The story is told in 1897 that the owner of the New York Times, struggling against the sensational stories retold in other newspapers of his day, created the famous slogan, “All the News That’s Fit to Print” (see the story here – http://tinyurl.com/38evtrx). The intention was that the paper would print all the news, all sides, with fairness and equity. One might argue today (and many do) that this paper has a particular slant to “all the news” that is printed. Nonetheless, for hundreds of years, we have relied on newspapers to recount to us the important events of the day.
Growing up I developed a habit of reading the newspaper cover to cover. I seemed to have inherited from my mother the fluency to weigh in on a number of different subjects. It became much more of a challenge as a working adult to keep up with all of this, although for many years I could still work my way through the entire newspaper daily and often looked forward to this. Today with the internet and 24-hour news channels it seems impossible to keep up with or even to process news from all quarters at all times in an instant. This seems to beg the question – what is “All the News That’s Fit to Print?”
This same paper of which I wrote earlier whose owner coined this famous phrase seems of late to be able to provide details not only of national and world events, but of personal family situations long hidden from view; and tragic evidence posthumously of the drug habits of a once famous celebrity. As I considered all of this, I wondered if “all the news” was really being printed.
In actually all of us have “news” or details of our lives, perhaps hidden from view to most of the world, and maybe even hidden from those closest to us. But according to the scriptures we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Just because I am not a famous actor or politician I avoid the media scrutiny of my sins suffered by those who must weigh the joys and fame that notoriety brings with the subsequent public humiliation of acting according to their sin nature. Although in this life the famous and the infamous will have their sins blasted out to the world on the loudspeakers of cable news, all who do not profess Christ as Savior will stand before the throne of God hearing a recounting of all of their sins before those just like them, whether famous or forgotten (Revelation 20:11-15). I like to think of this as the “jumbotron judgment.” Everything I have done, for all the world to hear. That is scary.
But not really. Not for those of us who have known Christ as Savior and asked for His righteousness to be our covering (Matthew 25:46). The good news is that Jesus gave His life as a ransom for us (Mark 10:45), that we should not be bound in sin any longer, but live for God and not fear His judgment. (See John Piper for a good explanation of all of this – http://tinyurl.com/lya4u9y. See also http://www.1way2god.net/finaljudgement.html).
This is old news which is often forgotten, but very much “fit to print.” In Romans chapter 1 the Apostle Paul recounts how this message is known by everyone, but just not acknowledged. How important it is for us to get the message out today of our glorious redemption, so that we will not fear that day; nor be on the path to eternal separation from the One who gave His life that we might live in His gracious presence forever. Hold the presses: let’s run with this story as our lead headline!