Yesterday at our ‘Gathering’ we kicked off a new section called ‘Have I Got News For You’ where we take a look at a news story and engage with it with gospel lenses.

I got hold of the Sun and took a look. What was fascinating was how it fitted in with the story of the lost son(s) that we are looking at at the moment… I naturally think of the middle/upper class as the ‘older brothers’ – looking down their noses at the ‘sinners’. But when you read the Sun, and if it is more reflective of the working class, then there’s a lot of ‘older brothers’ there too…

Take a look…

“On Friday I went and bought the Sun to see what news stories were being covered.

And what’s happening in the world? Well, at least according to the Sun, there’s a number of bad, bad people out there.

So we have on the front page ‘Armed copes grab bulger killer’. Apparently he’s being ‘grilled’ on child-porn issues. ‘Evil Jon Venables was grabbed from his prison bed by armed cops yesterday…’

Then we have ‘Tiger’s x-rated texts’ – and if you want to know what he was texting Joslyn James you can just turn to pages 6-7 and read all about it. ‘Scorned porn star Joslyn James dumped Tiger Woods deeper in the mire yesterday by revealing more than 100 of his filthy sex texts’.

How do you feel when you read about Jon Venables or Tiger Woods?

We’ve got a Commons leader who ‘sparked fury’ by not immediately banning a new drug ‘meow meow’ that has recently killed a number of people. It seems that she doesn’t care about the youth of our country. We’ve got a lying Prime Minister on page 2 – lying about things relating to Iraq.

How do you feel about those stories?

Feeling indignant towards old Gordon and Harriet?

You’ll be pleased to know the BBC are no better. On page 9 we find the BBC is biased against the conservatives. And no one likes someone who is biased. And then turn to page 13, and see pictures from Twilight star’s boozy night out.  You wonder if you look rough sometimes? Well, you can now feel fine, because you’re probably never going to look as wasted as this guy. And I could go on – evil cop killer on p33, a mother who smothered her two children on p39…

How does this make us all feel?

I imagine it’ll make us quite disgusted. We’re disgusted that some people can be, as the Sun seems to often put it, ‘evil’. There are some really bad people out there who are making a mess of things. And it leave a sour taste in your mouth.

So – what difference do gospel-lenses make to reading those stories?

In one sense I don’t think we should lose the disgust at sin. God is disgusted with sin. And in fact far more disgusted than we ever will be. So much so that he pours out his entire wrath and anger on sin. This is way beyond any campaign the Sun may run to try and get a drug banned. This is the full weight of God’s hatred of sin poured out.

But on who? On the likes of Tiger Woods, Gordon Brown, Jon Venables? Well, possibly, depending on how they react to the time when God did pour this full wrath out 2000 years ago, on his Son.

We should hate sin, because God hates sin. What Tiger Woods did was wrong. What Jon Venables did was atrocious.

But we don’t just feel disgusted do we. We very easily feel superior. We’re disgusted because we think we’d never do that. We tend not to be disgusted at people who do things we’ve done… no, then we feel guilty.

We should be disgusted, but not from the lofty position we so often claim. Rather we should be disgusted as a fellow sinner. And that is a humbling place to be.

But it is truly liberating. Because we soon fall from our morally high perch, and discover something very black in our hearts that we try to hide. God does not want us to hide it, but to bring it, the filthy rags that it is, and place it at the foot of the cross where Jesus died to forgive that filth.

The news tells us that there’s a number of bad, bad people out there. The gospel tells us that we’re one of them. But God is doing something about it.”

You may also want to check out this at Resurgence.

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