States, wrote, “Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.” Such a lesson should be emphasized for those leaders who are on a war path. This question must be asked, “Who will die for their leaders’ causes?” The answer is always, “Our sons and daughters who are the innocent ones.”

The Gift of Freedom

The gift of freedom comes with consequences. When a man or woman sins against another a judge will judge them, but when he or she sins against the Lord, he judges them (1 Sam. 2:25). With the free choice of behavior if it is rebellious and of idolatry, we will be turning away from the Word of the Lord, and he will reject us like Saul (1 Sam. 15:23). With freedom we have all gone out of the way, no one does good, not one, our tongues have been used to deceive, our feet are used to shed blood, and there is no fear of God (Rom. 3:10-18). From birth we were conceived in sin (Ps. 51:5). With iniquity in our hearts God will not hear us, but he will listen to us if we pray for forgiveness (Ps. 66:18-19)

Bob Dylan (b. 1941), singer-songwriter, artist and writer said, “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with freedom.” To be a hero is much like being a leader. In being him or her it is necessary to know how to lead responsibly. The gift that leaders have make them able to size up situations and decide what are best for their constituencies.

The President of South Africa and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) wrote, “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us may have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” Undoubtedly, our desires will face obstacles that we must confront. We have to do so time and time again before succeeding. Mandela referred to these goals as “the mountaintop of our desires.”

Rosa Parks (1913 -2005), African-American civil rights activist put a different spin on freedom. She was mainly concerned with the freedom of black Americans when she said: “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free…so other people would be also free.” Parks hoped her gift would mean freedom for others.

One of the founding fathers and first President of the United States, George Washington (1732 – 1799) recalled, “If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” Washington spoke in favor of the gift of freedom of speech. Most agree that without it there would be more unresolved national problems. Citizens’ rights will be trampled with far reaching consequences.

Patrick Henry (1736 – 1799), American attorney, planter, and politician saw the sentiments of freedom lovers when he stated, “I know not others may choose but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” It is astounding that the benefits of freedom are so important that Henry prefered death than to live without it. Of such is the essence of our existence.

An activist and civil rights leader Coretta King (1927 – 2006) remarked, “Freedom of justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.” Freedom has to be inclusive. It binds people together, build them up, and gives them the gift of hopefulness. It means equal treatment under the law.

Government must have the powers to be uphold freedom for all citizens. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 -1968), baptist minister and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Undeniably, there are forces at work willing to suppress human rights. In society all must enjoy the fruits of freedom. Then and only then, the gift of fairness in a democracy can blossom.