I Stopped Reading the News Today

August Stigler German Pilot WWII

August Stigler
German Pilot WWII

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed. His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness…

Hello friends. Yesterday was a beautiful fall day. It was unseasonably warm here. The leaves are bright yellow and orange now. The sky was blue and cloudless. It was also a sad day as someone special, someone loved was laid to rest. The news of his untimely passing was a shock. The choir sang a song he loved:

“For Thou o Lord are a Shield for me, my Glory and the Lifter of my head”

As ambassadors of Christ and citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we are strangers here. We are not of this world. Our front page news is found in the pages of scripture. Proverbs 29:25 says “The fear of man is a snare, but whoever trusts in The Lord shall be safe.”

I ended my longtime attachment to the news today. The news and I are no longer best friends. It has been a long time coming. Years ago, I started a yearly media fast and in recent years, I took breaks from it more frequently. The last few months, I curtailed my frequent news postings on social media and Blogtober gave me an opportunity to do a lot of my own writing. School this year for myself has taken a lot of my time at home, and reading the news is just that much more screen time that I don’t need. I haven’t watched the news on TV or listened on the radio or read the newspaper for years, but internet news has become a rather constant flow and fixture in my life.

When I came to know the Lord years ago, I listened to the radio everyday on the way to work and on the way home. My commute was long and Christian music and preachers and teachers kept me company and encouraged my growth in God’s word. John MacArthur, Chuck Swindol, Focus on the Family, Adventures in Odyssey, Charles Stanley, Chuck Colson, Dr. Irwin Lutzer, Dr. Tony Evans, Ravi Zacharias, Alistair Begg, Elisabeth Elliot, Joni Erickson Tada and more shared the word and their faith with me every day over the air waves. One program I listened to frequently had a host who affirmed Chuck Colson’s belief that we should engage each day with the bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Someday maybe, I will be able to articulate better why I think this is mistaken, or perhaps wrong for me at this time in my life. Maybe it was important for a time culturally, and now the Lord has changed the program.

Although I have somehow thought the bible/newspaper philosophy was flawed, I didn’t have much of an argument until I started back to school last spring. You would think the study of history would lend credence to keeping up with the news, but maybe there is a different way of looking at history. When I look at leaders and battles and movements and revolutions and laws and lands, I don’t see successes and failures of mankind. I see unmistakably the sovereignty of God.

Look at the photo above of the German pilot from WWII. He and his brother Franz were fighter pilots, as their father was in WWI. August Stigler was a teacher and his brother Franz had studied for the priesthood, but became a commercial air pilot for Lufthansa. When Germany went to war, both young men flew and fought for their country. August was killed in the war. Does he look evil? Here’s a photo of their family:

Stigler Family Bavaria, Germany

Stigler Family
Bavaria, Germany

History is made up of individual people, living and dying, learning, working, marrying and having families. I used to think there was something I could have done and others like me to have changed the situation in Germany back then. It has definitely been suggested by the bible/newspaper philosophers. But I know now that I couldn’t, nor would I have done any different than I have done in the US right now. Is the voice who commands the extermination of people in another country any more evil than the voices who demand the extermination of the unborn here? How? How are they different? I have voted and prayed and written letters and emails and editorials and blogs and been active in social media. I’ve walked the walk and bought the t-shirt, but to no avail if I go by the news or statistics. 52 million lost. Someone on another shore would certainly be within their right to put down in the history books the holocaust of modern day America. . .except that it’s happening over there too. Social Darwinism is alive and well and technology has only provided faster and farther reaching, more aesthetically pleasing ways to exterminate the inconvenient.

No, the news is not for the one who wants to avoid the snare of fearing man. We already know the days are evil and that mens deeds are evil. The apostle Paul tells us so too, and says :

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things arehonest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

If you look at films of Germans who were alive then and living in Germany, so many say that they had no idea the level of evil committed against their neighbors and even when confronted with it, they responded with what little they could do on their own. The stories of those who were in the crosshairs of  anti-semitic government mandates, found themselves at the mercy of the few who would or could try to help them and consequently there were many who were sheltered, saved and comforted, just as there are many who hear the voices saying ‘don’t go that way’ and they don’t terminate the pregnancy. There are many families who foster children or adopt or provide basic needs to mothers who choose to carry the pregnancy to term. However, we all can see with our own eyes the wide path that leads to destruction. I don’t need to know the specifics down to the minute anymore. I really don’t. We don’t do battle with flesh and blood anyway, but with principalities of this present darkness that can only be fought on the battlefield of prayer. Only the Holy Spirit truly knows what we are to be praying for anyway. So, onward in prayer, with the full armor of God and not armed with the cumbersome, ineffective ways of the world.

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