Reading is Fundamental

In my part of the country, cable TV is
provided in several tiers.  The lowest priced
tier allows good reception of local channels
with no ability to receive the other 100-plus
stations, available, including the sports
stations and all-news stations such as CNN
and C-Span. I've had only the basic tier for
several years now as I found I did not watch
enough TV to justify additional costs.  But
since beginning this column I've moved to a
higher tier of cable service to receive CNN
and C-Span, and thus keep current on
late-breaking events that I might relate
these events to Scripture and convey my
commentary to you in a timely fashion. 
Now that I receive the full-range of
selections available, with exception of
premium movie and pay-per-view stations, I
often find myself spending time among the 100
plus stations subconsciously searching out
their distractions.  What's more, since the
upgrade to the higher tier I have gleaned
little information, if any, useful for this
column.  
      I've come to think that reading is
perhaps the best way to receive information
for consideration.  Any information provided
via radio and television comes with built-in
bias.  The bias is exercised by the selection
and delivery of the "news." And once the bias
is applied, that which is delivered is no
longer news, but commentary on the news.
Because my effort in writing this column is
to provide commentary on current events from
a Christian view of the world, I need to
receive and consider information before any
bias is applied, or at least receive
information from sources likely to present
differing if not opposing views.  The
broadcast media are not effective for this as
they can never effectively screen out the 
biases of their reporters and crews; management
is at a disadvantage in determining the
effect of different intonations of broadcast
personnel.  Reviewing different print media
informs me of the different views in the
market.  
      Reading is fundamental for a good
understanding of events--past, present, and
future.  This axiom includes Scripture.  A
single scriptural text might well provide
different messages to different Believers
facing different circumstances. 
For example, at different times I have
received different messages from the story of
the impotent man by the pool of Bethesda
(John 5:2-9): there is the message that it is
acceptable to do good on the Sabbath; there
is the message that God's word, and not
history or circumstance, determines our fate;
there is the message to rid ourselves of
excuses and simply do what God has directed;
there is the message to cease relying on
other men or signs and wonders, but rely only
on God's word.  All of these messages are
legitimate and many may be received all at one
time, but most people only receive one
message at a time--the one needed for that
time.  
      As I relate current events to
Scripture, you should know that I have a
bias, perhaps many biases.  That's why you
should go to the cited Scripture and ensure
that I have not taken a message specific to
me and misapplied it to you, or that I have
not failed to relate a critical element or
point of Scripture which may have specific
relevance to what you are experiencing. 
For example, if you've been sitting on a
business venture which requires an infusion
of cash for proper initiation, the story of
the impotent man by the pool of Bethesda may
well be telling you to stop waiting and to
implement your plan now, and not telling
you not to seek financial assistance from
others.  While I can receive insight from
simply hearing my pastor, I will never
understand Scripture if I rely totally on him
to read God's Letter to me and provide me the
understanding.  There are treasures hidden in
God's word as it has the unique ability
to speak directly to the lives of individual
Believers.  We shortchange ourselves by
allowing others to dig for treasure
and provide us the change. Return to homepage/SS/

Reading is Fundamental

      In my part of the country, cable TV is
provided in several tiers.  The lowest priced
tier allows good reception of local channels
with no ability to receive the other 100-plus
stations, available, including the sports
stations and all-news stations such as CNN
and C-Span. I've had only the basic tier for
several years now as I found I did not watch
enough TV to justify additional costs.  But
since beginning this column I've moved to a
higher tier of cable service to receive CNN
and C-Span, and thus keep current on
late-breaking events that I might relate
these events to Scripture and convey my
commentary to you in a timely fashion. 
Now that I receive the full-range of
selections available, with exception of
premium movie and pay-per-view stations, I
often find myself spending time among the 100
plus stations subconsciously searching out
their distractions.  What's more, since the
upgrade to the higher tier I have gleaned
little information, if any, useful for this
column.  
      I've come to think that reading is
perhaps the best way to receive information
for consideration.  Any information provided
via radio and television comes with built-in
bias.  The bias is exercised by the selection
and delivery of the "news." And once the bias
is applied, that which is delivered is no
longer news, but commentary on the news.
Because my effort in writing this column is
to provide commentary on current events from
a Christian view of the world, I need to
receive and consider information before any
bias is applied, or at least receive
information from sources likely to present
differing if not opposing views.  The
broadcast media are not effective for this as
they can never effectively screen out the 
biases of their reporters and crews; management
is at a disadvantage in determining the
effect of different intonations of broadcast
personnel.  Reviewing different print media
informs me of the different views in the
market.  
      Reading is fundamental for a good
understanding of events--past, present, and
future.  This axiom includes Scripture.  A
single scriptural text might well provide
different messages to different Believers
facing different circumstances. 
For example, at different times I have
received different messages from the story of
the impotent man by the pool of Bethesda
(John 5:2-9): there is the message that it is
acceptable to do good on the Sabbath; there
is the message that God's word, and not
history or circumstance, determines our fate;
there is the message to rid ourselves of
excuses and simply do what God has directed;
there is the message to cease relying on
other men or signs and wonders, but rely only
on God's word.  All of these messages are
legitimate and many may be received all at one
time, but most people only receive one
message at a time--the one needed for that
time.  
      As I relate current events to
Scripture, you should know that I have a
bias, perhaps many biases.  That's why you
should go to the cited Scripture and ensure
that I have not taken a message specific to
me and misapplied it to you, or that I have
not failed to relate a critical element or
point of Scripture which may have specific
relevance to what you are experiencing. 
For example, if you've been sitting on a
business venture which requires an infusion
of cash for proper initiation, the story of
the impotent man by the pool of Bethesda may
well be telling you to stop waiting and to
implement your plan now, and not telling
you not to seek financial assistance from
others.  While I can receive insight from
simply hearing my pastor, I will never
understand Scripture if I rely totally on him
to read God's Letter to me and provide me the
understanding.  There are treasures hidden in
God's word as it has the unique ability
to speak directly to the lives of individual
Believers.  We shortchange ourselves by
allowing others to dig for treasure
and provide us the change.  Return to homepage