How Could ABC?

By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2000
As the fallout from Peter Jennings’ “The Search for Jesus” continues, Dr. Baehr reprints a “Letter to the Editor” which shows the impact the special had on one elderly couple.




(Letter to the editor of MOVIEGUIDE (R))

“It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these … to sin.” – Luke 17:2 (NIV)

Dear Ted,

I called my parents Sunday night to tell them to be sure to watch Peter Jennings and I was going to tell them it was controversial. They are on CST and I didn’t realize that they got Atlanta TV and so therefore they had just finished watching the show.

Mother was in a semi-state of shock when I called her because the program had just ended. I asked her what she thought about it. She said that she and Daddy were frightened by the information… that it had cast so much doubt. She mentioned that they are at the end of their lives and they are facing death every day with the loss of their friends and also the fact they themselves are elderly. It really frightened them.

They love Peter Jennings and my father has respected him for years with his reporting of wars, etc., so they really think he’s a great man. To hear him casting so many doubts they admitted was disturbing.

Now, keep in mind my parents have been Christians their entire lives. They love the Lord, read their Bibles, go to church every Sunday morning and every Sunday night, and also on Wednesday.

Most of their social life in their senior years has revolved around the church. They are also neighbors and very close to their pastor, who is like a son to them. They tithe and give generously to the church and all who need money including the poor African American community in their town. In addition, my father’s family has a long reputation for helping the African American community with their civil rights. They have led exemplary lives in every way. Now, I must admit that my parents have few trials in their lives. The Lord has really blessed them in every way.

Their walk with the Lord has not required the faith walk I’ve endured because their life has been so blessed with finances, good health, friends, and great kids who have honored and obeyed them. Probably, the only trauma they ever faced was my divorce and my daughter’s rebellion so this hasn’t required the close walk many of us have with the Lord but they do love the Lord. This just breaks my heart that these godly people in their senior years who are now looking at going “Home” now suddenly have some seeds of doubts planted by Peter Jennings who is a man they love and respect. They both experienced fear… what if He doesn’t exist? What if this doesn’t exist? I plan to call their pastor to have him talk to them about this.

I believe if they had seen this 10 years ago they would be like us and say this is ridicu­lous, but now that they are elderly and facing death they feel so vulnerable at this point in their lives. My father is 83 and he’s been a little fearful anyway (this is normal I believe) since he had a recent scare with his heart (that turned out to be arthritis in his arm and not his heart at all but for a couple of days he thought he was facing death).

Just wanted you to know the power of the media on a very godly couple who love the Lord.

Hope this helps. This is the couple who birthed my faith and taught me to love Jesus. They began taking me to church at a mere 6-weeks-old and raised me on the Scripture and in the church.

Anonymous, in the mass media of entertainment

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