Saturday, October 16, 2010

Seven Canons and how they relate to Christianity

I'm writing this for extra credit for class.  I'm going to take the seven canons of journalism and see how we should apply them to our lives as Christians.  I believe this will not only be thought provoking but also a new perspective on how the seven cannons and our Christian walks.

1. Responsibility-Must Consider Public Welfare

This is by far one of the more important canons as it relates to our Christian life.  We are called as Christians to be responsible.  God placed us here to take care of the land and animals, though not our main calling (that being worshipping Him) one of our secondary purposes in our lives is to be stewards of the earth.

We are also called to watch out for the public.  In James it speaks of taking care of the widowed and orphaned.  The church and Christians are supposed to be about watching out for everyone.  We are called to reach everyone, and I would say that this canon right here pretty much fills out that purpose.

2. Freedom of Press-First Amendment Rights should be guarded as vital and unquestionable

For Christians in America I feel we miss this canon some.  There are several things that have happened within the past five years or so that have limited things that were allowed before in relation to religion that have been taken away now, because Christians have not guarded their First Amendment Rights like they could have.

Some would argue that separation of church and state should be present and that is why these things have happened.  Granted this may take part in it, however Christians could at least have stood for the freedoms that they had, however they pretty much just let them slip away, with just small cries against it.

3. Independence-from sources, politics, and advertisers

Politics particularly fit into the Christian side of this.  According to research done for the Fermi project by Barna Group, outsiders (nonChristians) believe that Christians are too political.  I personal believe that politics should stay outside of the church.  I believe that Christians should vote for who God wants them to, but I don't believe they should push their agenda on other people, especially outsiders, seeing as it is a turning point in their focusing on Christ.

4. Sincerity, Truthfulness, and Accuracy-should be the foundation of journalism

I believe this should be the foundation of Christianity as well.  If we are not sincere in what we do then outsiders won't want anything to do with what it is that we believe.  If we are not truthful about what we do then we just feed the "hypocrite" connotation that was also strongly reinforced through the work done by the Fermi Project.  If we are not accurate in what we believe then outsiders will have a hard time believing us as well.  Lee Strobel points out that if Christians had been accurate in what they believed that he would have probably believed a whole lot sooner than he had.

5. Impartiality-News should be free of bias and opinion

I feel sometimes Christians are too impartial. This brings back my assertion in canon number two about loss of freedoms.  If we lived more partial lives that pointed toward Christ then we wouldn't have to worry about many of the other things mentioned below the canon's.  If we stepped up and cared about our beliefs, but weren't insane about it, we would affect the world in a mighty way.

6. Fair Play-Opposing views should be solicited and correct mistakes

Though I feel that we are too impartial, I also feel that we miss fair play a lot.  I think we are impartial with culture but don't enact fair play with other religions.  We see only what we believe and won't entertain the thought of other religions.  This would also point to the main reason why Christians did so poorly on the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey. Simply because Christians won't take the time to learn about other religions and how to effectively relate to them.  If you learn to relate, then people begin to appreciate.

7. Decency-Avoid dirty details

I believe sometimes we try to sugar coat faith.  This canon I believe we should be the opposite of.  I believe that we should throw all the details in we can about faith.  The more a person is able to know the details about their beliefs the better they will be able to communicate it to other people.  This is how others will be able to be effectively reached for the Kingdom.

These seven canons can relate to Christianity.  They are specific to Journalism but can be used for so much more.  I think that looking at them this way not only spices them up, but they also put a new perspective on how we need to be as believers.

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