Christian radio host tells media not to 'tame' God

By 
  • May 7, 2008

{mosimage}CAMBRIDGE, Ont. - More than 30 Christian journalists who gathered for the annual Canadian Church Press (CCP) convention this month received an earful about “life beyond the church walls.”

Drew Marshall, radio host of The Drew Marshall Show aired out of Oakville, Ont., suggested that Christians, journalists included, are afraid to speak the real truth. And that turns people away, he said.

“I believe this world is tired of a people whose God is tame,” he said. “What I've learned from doing this show is that the world is longing for a people whose God is big, holy and frightening — and gentle and tender and personal.”

Christian media need to play their part in revealing that God a little more, he said.

Marshall's show — available either through Joy 1250 radio station or through live streaming at www.drewmarshall.ca — is the most listened-to spiritual talk-back program in Ontario, according to his web site. Marshall, an Evangelical Christian, interviews celebrities and everyday people on topics that he says the church and other Christian media “can't, don't or won't.”

Marshall has interviewed many big names in politics and entertainment about faith, such as Alice Cooper, Stephen Harper, Don Cherry and Chuck Norris. He says that in talking to so many people from different faith backgrounds he has come to the conclusion that Christians are a “scared bunch of people” who make a lot of noise — an indication of insecurity.

“Unfortunately those of us who have been given the task of communicating the terrifying, frightening good news found in the Bible have been obsessed with making Christianity safe,” he said. “We have tamed the lion, and now Christianity is so sensible, so understandable, so palatable, at least to us on the inside of the fortress.”

Marshall, suggested Christians have managed to “turn the wine back into water,” regarding the Gospel truth, which he ultimately blamed on fear. On the flip side, he added there are those who speak the truth, but forget about the love.

“So we've got to find the balance,” he said. “I'm suggesting that the tame God of relevance be replaced by God whose very presence shatters our egos, burns our sins into ashes and strips us naked to reveal the person that is within.”

He said he has learned not to “tie up the answers in a neat little bow,” and that seeking out discussion or input from people outside the church does not mean one is accepting what they believe. He said Christians and their media need to set aside fears of looking foolish, boring, unimportant or whatever other insecurities they might be harbouring.

Marshall's talk, which was titled “Truth Be Told — There is life beyond the church walls,” was one among several presentations and workshops at the CCP's May 1-3 yearly convention. The CCP includes nearly 70 members from mainstream Christian media publications.

New business during the convention included elections for two positions on CCP's executive board. Karen Stiller, associate editor of Faith Today, was elected as new member at large. Pam Richardson, from the Salvationist, was elected as treasurer.

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