In the increasingly secularised nation of Canada, an amazing little quirk of history has paved the way for a Christian TV show that’s influencing public debate.
It’s called Context, it tackles current affairs from a faith-based point of view, and it’s hosted by Lorna Dueck—a woman with a strong faith and a lifetime of media experience.
There’s almost nothing the show won’t cover. They’ve tackled topics like climate change, refugees, terrorism, cannabis legalisation, and euthanasia to name just a few. It makes for some very heated moments of debate, something Lorna said she is proud of.
“Heated moments make great television,” Lorna told Hope Media. “For example we are going to be legalising smoking marijuana in Canada, and so we invited Canada’s most famous drug dealer on the show, who has done over 10 years in jail. He’s out and law abiding now, but he came to our set and poured out a bag full of marijuana products on the coffee table and these like clearly illegal products on the set.”
The moment was both tense and fascinating and caused passionate discussion about the issue of drug legalisation.
“It’s just really lot of fun to explore how passionate debates can be over issues that have really a moral framework to them,” Lorna said.
Reaching People Outside the Church with Faith Views
Broadcast every Sunday morning, Context is reaching people who would never step foot inside a church.
“Our average viewer is someone between 35 and 55, who’s watching the show on a Sunday morning,” she said. “And all we know about them is they’re lazing around on a Sunday morning and they are curious about current events. They’re curious about what’s going on in their world and they seem to want to stay for these spiritual questions we bring into the news.”
The unique program is having two impacts.
“We’re giving people a perspective that God is engaged with our world.”
“For people who do not have an understanding of a Biblical world view, or a church background, we’re giving them a perspective that God is engaged with our world,” Lorna explained. “And we’re giving them a broader view of the church than they may have historically thought.
“Secondly, for the Christians who watch our show, we’re giving them an understanding of how you talk about talk about issues that are affected by our faith, or that may be in conflict with what God would require of our lives.”
Lorna explained that the show has come about because of a long and faithful presence of Christian broadcasters in Canada’s media landscape.
“For decades before I came along, there were Christian broadcast pioneers who bought daily time [on air],” she said. “And as broadcast was struggling in Canada, those daily Christian broadcasters buying an hour of time every day, actually kept our largest commercial stations afloat—because they’re like a giant one-hour commercial that was being paid for every day.
“So because there was this great respect, the media started to listen to new voices that were coming out of the Christian church and I caught that tailwind. They trusted us when we knocked on the door and then it’s been great content that kept us on the air.”