These days, the political climate of our nation is pitted with accusations that the various sides are lying about those of the other sides. The FBI is accused of lying. The Republicans are accused of lying. The Democrats are accused of lying. In the midst of it all is the news media reporting about the lying, and, quite frankly, the things that the major news media reports, it is rather obvious that they are lying about the lying.
For that reason, I rarely watch the news broadcasts. I do not subscribe to the news magazines at all. I do not give any credibility to the political bilge that comes out of Nancy Pelosi’s mouth—and many other political leaders, for that matter.
Some claim that things are truthful “as they see it,” but that is only a lie between their teeth. But, we allow that explanation according to our own particular political and moral biases. We have allowed a culture of lying to develop in our nation, and it is because we do not hold these various entities accountable to tell the truth. We keep voting for the same liars. We keep buying the same lying literatures. We keep tuning in to the same lying broadcasts. Whenever I hear the major news sources refer to themselves as “news you can trust,” or “the most trusted name in the news industry,” I scoff at the inanity of the proposition, for I know they are telling a lie just to get our continuing patronage. Unfortunately, with a lot of people, “fake news” gets a lot of credibility.
We have permitted a culture of lying to permeate our culture without failing to realize that the most major consideration we can know about lying is that God hates it. The Scripture says that God hates a “lying tongue,” and a “false witness that speaks lies.” We are reminded that “lying lips are abomination to the Lord.” Perhaps that is the compelling reason God stipulated the 9th Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness….,” which quite obviously involves divine injunction against lying.
The Apostle Paul exhorts, “Wherefore put away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
After all, there are problems that lying instigates. Lying ruthlessly attacks reputation. Lying disrupts unity, and stirs a constant state of unrest. Lying keeps a soap opera mentality at work. Lying keeps things from getting done.
Perhaps the most subtle problem with lying is that it ultimately diminishes emphasis on God, because lying prioritizes self rather than God. When Jonah said “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy,” he was saying that those who give regard to lies forsake their own mercy. In other words, we forsake advantage with and mercy from God when we tolerate lying. “When we trust in lying words, we do not profit,” wrote Jeremiah. We tend to pass off lying as acceptable foolery rather than calling it what it really is-sin.
On the other hand, however, God loves those that love the truth, speak the truth, teach the truth, and expect the truth. That is why we should expect to have a culture of truth in our nation, which we get by building a culture of truth in our nation.
Building a culture of truth starts with our selves. We must be willing to expedite truth in our own lives.
Building a culture of truth must be a part of family training. Teaching the truth to our children and living truthfully before them is paramount. Give them a model of truth.
Building a culture of truth should be an emphasis of the Christian Church. The Church needs to relate those Scriptures that point to the fact that our God is the God of Truth. If God is Truth, then so we should be people of truth.
Building a culture of truth should be advanced by the leaders and teachers of our schools. I remember specifically how the principal of my elementary school spoke about the importance of telling the truth (particularly those times when I was sent to his office for doing something wrong).
We need to get the emphasis away from lying and onto the merits of truthfulness.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and ministers in the local area.