By: GILDA PINEDA DIONELA
I first heard about BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) when the late Diana, Princess of Wales married Prince Charles. The wedding coverage was broadcasted in the Philippines and the credit was given to BBC. There are several BBC buildings in different places in London. I often pass by BBC Media Village and BBC Television Centre in White City. BBC started as a private corporation established in 1922. In 1925 it was liquidated and became a public corporation in 1927. It is answerable to Parliament, but is independent in all its activities. Today, to be able to watch on television in the UK one must pay a yearly TV licence fee. It was Lord John Reith, son of a minister, who introduced the concept of public service and to dedicate the service of broadcasting to the service of humanity in its fullest sense. “Broadcast” originally meant scattering seed. Spread it in all places then fruitful and beautiful things grow. That is the foundation upon which John Reith operated BBC. It was to “inform, educate and entertain”. The Latin inscription in the hallway of the Old Broadcasting House translates as: “This temple of the arts and muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors in the year of our Lord 1931, John Reith being Director-General. And they pray that good seed sown may bring forth good harvest, and that all things foul or hostile to peace may be banished thence, and that the people inclining their ear to whatsoever things are lovely and honest, whatsoever things are of good report, may tread the path of virtue and wisdom.”
BBC TELEVISION CENTRE
The centre was designed by Graham Dawbarn and it became operational in 1960. BBC Television Centre was, at the time, one of the most technically advanced media productions in the world. It has been renovated into flats and offices while the largest existing television studios on the site are still in use. There is a sculpture in the central garden that displays Helios, the Greek god of the sun. Designed by T. B. Huxley-Jones, and erected in 1960, it represents the radiation of television light around the world. The two reclining figures at the bottom are Sound and Vision, the two components of television. With these brief descriptions of milestones in the history of BBC I noticed two contrasting virtues. First, the organization was founded to honour the Almighty God and secondly, there is the carved image of “Helios” the Greek sun god in the Television Centre. For me, the broadcasts made by BBC nowadays are more inclined towards modern science and intellectualism. Having “Helios” as one of their displays, contradicts their intentions. No intellect or probing is necessary to prove that Helios, no matter how aesthetically pleasing the statue is, has no power to radiate light on BBC, much less to the world. Sun god as a pagan was honored during Babylonian times and ancient Egypt followed the by Roman and Greek Empires. Not very British. In contrast, Great Britain spread Christianity around the world promoting the Bible as the written Word of God.
There is one documentary on BBC Four that I watched, “Did Jesus Die?”. It presented views that are opposite to what Christians believe about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Possibilities that Jesus did not die on the cross but rather after crucifixion, he went to the South of France to live incognito with Mary Magdalene. Another possibility they presented was that Jesus lived in Kashmir, India at the age of 30 years old and died around AD 80.
These gives the impression to viewers that the Bible is simply inaccurate and that the death of Jesus on the cross and resurrection were untrue. In that documentary, it is interesting to note, how they showed Filipinos as they celebrate the Lenten season. They portrayed actual people who volunteered to be nailed on the cross on Good Friday believing that it is in this manner that their sins will be purged. The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus was foretold around 6,000 years after the fall of man. A one-hour program as such will not destroy the faith of the faithful and the infallibility of the Bible. The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by more than 40 different authors. Modern archaeology, bible scholars, legal documents, languages from different nations, temples, palaces, experiences of ordinary people from ancient times to the present and many more confirm the accuracy of the Bible. Jesus is the central figure of human history. He is the One the Old Testament anticipated. The New Testament described His birth as a man, how the angels diligently watched Him while on earth and the manner of His second coming.
HEAVENLY SOUND AND SIGHT ON EARTH
The conceptualization we see from our television sets and other forms of social media influence the way people think and behave. What most modern media are programming in our brains are short range and will give us temporary good feelings and most of the time promotes the concept of the “self as god”. It is about time we restore our true being for without God we are nothing. We don’t need to pay for a licence to grasp this truth. We simply need faith. Faith opens our spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear heavenly matters while we are still on earth. With faith we can hear the voice of God and see around us what He is saying in the absence of statues.
I never knew I had faith until I was tested up to my breaking point. There came a time I was so discouraged that I decided there was no point of going to church, praying or reading the Bible. I decided that watching TV was the best remedy. But then watching TV all day long on a Sunday was unbearable. The Holy Spirit is wiser than any one who pretended to be wise. I picked up a small book with a blue cover, and as I read it, it perfectly described how I was feeling at that time. As if the book had lips talking to me with a loud sound in my ears. The book was “Breakthrough Faith – Power in Uncertain World” by Colin Dye. I was so stressed out that I got severe knee pain. The words in that book that I read again and again was bombarding me. As if frustration and boredom were not enough that the pain in my knee was torturing me. I went back to the church. The preacher at that time was a healing evangelist, the late William Gypsy Lee. He prayed and I got healed. Twelve years later, my adventure continues still believing and sharing my faith to all of you.
Faith is not something you inherit but a personal decision and commitment. A lifetime journey to pursue whether in good or bad situations. Growing up in a Roman Catholic nation, it is our tradition that on the day the sacrament of baptism was performed, we consider the baby a Christian, even though the baby doesn’t even know what faith is all about. John the Baptist defined water baptism deeply and strongly: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. These are the processes that true faith can be measured against. First is repentance, second is receiving and baptism of the Holy Spirit from Jesus and the third is the testing of that faith through fire. Then the heavenly power of hearing and seeing comes next. Water baptism has nothing to do with salvation but is an act to fulfil righteousness. Faith in Jesus is not only the shield with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, it is the only licence to the grandest show of Heaven on Earth. Jesus the begotten Son of God lived on earth so that those who believed in Him can see His glorious face in Heaven.