Where Is the Good News?


Where Is the Good News? | Robert Parham, Skype

The next time someone asks where the good news is, point them to EthicsDaily.com's Skype interviews, Parham says.
Bad news is at every turn.

Nigeria's Boko Haram kills Muslims and Christians. The Syrian government kills its own people. The war in Afghanistan extends into year 12 with thousands of deaths and half a trillion dollars spent. Rape is a weapon of war in the Congo. Israeli and Palestinians strike one another daily. Israel threatens to bomb Iran.

Global warming is real and visible, except for those who deny reality out of either pre-existing biblical literalism or ideological commitment to carbon.

Sex abuse cases abound. America waddles toward obesity. Private and public fraud is common place.

Denominational offices face budget crises across the waterfront. At the same time, President Obama will raise $1 billion in his re-election campaign in order to saturate bomb with negative ads his opponent, former Gov. Mitt Romney, who reacts in kind.

Christianity gets dinked and damned at every turn.

And in confession, the editorials, columns and news stories on EthicsDaily.com often have a hard edge to them, critiquing culture, challenging injustice, calling into question misguided attitudes and agendas. That edge discourages some and troubles others. It is not the stuff that creates the buoyancy of good news.

Is there any good news?

Yes.

Good news does exist, albeit often off the public radar, not hidden intentionally, but never getting the visibility deserved.

When we first started doing Skype interviews, we were interested in using the best of affordable technology to explore issues and to introduce those involved in social justice and mercy ministries to others.

We knew that humankind does not live by text alone. In addition to reading, human beings want to see and to hear the stories of others. Skype allows EthicsDaily.com to add the seeing and hearing dimension to its platform.

What is developing – unintentionally – is a library of good news stories. These are "mustard seed" stories of where people of good will address a variety of needs in a diversity of ways, all of which advance the common good.

If one wants to know if there is any good news, then visit our Vimeo Channel.

Take the interview with Don Sewell. He speaks about the Baylor Health Care System's Faith in Action Initiatives, which has assisted more than 100 nonprofit clinics in the Dallas area and provided supplies to Haiti, Japan and Nicaragua. It's working on sending medical equipment to North Korea.

Or watch the Skype conversation with Bob and Janice Newell, who operate "the Albania house" in Athens, which meets the needs of many Albanian immigrants in Greece. PORTA offers English and computer classes and seeks to reconcile Greeks and Albanians.

Another good news story is what Global Women is doing. Cindy Dawson shares about efforts to empower indigenous women, especially an initiative that helps poor women in Myanmar.

Sam Harrell talks about Africa Exchange, a project in Kenya engaged in development. One project used appropriate technology to pump water a good distance up a hill from a river to a village and into a tank that purifies the water.

Not all the interviews are with Baptists. One is with Lynne Hybels, founder of Ten for Congo, an initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Hybels speaks about how almost one woman per minute is being raped there in the deadliest conflict since World War II. Ten for Congo seeks to raise awareness and to advocate for powerless women.

Watch these Skype interviews. Post them on your church website, Facebook page or personal blog. Use them in a worship service or Sunday school class. Show them on Wednesday night.

The next time someone asks where the good news is, point them to EthicsDaily.com's Skype interviews.

Folk need to know that good news is available and how to connect with those doing good deeds.

If you have some good news stories, share them with me. We've got a growing list of folk to interview, and we would gladly consider other recommendations.

Robert Parham is executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics. Follow him on Twitter at RobertParham1 and friend him on Facebook.

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