Truth Famine in the Age of New Media

Like many people, some days I get my news on the run, other days I track down specific stories in my quest for corroborative ‘truth’, and the gravity of the collective negativity seems all consuming. Yet, in this age of information technology, why is it that finding truth seems like an impossible task? Could it be that we are, indeed, living in what I call the TRUTH FAMINE in the media age?

LOS ANGELES, CA – Sometimes in the TRUTH FAMINE, it is so easy to get swept up in the tumultuous culture we live in as we focus on election campaigns, politics, terrorism, urban violence, etc.However, it is extreme folly to think we can truly understand and change this sordid world on our own. We need God’s help to effect positive change in this world. It is noteworthy that the present day media is filled with negativity, some lies, abundant half-truths, and extreme political slants. This is making ‘real’ news ever harder to recognize.

So what can ordinary people do to sort out fact from fiction and effect positive change? Perhaps change in this world can best be accomplished by following four simple steps:

1) Always cross reference your news.2) Pray for God’s discernment.3) Specifically for your concerns.4) Faithfully read the Bible daily.

Some years ago, I stopped watching the news on TV, however, I do admit that I have been known to get my daily news updates from a combination of online sources: MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and of course, one of my favorite global sources, the BBC. The BBC seemingly provides a fresh perspective, as it is external news, generally provided by news sources outside of the US. Yet, these news outlets all seem to permeate our daily lives, and pummel us with a wide array of turbulence and negativity. Just how important is it all anyway, for those who have chosen the Christian life, one of serenity, peace and service to others?

News today is really more about entertaining people’s theories, even gossip, at times. It used to be that the 6 o’clock news was news. Now it is more often than not, pundits spinning endless commentary and conspiracy theories from one day to the next. With a smile and a sigh, I often catch myself reveling in the news of the day, and realize that I am looking for truth in all the wrong places.

There is a difference between real news and entertainment. It is at that point that I stop and pray for discernment of God’s divine will.

At a point, it finally dawns on me, and I remember yet again that my only real truth is what matters to my Triune God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Churned up to distraction by the news of the world, I return to prayer again and again, as well as, my Bible, for eternal wisdom, the kind of wisdom that is enduring, and that promotes abundant, radiant peace and profound joy from within.

Like it or not, the ways of this world will likely continue on the path of mayhem into the unforeseeable future. Sojourners here, we are just passing through on our way to Heaven. Paradoxically, we as Christians, are called to be in the world but not of the world. We are called to step away from unnecessary worldly drama and havoc, into a life of simplicity. But how can we do that when life is moving so fast and furious for us all? Well, consider this biblical Word, a holy recipe for a sound mind and a humbled soul:

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.’ Philippians 4:8-9

Clearly, as Christians, we are all called by God to find the good in ourselves, others and every circumstance. We are asked to live gratitude-filled lives that look for the good as we seek Jesus in earnest, and seek truth with great fervor, through prayer. Perhaps it is time to put on the biblical armor of God, turn off the daily news, and embrace the great blessings of each new day as we grow in faith-filled simplicity while waiting in joyful hope for Jesus Christ. More long walks. More quality family time. More gardening. More sewing and knitting. More prayer. More daily Bible reading, and More volunteering to help others in need.

There is precious little we can do to change this world, the news and the people in it on our own. But ‘with God, all things are possible!’ [Matthew 19:26]
This is my prayer for you, my friend:
May the peace that surpasses all understanding be with you and yours through these tumultuous times. May you seek the Holy Spirit in all things, and grow in appreciation for the subsequent peace that surpasses understanding. May you come to believe that ‘the joy of the Lord that is your strength.’ [Nehemiah 8:10] May you grow in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. Be not afraid, Jesus is with you and me, and He has overcome the world!

‘For if you proclaim with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and that He rose from the dead, you will be saved!'[Romans 10:9]