From a news point of view July 2016 has been an exciting month: the United Kingdom is embarking on a new journey sans the European Union for the first time in around 16 years. Not only that they have a new Prime Minister with a new cabinet. The well-rated Top Gear program was re-cast with new presenters and the mechanics have now broken down that there is yet another change. Andy Murray has now won his second Wimbledon.
Across the pond, the election is in full swing and the stories that go with it: the latest scandal involving Hilary Clinton, including the appearance of bias, reckless exposure of classified material and an Attorney General appearing before Congress and the public discovering on C-SPAN that she cannot answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a simple question. The country is also heatedly debating issues surrounding Black Lives Matter, police brutality and racism. And in-between all of this there is intense speculation of who Trump will select as his running mate.
Here in South Africa there is always something going on, and it’s easy to think that all of this stuff on the news matters. People in the world are in serious disagreement about terrorism and its meaning, anthropogenic global warming, free speech and what may constitute reasonable restrictions on it.
The evangel ship ‘Logos’ docked in Cape Town this month and along with family I paid it a visit. Also this month a church group I know is currently in a country where the gospel is heavily restricted and as Christians meeting with locals. This is where the real news is happening, under the noses of the mighty and powerful news organisations that make and break public lives and serve as gatekeepers of what makes the news cycle.
It may surprise the news organisations to know that God is at work in the world in the hearts of people, and that by way of His people taking the gospel to those who need it. Many years ago when I joined a ‘year-of-your-life’ program to travel on a missions trip around Africa, they quoted the following verse of Scripture:
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5: 18 – 20 (NIV)
Curiously, 2 Corinthians was in the news lately because Donald Trump quoted from 2 Corinthians but said it ‘Two Corinthians’ instead of ‘Second Corinthians’. The mostly godless news media mocked him for it, although they probably completely missed the message that he was trying to convey by quoting from the book. At a speech this week commemorating the 5 policemen killed in Dallas, Obama quoted a Scripture verse from the book of 1 John however mangled the reference as he said it was from the ‘gospel of John’. The media gave him a pass and from their coverage of the commemoration most appear biblically illiterate in any case.
What can we deduce? Apart from the fact that those in the liberal media are in the tank for liberal politicians?
The real news is that God is at work and gave us the ministry and message of reconciliation. I like the way Afrikaans renders the translation of the word ‘reconciliation’, as ‘versoening’, meaning to kiss after a disagreement. This is where God is working and this is what the media miss completely.