i’m pretty sure the most treasured value of our culture is our freedom of speech. we all certainly like to exercise it! it’s not this simple freedom that has got me thinking tonight, though.
it’s the fact that anybody can say just about anything…and whether or not it is true is completely irrelevant. it’s crazy! it can be a presidential hopeful…or a facebooker on his/her soapbox…or some clown who has his own blog (that would be me). we all play by the same non-rules.
i really haven’t paid much attention to all the politicking that’s been going on the past few weeks. (i know… i’m on citizenship probation), but i got drawn into it a little tonight. i listened to both candidates make outrageous claims. they both spoke with absolute authority and deep conviction. they both wanted me to believe their promises. i’m no expert, but it felt like both of them were just saying anything they could to buy my vote.
it’s sad. we live in a culture (and not just the political realm) that simply accepts the reality of distortion, half-truths, personal opinion, and out-and-out lying. there is no “fact check” organization that operates without bias. there is no accountability. if you’ve got an audience, you can sling whatever crap you want to sling. it’s your right. and america’s finest die so you and i can keep doing it.
like i said, it’s crazy.
and none of what i have just said matters. at all. but this does:
i am amused and even entertained by the circus of public opinion…and the endless debating and arguing and judging that goes on about anything and everything in our free and open society. whether it’s presidents or quarterbacks or the economy or the best wiener condiments, we know the truth. somehow, through reading or experience or personal enlightenment, my truth is better than your truth.
so fight on, friends. just don’t play by those same rules with god’s truth.
my good natured poking and amusement with the hostile public pop culture debate, turns to passionate concern when opinion, experience and personal enlightenment becomes the standard of interpreting god’s truth…and the redefining of relationships and unity in the body because of those opinions.
i realize that good-hearted and diligent students of god’s word have always ended up in opposing camps. this will never end as long as we have the freedom to read and interpret god’s word for ourselves.
but we’ve got to beware of those people and groups that use the “god told me”…or “god has given me a vision” card.
anytime somebody stands up and claims to have revealed truth directly from god, we ought to treat it the same way we do when a presidential candidate makes an audacious claim to get us to follow them.
…with healthy skepticism and accountability to back up their truth with hard-core proof.
i’m going to go out on a limb here… just because somebody says it doesn’t mean it’s actually true. and just because somebody says god told them something doesn’t mean he actually did.