With the warm and wet weather, we had some serious fog around here recently. Driving in it was not a fun experience and several times I had to slow to a crawl as I could barely see the road at all. Too much water vapor to be able to see clearly. I was glad for the snowbanks that at least made it clear where the edge of the road was!
It got me thinking about navigating in our current culture as Christians. It seems more than ever these days that there is a general fog at work in the American culture. Cries of “fake news” and “alternate facts”, partisanship, and competing narratives. If my Facebook feed is any indication, these cultural trends are strongly affecting the members of the Body of Christ, including pastors.
There’s a lot of moisture in the air.
When you’re in the fog, and unsure of the truth, bad things can happen. A man, convinced by fake news about a child-sex ring connected to Hillary Clinton, tried to rescue the kids. The only problem? It wasn’t true.
How many well meaning people had posted that rumor, like a fake Facebook privacy warning, saying, “I don’t know if this is true, but better to be safe than sorry” ?
Like driving in Fog, we need to slow down and be clear. We need to be sure of Truth and speak Truth. We must not allow ourselves to perpetuate the fog. Especially in our politically polarized times.
Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No ones comes to the Father except through me.”
As people of the Way, as people who claim to follow the One called the Truth, I think we need to be much more careful about a fog of lies. As we post on social media, as we interact with political leaders of any kind, as we attack or defend, we should be guided first and foremost by a strong stand for the truth. Lies in the service of our political goals will have the unfortunate side effect of undercutting our witness to the One called Truth.
If we expect people to believe our witness, we need to be very careful that we are not peddling, approving of, or repeating falsehoods.
But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–
If you are a Christian, you have a great responsibility and opportunity to be a voice of truth, but make sure that is what you are speaking and celebrating, not a comforting falsehood that you want to believe because it fits your thoughts or confirms your ideas, but a real truth.
He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool. When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of understanding.