Burson-Marsteller Israel

The Thin Line Between Christian Education and Propaganda

In Articles, Believer Perspectives, Christian News, Featured by JD Rucker1 Comment

We are told as Christians that we are to spread the Word of the Lord to everyone we can. In the digital age, there is a greater opportunity to do so than ever before. Unfortunately, we’re losing the battle on this front; everyone from atheists to terrorist organizations are finding more success getting their message out than the message of our Lord.

As Jesus said at the end of the Book of Matthew:

Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Many of us who have influence online often want to use our reach to spread the Word, but there are challenges. Most of them are internal, but one in particular is a derivative of temptation. I’ll explain both shortly, but first let’s take a look at a recent report and the response from the firm in question.

Burson-Marsteller, Israel, and the Muslim Brotherhood

An article in the New York Observer by Ronn Torossian points out a brief history of a public relations firm that allegedly accepted work from a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood but refused to accept work from Israel because they were too controversial. The company, Burson-Marsteller, has not been known to shy away from controversy with a past client list that includes Tylenol during their package-tampering fiasco, Blackwater during their leisure killing days, and the Washington Redskins as they fight to keep their name intact.

It must be noted that Torossian is the founder and CEO of a PR agency. This alone calls into question his motivations for the article as it can be assumed that Burson-Marsteller would be a direct competitor. Of course, it should also be noted that the response from Burson-Marsteller is not exactly a pure denial of their stance against Israel but rather a cleverly positioned statement pointing to no “official” policy “for or against Israel”. It is wrought with misdirection and keeps the reader of the statement focused on the idea that a rogue employee three years ago made an irresponsible statement.

They do not deny declining to take on Israel as a client, leading one to believe that if it truly were the case that they are either incompetent for missing the most obvious vindication against the article or that they’re adept at spinning the story to be able to avoid the real issue at hand. We’ll assume the latter.

The Desire to Fight

There is no shortage of antisemitic and anti-Christian propaganda out there. With everyone from celebrities to PR firms, activists to entire governments poised to battle Christians and Jews in the world of publicity, we have a natural desire to fight back. We want to stop the smears. We want to defend the faith on public forums, shift the views of those we can reach, and defend the rights of those in turmoil who need assistance.

The trap is that this desire to fight means that many of us would be willing to fight “dirty” if necessary. The Word of God is our high road, so that alone should give us the right to utilize whatever means are necessary to reach the world. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. It’s not black and white.

We know a few things that we can do. We can participate in Christian social media, spreading the Word through our digital reach. We can spread the Word using grassroots efforts, a strength within our faith that has been less prevalent in recent years. We can even make videos, post to blogs, and share the Gospel itself with our friends and family throughout the whole internet. All of these are potentially good, but there’s a catch.

We cannot lie. We cannot cheat. We cannot take to our desire to fight for the faith and translate that into pure propaganda. We have the truth on our side and the smear campaigns used against us cannot become the battlefield on which we wage our own battles.

The high road. We have to take it. God will be there to guide our words if we stay open to the Holy Spirit. He will get the message to the right people at the right time. We do not have to stoop so low as to fight through propaganda.

This is the temptation that we must avoid, particularly if we have the methods of making it happen that way.

What Holds Us Back?

As mentioned before, there are things that are holding us back that are internal.

  • Fear of Judgment from our Peers – This is probably the biggest one today. It’s not like it was before when speaking publicly or in groups of our friends and family about the Gospel was completely acceptable. People get more easily offended today. It has become taboo. The judgment of others is infinitesimal compared to the judgment of our Lord. If they cannot accept you for your faith, they aren’t really friends.
  • Open-Minded Rhetoric – Today, there are popular preachers, leaders, and even a Pope who are pushing the agenda of one god. No, I’m not saying that there is more than one God. I’m suggesting that the god of other religions is not the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Tolerance is quickly turning into a one way street. We are to show kindness to our brothers, and the most kind thing that anyone can do is to share with them the truth of the Bible.
  • The World – There’s a pull that no man or woman can ever break completely free from. One did, and He will reign over the world soon enough. Until then, we are bound to fall into this world and its plethora of distractions.

We can fight the right way, we can fight the wrong way, or we can stop fighting altogether. Going down to the depths that others are willing to pursue is not the way to do it despite our desires to do so. We are to educate, not use propaganda. It’s easy to blue the lines, but it’s not as easy to pick the right side. Pray and be thoughtful about your decisions.

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