By Church Politics Podcast | Listen | 56m
Published in June of 2021

SUMMARY: Unfortunately there is little distinction between how Christians and non-Christians react to the news, but hosts Justin Giboney and Chris Butler call on all Christians to be discerning with our media consumption while advocating for media hygiene.

Start at the 6 minute mark where they discuss the history and evolution of 24-hour cable news, a news that relies on opinions, false narratives, and is incentivized to get people agitated — a forerunner to social media.

“Stay informed, get information on a regular basis but avoid echo chambers, don’t assume that information is true because it supports your point of view, and sanitize information before you share.”

– Media hygiene according to Chris Butler

KEY QUOTE: “This is a discernment issue. Over and over again in the Scriptures we are encouraged to cultivate this element of wisdom and discernment in our character and personality. This discernment is an ability to properly discern between right and wrong. To discern through wisdom and insight what is going on. As believers we should be able to distinguish, to separate for ourselves and to diligently search for what is good and what is evil…even distinguishing between what is good and what is best. That is what discernment is all about. In order to tune constantly into cable news, you sort of have to leave your discernment out of it. As believers we should never, ever do that”

BONUS: While there are many definitions of media/information/social hygiene, we have found the SIFT method, which we have highlighted, to be the most helpful.

DID YOU KNOW? Sunday to Saturday has curated topical playlists on Listen Notes where you can subscribe and listen to the curated episodes in your favorite podcast player.


More curated resources on how to read the news:

BOOK: Reading the Times

From newspaper fact checkers to evaluation methods such as S.I.F.T. to diversifying one’s news feeds there is a tremendous amount of energy and time being devoted to debunking lies and conspiracy theories. Despite the trend to provide better quality and quantity of information to the public, according to a 2022 PPRI poll, 60% of white evangelical Protestants believe the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump while Qanon conspiracies ravage large swaths of churches in America. While fact checking methods and diversifying one’s news feed can be helpful, it seems it is doing little to move people from yelling at each other to respectful conversation. How did the church get here? Is there a theological way of consuming the news? How can we think and act Christianly to the news?

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