A photographer bedecked with the tools of his trade approached the man and clicked off a few pictures, changed lenses, clicked off a number of more … and sneered.
A young woman approached him and was overheard asking if he “knew the Lord,” to which he responded that he was a Christian but had a “job to do.”
Needless to say there many other photo opportunities – a group of children dancing in a circle, or families worshipping together in the cold – but none so sensational as this particular outward express that, especially given the sneer, the photographer probably didn’t understand.

Certainly, it was a public even and a public display by the individual being photographed, but it was the photojournalist’s attitude of separation of work and faith that made it more worthy of note.

Contrast that approach to journalism with that of reporter Jack Kelly, who covered the PTL scandal for USA Today.

Kelly, who’s a born-again Christian, told Charisma magazine recently that his faith guides his work. “I remind myself not to give my personal feelings, but at the same time I concentrate on the good in a story rather than always concentrating on the negative,” Kelly said.

The 27-year-old journalist explained, “I pray before reporting a story – ‘Dear Lord, what do you want to come out in the story?’”

Kelly relates that he encountered a great deal of conflict concerning the PTL story, much of it the result of other Christians’ behavior but also within his own heart.

“There were many times when I was angry as I learned what happened at PTL. I went to my editors twice and asked them to take me off the story, but they wanted me to stay with it,” Kelly said, adding that he then went to the supreme editor.

“I told the Lord I wanted to get off the story,” the writer recalled, “but he said no, too.”

Who says journalism and the Lord’s work are incompatible.


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