The Fourth Temptation of Christ
by gonzodave coulon 7/22/2008 / Christian Living
"Oh, that the Lord Jesus would lay his hands upon our eyes, too, so that we too begin to look not at the visible but at the invisible! Oh, that he would open our eyes, too, to see not the things of the present but the things of the future! Oh, that he would unveil to us too that vision of the heart which perceives God in the Spirit through Him, the Lord Jesus Christ."
The Christian apologists, journalist, and highly regarded British intellectual, Mr. Malcolm Muggeridge, gave a series of four lectures in 1976 on the topic of Christ and the media. He, himself, was employed by one form of media or another as a journalist for many years. I can add little that will not detract from the words of Mr. Muggeridge. What better reason might there be - to be a Christian?
The prevailing impression I have come to have of the contemporary scene is of an ever-widening chasm between the fantasy in terms of which the media induce us to live, and the reality of our existence as made in the image of God, as sojourners in time whose true habitat is eternity. The fantasy is all encompassing; awareness of reality requires the seeing eye which comes to those born again in Christ. It is like a coming to after an anesthetic; the mist lifts, consciousness returns, everything in the world is more beautiful than ever it was, because related to a reality beyond the world - every thought clearer, love deeper, joy more abounding, hope more certain. Who could hesitate, confronted with this choice between an old fantasy and a newly discovered reality? As well prefer the coloured pictures of golden beaches and azure skies in the travel supplements to the sea and sky; mere erotic excitement to the ecstasy of love, life inside a camera to life inside a universe as an infinitesimal participant in its Creator's purposes. The choice is clear enough, but how can it best be presented? With or without the media? Seeking their help or despite of them? Would St. Paul, when he was at Corinth, have agreed to deliver an address during an interval in the games, which were so like television today, being essentially purveyors of spectator violence and spectator eroticism? Supposing there had been a fourth temptation when our Lord encountered the Devil in the wilderness - this time an offer of networked TV appearances, in prime time, to proclaim and expound His Gospel. Would this offer, too, have been rejected like the others? If so, why?