“What’s going on?” Christian asked as they approached.
They stopped fighting long enough to answer the question. News pointed at Film, “This guy actually believes that his farces are more influential than the facts!”
“That’s not what I’m saying,” Film erupted, “I am saying that your reports are full of just as many made-up stories. At least I admit that I’m designing my stories from beginning to end.”
Critic stepped between them, “Why do either of you presume to have influence?”
They both quieted and Film answered hesitantly, “Because people listen to us?”
“Do they listen to you, or just use you for entertainment?” Critic followed up, “Because it seems to me that if your motive is to influence more people, you will most likely give them something they want to watch. This means you’re not really the one with the influence. Your viewers are.”
“That’s right!” News threw his hand out.
Critic turned toward him, “The same might be true for you.”
“I don’t think so,” News insisted as he pointed at Christian, “What about him? He is travelling the world promoting himself and trying to gain influence. What makes him any better than us? Isn’t he just trying to gain power?” The camera crew started recording the event.
Were all people who tried to influence the world simply grabbing for power?
Critic started to speak but Christian cut him off and Witness stepped back, not wanting to get involved. “I suppose that is a danger,” he admitted, “What I do is public and I do hope to have some sort of influence. I also suppose some degree of self-promotion is necessary on this side of the chasm. I see the danger. I just want to ask you one question in response. Why do you promote your work?”
They couldn’t answer immediately. Either they had not thought about it or they were ashamed of the answer.
Christian waited a few moments and engaged, “It seems to me that there is a thin line between legitimately promoting one’s own work and doing so to make one’s self king. If influence is our end, then our motive is that we would gain power over people. In this case, it seems our desire to be kings over people has defined us. If our motive is to use our work as a medium to lead others to someone greater, then we have recognized the power and kingship of someone else. I will share with you my motive and you can make your judgments. When I promote my work and my message, I promote it in order to lead people to the King. My influence matters not and only the King can truly judge the motives of the heart. No doubt we are all seeking influence. My question is: Are you seeking influence for yourself, or are you seeking to reveal the power of the King?
“I’m not sure such a dichotomy needs to exist,” answered News, “Surely these are not the only two options.
Christian gladly replied, “What other options might there be?”
Film interjected, “Charity!”
News, “Yeah, charity.”
Critic laughed, “Why not just promote the charity. The charity exists wholly on this side of the chasm.”
Film hesitated again, “If we did that then we wouldn’t be heard.”
Christian responded, “There, I think, is the answer and another difference between us. My goal is not to be heard. It is to please the King by spreading His message no matter who listens. If I promote my work and no one listens, I have been faithful to the King. That purpose is greater than me, but both motives are about power: either selfish power or revealing the power of someone greater.”
News and Film, having nothing else to say and not seeming to care too much about what had been said, went on their way. As Christian turned around, there was Witness, “How would you know if you crossed that fine line between promoting the King and selfishly promoting yourself?”
Christian was honest, “That is one of my greatest fears. I think only God and myself would know. I hope that I never cross that line, but if I do I pray that the King would convict me in His secret court. I do not want to be guilty of leading people to myself rather than to Him.”