Last week a Christian blogger I follow on twitter (not a personal friend, just someone I started following along the way) posted a link to an article about the spending of President Obama’s administration. The blogger summed up the article by saying that the administration spent less than any other president since before President Reagan. It caught my attention, so I followed the link and read the article.
It essentially said the Obama administrations rate of increase in spending was less than any other President before Reagan. That’s not nothing, it’s noteworthy. However a lower rate of increased spending is very different than spending less.
I sent the blogger a private message explaining what the article was really saying. He sent me back a message saying “Thanks. Good catch.” And that was it. No redaction or correction to his twitter audience.
On the other side of the political spectrum, yesterday a facebook friend posted a link to an article detailing how President Obama allegedly sent out “robosigned” form letters to families of Navy SEALS killed in action. My friend let everyone know there was no excuse for this, and of course the title of the article left out the word “allegedly.” After some quick googling, I found that the truth is that President Bush also sent out form letters, as most likely every president before him did, and honestly, with the number of American soldier fatalities being what they are, what different things could a president hypothetically say in every letter he typed out to families of fallen soldiers? And the signature, as it was later revealed, is real. To be fair, my facebook friend probably read and posted the article before the truth came out, but as of now, there is no redaction, no correction.
I could give examples all day. If your inbox or facebook news feed looks anything like mine, you are inundated with followers of Jesus, dispersing misinformation and half-truths as if they’re on a mission from God. We follow someone who said the “truth will set you free,” but by our behavior you would think we follow the father of lies.
The most troubling thing about is that it’s almost as if we don’t care about the truth. If we find something that we want to believe, that backs up what we already have decided to believe, then we believe it.
But truth is important. Whether it’s truth about politics or theology or science, Christians should be known for searching for and valuing truth. All too often we are children, with our fingers in our ears screaming- “I’ve already made up my mind. Don’t confuse me with the facts.”
The biggest danger is that when it becomes apparent to others that our political beliefs are based on something other than truth, the world has to wonder if our spiritual beliefs are also not based on truth. We appear ignorant, naïve and silly. We become nothing more than a punch line on Family Guy, and we earn it.
So brothers and sisters, if a politician or political party does something wrong, call them out in love, but check your facts. We are in the age of the 24 hour news cycle, so whatever your political leaning, there’s a channel, magazine, and radio show for you, but please don’t just listen to media that back up your beliefs. Search for truth.