The Post-Truth Era

Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected.  This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.  But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.

  • John 18:31-40

“Christ is a king – a king by force of truth in a spiritual kingdom.  For this purpose he was born; for this cause he came into the world.  Our Lord, in effect, tells us that the truth of God is the preeminent characteristic of his kingdom and that his royal power over men’s hearts is through the truth of God.  He dealt not with fiction but with facts – not with trifles but with infinite realities.  He speaks not of opinions, views, or speculations but of infallible truths.  Jesus is King in his people’s souls because his preaching has set us at rest on points of boundless importance; he has not given us well-chiseled stones but real bread.  There are a thousand things you may not know, and you will be little the worse for not knowing them; but if you do not know what Jesus has taught, it will not go well with you.  If you are taught of the Lord Jesus, you will have rest for your cares, balm for your sorrows, and satisfaction for your desires.  Jesus gives sinners who believe in him the truths of God they need to know – the assurance of sin forgiven through his blood, favor ensured by his righteousness, and heaven secured by his eternal life.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from his sermon notes (a small portion in his hand as the graphic above)

“Post-Truth: relating to circumstances in which people respond more to feelings and beliefs than to facts”

  • Oxford Dictionary definition

“Post-Truth” was Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2016.  (Thank you Julie, of Cookie Crumbs to Live by. Your nudge led to me getting this organized.) In the United Kingdom in 2016, the hot topic was Brexit.  In the USA in 2016, the hot topic was anything said, without fact checking, by any opponent running for the presidency.  Truth had been lost.  What mattered to people was how a particular thought, whether true, false, or undetermined, made them feel.

But have we not had an element of “Post-Truth” for years and years?  The scandal sheets fly off the grocery store shelves – the more salacious or the more unbelievable the headline the better.  They are fast on printing what they receive and slow on checking whether there is any connection to truth at all.  Oh, except the headline about aliens from Mars, living in Maryland, pulling all the strings in Congress…  That one is absolutely TRUE!  I heard it first hand from a Venusian last week.  (Thinly veiled sarcasm, in case you believed that.)

The major media outlets have boards of directors and owners.  Their news is designed to please these people, especially when it pleases their advertisers.  They may try to nudge close to the truth, but if the truth is inconvenient to the narrative that they are paid to convey, it goes out with the bath water.

Trump may be an unmitigated jerk.  He is crude, rude, vulgar, and narrow-minded.  But he has done something that the accomplished politicians before him have not done.  He has set out to accomplish what he promised in 2016.  So, many will believe what the politicians are promising.  Some of their promises may come true, but they never admit what the promise costs.

And global warming, a real thing, must be separated from the global warming crisis, because the latter is filled with half-truths, bold lies, and guesswork.  We have a problem.  We caused it.  But not every global disaster is a result of the problem.  Should we do something about it?  Yes, we should be cognizant of how we impact our environment and act responsibly.  As someone said before the UN, are people dying?  None directly, but many people in low-lying areas may have to relocate.

Michael Crichton wrote a novel, State of Fear.  It is a fictional story with the “global warming crisis” as its theme, but the underlying concept of the “state of fear” is all together non-fiction.  Crichton just chose to have it well organized and deadly and suspenseful.  Crichton postulates three things that make perfect sense.

  1. Politicians sell fear to get elected, with promises to work on the problem, whatever their created problem might be.  They create the problem by making fear-causing statements that might, or might not, be the truth.
  2. The media loves to spread the gospel of fear.  Fear sells advertising and make money for the media outlets.
  3. Then lawyers follow the ambulances, so to speak.  As fear over something leads to illness, death, or injury, the lawyers go to court to rake in the millions that might be available.  It does not have to be true, just something that the media and politicians have been saying is true and something a jury might believe.

Having the evil triumvirate organized was Crichton’s idea, but all three of his premises are well-known to have happened in the past, and they remain a good formula for success, now and in the future.

But maybe I have said too much! Crichton wrote on his website that he feared that “they” might kill him if he wrote the book, and he died four years later… (See how it works? Crichton died from lymphoma.)

Why create fear?  It sells, but more importantly, it fuels the Post-Truth era, where the voters support the candidate that makes them feel less fear.

But how can we combat this fear?  First, we can, as Bill Bright, co-founder of what is now Cru, said, balance our intake of what the media says with our study of the Bible – what God says.  One strange idea, we can turn the media off.  Then, we can look at the graphic for this post and the corresponding words in the Spurgeon quote, repeated as follows.

”There are a thousand things you may not know, and you will be little the worse for not knowing them; but if you do not know what Jesus has taught, it will not go well with you.  If you are taught of the Lord Jesus, you will have rest for your cares, balm for your sorrows, and satisfaction for your desires.  Jesus gives sinners who believe in him the truths of God they need to know – the assurance of sin forgiven through his blood, favor ensured by his righteousness, and heaven secured by his eternal life.”

By the way, God had an agenda when He inspired the Bible to be written – to love us, and provide a means for us to know Him, love Him, and spend eternity with Him.  That is truth that you can count on.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

7 Comments

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  1. And it is that one little fact that Trump is indeed doing what he said he’d do, and even then some, that is the single reason why I will continue to support him.
    No, he is not a paragon of virtue…not even semi virtue, but I do believe he has America’s back.
    There’s a lot I wish he’d be quiet about, a phone I wish he’d throw out the window and learning personal restraint when he felt threatened…but…
    I believe he truly wants good things for the US…and there is not a single candidate other than Trump, who I believe, would not sell us out in a heartbeat…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe all the Dems want to throw out the constitution and create a Socialist state where only they have power. I have heard others say similar things. No one else that is electable will do what Trump has and can do, and like you say, is determined to do.

      Like

  2. oh, and thank you for the nod 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And that last sentiment should read that others will sell us out whereas he will not

    Liked by 1 person

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