Can we be honest and admit that sometimes it seems to be a chore to read through the regulations in the opening books of the Bible. But every once in a while (perhaps less often than it should) I find a connection that makes the reading seem worth while. For example, this morning I read this:
“You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.” (Exodus 23:1-3)
As I read these verses I thought of how easily I can “follow the masses” in esposing an opinion on something that I have not researched myself. We must keep in mind that every news organization has an agenda. That agenda may be nothing more sinister than selling papers or gaining ratings. Some news outlets try harder than others to be fair, but we cannot assume that anyone is completely neutral in what they present.
Too many times we have found out that those who were thought to be trustworthy have been intentionally deceptive. In the internet age, when anyone can post information on line, it is sometimes even more difficult to separate truth from fiction. The difficulty does not relieve us of the responsibility to determine what is true and what is not.
I am not seeking to engender distrust of any person or news organization. My point is that we should be careful in what we repeat and proclaim as true.
It is too easy to take that juicy bit of “news” about a politician or celebrity that I don’t like or don’t agree with and use that “news” as further reason to not like or not trust him. Before it is repeated, I need to confirm that it is true and also confirm that it is necessary or helpful to the discussion at hand.
Christians should have no part in character assasination.
I am reminded of the lyrings from the children’s song, “oh be careful little mouth what you say.” It turns out that it was good advice.