Hi, I’m back! I don’t know how long for but here is my attempt at a blog post, my first in a number of months.
So I used to watch QandA, a live panel discussion program from the Government Station ABC. I’ve stopped watching it, it’s not good for my health. It’s a show, that more times than not, puts a capital S in Sound bite. This is partly due to the pace of the show and the need to get through as many audience questions as possible, but also because you have panellists who are expected to give an answer even if they have very little, to no clue, about said topic. So questions that often require a fairly robust thought out answer generally get a one sentence surface level one instead.
Secondly QandA is a show of polarisation, often inviting panellists who hold extreme opposite views to each other, I assume to encourage passionate discussion. I suppose why would you watch the show if it was just a back slapping exercise, “Oh that’s exactly what I was going to say”, “Oh me too”, “Yay”.
So it’s not a backslapping session it’s a show of opposites; Liberal MP vs Labour MP, Mining Magnate vs Conservation Guru, etc. But really, the militant Atheist vs the militant ultra conservative fundamental Christian is never going to be a good mix.
And as is so often the case discussion goes from being measured, thoughtful, and reasoned, to silliness and sound bites. Panellists sling words with no real substance at each other in an attempt to win the jeering crowd’s affection and approval. Words are tossed back and forth because how dare the other person say that about my position on an issue, etc.
Anyway enough of why I’ve stopped watching the show, As I was flicking channels on Monday I stumbled across QandA and managed to watch a few minute before having to change the channel again. And during that few minutes I noticed something quite interesting.
For a proudly secular nation, who has allegedly grown up and moved away from the childish notion of religion,there seems to be a lot of talk about it.
It’s not often that an episode, even when there is no religious specialist on, doesn’t talk about religion. Now all this talk about religion is not necessarily positive. Questioners often ask loaded questions aimed at making religion look dumb and at worse down right offensive.
However my observation still stands, regardless of whether or not people are for or against religion, people can’t seem to let it go. I want to know why?
Part of me wonders if there is an uneasiness about religion and God. Maybe people can’t seem to reconcile religion’s popularity and the nonsense of it. Maybe people can’t seem to understand why Christians hold to certain view points when said view points are outdated and backward.
Maybe, just maybe, people ask questions about religion because there is something that just doesn’t add up with secularism and religion might have an answer. Maybe people have heard bits and pieces, good bits and pieces, about Jesus and yet what they see of so called Jesus followers is something very different. Maybe people want to know why so many people declare their allegiance to a man that lived 2000 years ago.
What ever the reason for this fascination, the fascination still exists. And I wonder if the QandA audience is representative of a larger audience at home, with this same fascination whether condemning or inquisitive.
Really what we need is Jesus to sit on the QandA panel and answer questions directly and the audience can have all their questions and concerns answered by the guy whose responsible for all this commotion.However I don’t think this is going to happen. The scary thing is it doesn’t need to happen because…
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV)
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19–20 NIV)
Just some thoughts.