On the 14th of May, 2012, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was awarded the Templeton Prize, one of the world’s richest individual prizes valued at around $USD 1.8 million.
The award was given for: his work in encouraging scientific research and harmony among religions. It was presented inside St Paul’s cathedral in London, after Buddhist monks spent time chanting and worshipping in God’s house.
So … how could the church get it so wrong? Well, here’s how:
All my life (until recently) I’ve struggled with my weight. It seems that all I have to do to gain a kilogram is to inhale deeply whilst walking past a fish ‘n chips shop. (That is until about 8 weeks ago).
A few weeks back now the 60 Minutes program in Australia ran a segment which heralded the discovery of the fat gene. Their conclusion? There’s nothing you can do about it – just enjoy being fat.
So – I need your help. Can I ask you to watch the video of their segment linked in this post and tell me, does it represent …
(a) bad journalism,
(b) bad science,
(c) all of the above, or
(d) none of the above?
Let’s face it. We construct much of our reality through what we see, hear and read in the media.
And these days the media is filled to overflowing with reality this and reality that. Reality TV shows have become de rigueur on the Box at night in many a household. Together with news bulletins that play more like infomercials than news. Followed by current affairs shows that are so blatantly infomercials, that it’s hard to tell where the program ends and the ads begin.
So when it comes to the media, you have to ask yourself, what is reality?
Or as Pontius Pilate put it all those years ago, what is truth?
It’s this profound and sometimes sinister unreality of the media that we so readily consume, that struck me the other day when I was in a TV recording studio …
Each year at Easter I am regularly disappointed by the comments of prominent church leaders in the media here in Australia. Easter is one of only two times in the year when they know that they’ll receive headline prominence in the newspaper, on radio and in every evening TV news bulletin.
So tell me this … why do the majority squander this amazing opportunity by being irrelevant, off message and even (apparently) bored, disinterested and completely devoid of passion in proclaiming the greatest Message of all?
Sound a bit harsh? You tell me!
But this year the Good Friday messages of more than one of the crimson clad clergy plumbed new depths in ineffective and destructive communication. Here’s why …
Have you ever said something that you’ve ended up regretting? Sure you have. Me too.
And once it’s out there, you just can’t take it back. Words … words are such powerful things. A good word costs so little, but yields so much. A bad word takes such little effort, yet can destroy a relationship that’s taken a lifetime to build.
The older I get, the easier it seems for me to fall into the trap of thinking “I’ve seen it all”. But fortunately, God keeps bringing things across my path to convince me otherwise! Like the other day on the bus – there was a young Jewish teenager wearing a black yarmulke (those little skull caps that Orthodox Jewish men wear). That’s fine, we have a strong, vibrant Jewish community around where I live.