You’d think the MSM would eventually weary of laboring under the crushing burden of its own massive hypocrisy.
You’d be wrong.
The issue of truth has never been the mainstream media’s concern during the Obama years, or regarding any major cherished Democratic value. Americans died in Benghazi because of a video tape, the Obama administration says? Sure, whatever. Move on. Hillary Clinton can’t keep a national secret, just doesn’t remember anything, yet is fit to run the nation? Well, she’s pro-abortion and a feminist darling, and a Clinton, so…yeah, that works. No further questions, thanks. Next?
Now it’s a different day and a different (party) president. So every single word, action, eyebrow waggle and throat-clearing is “fact-checked” by these newly-minted, very very serious truth-loving watchdogs.
In response, some are taking the stance the MSM was holding just yesterday, when their god-king was still in power. Writing in The Daily Wire, John Nolte flatly states “I DO NOT CARE IF DONALD TRUMP LIES.” His reasoning is simple and strongly attractive. I´ll reword and summarize:
- The opposition lies shamelessly, with MSM collusion; why should I deny myself that weapon?
- I want to win, whatever it takes, and not lose like a gentleman.
- It may be politics, but it’s still a war, and the stakes are high.
- A lot of it isn’t exactly lying, it’s just accepted coinage where nobody takes anybody that seriously.
- The MSM is a tireless opponent and must be crushed.
As I say, this is my rewording, please read Nolte’s own formulation.
On the one hand, I entirely sympathize with what Nolte’s saying, on an emotional level. The utter shamelessness of Obama and leading Democrats working hand in glove through a pants-wettingly compliant MSM loudspeaker earned the latter the title of “Media Arm of the Democratic Party.” This vividly-recalled reality is now made insufferable by the media’s grave and portentous pose as watchmen on the wall, ponderously announcing their new function as unbiased, clear-eyed arbiters of truth.
To that, I say sticklebats. My resemblance to Tom Cruise is a lot closer – and that’s nonexistent.
In saying all this, am I embracing the “our turn to lie,” or “victory at all costs” ethic? No, I’m not and I can’t.
So I have to view truth and lying in the light of Jesus Christ. There the issues become very clear. Truth is an attribute of God, it is of His nature. It is God’s nature that He is true (Psalm 18:30) and cannot lie (Titus 1:2), as it is Jesus Christ’s nature that He is truth, and is full of truth (John 1:14; 14:6). So in God I have that transcendent absolute that atheists try so hard to evade (Romans 1:18, 21), with disastrous (if unadmitted) results (v. 22).
With this in mind, I see that I, as a child of God by adoption (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:5), am called to be an imitator of God (Ephesians 5:1). His character is my touchstone. My entire life before knowing Christ was a lie, and was necessarily premised on a network of lies; in conversion, I put all of that off, and instead embrace truth (Ephesians 4:17-19, 22-24). The practical implication is that, in dealing with others, I entirely put aside lying, and speak only truth (Ephesians 4:25).
This would apply to me as a private citizen, as it applies to me as the pastor of a church. It would apply to me in any walk of life. Decades ago I applied for a job as a car salesman. I should have made a good candidate. However, I let the interviewer know I could not lie. I was not hired. Later, I enjoyed working for a civil investigator, who would have preferred that I be willing to lie in my investigations. Couldn’t do it; had to find other ways.
It would be the same today if I were a politician or a press spokesman…which probably is to say there are two more career options I need never consider – even if I didn’t love what I do.
Like every Christian, my greatest concern in life isn’t winning in politics. Much as I despise what liberalism is doing to the entire fabric of our culture, my weapon in response is truth, not more effective lying. It matters more to me that I please God in how I live and in what I say (Colossians 1:10), which I learn about exclusively in God’s written word (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Besides, while I like a number of changes that President Trump is making and attempting so far, I know that he can’t heal man’s ills. No politician can. While we can ameliorate or worsen the situation of our culture, depending on how much respect we as a culture do or do not show to God’s laws (cf. Daniel 4:27), man’s real ills are beyond human remedy. Individually, we don’t need improving, we need saving, which only Christ can do (1 Timothy 1:15). Nationally the case is the same – as is the remedy (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 11:15).
Until then, I live in and by the light of that sure and certain hope (2 Peter 3:14) – and not by others’ darkness.
Why? As I’ve explained, it boils down simply to two considerations:
- Because God.
- Because God’s word.
Postscript: For anyone wanting to study further on the subject of lying versus truth-telling, I’d recommend chapter 6 of John Murray’s Principles of Conduct, and more recently chapter 43 of John Frame’s The Doctrine of the Christian Life.