Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To Tell the Truth

For those of us who have been trying to follow all of the proposals, bills, and changes in Washington this past year, it has been difficult at best and impossible at worst. I think I have part of the reason -- we don't know who is telling the truth.

For example, we were told that the "Cash for Clunkers" program was a success. Our local news reported car sales boomed, energy-efficient vehicles increased the national miles-per-gallon figure, and Congress voted twice to fund the program. That sounds like a success. But then the same local news reported that 8 out 10 top-selling cars were Japanese and South Korean cars with only 52 percent of them made in America. The same news report showed dealers who have empty lots and empty check book balances as they wait for the Federal money. That doesn't sound good.

Health care reform has been a hot topic almost daily on every news outlet. We are told Health care reform will not raise taxes, will not create "death squads," and will not fund abortions. We are told vocal opponents who seize on rumors and use bad manners to get their point across are shouting out misinformation. We are told private health care insurance programs will not be forced out of business. That sounds like good news. But then at the same time reports on TV show only one person who is vocal, members of Congress who admit taxes will be raised, and verbiage from proposals that seem to contradict the party line. That doesn't sound good.

The government, of course, doesn't have the corner on stretching the facts or withholding information. Phone solicitors promise goods and don't deliver; banks take mortgage money and then close; investment houses line the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of the soon-to-be poor, even athletes swear they aren't on steroids.

And closer to home we can cite times when family members have lied, stretched the truth, or misrepresented themselves. With each falsehood, the moral fiber of our society frays a bit more. With society's acceptance of non-truths and half-truths, should we be surprised when elected officials, business leaders, or even families indulge?

8 comments :

agedwirehead said...

When I ponder about the slide of our society into the great morass, I usually return to the first psalm. You know, "Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful..."

This first verse is the recipe for disaster in a man's life. If you walk with them, you end up standing with them, and then sitting with them--and you forget all about the law of the Lord.

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law will he exercise himself day and night."

What a contrast. Having followed the first verse too long, until God got my attention, I now choose the far easier path of the second verse--in hope of the promises in the third and fourth verses.

"And he shall be like a tree planted by the waterside, that will bring forth its fruit in due season. His leaf also shall not wither; and look, whatsoever he doeth he shall prosper."

I believe this was written in full expectation of Jesus Christ. Hard to think of dying on the cross as prospering, but it was just that.

If he stood the sting of all those lies and intense abuse, I will endeavor to stand up for Him in these lying times.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely a hot button for me. I know sin is everywhere in this world. And I certainly know that I'm a part of it. That's why I spend so much time asking God to forgive me, and help me do better. But being untruthful just seems like the worst of all sins. I know sin is sin, and any sin results in damnation without God's forgiveness. But lying just ruins it for everyone. Once you lie, how can you ever be trusted again. And, although it's never much of a surprise with a used car salesman (no offense to any used car salesman out there) lies, you kind of expect it. But you can always just not go back to that used car salesman again. But when our government leaders lie, it ruins it for all of us. Each of our elected leaders needs to examine him/herself in the light of our Lord, and remember that they are elected to serve this great country, not themselves, nor some political party. If they aren't willing to do that, they need to leave the job to someone else. Maybe it's just me. But I don't remember it being like this until the last few years. We need to all pray that God will guide us in our future elections, and provide us with leaders who will work for our country, and not for their own interests.

Anonymous said...

We need to be careful when accusing the Washington crowd of lying. Why? Because many of the accusations coming from other political parties or radio and TV commentators are the real lies. It really bothers me to hear professed Christians attacking their opposition with lies.
"Bearing false witness?"

Anonymous said...

Who are you going to believe, me or your lyin' eyes? — Groucho Marx

Troy said...

Anon # 2

When you said:

"Because many of the accusations coming from other political parties or radio and TV commentators are the real lies."

I'm sure you're talking about NPR and MSNBC.

agedwirehead said...

"Man, you make your own reality. Make it what you want!" Told me in great earnestness back in the early 70's, I was dumbfounded; a series of discussions ensued. Is there truth? Is there reality?

About a year later, I was nearly destitute. I had spent all of my energy trying to build a heaven on this earth. That winter was devastatingly cold and snowy. I had no heat in a house in the middle of nowhere that was unfinished with no power. I fell sick and lost consciousness.

When I woke, a red-headed man was caring for me, feeding me broth. I had met him just once, in a cafe in a town 30 miles away, where we ate lunch together. We swapped lies--or at least that is what I did.

When he knew I would live, he took his leave in order to get back to his livestock. His parting words to me, "You are a liar."

A hard lesson, but vital. God's reality is the only reality, and lying about it does not make an alternate reality, it only makes us sick. My red-headed savior had tested my words and found I was a liar. He did this at some expense.

Today we can test lies pretty fast. I have the Bible on my computer, fully indexed and cross-referenced with excellent commentaries. If someone is contradicting The Word, one can be certain they are a liar.

In addition, we have cameras and recorders everywhere today. Bills and laws are posted and can be read. We can discover liars.

And as the red-headed man did for me, we can confront each liar with the truth. I thank God daily for His deliverance, and the ministry of this red-headed man.

Troy said...

Wow!. I think you partied just a little too hard in the 70s. I have no idea of what you just said. But I agree with,

"God's reality is the only reality, and lying about it does not make an alternate reality.

revdahjr said...

The only place to find truth is in the One who called Himself THE Truth.