By Steve Schmutzer
We live in a post-truth world. It was not this way a few years ago, but it sure is now.
Pick your poison: politics, religion, sexuality, the family, history, climate change, crime, or the dangers of wind turbines on bird life. Pick whatever issue you want – it really makes no difference.
Whichever issue you pick, you will find that mounting numbers of people no longer want to accept the truth about it. Oh, they KNOW the facts are the facts, but they totally reject them anyways. Nothing will change their mind.
It’s fruitless to point to articles, statistics, research, testimony, or whatever evidence underscores the proofs. You’d be wasting your time imagining facts matter with these folks. Post-truthers don’t care one iota about the way things really are. If the truth conflicts with their choices, if it’s something that argues against the things they most want to believe, then they’ll refuse to accept it. Post-truthers are at war with reality.
This posture amounts to an inconceivable display of willful ignorance that defies description. To refuse the truth when the facts are clear ranks as one of the clearest signs of extreme personal dysfunction.
This dynamic has all been carefully crafted. One key player in this equation is our media. They ‘faithfully’ do their part to encourage this conundrum. The media today is not about ‘informing’ the population – it’s about ‘influencing’ it.
It’s why we now find ourselves living in a world that provides only the smallest tincture of truth. If you get a polio vaccine, you are receiving a tiny bit of the disease. It prevents you from getting the full-blown condition. Truth is like that. If you only get the tiniest bit of truth, it vaccinates you – it prevents you – from accepting all of it.
The danger is, partial truth achieves the intentions of a total lie. Partial truth is the same as full deception.
But the bottom line remains that truth in all its expressions is what it is, and it must be faced. This is terribly inconvenient for many people. For those affronted in some way by the truth, predictable responses arise. When it is opportunistic to overlook it, the truth is omitted. When truth cannot be avoided, it is misrepresented. When truth conflicts with personal agenda, it is attacked. Ultimately, if these sorts of treatments do not suffice, the messenger of truth – whomever or whatever that may be – is discredited and condemned.
It’s imperative to understand, “Truth is uncomfortable.” Truth clarifies things; it exposes who we are and what we want to be. It has a way of dividing, and so when truth is made clear, we must make a decision. Do we agree with the truth, or do we disagree with it? Whether we choose to agree or to disagree does not change the inherent truth itself. But our choices in response to truth say an awful lot about us.
I regret to say I don’t see this present dilemma improving – not here in America anyway. The numbers of ‘post-truthers’ are going up every day, and their desire for wisdom and discernment is going down at the same rate. They’ve now arrived at a point where they are celebrating their depravity. The conclusion of all this will be messy…to say the least. I know I speak for many when I say, “I’ve had enough.”
God will reach the same point. Being that He is a God of great grace and mercy, we’ve seen His patience demonstrated time and again. But it won’t last. A time is coming when His patience will reach an end point. He’ll have had enough. It’s then that His judgment will be executed upon a world that refuses to accept the truth of His eternal power and divine nature that is evident all around us.
Remarkably, most of the world at that time will understand God’s judgments and why they are happening. Humanity’s choices will be exposed for being wrong. But just as things are now, the truth then won’t make any difference to them. Revelation 16:9 tells us the future looks a lot like today. Folks won’t change. They won’t turn away from their depraved behaviors. Unbelievably, they’ll choose to curse God for the consequences of their choices.
The Bible teaches the straightforward message that refusal to accept truth places one’s soul at risk (James 5:20). For many, it’s a process that starts simply enough – but left unchecked, this foolishness demands one pay the highest price.