For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.2 Timothy 4:3-4
In journalism and media, sensationalism is defined as a type of editorial tactic. Events and topics in news stories are selected and worded to excite the greatest number of readers and viewers.
This style of news reporting encourages biased or emotionally loaded impressions of events rather than neutrality, and may cause manipulation to the truth. Sensationalism may rely on reports about generally insignificant matters and portray them as a major influence on society, or biased presentations of newsworthy topics, in a trivial, or tabloid manner, contrary to general assumptions of professional standards.
Sensationalism also exist within the church. It is men’s way of using human ploys to attract people to the church. And often times, sensationalism in the church is done at the expense of distortion to accuracy, by arbitrarily using literal Scripture meanings to refer to something else other than the truth.
The most common type of sensationalism found in a church near you and me, is the rotational use of pleasant keywords and covert hypnosis techniques by preachers and pastors. I’ve covered much on these topics in an earlier article posted not too long ago entitled The Sorcery Of False Prophets.
The church going crowd is repeatedly bombarded with nice phrases and words that are pleasing to their ears, with speeches that glorify the human individual as being superior, worthy and favored by both God and other men. In the Scripture, these crowds are described as those who will not endure sound doctrine, but seeking according to their own desires, having itching ears, heaping up for themselves teachers of their own liking and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Everything that sensationalism does at the pulpit are usually done at the great expense of speaking the truth. The crowd is woven into story telling instead of being taught to analyze biblical knowledge and Wisdom. Methods include being deliberately obtuse, frivolous, appealing to emotions, being controversial, intentionally omitting facts and information, being loud and self-centered, and acting to obtain attention. These are some pertinent examples of sensationalism being used by some preachers in churches.
Significant information and events are often misrepresented and exaggerated as less important or trivial. And it often include stories about the actions of individuals and small groups of people, the content of which is irrelevant to the macro-level day-to-day events occurring to the regular believer.
The dangers of sensationalism in the church is that it gradually wipes out the truth from its teachings and replaces it with placebo fables that are of no spiritual value to the Christian faith. People are taught to win for themselves instead pursuing victory (against sin) in Christ. Blessings by God is look upon like having treats from a genie-in-a-bottle, rub it once a week, make your wish with a prayer, then go your way and be blessed. Sensationalism replaces legitimate cultivation of walking in the Spirit with worthless concepts that promotes the individual rather than God.
Popular Christian virtues Instagramer, Lauren DeMoss quoted today, the greatest threat to Christianity is not atheism. It is the religion made by men that hate God and worship themselves yet call themselves “Christians”. It is therefore needless for me to even say more.