Such a lofty title for my blog this week, but it seems apropos as Americans try to discern truth from fiction in these final days before the election.
“What is truth?” That question has been asked throughout the ages, always with different answers, answers that reflect the speaker’s own beliefs. In recent years, many Americans would reply to that question with the stock response: “There’s no such thing as absolute truth.” I find that answer ironic, considering that it is worded as an absolute truth. Therefore, it cannot be true.
Alas, I pointed that out once to a young ideologue and received a blank stare for my efforts. Some people prefer not to be confused by pesky logic.
The most famous person to utter the words “What is truth?” was Pilate when he questioned Jesus the morning of his crucifixion. It started when Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king.
John 18:37-38 reads:
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
Right after Pilate asked this question, he walked away, not waiting long enough to allow Jesus Christ, Truth Himself, to answer. Imagine if Pilate had been “of the truth,” as Jesus described, and had cared enough about the truth to seek it out that day. The outcome—Christ on the cross—would have remained the same, of course. But perhaps for Pilate, the outcome of his life would have been vastly different.
We Americans behave in a similar manner. We say we want to know the truth, but we don’t seek it out. Instead, we settle for pretty lies that confirm what we believe. Like Pilate, we walk away before we receive insight and understanding.
It’s so evident in this election season. We have media outlets skewing facts in order to get their candidate elected. We have citizens making up news stories and passing them off as truth in order to cause one candidate to look bad, so the other will be elected.
It’s not as if we can blame one side or the other for this behavior. I have a friend who consistently shares stories on social media about one of the candidates. Unfortunately, often those stores aren’t true or have been spun so fast, the truth has leached out like dirt in the spin cycle. But what we’re left with doesn’t smell fresh. Instead, it reeks of deception. This is happening on both sides of the political spectrum.
Lies are everywhere. That’s no surprise. Jesus called the god of this world the Father of Lies, so we shouldn’t be shocked when we see him at work.
What shocks me is how little Americans seem to care. We should be outraged by:
- Lying candidates
- Lying newsreaders
- Lying journalists
- Lying businessmen
- Lying non-profit leaders
- Lying pollsters
- Lying friends and family members
- Lying everybody
Instead, what do we do? We shrug. We justify it when our own side lies, while we cry foul when the other side does it. We keep watching the dishonest personalities on TV. We keep reading the skewed news stories. We take in the lies, swallow them over and over, until we’re bloated and sick with them.
We’ve become a nation that feeds on lies. The Father of Lies would stop to celebrate if he weren’t so busy. Tweet this.
It all feels so out of control, doesn’t it? But we still have the Truth on our side. His name is Jesus, and he is waiting to help us.
Isaiah 30:18 reads, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
The Lord wants to rescue us from this foolishness. Join me in praying that now and beyond the elections, Americans would once again become a people who seek truth. Tweet this.
Otherwise, these lies will destroy us all.
Robin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.
If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.