Over the years I've come to wear a few hats. Today I am announcing another one being placed on my head. For the foreseeable future, I will be working as a journalist for a grassroots news paper in my local community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
This paper is Christian based, with a conservative leaning that values balanced truth and honesty. If you are interested, head over to The Lancaster Patriot and click the red button in the top right to subscribe.
As I've been transitioning into this new role, I have been giving a lot of thought to what it means to be a Christ centered journalist. I want to publicly commit to some guiding principles I have found in scripture. These passages will be my guide-stone to ethical, Christian journalism.
'And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. ' (ESV)
I seek to build up the body of Christ, I want people to not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, I want to expose deceitful schemes, and I seek to speak the truth in love.
'So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ' (ESV)
I want to know, and I want people to know, the truth, and the truth to set them free.
'Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. ' (ESV)
I will not speak empty words. I will walk as a child of light. I seek to discern what is pleasing to the Lord and have no part in darkness. I will expose darkness and magnify light. I seek to understand the will of the Lord.
' Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ' (ESV)
I will rejoice in the Lord always. I seek to be known by my reasonableness and fairness. I will speak peace as well as, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable," whatever is excellent, and whatever is worthy of praise.
' Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ' (ESV)
God's Word will guide my steps.
'Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.' (ESV)
As in my post on this verse, I seek to Keep It Simple, helping those in need and remaining unstained by worldly influences.
'If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. ' (ESV)
'For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”' (ESV)
1 Corinthians 5:12-13
I will take no authority to pass judgment on the world. I seek to provide unbiased facts and information.
'Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” ' (ESV)
'For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. ' (ESV)
'For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ' (ESV)
'And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ' (ESV)
I seek to further the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of this world. I do not fight with tools of this world, but with the Word of God. My neighbor is not my enemy.
'So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ' (ESV)
1 Corinthians 10:31
All that I do is for the glory of God.
As a Christian journalist, I seek to be a culture maker. I do not wish to follow culture, or even fight it. I seek to lead culture. I do not seek to further or hinder any particular agenda. I seek to create a better world for everyone, period. I seek to lead by example and not merely words. As a Christian journalist I seek to expose darkness by being light. I seek to fight darkness with light, not more darkness. I seek to glorify my Creator.
Finally, I leave you with the verse I believe to be my life's calling:
'How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”' (ESV)