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CBN.com For a number of years I hosted a television program called Scott Ross Straight Talk for the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Family Channel that is still in syndication in various parts of the world. I launched a radio broadcast for CBN called On the Streets of the World -- a program that gives listeners an upclose and personal look at what God is doing around the globe.
The questions have often been asked, "Why a program called Straight Talk? Why the Streets of the World (SOW)?
The original Straight Talk program was born out of the need to speak to the issues of the day, but not just by presenting the problems; we wanted to present viable alternatives.
I also did not want and still do not want to be trapped in the studio; hence, we introduced another aspect of the program calling it Street Talk, portions of which are still seen on The 700 Club. The latest incarnation is Streets of the World.
Although "man on the street" interviews have been a mainstay of television and radio programming for years, our interviews involve more than passive question-and-answer sessions. We want to provoke thought and induce a lively exchange of ideas. Those familiar with the New Testament Scriptures will recognize that this is the method and setting employed by Jesus, His disciples and subsequent followers as they encountered the marketplace of ideas in their day. We have simply added audio/video technology.
We have "taken it to the streets" all over the world. In Washington, D.C., in conjunction with CBN's humanitarian arm, Operation Blessing, we fed the homeless and victims of AIDS. In Los Angeles, we went into Watts and South Central L.A. and talked with gang members who are killing one another. In New York, we visited those in prison, spoke with runaways on the streets, and talked to men and women who live a life of prostitution.
We have confronted the issues of abortion, date rape, euthanasia, family violence, Freemasonry, Satanism, and sexual abuse among others. We broke format and stopped one show to counsel a suicidal caller on the air. We have challenged spokespersons from homosexual and abortion rights groups, and clashed with motorcycle gangs and members of the Ku Klux Klan. We've watched skin heads storm off the set when I disputed their philosophy of hate. We have tried to understand the conflicts in the church and other religious groups. We explored the unique problems of interracial marriages and the tragedy of women, now in prison, who had murdered their husbands. And we've dealt with drug dealers, atheists and even the Mafia.
These societal problems are not confined to the United States. We are currently seen and heard in Manila, Philippines, and have produced stories from Jerusalem and the war-torn hills of the West Bank, as well as the Ganges River in Veranasi, India.
For the first time in the 21st century, I had opportunity to declare the Gospel from the Great Wall of China. Actually, it may very well be the first time in history that anyone has done this on television, radio and the Internet to a watching and listening world from these ancient stones!
OK, you may be saying, I'm impressed, or I'm not so impressed. What are you telling me? And why do you bother giving air time to these issues and people?
To answer without sounding too lofty, Streets of the World is more than just broadcasting -- it is a mandate for life.
Bad philosophy needs to be answered, not ignored! And truth is the plumb line that needs to be dropped into the morass of the day. We must delve below the bottom line to the root cause of issues in our world and see if we can understand them and, hopefully, bring healing and reconciliation.
All societal issues begin with people. People must be set free and "freedom is only in the truth."
It is also my understanding that truth is more than a philosophy; it is embodied in a person, namely Jesus Christ. When this person called Truth confronted the issues of His day, He did so by spending the majority of His time in the marketplace with people.
There are a lot of hurt, wounded, disappointed, disillusioned, discouraged people in the world, and God is aware of that. He also tells those of us who claim to know Him to do something about it. And although our programs have been called "Talk," it has to be more than just words; we must be doers not just talkers.
Not doing has consequences, especially for leaders. In the Old Testament God confronted the leaders of Israel and stated categorically what they were to do for the people.
Feed the sheep.
Strengthen the weak.
Bind up the broken.
Search for those driven away.
Seek the lost. (Ezekiel 34.4)
When the leaders did not do their job, God judged them and removed the misleaders from their positions and raised up leaders who would fulfill the divine mandate. I do not want to lose my job!
"Straight" also has significance and is defined in Scripture in regard to John the Baptist, who called for repentance, a change of mind and action; that was to make the way straight and prepare the people for the coming of Jesus. The picture here depicts the preparations that are made in advance of a king's visit to his realm. The road is smoothed and leveled. We want to be roadmakers.
One of my forebearers, Scottish preacher George MacLeod, said, "The cross needs to be taken out of the cloistered halls and stained glass and once again be raised in the center of the marketplace."
We are touching a lot of marketplaces, but we need to do more.
The great reformer Martin Luther stated, "If you preach the Gospel in all aspects with the exception of issues which deal specifically with your time, you are not preaching the Gospel at all!"
Fulfilling this commission defines the reason we have been born for such
a time as this. There are legitimate, logical, sincere questions being
asked by sincerely lost people. We want to offer an alternative -- changed
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