Have You Heard the News?

I was recently asked to comment on how we as Christians can, as part of our evangelism, talk with our friends and family about what is in the news – how the good news of the gospel speaks into the everyday news of our beautiful, but broken, world.

This opportunity is not just for bloggers, those who comment on the radio, or for those passionately involved in politics; this is for all of us. The news is all around us, and everyone is interested in something, whether it be the machinations surrounding Brexit or the recent dramatic storyline on Coronation Street. All of us have things we could talk about that could be called news.

Part of loving and getting to know people is both to understand their point of view but also to show in some small way the credibility of the Christian gospel, how it applies to every part of life and how Christianity makes sense and shows a better way.

So pray for opportunities and for boldness to speak. Take a look at what is going on locally, nationally, internationally, and in the massive world of entertainment. There is always a Christian perspective on these things.

Find out what people are talking about and think about how as a Christian you might want to comment on it. Think about how what is happening affirms a Christian truth, challenges a Christian idea, contrasts with the gospel, or cries out for redemption. Take Christian principles and think about how they apply. This is more than just saying, “The world is a bad place and so we all need Jesus”. It is true but not a particularly useful tactic, and not what Jesus himself calls us to do.

Making disciples requires effort and application; we need to think: how does a Christian worldview speak into this story? How does what people are talking about show us that God exists; that our consciences are powerful; that we are made in God’s image; that the world is good in many ways?  How does it show our fallenness and our need of redemption? How does it make us long for something better and something eternal?

As you do this, beware that some news stories, especially political ones, are contentious. I am not saying that Christians should avoid politics – far from it; I think we should get much more involved. But in areas where even Christians may disagree because no obvious biblical principle is at stake, there is a particular need to speak with respect and humility. For example, I do not think the Bible is clear on whether being in or out of the EU is a good thing, so we should not invest too much faith in our opinions on this topic. Part of our witness to those around us is going to be the way in which we debate issues of conscience.

But even so, there are things we can discuss related to these topics. Are nation states a good idea? Why can we not become one global family? What makes a good leader? Why do all the best leaders end up in failure?

Take the issue of global poverty or the recent death of refugees in a refrigerated lorry. Why are some people poor and others rich? Why is money such an all-consuming god that the lorry driver and other people involved put their gain ahead of other people’s lives? We can talk about the dignity of all human life and about how global conflict is often at the root of poverty and mass people movements. We can give a Christian perspective on wealth and talk about how the church ought to function as a family that cares for “widows and orphans” and how Christians fought for the end of slavery and the cruel treatment of children.

Then we can talk about how Jesus is the great leader who meets all our unfulfilled longings for just and benevolent government; that Jesus is the answer to the challenges of life and the unrelenting cycle of death; that fame and fortune will never satisfy us – but Jesus will, forever. And that living God’s way is not restricting but truly liberating.

Graham Nicholls is Director of Affinity


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