Christian Journalist No Contradiction

By Frank "Buzz" Trexler
For The Knoxville (TN) Journal
June 20, 1988

Christians often face difficulties in the workplace when it comes to living out their faith.

Whether it’s a bureaucrat who’s been asked to fudge an expense report for a colleague, or a salesman who’s been told to jack up “wholesale” prices, those who are faithful undoubtedly agonize over such instances. Much hangs in the balance: not compromising their faith could mean the loss of a job or promotion; compromising their faith will likely mean a loss in terms of living for the Lord.

But there are occupations in which Christians encounter something other than routine spiritual difficulty – a perception by fellow believers that either a particular line of work runs counter to Christian ideals, that the job is so often performed in an unchristian manner that it stains all who are involved in that pursuit, or that it has in some other way tarnished the Christian faith.

For a Christian in the media, it’s the latter two that have hit home here.

As ministries and church leaders have fallen in the past year or so the press has dutifully done its job of informing the public. But in doing so it has undoubtedly stepped on a toe or two, maybe even a foot, and the cries of hurt and anger have echoed through the Body of Christ. However, that goes with the territory and, on this side of the press at least, its pretty much expected. Responsible journalists learn form justified criticism and learn to live with unjustified complaints.

Admittedly, there are some journalists who measure their success by how loud the tortured scream. It is those sadists, if you will, who cause Christian journalists to be branded along with them. Fortunately, not all who work in the media fall into this category; nonetheless, the many are often branded by the acts of a few.

Their true lack of compassion for victims is often hidden by the convenient statement of “It’s my job to be objective,” or “I have to remove myself from the situation and report only the facts.” Those words ring true in the sense that objectively is definitely the goal; however, objectivity should be tempered with compassion and common sense.

One of the more irritating examples – though certainly not one of the worst – experienced by this writer occurred at the recent Washington for Jesus rally. During the program, a young man was walking near the front of the stage and suddenly fell to the ground as if (and only he and God knows) he had been “slain in the Spirit.”


Christian Journalist is No Contradiction column from The Knoxville Journal

When someone once asked Karl Barth how he prepared his sermons, Barth was said to have answered, “I take the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in another.”

The Buzz Trexler Experience of the Reckless, Radical Love of God


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About Buzz Trexler

Buzz is a married father of two, managing editor for print/online at The (Maryville, TN) Daily Times and pastors Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa, TN. He is a 1981 graduate of East Tennessee State University, where he is a member of the Mass Communications Department Hall of Fame.


Inside you will find a collection of columns penned by Buzz on topics ranging from the death of Rich Mullins, to his battle with Hepatitis C, to asking the question, "Does God have a sense of humor."

CCM Interviews

Buzz talks with those who, as the late Larry Norman would say, "rock the flock." His interviews range from members of Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, Jars of Clay and Third Day, to David Crowder and more.


Follow Buzz as he travels with Vine International on two different medical misison trips to Guatemala, as well as one with Volunteer Medical Mission. In 1999, he also went to Estonia with a Volunteers in Mission team.

Blog: Gathering Wool

Blog: The Pastor's Buzz