As Christians we’re called to be in the world but not “of the world” yet that’s easier said than done. With a million facets of culture surrounding us, there are countless people and things that beg to shape our worldview. Many of them do so quite successfully, and without us even recognizing it.
One of those things that has radically shaped many Christian’s worldview in America, is Fox News. And no, I don’t believe that’s a good thing.
To help you see if your “biblical” worldview actually came from Fox News, here are the ultimate signs to watch out for:
12. If you recognize every face on Fox News Sunday but don’t know the first name of the person who passes you the offering plate in church.
Is your biblical worldview stemming from a commitment to learning and studying the Bible in the context of authentic community within the church? If you recognize every face on Fox News Sunday but don’t actually know the people in your own church, your biblical worldview is most likely coming from Fox News.
11. If someone brings up what the Bible says about immigrants you immediately assume they’re twisting scripture to fit their liberal political agenda.
If Fox News Christianity realized what the Bible actually says about immigrants, it might be a shock to the system. For example, in the OT God established a welfare program for immigrants, ordering that one could not pick from their garden more than once– after the first harvest, everything else was to remain untouched so that immigrants could come and take whatever food they needed, for free. Forced redistribution of wealth anyone? Don’t even get me started on what Jesus said about this.
10. If you’ve ever gone to Amazon.com and typed in the words “Fox News Study Bible.”
So, there’s not one. But if you’ve typed in those words (you know who you are) consider yourself busted. Or, perhaps you actually bought the Duck Commander Study Bible, or the American Patriot’s Bible, both of which would be functional equivalents. Either way, Jesus saw you purchase that.
9. If you’re afraid of Muslims but have never actually studied Islam and don’t personally know any Muslims.
When I watch Fox News talk about Muslims I often think to myself “if I started to believe this stuff, I’d be scared of all of them too.” Please- set aside your irrational fear. Study what Islam believes (the closest religion to Christianity and the only other religion that accepts Jesus Christ as the Messiah). Get some Muslim friends and stop letting Fox shape your view of them. Once you spend some time with Muslims you’ll realize how much of your fear was based on ignorance and stereotypes from Fox News.
8. You think Jesus would have considered taxation to be theft.
I frequently hear folks call taxation “theft” but that’s not what Jesus taught. Even though Jesus lived in an over-taxed society, he still told his disciples to pay them and never once called it theft. He did however get angry and kick over tables when religious leaders were using church to make a profit on the backs of the poor. Taxation is theft? Not to Jesus. Megachurch pastors fleecing their parishioners to live a cushy lifestyle? Yup– that makes baby Jesus very angry.
7. If you think Glenn Beck is one of the great theologians of our time.
Move over NT Wright. Let’s just say that if you’ve read America’s March Toward Socialism and Arguing with Idiots but you’ve never read Surprised by Hope or Simply Good News, there’s a pretty big chance your biblical worldview is the Fox News version.
6. You view your right to bear arms as “God-given” no matter how many people die, but think the right to access healthcare is an “attitude of entitlement.”
I hear the phrase “entitlement attitude” used as a pejorative quite often when referencing poor people having access to basic life-sustaining necessities. Strangely enough, it’s never applied to those who actually do have an entitlement attitude about their gun rights, never applied to the golden calf of military spending, corporate welfare, or anything else– unless that anything else is something to help the poor.
5. You think calling someone a “liberal” is an appropriate way to win a theological debate.
I can’t count the times someone tries to dismiss something I’ve taught with: “Aha! You’re a liberal!” as if that means or proves anything. This is because Fox News Christianity invites one into a worldview of false binary options where everything is either liberal or conservative, and where liberal is obviously un-Christian. As a result, one will quickly find themselves dismissing any fellow Christian or theology that one thinks would fit in the “liberal” category, based upon not biblical lines, but lines drawn by a Fox mentality.
4. You thought Roman Catholics weren’t real Christians until you started to like Sean Hannity.
There’s something those of us who came from conservative, protestant traditions don’t readily admit in public: a complete distrust of Catholics. In fact, my last church voted to reject the historic Christian creeds because they contained the word Catholic. Strangely enough, many of my Catholics-aren’t-real-Christian friends toned down the back-room rhetoric when they became Hannity fans. Now they’ve just moved on to saying the Pope is a divisive liberal, which is another sign your biblical worldview came from Fox News.
3. You secretly wish your pastor would get Steve Doocy to come speak at the annual men’s prayer breakfast.
Believe it or not, I have some friends who would think this was an awesome idea. If while thinking about who you’d like to have come speak at your prayer breakfast, the name Steve Doocy, Oliver North, or Phil Robertson come into your mind, you most likely got your biblical worldview from Fox News.
2. You know the names of all the anchors but can’t name the 12 disciples.
Did you know Jesus had a disciple named Bart? Or that Matthias replaced Judas after winning a roll of the dice to replace the now vacant 12th position? If you don’t know those things, or if you can’t remember what book comes after Hosea or 2 Timothy, but you do know who comes on after Gretta– you might be getting your biblical worldview from Fox.
1. If you doubt those Christians who criticize Fox News are actually real Christians.
If you read through this list and started to think, “There’s no way this guy is a Christian” that’s probably the ultimate sign that Fox News is the source of your worldview instead of Jesus himself. Following Jesus is something that will never fit neatly within a cultural paradigm, and a neat cultural paradigm is exactly what Fox sells people. Be an informed consumer– get your worldview from reading what Jesus said and did. Don’t get it from Fox, or anywhere else for that matter.
I think those are the ultimate signs you got your biblical worldview from Fox News, what say you? If you chose to opine below, please keep it pithy. (And if you’re a Fox fan, you’ll know what I just did right there.)