Bill Cosby hosted a television show in the late 1990’s called Kids Say The Darndest Things. On the show, children are asked seemingly innocent questions which are often answered in off-the-wall, hilarious fashion. When children give their opinions on a variety of adult topics, you expect to get a chuckle out of someone who forms their world view from watching Sesame Street and Nickelodeon. It’s not quite as funny when the people who are elected to run our country, deliver the news we read, and preach God’s Word seem to form their world views by watching the same programs as our children.
Let me clarify my point. Children will often say things that aren’t based on facts because they don’t know any better. If they do know the facts and don’t tell the truth, well, we’ve just caught them in a lie haven’t we. Adults, on the other hand, should know the difference between fact and fiction. They should know better than to pretend to know the answer to a question when, in reality, they have no clue to what the correct answer is. Adults should also know better than to mislead people with opinions they know to be false.
A grandfather once asked his granddaughter if she wanted world peace and she said, “No.” He asked why and she said she hated peas.
On January 22, 2017, Kellyanne Conway used the phrase “alternative facts” to defend White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s false statement that the attendance at the inauguration of Donald Trump as President was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -period – both in person and around the globe.”
I hope you can recognize the difference between the above two statements. If not, you may be spending way too much time on the Nickelodeon channel.
People in the world today who find themselves in roles of leadership or in positions to sway public opinion have developed new definitions for describing truth. They call the dispensing of truth either alternative facts, fake news or progressive thinking. If you choose to stand these versions of the truth, you will find yourself on as much solid ground as the shifting sand, moved by the swirling winds of cultural change.
When I watch television, follow the news on the internet or read a newspaper, I expect to find journalism which is both factual and unbiased. Unfortunately, what I read and hear is too often slanted so far to the left, I feel like I’m about to slide off my chair into a big pile of dog doo-doo.
Politics and journalism are not alone in playing a game of musical chairs with the truth. While many politicians and journalists practice using alternative facts through fake news, false preachers practice alternative facts through fake “good” news.
One example of fake “good” news is what many have come to call the prosperity gospel. This teaches that God wants all believers to live healthy, wealthy and happy lives. If you want to live at this level of heaven on earth, all you have to do is ask God for it, believe He will answer your prayers and voila`- you are now healthy, wealthy and happy. Sounds too good to be true – right? Well, if you believe in Santa Claus it isn’t.
Does God answer prayer? Of course He does, but He also knows what is best for us. Sometimes getting everything we ask for isn’t in our best interest. Think of what would happen if we gave our children everything they want or let them do anything they want to do. God uses suffering to teach us many things as long as we are open to His guidance. Why God allows suffering is a hard topic to fully understand, but if you want to learn more about this, read my blog post at: http://desiretoinspire.life/dear-job-we-have-a-few-things-in-common-suffering/
Biblical truth is fast becoming obsolete. God’s word is seen as narrow-minded, judgmental and regressive. Many wonder how anyone with half-a-brain believe moral truth derived from man’s superstitious need for solving life’s mysteries of life and death – good vs evil. To this I say hogwash and poppycock. God is the author of truth. The only other original author out there regarding truth is Satan – and he is the father of lies.
In The Message Bible, Eugene Peterson does a remarkable job in the book of Romans paraphrasing what I’ve been talking about. Listen to the Apostle Paul as he describes mankind’s pursuit of truth:
“But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over the truth….What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when thy didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship Him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in His hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
“So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them – the God we bless, the God who blesses us.
“Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. they made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags….And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care – worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!
Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.
You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because He’s such a nice God, He’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but He’s not soft. In kindness He takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.”
Don’t be misled by people who call themselves “progressive thinkers”. Just like alternative facts and fake news, progressive thinking is nothing new. It has always been mankind’s way of ignoring the real truth, God’s Truth, so they can pursue what they want when they want it. When children do this, they must answer to their parents. When adults do this, they will someday answer to God.