What influences you? Sometimes we don’t even notice how ideas, events or opinions have an impact on what we believe or do. Media coverage can affect the way we see things. The tone of some political debates and headlines recently has been unpleasant and divisive, a trend which may continue as the various parties compete for our attention and support. One of the questions that we might ask as disciples of Jesus Christ is “what impact is all of this having on me?” As we think about our prophetic role as God’s people, we might also consider what the impact is on wider society as we become accustomed to slurs, insults and accusations. One of the key principles that we, as churches working together through the Joint Public Issues Team, have sought to embrace is to challenge narratives, assumptions and policies that seek to stigmatise and misrepresent others.
Hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
During this election campaign, as a Christian people, what role do we have in challenging exaggeration, distortion and half-truth on the part of politicians and key media outlets? How do we guard ourselves and others against the harmful impact of such narratives and claims?
This is a time for God’s people to seek truth and expose deceit. In what ways can we challenge language and ideas that harm? How can we model wholesome and honourable ways in which people of different perspectives and opinions can respectfully discuss and debate their opposing views?