2 Timothy 4:3-4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
As so many verses in the Bible, this has many meanings, and I believe it applies perfectly to our current situation. We have reached a point in politics and society where we just accept the lies, where we make excuses, where we ignore the lies from those on “our side.” Of course there is no such thing as a perfect politician, or even a perfect person. Only one man holds the title of perfect, and even He was not accepted in His time:
43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
So, if the people of Christ’s time didn’t believe Him, are we doomed to slide further into our cynicism and just learn to live with the lies? Is there even a reason to fight the lies? Of course:
22 Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.
5 A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
‘Ok,’ one might say, ‘that’s all well and good but, what does that have to do with you quitting Facebook?’ To which I would reply, ‘Alex Jones.’
Alex Jones is a name that most of us know if, for nothing else, the memes. He is a right-wing pundit, founder of InfoWars, and the canary in the coal mine for banning people whose opinions differ. You don’t have to believe me, you can look up all of the bans that’s have occurred since Jones’ ban. Or look to the testimony of the people representing Facebook, Twitter, and Google; when faced with questions of why one page (a left-leaning page calling for shootings of Republican politicians) was allowed to stay when Jones was removed, there was no definitive answer. Or, look to the numerous videos where employees of these companies candidly admit their leanings and how they wipe their sites clean of dissenting opinions.
Now we come to one of my major reason for leaving social media, these sites want to combat ‘fake news.’ Sounds great on the surface. However, that all seems to depend on what they consider to be fake. What do you consider fake? Is it a lie or shading of the truth? Is it purposefully lying about a story or being unwilling to admit a story was wrong?
These sites would tell you to trust them, as they all have begun working on methods of countering what they’ve deemed to be false. YouTube, as you may have noticed, has begun putting links to Wikipedia articles under videos with questionable sources or facts. At least, they have on videos with a questionable or foreign source. Check it out for yourself. Pull up a video by RT (the Russian based news channel), directly under each video Wikipedia informs you the some or all of RT’s funding is from the Russian government.
That may not seem bad, we have been told in the past few weeks that Russia is our enemy. But, it makes me wonder, where are the warnings under CNN videos that Turner Broadcasting Systems owns them who is in turn owned by AT&T? Would that shade their reporting on anything that may damage their brand or any of their subsidiaries? Or maybe the videos by other news organizations pointing out their biases?
Why even place these warnings if they will not be placed evenly and fairly? Simple. These companies are run by men, men who have personal interests and political bias, men who are imperfect. Setting aside personal prejudices, one must ask, objectively, can a man hold power over something without letting personal preference dictate his decisions? I highly doubt it. In fact, it is that very ‘moral compass’ that has directed so many men to do great things. And that same compass has driven men to do terrible things.
The world tells you, through music, quotes, inspirational posters with kittens hanging from ledges; listen to your heart, it will guide you down the right path. What does the Word say:
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Or, as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said, “L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs” which translates roughly out to “Hell is full of good wishes.” People often mean well, even when they lie, it’s for the greater good or to protect someone’s feelings. Ultimately, though, lies hurt people.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
To tie this all together into one singular idea, who can you trust? The answer I’ve followed comes from my pastor and friend Bill Vaughn, he always said, “Any pastor worth his salt will tell you, ‘Don’t believe me, go look it up for yourself.’” That quote comes from the Word itself (I know, I looked it up):
2 Timothy 2:15
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I have found, in all my years of being politically active, that I cannot trust any one news source. Just when you find an anchor or organization that seems trustworthy, they undermine that trust either through what they report or what they choose not to report. We should not live in bubbles, it does nothing but separate us further. MSNBC, CNN, FOX, every news organization, every one of them has a motive. Some want their ‘man’ elected and in power to push their agendas. Others want conflict and dissent for the sake of ratings and advertising dollars. Still others may want what is best for society, but they all lie, either directly or by omission, to push that agenda forward.
This means we should all question what has been put in front us and ask why? Why does Facebook want to throttle and get rid of ‘disinformation’ instead of fighting back with the truth? Why do they not apply their rules evenly across every page?
We, as Americans, should question authority, it’s not just a right, it is a civic duty. It’s a Christian’s charge, a directive from on High. I question social media’s motives for hiding something they deemed untrue. With all of the sound bite journalism and biased reporting, everyone should. If we just blindly follow and accept what they choose to show us, we may miss the whole story. We should demand ALL of the facts and they should trust us to be able to comprehend and understand those facts. To make reasoned decisions. If a man tells you half of a story and calls you to follow, he is not leading you to something right, but to something he has chosen as good.
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.