How Should a Christian View The Epoch Times?

Question from a reader:

I have a question about the newspaper The Epoch Times. We enjoy reading it and have gained insight into current affairs as well as liked their sections entitled Life & Tradition and Mind & Body. I have been told the owners of this newspaper embrace Falun Gong that contains aspects of Buddhism and Taoism. Is this a problem for readers who are Christ followers? Would you help me to understand how a Christian should view The Epoch Times?

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

I’m responding on Randy's behalf. We live in confusing and politically charged times, when it’s hard to know what sources to trust and what is true, what is false, what is misinformation, and what is “missing” information. 

We know the vast majority of media organizations or outlets are not owned by biblically-minded Christians. I think your awareness of the owners/influences of The Epoch Times places it in the same realm we should place any media source: one we need to analyze carefully, using the “grid” of God's Word and His truth. We should never just unthinkingly accept something we read (even if it's from a source we mostly agree with in a lot of areas) as truth without judging it by the standard of God’s Word. Admittedly, this is not always easy to do! And convicting for me as I think about this while writing my response to you. (This is The Epoch Times’ answer to the question: What is the Relationship between The Epoch Times and Falun Gong?)  

In this article, which I’d recommend to you, Randy says:

“If I’m immersed in God’s Word and biblically based literature, then and only then am I able to discern from the newspaper and Time magazine and Hemingway and movies what values are being communicated and whether or not those values are true. Scripture becomes my grid, my moral filter by which I judge all other claims to truth.”

A few resources I’ve personally found helpful:

One is All Sides Media. While certainly not without its own bias, I am sure, they do attempt to provide headlines on events/subjects from three different areas: right leaning, center, and left leaning. They try to give a sense of the differences across the political spectrum, and if nothing else, it can be a helpful starting place for analysis. Sometimes just the difference in headlines alone is astounding. It makes me think of Proverbs 18:17: “The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.” And Scripture talks about having an “abundance of counselors” (Proverbs 24:6) and getting more than one perspective.

WORLD News Group is run by Christians, so that can be helpful. Though again, we should always read carefully and with God’s truth in mind.

Another resource that’s been recommended to me is Smart HER News. The publisher also attempts to provide balanced coverage. (I do not know about her personal beliefs.)

Finally, here’s an article from the Christian Research Institute talking more about Falun Gong.  Also this podcast episode.

So bottom line, your awareness of the influences of The Epoch Times can help make you a more informed, careful reader, seeking wisdom from God’s Word. Here’s a good prayer for all of us: “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long” (Psalm 25:5).

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Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.