“Do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or “No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:36-37).
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
Fox News recently had an article with the headline that said, “Fox News Poll: Fake News Hurting U.S.” When I saw this headline, my first thought was profound: “Duh!” “A large majority of voters, 84 percent, are at least somewhat concerned fake news is ‘hurting the country.’ That includes 61 percent who are ‘very’ worried and another 23 percent who are ‘somewhat’ concerned.” The bottom line is that Americans don’t know whom they can trust.
Can we trust our government authorities? Can we trust news outlets that are more concerned about breaking the splashy headline than they are concerned about reporting actually facts? How do we know what news outlets to trust when two supposed “trustworthy” outlets are reporting opposite stories? How do we know who to trust when all media seems so clearly biased? It sure seems like long-time trustworthy news outlets are becoming more like the National Enquirer, or the Onion, or the Babylon Bee.
Surprise, surprise! People want truth! As followers of Christ, this is an opportunity for us to be light in the midst of darkness. As Jesus told his disciples: “Let what you say be simply ‘yes’ or ‘no.’” Deception itself comes from the enemy. How can we be examples and lights of truth if in fact we are spreading false truth? What does it look like for us to spread truth?
First, we must be people of our word. We must be people of integrity. We must be trustworthy and faithful to do what we tell people we will do. If we say “yes” to someone when they are asking for us to help, then we better be the first ones to follow through. If we have to back down on a commitment we have made, we better have a very good reason for why we have to back down. If you are backing down because you are sick, then you better be genuinely sick and not being weak and lazy as you deal with the sniffles. Toughen up and follow through with your commitment!
Second, we must be people of the Word! We must be people who trust Scripture as being God’s Word. Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by the truth; “Your word is truth.” Believe that Scripture is what it claims: God’s Word. It is the inspired message that God has divinely given to us to know right from wrong, truth from error, good from evil. As people of the Word, we must also be prepared to “make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Be prepared to defend the truth of God’s Word.
We are living in a world that celebrates subjective truth, while hating objective truth. Is it any surprise that media outlets are not trustworthy when our culture despises objective truth? Could it be that this earth-shattering Fox News poll is speaking to a much deeper crying out of our culture? People long for objective truth. They are sick of deception. They are sick of relative subjectivity. As people of the Word, we must be people who are quick to speak the absolute truth of God’s Word!