It’s a fairly safe assumption that most Americans are perfectly pleased to live in their own world, only vaguely aware of what goes on beyond the end of their street. For some people this may be acceptable, but for Christians I believe it is our duty to be aware of all that is going on in the world, and the effect we have on it. If this means seeking out the news from multiple venues, so be it.
It would seem by the rate we consume in America that we are unaware that the planet is now home to more than 7 billion people with not nearly enough resources for any one person to take more than he needs. Sadly, I see more non-believing liberals driving hybrids and reducing their consumption than Christians. I think that this is due, in a large part, to how, and where Christians in this country get their news. I have to believe that if they only understood what was going on beyond their personal drama, they would behave differently.
A study came out recently that said that people who watch Fox News actually know less about what is going on in the world than people who watch no news at all (to be fair MSNBC watchers didn’t fair much better). Since, in my personal experience, this seems to be the main news source for most Christians (and is the dominant news source for most Americans), I feel like this explains a great deal. But Fox News isn’t totally responsible, I have had to go outside of the United States to organizations like the UN, and surprisingly, Al Jazeera, for more reliable news, even about things happening within the United States.
With so little regular exposure to the “outside world”, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the goings-on of our own personal dramas, celebrity dramas, or political freak shows, but Christians have a God-given responsibility to not only our neighbors but also our enemies. In this ever-shrinking world we live in, our “neighbors” are at the same time closer and farther away than ever before. Since we are now aware that one child dies every 6 seconds in Somalia due to a famine our country helped to create, I believe Christians are going to be responsible to God for what we choose to do or not do. Not only that, I believe we will also be responsible for choosing to remain ignorant of the world we, especially as Americans, have such a large and lasting effect on.
For example, the electronics we are always so eager to purchase are directly helping to fund child slavery and soldiery in the eastern Congo conflict – the worst conflict since the end of WWII. As a Christian, with this knowledge available to you, how can you justify to your Creator why you just kept buying them?
The world is so terrible and so dark – it’s an incredible temptation to want to just shut our eyes and ears and live in our safe, American, suburban bubble. Our children are no longer crippled by polio, blinded by measles, or killed by a mosquito bite. Let us not become complacent in our blessings – not one of us deserves them. To condemn the innocent, whether by our action or inaction, is something I believe we will be judged for.