My Friend Avery and Christians vs. The Media

Note:  This post may also be found at homophilsophicus blog.  Tonight I’m all over the place. I’m hot under the collar, and really sad. Actually moved is a better word, and in general I’m in sort of a foul mood. My anger, Feeling a Little Crossed Upand frustration comes from several things, some of which fit into this post while others do not. I’m going to start things off with what moved me. There was a little girl; her name was Avery. She was born with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), a rare genetic disorder that gave this incredibly sweet five month old girl a short while to live. Rather than rolling over and taking a back seat, her parents decided to give their little princess the gift of living, and they were sharing it with the world via a blog, Avery’s Bucket List, that I would have asked you to read, and follow. It was very moving. Her story has been weighing heavily on me the last several days. The blog was written from the perspective of Avery, and I would wager even those with just an ounce of humanity would have been be touched by her story. After learning of her story the day before, I subscribed to her blog. Sitting at my desk the following morning I pulled up Avery’s blog to see what my new friend had been up to. There I came to learn she had passed the day before. Generally I don’t find crying is something that I do very often, but there I sat overcome with emotion that I didn’t know was there. All life is precious, especially the one’s that seem to have been given a short timeline. Add to it she was a tiny baby, and my heart just shattered. As a father I see stories like this, and I suspect this is normal for most parents, I insert my kids into Avery’s position, and it becomes borderline traumatic for me. It isn’t fair, and with all my heart I pray for Avery’s family.

Thank you for allowing me to vent a little before diving into a topic that has shown up at least twice in the media since the assignment was given, that being religion, and the secular media. This is one of the things that really got me mad. The day I started my first draft for this post, former child television star Kirk Cameron was in the news about his stance on gay marriage. I was really interested in that because I watched the program he was on when I was a kid. I also knew that Kirk essentially left the entertainment business to start his own ministry. That post came to a screeching halt a few days later as Dan Savage, presenting to high school students in California to discuss bullying, turned his presentation into Bible/Christian bashing, subsequently offending more than a handful of Christian students who left the presentation. For a speech about anti-bullying, he set that movement back a metric ton with his performance, but his credibility with those that bash on Christianity probably went through the roof. The secular media has been bashing us for a long while, and here are two great examples that were virtually back-to-back headlines. I have to say that I’m tired of several things, but mostly the hatred. It is on both sides of the fence, and in my humble opinion, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t have some blood on their hands, pun intended.

The goal of Christianity is to follow Christ, and live by his word. Another goal is to spread the good news about the gospel. What many, many Christians fail to remember is the “good news” part when discussing the gospel. Completely ignoring that, and opting for aggressive “in your face” evangelism has done absolutely nothing to further the good news of Christ’s promise. I contend it has set us back. Way back. Had I not already been a card-carrying member of the family, I don’t think I would give Christianity a second look, or even a first, given some of the tactics I see making the airwaves. In short, I don’t blame people for not wanting to listen. There is a movie, one of my favorite of all time, titled “Mr. Mom”. While Michael Keaton’s character is taking his kids to school, he drives the wrong way through the school parking lot during a rain storm causing a significant traffic problem. A parking attendant asking him to roll down his window in the middle of the storm, masterfully delivers the line, “You’re doing it wrong.” That is how way too many Christians are delivering their message. Our job, as I see it, is to share the gospel, and let people decide on their own. Easier said than done I’d say, but that is the general idea. It really, truly bothers me that people, with the best intentions, butcher the word of Christ in the name of who knows what, but it sure isn’t the Christianity that I know. It’s no wonder that the secular media is having a field day with Christians!

On the other hand we have the secular media, once a proud profession that seemed to have a better grasp of ethics yesterday than today, has turned itself into a day time talk show as ratings are now more important than news. With so much airtime to fill, news is more opinion than just the five W’s of who, what, when, where, and why. It has become quite popular to call Christians to the carpet, and I think in some instances, it is deserved. However, the secular media for the most part, doesn’t give Christianity the opportunity to explain things (or do Christians fail to adequately make their argument?). If people really wanted to hear the apologetics of Christianity, they have to find religious outlets to find the answers. The bottom line for me is that it is easy to bash Christianity, and profitable. It took years to mess it up, and it will take years to fix it. Of one thing I am confident, the America that our forefathers helped design and build is not the America in which I live today. It is a sad commentary, but as I indicated earlier, I’m in a foul mood so I’m going to roll with it.

What I love about the homophilosophicus project is that there is no presumption of being right. It isn’t the goal. In fact the only way the forum really works is because being right isn’t on the agenda. Once that is taken out of the equation, only then is real conversation able to happen. It goes back to the importance of dialogue, our inaugural offering. We have to be able to talk with each other without the desired outcome of someone having to be right. Given that position, I would offer that words have meaning. The Bible says in Matthew 15:11 “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” As a people, we have been way too loose with the words we use, they truly can defile a person. Both Christians, and the secular media could stand to revisit what Jesus told us. I would hope that even non-Christians could agree on that. On that closing note, I find that I need to do a couple of things. First of all, I’m going to donate to SMA in Avery’s name. Lastly, I’m going open my Bible to find some peace as there is a rumor that God can provide that for a person. Peace.

Related articles

Avery’s Bucket List (greenmountainmamas.com)

Bucket List Baby’s Fight Against Fatal Illness Inspires Millions Online (mashable.com)

2 thoughts on “My Friend Avery and Christians vs. The Media

  1. Difficult days are here for Christians. Check out Paul’s letter to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12-13. “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Those are the same days we now live in. Yet, we are called to stand firm in our faith, and our conduct is to be noticed by all–faith, patience, love, perseverance! And as my buddy the retired Air Force chaplain reminds me, “finish strong!”

    • Isn’t that the truth Curt, finish strong! This is a good reminder to read Timothy. I haven’t read that book for a while. Thanks!

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