Following on from the thought that all believers may be anointed to minister reconciliation and communicate by the power of the Holy Spirit, I want to say that it is important for us to use appropriate means in order to fulfil the Great Commission – to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. Jesus told us to preach the gospel to all Creation. The mass media stands out to me as being one of the most culturally relevant and cost effective tools for doing just this.
We are being conditioned to believe that if we want to reach a lot of people for Christ, we need to stand behind some kind of church pulpit. But this is nonsense. What we really need to do is get into places in society where we will truly “be heard”. The issue is not whether you yourself are called to be a public speaker, or writer, but whether you are truly part of a team that IS involved in getting the message of God across to as many people as possible in a credible way.
As the people of God we need to be heard, otherwise we cannot discharge our responsibility before God.
Jesus did not limit his ministry to the synagogues of the Jews. He was able to preach in those places, but many times He preached outside the religious meeting places, by the lake or from a hilltop where people gathered to hear Him. I used to desire intensely to preach in the open air and do the works of Jesus, and for a while there I was doing something like this, in Romania actually. We used to preach in the food markets, call people to repentance and then lay hands on the sick. I tell you, many were healed in this way, and it created quite a stir.
But as time went on Romania became more sophisticated and hardened. While we preached on the streets and saw Jesus heal the sick, the Orthodox priests were on T.V. every night telling the people that anyone with a Bible who was not one of them was a kind of cultist and heretic (sectant is the Romanian word they used). They told people that it was the unforgivable sin to change your religion. The common people of Romania are biblically illiterate, and trust their priests very much. Orthodox priests believe it is not the business of the laity to understand theology, and that people’s salvation depends on them receiving the sacraments at THEIR hands. If the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers is correct, we had the truth – but the Orthodox priests had the media, and so they won the day, and are still winning it pretty much for their father below.
Not only were the so-called Orthodox priests on the T.V., but so was MTV and various porn channels. The streets of Romania were literally covered with cheap pornography in those days. I don’t know about now, it is more than 6 years since I’ve been in Romania now. All this, along with the growing materialism that came with a flood of western products and massive price inflation worked to destroy the opportunity for Romanian peopel to turn to the Lord en-masse. The devil got hold of the media, and kept the majority of the population in his grip, even though they were very spiritually hungry in the early 1990s after suffering decades of abuse under totalitarian communist rule.
People are influenced a lot by what is in the media, especially T.V. If we fail to take a slice of the media, we will have to be content as evangelical believers to be a tiny and eventually persecuted and misunderstood minority. The Bible however, says that all authority in heaven and on earth was given to Jesus Christ. Now, is TV in heaven or on earth? If it is, then all authority over T.V. has been given to Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ told us to preach to everyone and make disciples (teach and train people). So then, if we submit to Jesus Christ, and can hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the people of God, it follows that we will take dominion over the media as the Lord leads and communicate things in the power of the Spirit of God.
If you don’t like some of the television evangelists out there, all I can say is – what are you doing to ensure that preachers you DO like are reaching out through the media? A lady once told the 19th century evangelist D.L. Moody that she didn’t like the way he did evangelism. He asked her how she did it. She said that she didn’t. Moody replied, “Well I prefer the way I am doing it to the way you are not doing it.” Too often we have thought that TV ministry is out of reach for us – that it requires megabucks to get started. This is a misconception that I for one will work to dismantle. In these days, you can get on TV and reach thousands of people for as little as $100, including production costs.
By the grace of God I am going to post some articles showing why this is Biblically so important and we will see where the Lord takes it from there.