the hawks of half truth
Context - A major theme in new testament texts is the certainty and the peril of certain teachings, attitudes and spirits that are fashioned to lead even the elect astray. These are guaranteed to come in what the writers classify “the end times.” And let me tell you, these days are upon us and deceiving spirits are aswirl. These spirits are speaking in all spheres, but especially in American politics and the media that covers their news.
Whatever the case, the American media, with the exception of a few “rogue” truth tellers, has the tendency to leap to the support of things that are of the world. This usually involves sound public relations, a scary sense of unity around its chosen “cause,” extremely scary censorship of any opposing or alternative views, and a scarier yet assumption that the average American is apathetic and ignorant, and thus won’t catch their sleight of hand trick.
The plan is simple and savvy – deflect focus away from the issue in question and shift blame and attention to someone or something else. It’s the art of half-truth. This way the actual problem at hand can recede into the shadows of careless American journalism without being checked or challenged, or in some cases, totally abolished.
My case study for this corrupt plan is last year’s short-lived Planned Parenthood catastrophe. As you may recall, fetal body parts were being sold for profit, and likely still are. With that in mind, I don’t know that the word “issue” does enough justice to the many slaughtered infants whose voices have been silenced by this evil foundation. Let’s call it more appropriately a ‘callous evil.’
Shifting blame and slandering the just
When presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina called out the callous and evil organization that was sure to announce its secondary services, (pap smears, breast exams, etc.) which are common services offered by many thousands of other federally funded clinics that aren’t guilty of murder, she was barraged by a unified and organized media counter assault. The message was that Fiorina lied about the graphic video (there are many incriminating videos put out by the Center for Medical Progress – any one of them evidence enough to at least immediately cut off federal funding to PP). But who is it that’s lying in this scenario? Fiorina or Planned Parenthood, with its arsenal of slanderous and dishonest media comrades? What shall we as the American people believe anymore when the news is no longer about reporting facts, but opinions? And what shall we conclude when those opinions are gradually guiding Americans away from what’s true and just and delivering them straight into the suspecting arms of evil? As ambassadors of a Kingdom established to usher abundant life, do our positions on matters of life and death not have implications?
Attack truth tellers with force
The systematization with which just about every major news medium acted upon and conformed to in Fiorina’s backlash was not a mistake or coincidence. In order to sell a lie and maintain it, it must be protected and nurtured. After Fiorina made her now infamous statement in the September Republican debate, reports from the mainstream media were 10/1 in favor of denouncing, slandering, shunning, and defaming her rather than commending her for telling the truth. The antagonistic press first tried to force an apology, Fiorina refused. Then they tried to deny such a video existed, banking on the fact that Americans probably wouldn’t investigate the matter for themselves, but would rather settle for news headlines or the evening TV programs. Finally, for those that are on to the scheme, (probably many more than they would have you believe) rhetoric and psychology were used to re-frame the debate. Rather than addressing A. abortions and B. the selling of body parts of those aborted to other entities, we heard the feel-good narrative of all of the other “essential” services that Planned Parenthood offers, imperative of course, to women’s health.
Capitalizing on American apathy and spiritual sickness
When you boil it down, there are two chief reasons we as Americans are losing the battle for truth in the media, on this particular issue and many others.
1. Social and political apathy
We’ve been taught not to care if it doesn’t involve us personally and we are, generally speaking, a people without conviction and courage. We tend to do what’s most convenient rather than what glorifies God.
2. Spiritual sickness (& a total lack of discernment)
Although a large percentage of Americans, when surveyed, would identify as Christian, our actions simply don’t follow the words of our lips. That being said, we lack discernment when it comes to weighing fact and fiction, and discernment only comes through the Holy Spirit. Should a proud and independent people expect to hear from the Holy Spirit?
Consciences seared with hot irons
In 1st Timothy 4:1, Paul is describing a community of people, similar to Romans 1, that have lost their minds, hearts and connection to God. They’ve forfeited the truth for strange teachings, falling away from the faith and abandoning God. They are liars and hypocrites, and their consciences have been burnt to a crisp. Their innate sense of right and wrong, good and evil, has been so long confused and upended by sin and wickedness that they don’t know how deceitful and damaging their words and actions are anymore. They don’t equate their actions with sin because sin, and righteousness for that matter, have lost their meaning because their conscience is no longer operable.
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” 1ST TIMOTHY 4:1-2
As Christians living in the ‘later times’ that Paul speaks of we: #1 shouldn’t be surprised, alarmed or intimidated by this and #2 we should be understanding and discerning of this, both in knowing what we’re dealing with and knowing how to combat it. Those with consciences still intact ought to persevere for those weak and perplexed, so that they might come to the knowledge of Christ. Peter puts it this way, speaking about a similar cultural paradox in 1st Peter, chapter 2, “ Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1ST PETER 2:12)
We’ve forgotten how to be human beings
In Romans 1 Paul is describing a civilization so far removed from God and so devoid of His spirit that it’s frightening to read. It’s even more frightening that we’re mimicking this resume for spiritual depravity in America today! One statement stands out in Romans 1 that rings eerily true in reference to the pro Planned Parenthood camp. “Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either…” (1:26) In Romans, contextually, this occurred as a result of a people ‘refusing to know God’ and trading in their nature and image (from God) for the nature and image of man. We’ve followed the same road. We’ve traded the blessing of conception and children for the man-made doctrine of SELF. Some call it pro-choice and others speak of ‘reproductive rights,’ but whatever tag or caption it holds, it represents the proud and Godless doctrine of men. Our humanness comes from God, but when we eradicate God from our society and culture we effectively forget how to be human. How inhumane we’ve become.
The Media “mountain” isn’t insurmountable
The cultural sphere of ‘media’ may seem like an insurmountable peak but we know that the darkness has no power or authority over the light. Even Fiorina’s short and very obvious statement sent every available media resource desperately scrambling to extinguish the fire. If one statement can create a panic in Satan’s camp, then what would happen if the body of Christ pushed the envelope and unsheathed their swords of truth on a more consistent basis? It will take a measure of courage and it will absolutely require sacrifice on behalf of the saints, but God specializes in making the seemingly impossible very possible and empowering his children to love their own lives not unto death. No matter your proximity to the world of media, step aside wherever you are and allow the voice of truth to direct your path and your words. The fate of the American press depends on it.