Don’t trust everything you hear on the news
Major media outlets have an agenda and it is often not aligned with God’s word. So why do we so blindly trust the news? Many well-known journalists don’t have a relationship with God. Why do we trust them? Often times the media reports partial truths, myths and even outright lies. Consider news anchor Brian Williams’ recent account of his time aboard a U.S. Army helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which he said the helicopter was hit and forced down by enemy fire. He later confessed that the story was a “mistake”.
Consider the 1992 Dateline NBC report titled “Waiting to Explode?”. In an attempt to question the safety of GM trucks, the producers of the show tried to ensure dramatic footage by allowing incendiary devices to be strapped to trucks for a crash-test demonstration. Countless falsifications such as this demonstrate that we shouldn’t trust everything we hear or see T.V. Nor should we trust everything we read on the internet or in a newspaper, or even the word on the street.
As Christians, in general, we are so gullible. We believe so much of what we hear, without considering the source or the true intent of the storyteller. We are often so caught up with the magnitude of the story that we don’t bother questioning its validity. And sometimes we believe whatever we think makes us happy. Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth.
Major news networks aren’t necessarily concerned with integrity
Most Conservatives think Fox is more accurate. Most liberals think CNN is more accurate. The truth is that both networks are inaccurate on many accounts. Allow me to let you in on a little secret… Most major media networks are doing everything they can to improve their own ratings. That leads me to believe that they are willing to sensationalize stories and compromise the truth in order to generate wealth. Sensationalism begets viewership and viewership begets money.
Many networks have ties to special interest groups and governing officials. They are not necessarily committed to telling us the truth. They are not necessarily concerned with our well being. They are not necessarily concerned with having integrity. So why do we trust them? “For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue.” Psalm 109:2
While we can apply biblical principles to our lives today, God’s word doesn’t reveal all current events occurring in our world today. However, I believe that God wants us to have a good understanding of current events so that we can respond to the world appropriately. In order to guard my heart, I filter the information that I receive. In general, I don’t spend much time reading articles from news sources that I don’t trust. Whenever I read articles, I process and analyze what I read to ensure I’m not being led astray. I don’t watch much news on T.V. and I don’t read the newspaper very often. Here are some things to remember when you read, watch or listen to the news…
- Pay close attention and ask God for wisdom in understanding the truth
- Be mindful of the information presented and guard your heart from false information
- Consider the source and the agenda that they present
- Identify and use sources that demonstrate integrity and share the truth
- Identify and use additional trustworthy sources to confirm the information presented
Listen to God more and major media less
I am convinced that God’s word offers the answers we need to respond properly to current events. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31
This is not a call for us to be detached from the world. Jesus called us to be in the world, but not of it. This is a call for us to be mindful of his words when we are “catching up on the news”. Without wisdom, knowledge can be deceiving. Remember these words… “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
We can begin to reclaim the truth by first believing less lies. To do so we should filter out the erroneous sources and obtain our news from more reliable sources. I don’t claim that the following news sources are perfect, but I do believe that the people involved with them have more integrity than those involved with major news outlets…
What news sources do you use and how do you know if they are trustworthy? What are you going to do to reclaim the truth?