Thursday, September 21, 2006

Southern Baptists in the News

At the moment things seem fairly quiet on the Southern Baptist Political front. Perhaps this is simply the calm on the surface that disguises the turmoil beneath, but I think everyone seems to be settling into the new year with a new president and some are still sizing one another up.

Thinking of this I decided that I wanted to know the public perception of Southern Baptists in the news. My question is this: can good come from Baptists being in the news or is negative controversy all that gets reported?

A brief Nexis search surprised me. I searched the term "Southern Baptist" throughout the major news outlets in the last six months. I found that the bulk of the reporting centered around the convention (naturally). However, I was surprised by the positive tone of many of the articles. I did also note that there seems to be a lack of depth to a number of the articles as well, this I attribute to the fact that some of these articles are written by people who don't understand the nature of the Christian faith experientially.

I expected to find that the major news outlets mirrored the local baptist news entities in that they captured a lot of dissention and controversy. It seems, however, that they just aren't interested in our squabbles. Generally, they could care less about Paige Patterson, Wade Burleson, and our inter-denominational politics; although the do enjoy gaping at our stances on alcohol, abstinence, and public education.

So, are we better off quietly "doing our thing" and ministering without the attention of the news? Does the attention of the media help advance our cause? Or does it simply hinder us? Or there's the related question of "are we doing anything newsworthy?" Think about this--the early church caused such a stir that they were accused of turning the world upside down! (Acts 17:6 ESV)

1 comment:

Monk-in-Training said...

Newspapers, and networks report News for one reason and one reason only. To make money.

No one wants to know about the sweet kids reciting Bible verses. They want to hear about the Preacher having an affair with the Choir director! That sells papers, and draws viewers.

Reporters have to write about MANY subjects they know little about. Their skill is in the writing and compliling of facts into some form of readable story.

Laziness and incompetence in a subject covers far more than any nefarious feelings against any one issue.

That having been said, I think it is FAR better if the Church stays out of the News, as it is rarely good.