Just an Amateur

I don’t think I could cut it as a journalist. I don’t have the commanding presence, the go-get-em mentality, or the hair. But I especially couldn’t cut it as a journalist because I don’t know how to conduct an interview. The following is an example of a professionally conducted interview of a well-known sports coach:

JOURNALIST: What do you think your team will have to do to get the job done tonight?

WELL-KNOWN SPORTS COACH: Win.

JOURNALIST: Is your team prepared to do what it takes to win?

WELL-KNOWN SPORTS COACH: Maybe.

JOURNALIST: What are you going to tell the team before the game to motivate them?

WELL-KNOWN SPORTS COACH: Win.

And that is how it is done, in the professional world of journalism. Now, if I were to conduct an interview I would be lost, not having the appropriate training. The only meaningful question I believe I could come up with would be this:

ME: How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie-Roll center of a Tootsie-Pop?

WELL-KNOWN SPORTS COACH: Three.

All this brings me to another skill in professional journalism: the segue. Is that some kind of foreign food, you ask? It could be. I don’t know. But it is also apparently Latin for, “I have no idea how to change subjects in a smooth, logical way, so I will just change and call it a segue so I sound like I know what I’m doing.” The following is an introductory course in the use of the segue:

JOURNALIST: A spokesperson for the White House said Monday that the President will not make his trip to France until sometime next month.
Speaking of french fries… (segue)
Have you every wondered what it takes to make a really good hamburger?

There you have it. Now you, too, can make use of the segue in the privacy of your own home.
Speaking of french fries…
Have you noticed how commercialized and “professional” Christian ideas have become? I use the term “Christian ideas” because I hesitate to call it Christianity. “Christian” music, “Christian” television, “Christian” art, “Christian” dating services, “Christian” businesses using their “Christianity” to solicit “Christian” customers. We are always looking for “how-to Christianity,” seven steps that will bring us closer to heaven, and that book that will deliver cutting edge ideas for being a better Christian.

Is all of this bad? Not necessarily (forgetting for the moment the false teaching and justified wrong-doing that may be facilitated by these venues). But, the real question is this: is all of this good? As Paul said in 1Corinthians 10:23, “’All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” (ESV) What is Paul’s point? A lot of things may seem “Christian,” and they may even seem righteous, but that does not mean that they are useful, or good, or helpful. They may, in fact, be just the opposite. Or, they may be missing the point of Christianity all together.

Christianity is in daily living, daily consecration, daily devotion to God. Christians are not characterized by how much “Christian” music or television they listen to or watch, how often they think about God, what author they have read after recently, or even how many times they pray. Christians are characterized by their obedience to God (1John 2:3-4). Christians are characterized by their devotion to God’s word (Romans 10:17). Christians are characterized by their love for one another (John 13:35). Christians are characterized by a love for the lost that moves them to tell their friends and neighbors the good news of Jesus Christ (1Peter 2:9-11).

Do not let your Christian walk become “professional,” business-like, or even routine. Do not think for a second that those “Christian” celebrities have got it all figured out. Do not dare let anybody convince you that anything but you and your Bible is necessary to produce a real Christian. “Professional Christianity” looks to God like “professional journalism” can sometimes look to us.  True Christianity takes love and devotion…and I’d rather be an amateur any day.
Speaking of golf…

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