When it comes to consuming what we commonly refer to as “the news,” in this day and age of ideological polarization and the propensity to omit or twist facts to suit ones own bias, I can’t count the number of times I have said, or heard someone else say, “There are so many voices out there, which can you trust? Who should you listen to?”
My own solution has been to stick mostly to three news sources. One would be categorized as “left leaning” or “liberal” — that’s their bent, that’s the lens through which they’re going to interpret and comment on the facts. The other is openly “right” oriented, or “conservative”, as they boldly declare they are reporting and filtering the facts through a biblical worldview. And the third, by most accounts, would be more centrist, sticking mostly to just the facts unless openly identifying a piece as an opinion or editorial piece. Seems to me to be a prudent approach. Three witnesses has some biblical foundation (Deut. 19:15, Matt. 18:16, 2Cor. 13:1). If they appear to line up on the facts, despite how they interpret them, at least I’m thinking I’m somewhere in the ballpark of reality and can apply my own worldview accordingly.
But I am reminded this morning, in kind of a round about way, that even my best attempts at triangulating truth falls short without one more “source” in the mix. That while I might try and make sense of world happenings based on voices from around here, I must never stop lining it up to the universal, overriding truth provided from the source who is the Creator over all up there.
Like I said, ended up chewing on this in kind of a round about way. Two unrelated verses in two unrelated contexts but which use the same English word (but nowhere near the same original words) in my ESV translation. Yet driving home the point to me that it stands in Scripture.
First encounter? Jeremiah. There the prophet is warning those who have fled to Egypt — having listened to false prophets and, in disobedience, having refused to stay in Judah according to God’s instruction — that they will suffer and die in Egypt.
“. . . and all the remnant of Judah, who came to the land of Egypt to live, shall know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs. This shall be the sign to you, declares the LORD, that I will punish you in this place, in order that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for harm.”
(Jeremiah 44:28b-29 ESV)
And then, in 1 Peter where the beloved under-shepherd of Christ is encouraging those who have been driven from their homes by persecution with a reminder of their unfailing hope.
For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
(1Peter 2:6 ESV)
And it’s the thought of God’s word standing that I’m chewing on this morning.
In contrast to all the media sources that vie for our attention and our followership, only the living and active word of God is worthy of our wholehearted readership. For His words will surely stand.
While confusion might reign as we flip from one channel to the next, or move from one blogger to another, or consume headlines from one social media source in contradiction to another source, we always have a source of unfailing truth, our bibles. For it stands in Scripture.
What dangerous waters we enter when we untether ourselves from the anchor of God’s word. How we short ourselves by not investing as much time in the facts according to God as we do the facts according to popular or fringe media.
The word of God, illuminated by the Spirit of God, is our only confidence in navigating this multi-voiced landscape. For it is the only thing which transforms lives as it renews minds so that we can discern “what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). The only instrument that can penetrate soul and spirit, truly putting us in touch with our own “thoughts and intentions of the heart” so that we might know the way of walking in obedience (Heb. 4:11-12).
It stands in Scripture. And we can stand on Scripture.
By His grace. For His glory.