Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth: The Christian Edition

The Guts to Be a Christian
 
It's not easy being a Christian. 
 
Did anyone ever say it was?  Some of us today think that being a Christian is as simple as reciting a "Sinner's Prayer" and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  I don't recall that formula in the Bible.  As a matter of fact, I seem to recall a lot more.  Denying yourself. Carrying your cross.  Leaving family behind.  Dropping all your possessions.  Becoming the "last", so that we may become "first".
 
It's not easy being a Christian.
 
To call yourself a Christian means that you don't check your faith at the door.  This is called being a "Convenient Christian".  There are politicians who espouse this as a virtue.  There are even those among us - in our own community - who preach Christianity (for their monetary benefit) when it suits their business plan.  Today I am calling for a boycott.
 
It's not easy being a Christian.
 
KFIS, FM 104.1 (The Fish), call themselves a Christian music station.  Recently, on their popular morning show, Pete and Brenda, the couple had a segment called "The Mystery Morning Voice", where a very short clip of a celebrity's voice is played, and the listener attempts to identify who it is for a prize.  On one morning, the voice was that of Daniel Craig - currently appearing in the anti-Christian film, "The Golden Compass".  Pete and Brenda made an off-the-cuff comment about the movie and that it looked fun.  The very next day, "The Mystery Morning Voice" was Nicole Kidman - also appearing in the same film.  And again they made a comment about the film.
 
It's not easy being a Christian.
 
On a recent Sunday morning, The Oregonian asked locals what they were going to do with their state kicker check.  Sho Dozono, owner of Azumano Travel, stated that he was going to distribute his among various charities.  One of these charities was Planned Parenthood.  Azumano Travel has been a big advertiser on The Fish for quite some time.  Sho Dozono's wife, Loen Dozono, is even a member of the Planned Parenthood Board of Directors.
 
When I confronted the staff of KFIS (specifically Dave Arthur) they denied the on-air comments, stating that I should listen to the program and not to what others say.  I again told him that not only did I hear both comments, but that I have been a listener since the station went on the air over five years ago.  He also denied that Azumano Travel is still an advertiser.  I ask you to go the following web page and tell me what you see.  http://www.1041thefish.com/fishadvertisers.aspx
 
It's not easy being a Christian.

KFIS, and their parent company Salem Communications, have chosen to be Christians when it is convenient to them.  So far as their advertising dollars do not suffer, they are willing to mention Christ.  We cannot allow this sort of pick-and-choose Christianity to prevail.
 
I am asking you, on the day of the birth of our Lord and Savior, to boycott any and all services of Salem Communications, including the following Portland area radio stations: KTRO-AM 910, KPDQ-FM 93.9, KFIS-FM 104.1, KPDQ-AM 800, and KRYP-FM 93.1.  I also ask that you go to the above referenced advertisers' page and cease doing business with all those companies listed.  If you have a FISH bumper sticker on your car - take it off.  Take the station pre-set off your stereo.
 
Lastly, please contact Salem Communications' Denise Davis (Director of Communications at: DeniseD@salem.cc, or KFIS' Music Director, Dave Arthur, at: dave@1041thefish.com.
 
It is not easy, convenient, or comfortable to be a Christian. but it is what God calls us to be.  Will you please join me in making a stand for our faith? 
 
Thank you.

2 comments:

tymcfar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tymcfar said...

Mr. Renshaw,

As you point out, KFIS, 104.1 The Fish does call itself a Christian music station, and they are imperfect. I agree. They do not represent Christ perfectly every day, and they do make mistakes. Many of them. I agree with you, but somehow I feel like we’ve just now knocked over a straw man together. It’s as if you’re painting a large building with about a gallon of paint. Everyone can see where you’ve painted in the first room, you have a valid point and we can all see it, but it tends to get a bit thin at the end as it stretches to cover all of the necessary ground.

Salem Communications is a Christian broadcasting company. When I stop to think of the many ways that people make money in this country, I am glad that this company exists. As a profit generating company, they provide work and an income for thousands of employees and their families nationwide, who might be otherwise employed doing something other than spreading the gospel. Their business model allows them to provide value for their advertisers, their investors, their employees, and their listeners. To provide true value all the way around, while at the same time finding a way to get imperfect advertisers (that would be all of them) to pay for a perfectly good presentation of the gospel message seems to me to be a fine example of Matthew 10:16. Salem has somehow found a clever and honorable way to get the evangelized (that would be all of us, including Salem’s advertisers), to pay for our own evangelization.

When I think of the filth that is aired daily on other radio stations, I am reminded of what a blessing it is to have an imperfect Christian station on the air in Portland, versus a perfectly evil one potentially in its place on the radio dial. You won’t find perfection in any Christian organization, for-profit or non-profit. This realization is not an excuse for Christians to be lazy when it comes to living up to God’s perfect standards, it’s an excuse for all of us, as fellow sinners, to extend grace to our fellow, imperfect Christians. Let’s let the Holy Spirit do the hard work of changing people’s hearts and convicting fellow believers of sin.

As for your specific complaints, I’d suggest that you try again with the people you publicly listed as responsible parties. If a one-on-one doesn’t work, follow the Biblical injunction to bring others into the process, and work for a resolution of your concerns in good faith. I don’t work for Salem, so this is just speculation, but I’d guess that what you’re dealing with on The Fish website listing Azumano Travel as an advertiser, is a stressed-out webmaster, who simply hasn’t updated the website to reflect the most current list of advertisers. If The Fish says that Azumano Travel isn’t an advertiser, I’d believe them. No reason to assume the worst, even when presented with their website.

How about we turn our invective at things that should really make us angry—the radio and TV stations that spew filth out onto the public airwaves, for one? Let’s not spend our time shooting at our imperfect comrades with “friendly fire”. Facts tend to speak for themselves, and the truth of a situation usually makes itself apparent after time. As with Gamaliel in Acts chapter 5, if the Salem radio broadcasts are not from God, they will fail—with or without the help of a boycott. And, if the Salem stations are doing the Lord’s work, however imperfectly, and coming from whatever motivation we may or may not agree with—if the Lord is behind it, who are we to stand in the way?

What if 104.1 The Fish is really a radio station run by Christians, who are in good faith and conscience seeking to honor the Lord and spread the gospel? What if they are more than convenient Christians? What if they are imperfect, but honest-to-goodness true Christians? What do you accomplish by asking others to publicly boycott them?