Have you got a minute for me to pick your brains? I’ve been asked to do something and am not sure about whether to accept or refuse. Last night I was leaning towards ‘yes’, today I’m thinking ‘probably not’.
So here’s the query. There’s a two minute TV slot after the channel four news, called 4Thought. Each week they ask a different question, and people comment on what their beliefs mean in this area. The interviewees are chosen to represent a broad range of faiths and perspectives – so there might be an atheist, a Sikh, an agnostic, a Christian and a Mormon.
Past questions include:
- is it a sin to be single?
-should euthanasia be legalised in Britain?
- can faith cure cancer?
- is suicide selfish?
- is mental illness ever a gift?
I’ve been asked to do one on the issue of food and faith. The way it works is that you go and are interviewed over an hour. They then edit it down to about 90 secs of usable TV.
It’d mean talking about my history with anorexia and what food means to me today. I’m guessing my bit would be the Christian perspective for the week.
Here’s my thoughts:
- on a personal level it’d be hard talking so openly about my struggles – especially since it’s not to a sympathetic Christian audience. (I don’t mean that non-Christians aren’t sympathetic, but many viewers will disagree with what I’m saying (and then tell me so). That’d be hard, (as would having two secs of fame as ‘the anorexia girl’ – not quite what I’d choose).
- what if I’m misquoted or the editing represents something that a.) I don’t believe personally or b.) I believe but many Christians don’t. For example, if asked what I think about the interplay between sin and sickness in eating disorders, a four-sec quote isn’t going to express that. And in any case, it’s my view, not The Christian Stance.
- I really, really want to honour Jesus and I think someone else could do this a lot better. As I write and speak it’s as a Christian who still struggles in a million areas; including sometimes food. The only way I could speak is by being honest about this – and is that what a Christian looks like? I know we won’t be completely sorted in this life – but there are degrees and I can’t help thinking it’d be better for someone with a better life and theology and recovery than me to do this.
- getting a recovering anorexic to talk about the Christian view of food. Is that bonkers? Misleading? Or helpful?
- will that 90 secs actually make a difference to anyone about anything? Is it an opportunity to share my faith – or just a bit of media fluff? (I know the results are up to God, but frankly I’m quite scared and would like to Know It’s Worth It).
Sorry about this download. I know in the grand scheme it doesn’t matter, but I don’t want to let Jesus down or speak for other people who know the issues better.
I don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not. But what I am is weak and proud and frightened and ashamed.
On this basis, have I any right to speak? Will this bring shame upon the gospel and upon myself?
..What do you think?