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The Daily Mail and Following Jesus

Reaction to Andy Goodliff's piece about The Daily Mail. Should reading it be a church membership issue?

I share Andy's concern but the very values that are undermined by the Mail make me hesitant about applying bans! Church members who read it are exposed to the steady drip, drip (plus occasional tiorrents) seven days a week - far more than most are exposed to the values of the Chistian community. Of course, none of our media are simple, objective purveyors of truth. One response may be to work together on developing the media literacy of children, young people and adults in our churches. How to read a newspaper or to listen to or watch the news is not unconnected to how we read the Bible.
Simon Oxley

I wonder if Christian discipleship would grow if we could just agree that cultural Marxism is a stumbling block to following Jesus. You are entitled to your views of the Daily Mail but your readiness to suggest that readership of it should be a church membership issue is more than a trifle totalitarian. Do you pore over The Guardian every morning with your coffee and cornflakes interceding fervently for the amelioration of the fortunes of Ed Miliband ?
I ask because your thinking appears to have become infected by political correctness; a grievous affliction where Ministers turn all lefty-liberal and incapable of thinking beyond this religio-political disposition, firmly convinced that Jesus, were he to walk our green and pleasant land, would preach a Guardianista gospel consistent with equality and diversity legislation.
The reading of newsprint may well be unhealthy but the message of the Cross regularly laced with a dose of cultural Marxism is deadly for the life of any Church. And that really should be an issue for the church members.
Jay Bee

I don't imagine any newspaper's ethics are aligned to the message of the gospel. They all have their own agenda's and perhaps some of the other's, the so called more respectable ones, are more subtle in their ways of diverting the follower of Jesus from kingdom values.

Thanks for this ... I think there is huge dissonance between the Mail's daily description of the world and the values of Jesus but I am not sure disavowing the paper should be a requirement for membership ... yet again it might be Christians saying "no" rather than offering a positive commitment to a vulnerable and accountable community learning what it is to read critically together.
Membership is based on confession of Christ as lord not alliances with papers ... i value the type of analysis you are offfering, we ought to be a peculiar people and granted I would hope that confession of Jesus as Lord would lead people to reject most of the Mail's values but I would hope that would be a revelation in and through community discipleship rather than what might feel like legislation from on high as to who is in or out of our fellowships.
Of course if a group of Christians discerned together that a responsible Christian approach to the Mail was to reject it and its values as long as the Mail was perceived by them to be contrary to Jesus I would want to offer them my blessing.

Hi Andy. Perhaps if we could just encourage people to read the Bible as much as they read The Daily Mail they might start to see how inconsistent its graceless values are with the way of Jesus. Well done for writing this. You will no doubt get flak but I think it is a good question to ask and written very fairly. Maybe those tempted to disagree might ask themselves how much critical attention they pay to what they read and why they find themselves agreeing or disagreeing with it? I suspect they won't because when people challenge our prejudices rather than confirm them we stomp our feet rather than ask if we might just be wrong for a change!? Peace be with you.
Ashley Lovett

I agree completely with Andy's assessment of the Mail, and the anonymous, vicious "comment" by "seriously" only shows up the need for it. Yes, there ARE Baptist Times readers who think the Mail is on the side of the angels!
But is there a daily paper which DOES have a Gospel world-view? The so-called "quality" papers express their prejudices more politely, but I find the Guardian/Observer's line on homosexuality, the Express on immigration and welfare, and the Telegraph on - well, most things - just as far out of line with Christ's way.
But there's no point in banning the expression of views which many non-Christians (and too many Christians) think are perfectly fine. Rather, we need to hear those voices, think hard about what they're saying, and then find ways to put a Christian view out there in the marketplace in opposition to them.
And once you start burning books (or newspapers) you soon end up burning people!
Tony Jones

What a narrow minded piece of drivel. This sounds to me to be the ramblings of another deluded leftie who would rather live in a fluffy blinkered politically correct world than have to face up to the harsh realities of the world that actually the Daily mail is quite good at presenting sometimes. Sounds like another liberal minster who wants to quote the Bible when it suits but I bet this guy wasn't out their saying how good the Mail was when it was one of the few papers defending a Christian view of marriage recently. He was probably reading the Guardian whist try to explain away the clear cut teaching in Romans. Right on man!!

What political party would Jesus support? One where the poor and downtrodden are valued and accepted. One where class and wealth wasn't worshiped and 'the others' weren't constantly vilified. One were people of all nations were welcomed and accepted regardless of colour or creed.

I'm sure Andy has written to make us think about how we discern what we read. It clearly follows that every newspaper will have a political bias and most, sadly, hype up reports to appeal to their readership.
I personally rarely read the Daily Mail, but often wonder if I should occasionally take a look at all of the newspapers to keep in touch with what the public at large is being fed upon as far as news and opinions go. For a similar reason I read The God Delusion when it was published, not because I agreed with it's central theme but to keep abreast of how my apologetics needed to develop and what people were again being fed.
The reality of the Daily Mail is that it may reflect a particular bias (The Times and Telegraph don't?) but is everything reported untrue even if it represents biased reporting?
David Parsons (Revd)

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