As a student, I always loved T or F tests … even if you didn’t know the answer, you had a one-out-of-two chance to get it right! The other factor was that, after a teacher had written a couple of dozen T or F questions, they usually got tired of trying to make up false answers that were close to the truth and began using really crazy and improbably options. That made the guesswork even easier!!
The ability to tell what is real from what isn’t is becoming increasingly difficult – actually its nearly impossible on any kind of digital video media like television, computer content, movies, etc … The other factor in confusing our ability to tell true from false is what is being called “cultivation” – not in the crop sense, but rather in the attempt to gradually grow in the mind of viewers a sense that the false images being portrayed on video programming are reflective of reality!
The same thing is occurring when enough highly placed people claim that nonpartisan news reports of provable facts are, in fact, “false news”. It doesn’t matter how much proof is provided or how many facts are checked … shrilly yelling “false news” seems to be convincing otherwise sober, considering people that somehow what is demonstrably true is being made-up … just a fabrication. In a marketing class I took (long, long ago … in a galaxy far, far away …) the professor said, “You can make anybody believe anything you want as long as you say it loudly enough and often enough. It doesn’t matter how outrageous or obviously false it is.” Welcome to 2017, professor!
A recent survey found that people in the U.S. who watch TV regularly think that more than 5% of the population are police officers! This misplaced notion comes from TV lineups that feature little other than police arresting bad guys (or girls) who are then badly prosecuted by some lawyer. And, or of course, there are the resulting group of “lawyer” shows, etc.
Interestingly enough, the difficulty in telling true from false was also addressed by Jesus and to a lesser extent, by the Apostle Paul. Jesus warned about “false” teachers who would attempt to twist what he said. Paul was followed during his travels by “Judaizers” who attempted to convince any Jewish people who listened to Paul proclaim Christ as their Messiah that he was wrong and evil.
It’s not easy to know what is true and what is false. When we hear Christ’s message of love and forgiveness and when He calls us to act with integrity and honesty, somehow it resonates within us and feels ‘right.’ When we begin to live in that fashion, putting honesty and integrity at the top of our priorities, it feels even more ‘right’.
Don’t let claims of ‘false’ news fake you out. Don’t settle for a life that accepts the cloaking of lies in disingenuous rhetoric. We know the “Good News” and it is for everyone. Let’s live by it and show the rest the difference between what is true and what is false.