The mainstream media is one of the most powerful forces in modern American culture. Sadly, it is often also the biggest promoter of immorality and ungodliness within our culture.
Recently, The View's Joy Behar made the following comments about Vice President Mike Pence's Christian faith: "It's one thing to talk to Jesus. It's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct, hearing voices." Sadly, this type of anti-Christian sentiment is the norm among most TV show hosts, political commentators and late-night entertainers.
The media has the ability to shape people's emotions, thoughts and perspectives. What people watch and hear continually greatly affects what they believe, which in turn, greatly affects what they do and how they vote. Because of this, the media often becomes the means by which political agendas are promoted or shaped.
Ever since the Parkland shooting, the media has been promoting an agenda that fits its predominantly liberal narrative. For one of the first times in history, we are seeing the media raise up high school students to have a voice at a national level—and it is the media that is raising their voices.
Many adults are enamored with the boldness, passion and excitement that is being generated by this movement and is currently being displayed most strongly by high school students as they promote gun restrictions and challenge pro-Second Amendment politicians and organizations. However, I believe that what we are witnessing is not a "grass-roots movement," but rather a liberal "AstroTurf movement" that has been formed with the hope that it can shift things before the upcoming midterm elections. AstroTurf looks like grass, but it's totally manufactured and not real. The entire movement looks and feels like an AstroTurf movement.
So why does this matter to us as Christians? God wants us to be fully aware and fully vigilant about what forces are at work behind different popular movements within the culture.
Many current political and social movements tend to reflect either biblical morality or anti-biblical worldviews. Most of the things the media promotes are definitely not things to advance morality, righteousness or true freedom.
Having viewed many of the interviews among the student figure heads of this movement, one thing is becoming very clear: The media is completely responsible for giving this movement a voice and promoting this movement's political agenda. Therefore, as Christians, I believe that we need to be skeptical of all of this and try to allow God to show us the bigger picture so that we may see the current spiritual forces at work.
The media has given children a voice and the opportunity to voice outrageous views at a national level. Because this entire thing is on a national stage and the figureheads are children, it makes it nearly impossible to stand against the movement without being labeled a "bully."
David Hogg, who is the student who has arguably had the most media coverage, recently attacked pro-gun politicians in an interview with The Outline, "It just makes me think what sick [expletive] out there want to continue to sell more guns, murder more children and honestly just get reelected." This statement is unfounded and outrageous. In this movement, kids are getting to have an unchallenged voice no matter how outrageous their statements are. In the same interview, he said, "Our parents don't know how to use a [expletive] democracy, so we have to."
Saturday, thousands of students walked in a march called "March for Our Lives." The purpose of the march was to stand against gun violence. The media has been promoting it the past few weeks.
So the question becomes, why is the media doing this? I cannot help but remember a quote from former Chief of Staff to Obama, Rahm Immanuel. His political strategy was "Never let a crisis go to waste." And it appears that that principle is at work right now more than ever.
The media has used the Parkland shooting as a way to flip the focus off of the tragedy and onto politicians and organizations that promote the 2nd Amendment. The media wants to create the narrative that "2nd Amendment defenders are the problem." The media does not want anyone looking at the reality that a young man who committed this heinous shooting was a young man with a very troubled past, who was isolated, and was hearing voices telling him that he needed to commit this act. The media wants to place all of the blame on conservative politicians and our current President.
The mainstream media has an agenda that they are always working. When is the last time when the media gave pro-life students this kind of platform? It never has. Not one pro-gun politician or pro-gun organization has killed a child. However, organizations like Planned Parenthood have killed countless millions of children. The media would never give any pro-life students an ability to voice their views in the way in which the high school respondents to the Parkland shooting have been given.
According to a 2014 report by the Center for Disease Control, 652,639 children were aborted in just that year. According to everytownresearch.org, there have been 306 school shootings since 2013, and most all of these have not been mass shootings. The 306 number includes things like accidental gun discharges or shooting incidents that did not happen during school hours or between students. Many of the 306 incidents also did not result in fatalities.
Jesus gave us a really good litmus test to see what source is responsible for wicked heinous acts. In John 10:10 Jesus says, "The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." If an event results in death, destruction or loss, it clear that the motivation and inspiration behind that event originated from the kingdom of darkness. The real culprits behind events like the Parkland shooting are the demonic forces that inspired the young to commit that heinous act. These forces cannot be fought against through flesh-and-blood efforts.
There is only one who is able to overcome evil and darkness, and that is Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Prayer and our obedience to the Holy Spirit are our only weapons.
There are those who were affected by this tragedy who desire peace. They want peace from the insanity that this event has brought. They want a peace that can guarantee that something like this will never happen again. The problem is that there cannot be any peace without the Prince of Peace. No student, no parent, no politician and no law can restore what has been lost. There is only one person who can bring redemption, restoration and healing into the lives of those affected. That person is Jesus Christ.
Then, on the other hand, there are those who want to use this event to advance a political narrative that advances a liberal political agenda. It is sad to see that the current sentiment of the most vocal voices making the talk-show rounds are more concerned with promoting a political agenda than allowing their voices to be used by God to bring healing and peace in the midst of this horrible storm. However, the media would never promote a movement that was trying to do this. Right now, the media has one concern: midterm elections this November. And they will twist, spin and raise up whoever they must in order to advance their agenda, even if it be kids.
David Hoffman is an evangelist and the director of Kingdom Enterprises, an outreach and evangelism ministry in Tucson, Arizona. His passions are to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, ignite a passion for evangelism within the lives of believers and to help equip them to live Spirit-filled and Spirit-empowered lives. For more information or to contact him, please go to HisKingdomEnterprises.
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