This is the sound a child in the 80's made when they stuck their fingers in their ears and didn't want to hear what was being said. (At least that's what happened when I was younger!) For the last 20+ years we've heard of our society becoming more "post modern" religiously, culturally, ethically, and even related to the family. I've heard a new one today. It's called "post truth." This word has become the word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. Here is what the BBC web site had to say about the definition. "It is defined as an adjective relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals." (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-37995600)
This part really isn't news. People have had a desire to act in a "post truth" manner since shortly after the creation in Genesis 3. What garnered my attention was the fact that this was being introduced into society via the major news outlets as a way to explain away the recent phenomena concerning the Brexit vote in Europe and our recent presidential election, as if this is what 'made' this phrase possible! Truth has been relative since I can remember! "If it's true for you, then it must be true!" I mean, check out this foolishness! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7vJLixeh6Q
The examples used in the above referenced BBC article discuss the election of Donald Trump as President Elect and cite it as proof as to living in a "post truth" society. Apparently it is "post truth" when a political outsider wins not only the Republican nomination, but especially when he wins the Presidency.
I wonder why the mention of the Democratic Party or Hillary Clinton's antics were left out as being "post truth?" Weird.
In Amy Wang's article from the Washington Post, she writes, "In this case, the “post-” prefix doesn't mean “after” so much as it implies an atmosphere in which a notion is irrelevant — but then again, who says you have to take our word for it anymore?" (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/16/post-truth-named-2016-word-of-the-year-by-oxford-dictionaries/) Well Ms. Wang, you are right! Apparently anyone can take a word(s) and make what they want out of it AND call it truth! Anyone who disagrees with me might force me back into my safe space where the locally sourced, organic, freshly ground coffee flows, and my MacBook won't feel the pain of the ugly words likely to head this way.
After all, our new rubric of truthfulness is now based upon a "Trumpian Curve" according to the good writers at NewRepublic.com. (https://newrepublic.com/article/138497/truth-hillary-clinton) If you don't lie as often or as bad as he does, you're okay!
The Bible has a different set of standards and ideas. Psalm 51:6 says "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place." The Lexham Bible Dictionary calls truth factuality, faithfulness, firmness, reality, and reliability. In the Old Testament evidence of truth is seen in these two verses: Nehemiah 9:33 where God's truth is contrasted with the actions of His people; and in Zech 8:16 when the exiles are told to speak truth to one another. A few verses in the New Testament are as follows: Mark 5:33 indicates truth is seen as honesty; and Eph 4:25 which contrasts truth with lying.
Why do people confuse lies with anything but the truth? John 8:44-46 tell us why: "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?"
We love lies because the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8) People like the darkness though. The reason: what they do is evil, so they want to keep doing that which is wrong because to admit it is wrong would be to admit guilt. (John 3:20) The opposite is true as well. John 3:21 tells us that those who live in the light do so because they want to show others that their good deeds have been done through God.
Believer, there is absolute truth. It is given by God in His word and His moral law is written on our heart. People need this truth. Might be good bait to use next time you go fishing. Or not. Might send someone into their safe space, forcing their boss to give them a paid day off, or even worse, cause a protest.
I received a group text this morning from some of the more outwardly evangelistic people in my community. One of the people mentioned that they are planning on using the upcoming holiday season to share their faith. They suggested we all stop and take some time to share with those volunteering to ring the Salvation Army bell. Buy them a snack. Get them something to drink. Share the Good News.
I love that idea! My wife and I used to ignore the bell ringers. We felt bad because we already "gave at the office." They are literally everywhere after Thanksgiving! If we gave pocket change to every single bell ringer we encountered, we'd certainly be out $5's or even $10's of dollars! (Tongue in cheek)
We used to ignore them until we volunteered to ring the bell while we lived in Tennessee. We discovered that most people do the same thing. They turn their heads, they go into the other doors, they say they've already given, etc. What's funny is that we didn't care! We weren't getting any money, didn't care if they've given already or not, and wouldn't have dreamt of guilting anyone. We just wanted to say hi and smile at people. Now, instead of ignoring the bell ringers, I purposefully go out of my way to walk past them, smile, and ask how they are doing. I might give, I might not. It's not their business how much I've given already and to be honest; they don't care!
So here's what I'm planning on doing this year. I'm going to use the bell ringers, the clerk who asks if I'd like to round up for charity or give an extra dollar for the Ronald House, or anything that looks like this as a part of my holiday season evangelism strategy extravaganza!! I'll shorten it to MHSESE!! That should catch on. Maybe I'll do a hashtag and post it to my twitter feed every time I have an opportunity.
My goal will be to round up, give an extra dollar, or drop at least two coins into the bucket EVERY TIME I'm asked at the cash register or every time I pass a bell ringing bucket. And along with a dollar, a rounding up, or a couple coins, I'll be handing out a Good News For You! book, a Gospel tract, or trying to have a Gospel conversation. Every time.
Will I end up giving more to charity this season? Who knows. Maybe. I'm not made of money. There's only so much of it at our house. But what it will do is remind me to be more evangelistic.
Some call it intentional.
Do you have a stack of GNFY! in your car? Grab some and keep them handy. Charities need donations, but more than that, everyone needs the Gospel. Are you sharing and what is your plan this holiday season?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.