This morning I was reading the paper, well, I don’t suppose it is really the paper any longer since it comes to us on an I-Pad and looks a little like the paper used to look. Anyway, as I looked at different articles and ideas that people shared, I kept reading stories that I had already heard about on the news or read on some news app on my phone or computer. The amazing thing is that if you check different news sources that tell about the exact same event or speech that someone made, you get all kinds of different things than you did from some other source. How in the world can you know what really went on or even what anyone said if you weren’t able to listen to the entire speech or attend the event when the reports on them all go from an angle that fits with what the person writing it thinks rather than just telling what happened.
What is crazy is that before I got to work this morning I had read or heard the report of an event that took place yesterday, from three different sources and if one accepted anyone of the reports as true they would have to believe the other two reports were either of some other event or were totally mistaken in what they had to say. It is almost to the stage that one must first decide what they wish to believe and then go to the source that will tell it from their point of view. Or if you go to multiple sources to get the different ideas on what is happening in the world, you will live in total confusion because none are the same.
But, it does make me wonder about something. I wonder if I do the same thing when I’m telling about something that I have seen or been a part of. Do I tell the story from an angle that fits my belief system or what I think of the people involved or do I simply tell what I saw happen and heard said without putting a spin on it that leads to the way I would interpret the event. When I am listening to or watching the news about an event, I don’t mind having some commentary on the event. But I also want a clear distinction between what is the news and what is commentary. If one mixes the news with commentary the truth is one may never know what has really happened but only what the prejudiced mind of the reporter happened to hear and tell. Too often it is a million miles from the truth.
What if some reporter goes on a news program and tells what they think a person said at a certain political rally but it isn’t even close to what was really said by the person speaking? No matter how often the original speaker denies ever saying it, the people who first heard the news report will tend to believe that the speaker said what they claimed they said. Very little that the person does can ever change the opinion of those who first heard the report.
I seldom watch political debates because I can’t stand hearing people make accusations against each other and often tell things that contradict things they have said earlier to a different crowd. But I happened to have tuned in to the debate last week for a few minutes when something happened that made me turn it off quickly and question my sanity forever tuning in. The reporter was asking Bernie Sanders about a comment he was accused of making that a woman could never become president. Supposedly he said it to Elizabeth Warren. Bernie totally denied ever saying anything like that and declared he never had believed such but had promoted the idea that a woman could be president. Immediately, the reporter turned to Elizabeth Warren and asked how she felt when Bernie said that a woman couldn’t be president. I didn’t wait for her answer. I just turned it off and thought how utterly ridiculous that a man could deny with such fervor ever saying a thing and immediately have the reporter act like he had admitted to saying it.
I wonder if Jesus were here in the flesh today and going about preaching the same kinds of messages he did 2,000 years ago, how the news would cover him? Imagine how they would handle such simple truths as the beatitudes of Jesus given in Matthew 5. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Now, these are pretty easy to follow. They set up much of the ultimate teaching of Jesus for the remainder of his ministry. But how do you think they would be covered by the media in our time? I’m certain there would be tons of commentary on the whole topic and probably every beatitude would be criticized and rejected by the world. Some might have explained in some detail what he was actually trying to say, but just didn’t get it across as it was meant to be.
One thing for certain should stand out. Truth is truth no matter who says it or whether anyone believes it. You don’t get to have your truth and me have mine. It is just the truth. When judged by the Lord it won’t get one anywhere to tell the Lord he just didn’t feel it. We will be judged by the deeds done in the body according to what we have done whether good or bad. It will be based on the word of God and Jesus Christ will be the judge. One can declare they don’t believe in a judgment or they don’t accept the idea that Jesus will be the judge or that the Scriptures will be the standard, but it doesn’t change a single thing. Judgment is real and it will come for everyone. If we think with any clarity at all we will go to the word of God to find out what to believe and then strive to live by what we read in his word since there isn’t a single chance in this world that God will change his mind about what is right or wrong.