I am a little late in catching this but perhaps that is because I pay very little attention to the national evening news shows on FOX, CNN, and MSNBC. Nevertheless, this story about Glenn Beck of FOX is being talked about all over the blogosphere. Apparently, Mr. Beck has urged people to leave their church if their church talks about social and economic justice. I have not been able to locate an actual clip or transcript of Beck’s radio/television show so my knowledge is through secondary sources, one of which you can read here.
Where to start…I am disappointed that his (or any other political pundit) opinions are regarded as newsworthy. I surely is nice to have a job where one gets paid just to express their opinions over and over again. And since all of these news journalist are just that and not experts in political science, economics, sociology, etc…we might do well to remember the old saying “jack of all trades and master of none.” We also would do well to recognize just how much some of these opinions are predicated upon fear…and for the Christian, fear has nothing to do with biblical faith.
More importantly, I am appalled because, if we take the biblical witness seriously, God is extremely concerned about social and economic justice. I thought about listing some biblical verses but where do I start? The Pentateuch? The Prophets? The Gospels? The Epistles? Now I am not claiming that a biblical view of social/economic justice is always congruent with the way that term is understood in contemporary secular/political rancor but the suggestion that anyone should leave their church if their church happens to speak about the concerns of social justice (which I presume will lead to actions) is very disturbing.
What is more disturbing though is the fact that more and more Christians seem to listen and accept the opinions being expressed on these news shows without any critical evaluation against what God wills and values for his people. In past times, it was common to hear Christians stress the importance of having their Bible’s open during Bible class and the preacher’s sermon so that like the Berean’s (cf. Acts 17.11) we too could evaluate whether the preacher’s lesson was congruent with God’s will in scripture. Perhaps it is time that we start watching the news with our Bible’s open to see if what we are being told and how we are being told to act is congruent with God’s will.
Here is a critical question: Will the people of God allow God to define the way we think and act or will we, as idolaters, allow the news media to set our agendas?