As most of you regular readers of this blog have noticed, I am a fervent listener of my local Christian radio station, WIHS 104.9 FM, based out of Middletown, Connecticut. There are two main reasons for this. The first is because this station broadcasts a lot of inspiration and information. It provides me with programming for spiritual growth and maturity and it waters my soul with music for worship and rejoicing.
The second reason is because I believe this Christian radio station, as well as hundreds, if not thousands of other Christian radio stations, are like canaries that God has hatched as a way to give alarm signals for this earth. What I mean by this and why it is important is what this post is all about.
As a kid I remember the day my dad purchased a canary for our home to be our pet. I remember the cage that was set up and the wooden perches that were placed at various locations inside. After the canary was placed into its new home and had gotten used to its surroundings, it sang to its heart content.
Yet, I also remember reading how canaries were used by coal miners digging into the rock and how they would bring a canary into the cavern in order to check for the air quality. As the men dug deeper and deeper into the mines, if the canary all of sudden died where they were digging, it meant the air in the tunnel had become saturated with a dangerous level of a toxic gas. The men were then quickly evacuated. For some reason, canaries are very sensitive to the surroundings they are in.
So, with that in mind and as most of you Christians are aware, we live in a world where many of the governments of man little care about the civil rights of its citizens. Many leaders are power hungry dictators or religious fanatics who enforce restrictive ideologies over their people. In the United States, although it seems very unlikely for our religious freedoms to be “redefined” against its citizens, there is always the possibility for them to be limited if no one seems to care.
Alongside religion, the other media on the front lines of society’s way of life are television, newsprint and political parties. Imposing religious sanctions on any one or all of them, I believe, affect the saints’ ability to worship freely.
Therefore, once I notice rules and regulations from outside agencies begin pressuring what a Christian radio station (as well as the other media mentioned) can or cannot say, that is when that station, like a canary in a toxic tunnel, begins to breathe the poison of censorship that is anti-God and anti-Gospel.
My belief is that radio stations’ actions are indicators as to where this country is going. What I am watching for is any government encroachments and/or legal restrictions placed on radio stations. I know this sounds like conspiracy theory, but it is because of what happened to radio stations in countries like Cuba and Venezuela that I think this way.
In August, 2009, Hugo Chavez, the head of Venezuela, suddenly closed 24 radio stations. His reason was that they were not complying to regulations.1
In March, 2011, the government of Togo, West Africa, closed its fourth radio station in four months saying that it had “non-respect of professional standards.”2
If you believe this could never happen in democracies such as the United States, think again. Never underestimate what Satan can do as he influences his way on every society.
The year 1949 saw The Fairness Doctrine regulations imposed on many radio stations in the United States.3
Although later removed in 1987 and 2011, another form of them – a venomous one against our faith – may take their place at any given moment. Why do I think this way? Because I notice how the norms in this country continue their downward spiral with their rejection of the Judeo-Christian, Biblical world view.
It is important that we Christians always be vigilant of our religious freedoms. We must always make our voices heard against any political movements we know are against God and the Church. We must make our stand for what is decent, right and basic to our religious liberties. We must always be ready to take action – in prayer, in community involvement and in the voting booth.
Now as never before, especially in the United States, is a religious awareness or revival needed. We have had them before with tremendous results. Many of you may believe that a religious movement is impossible in our day and age of moral relativism and secularism, but the “effective prayer of [the righteous saints] avails much” (James 5:16).
A flash revival, I believe, occurred after the 911 attack in New York City. Many looked to God, prayed and attended Church services in large numbers because of it. It is sad that a crisis or two has to occur in order for people to turn to God. There are more crisis yet to come upon us. We must not be oblivious nor neglectful of the warning signs.
Therefore, let us Christians keep watchful ears open to our local Christian radio stations. Let us support them in whatever way we can. Pray that these radio stations, God’s canaries, do not themselves become infected with any viruses and diseases of this world’s view and attitude causing them to be less effective.
Let us Christians make sure our Christian radio stations keep singing and chirping their tunes of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the good news for all of us in the body of Christ and for the world at large.
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