Friday, July 22, 2011

Let’s pray for Rupert Murdoch, not prey upon him

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA Wednesday, July 20, 2011
By Mark A. Kellner
Special to ASSIST News Service

FULTON, MD (ANS) -- Just about the easiest thing in the world right now is to join the mob piling on Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, his son, James, and others associated with the recent “hacking” scandals at the now-shuttered “News of the World” tabloid newspaper in London.

Rupert Murdoch

The horrible notion of “News of the World” reporters “hacking” into the voice mail of a missing teenage girl (who was later found murdered), potentially causing all sorts of problems for the investigation and grief for her family and friends, is repulsive. Those who are criminally responsible must to face judgment. Those with moral responsibility may escape the bar of justice in this life, but believers know there’s another “court” where we shall each, and all, be judged. One’s only hope there is the blood of Jesus, applied to one’s sins through acceptance of Christ as savior and Lord. That’s true whether you’re a corporate chairman, or the charwoman who cleans the corporate office.

Having said this, how then should Christians view Rupert Murdoch? The easiest thing, as mentioned, is to pile on, offer criticism and smugly say, “Well, I would never buy ‘News of the World’ or read those kind of papers. I’m a believer, after all!”

Well, do you have a New International Version of the Bible in your home? Chances are, it was published by a subsidiary of a subsidiary of Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp. Do you watch the fine nature programming on the National Geographic Channel? That’s a News Corp. property, too. And do you rely on Barron’s or The Wall Street Journal for stock market news and investment advice? You guessed it; Mr. Murdoch’s company owns both of these titles.

I’m not suggesting that by owning HarperCollins Publishers, which owns Zondervan, Mr. Murdoch somehow absolves himself, or News Corp., of any transgressions. But the folks at Zondervan have, I’m sure, absolutely nothing at all to do with the misdeeds at “News of the World.” To boycott the NIV, or Zondervan, or NatGeo, as the cable venture is called, because of this is to cut off our own nose to spite what’s left of our countenance. If the NIV is your favored translation, buy one from Zondervan and be at peace. You’re not financing “tabloid trash,” you’re helping employ Christian editors, designers, marketers, authors and translators.

Moreover, while Mr. Murdoch may have some things to answer for (as I have, and as have you, in all likelihood), he’s done something very important: he’s kept newspapers alive.

I’ll admit a bias here: while I have never worked for a News Corp. entity, I admire and respect several of them, and, more important, many of the people I know at these outlets. There are fine, committed, hardworking journalists at Fox News Channel who in my opinion report the facts fairly, present good reporting, and even shine a much-welcome spotlight on faith, without ridiculing believers. The Wall Street Journal regularly publishes intelligent articles about faith and its impact in culture, in its “Houses of Worship” column, something you don’t see in many places.

Even Mr. Murdoch’s brassy, sometimes brazen, New York Post has provided jobs for dozens and dozens of people over the years, and this because Rupert Murdoch bought it in the mid-1970s and kept it going. There’s a lot of gossip and garishness in the paper, yes, but it’s also unearthed scandals and fought for the “little” guy, and gal, of its readership.

The easy thing is to join the facile sniping of many so-called “elites,” who are joyfully bleating about Mr. Murdoch’s alleged transgressions and his soon-arriving comeuppance. However, I don’t believe Jesus would want to do that, or would want me to do that.

If you look through the Gospel of John, as a speaker pointed out during a morning worship I attended recently, you find Jesus going to people and meeting their needs, whether it was the master of the wedding feast, Nicodemus, the woman at the well, or the crippled man at the pool in Bethesda who had no help. When each of these had a need: supply for a banquet, salvation for their soul, peace of mind, or healing, Jesus met that need, and supernaturally. He didn’t censure or judge the cripple, He didn’t hand Nicodemus an Alpha Course and tell the Jewish leader to come back when the lessons were done. His “witnessing” was in loving and serving those in need.

Right now, at least some of the people who work for – and depend upon News Corporation - are very likely in need of peace of mind and the ability to move forward. Might I be so bold as to suggest that Rupert Murdoch, despite his presumed power and wealth, might also benefit from a spot of encouragement right now?

Not having his telephone number or e-mail address, I can’t contact Mr. Murdoch directly. But I can pray for him, for his employees and, well, for each of us. Care to join me?


Post a Comment

<< Home