No place for tabloids

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Did you know that tabloids — those flammable papers full of sex and scandal like National Enquirer that appear at the check-out stands of most supermarkets — are mentioned in the Bible? Sure enough, it’s in Proverbs 16:27: “Scoundrels hunt for scandal; their words are a destructive blaze.” If you have a story that will bring down a celebrity, they will pay for it. The usual rules for journalistic truth and integrity of information do not apply to these enterprises. The juicier the story, the more they’ll pay.

The point of this is that if you search for evil, you will find it. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That is a blanket statement. We have all sinned, so if you want to find something on anyone, you will find what you are looking for. So what will be gained by that when it is God’s idea to forgive and forget? Witch hunts will always be successful. This should be no surprise. What should be a surprise is that it is “news” when we find it. It would only be news if we believed everyone was clean, pure and righteous to start with. But, of course, we are not.

To be sure, we are not talking about law and justice here. We have legal systems that apply when someone has crossed a line. We’re talking about expending time and energy searching for sin in each other’s lives and spreading the “news” of it around. Looking for evil. Hunting for scandal. Digging up dirt. This is not becoming to members of the body of Christ. Our sin will “find us out.” We do not need to help that process along. Our job is to encourage each other and remind each other of God’s forgiveness and the righteousness of Christ made available to each of us.

We could probably create a tabloid on each of us if we wanted to, but that would not be helpful to our growth. Let’s encourage each other while it is still day. If there is legitimate concern about someone, go to that person and talk to them directly. Don’t publish a scandalous story, even with your gossip. Those words only create a destructive blaze that helps no one.

Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it. Proverbs 11:27

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7 Responses to No place for tabloids

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Great lesson today! ❤

  2. Markus says:

    I shoot a lot of concerts and I have always been wondering how I would handle a coincidental “paparazzi shot”. Basically, I like to think that I would only publish such a picture, if it was really, really something newsworthy, but would I live up to this ideal if I had an embarrassing picture that caters to people’s hunger for scandals and which could therefore earn me a lot of money? And what would I do if I shot a picture that is totally newsworthy? Would I really publish it even if I could not earn a lot from it? And would I be able to even distinguish one from the other?

    Fortunately the Metal scene is not really interested in pseudo-scandals which is why it is very unlikely that I will ever find myself in such a situation, but such things are not entirely unheard of. So yeah, this Catch hits home and makes me think.

    Anyway, my comment is obviously from the point of view of a person who might find himself in a situation that would allow him to provide such magazines with yet another story, but there are also the readers of these magazines and stories. Personally, I was never able to understand people’s interest in the private lives of stars and celebrities. Celebrity A cheats on celebrity B… Well, who cares? Most of the time this is just gossiping for the sake of gossiping, or how often does it happen that there is an aspect to such an affair that justifies for the public to know about it?

    Celebrities are still human beings, so let’s cut them some slack, because isn’t that exactly what we hope for God to do in respect to us? Cut us some slack?

    • jwfisch says:

      I think it’s human nature to want to bring celebrities down. We admire their success but we feel better when they turn out to be scoundrels so we don’t feel so low in comparison.

  3. Sandie says:

    First thing to come to mind is that you echoed Petra’s musical commentary on too much of the church…”Witch Hunt” – from their Beat The System CD. Amazing how the truth keeps coming around and validates itself!

  4. David Morgereth says:

    A humorous take on this: In the early 1980’s Carol Burnett won a huge defamation lawsuit against the National Enquirer. The Enquirer’s defense was that, if they lost, it would be the end of freedom of the press. Shortly after the award the Washington Post published editorial cartoon of a mock National Enquirer front page with the headline: Carol Burnett Wins Lawsuit, Ruins Freedom of the Press, Flees in UFO (with a doctor’ed picture of Burnett stepping into a flying saucer).

  5. Martha Nelson says:

    Amazing piece today!! You do tremendous work, my Brother, my friend! Thank you for your faithful posts! Lord bless you and Marti! Martha Nelson

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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