How I Was Saved From Deceptive News
The barbarian takeover of Afghanistan due to President Biden’s incompetence continues to unfold. Even our State Department is standing in the way of helping Americans and allies flee the country safely.
I thank God that other groups have helped with the airlift (Samaritan’s Purse, Kenneth Copeland Ministries and The Nazarene Fund–Glenn Beck) by transporting over 9,000 people to safety. But many remain stranded despite the denials by the Biden Administration.
Confusion and deception (caused by false information) can come from many sources.
Here’s how I was saved from deceptive news.
How I Was Saved From Deceptive News
For most of my adult life the mainstream media and other news sources were trustworthy in the United States. Why? Because our Judeo-Christian heritage taught that truth was worthy of pursuit and fact-telling stood paramount in our society. Most commentators and reporters sought the truth and delivered it to the people.
We were founded on the Ten Commandments and number nine says, “You must not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16).
Lying destroys both people and nations.
For years I switched on the nightly news, watched a cable newscast, picked up a newspaper, or even surfed the Net and believed I was getting the basic facts on world events. Our commitment to virtue as a people (never close to being perfect) demanded honesty in sharing knowledge (2 Peter 1:5).
That’s a major blessing of a God-fearing society. Truth matters.
But some decades ago, truth-seeking began to fade in our culture because we devolved into an increasingly immoral society (abandoning virtue). Portions of the media started slanting the news toward the values and goals of secularism/atheism which champions immoral behavior. More recently they have become organs of socialist and Marxist thought.
I was so concerned about this abandonment of objective truth in 2018 that I began my River of God book with a chapter called “Lies.” It spelled out many of the falsehoods being spouted today.
Here is my conclusion:
Lies about origins, history, sex, health, freedom, and numerous other subjects seem to be the order of the day. We find them at every turn and may even (unwittingly) promote a few ourselves. Our world is drowning in a sea of lies. It has always been this way, but modern communication (media) certainly amplifies the sound.
Thus, the concept of fake news.
Note I was honest about lies being perpetrated by progressives (secularists/Marxists) and by believers–unwittingly–it they weren’t careful. When things become polarized, even good folks can stray from facts because we don’t want to identify with the other side.
Enter Bill O’Reilly into my news consciousness.
The Trump-Biden contest of 2020 probably contained more lies and deceptive tactics than any presidential election in United States history. Joe Biden was a feckless and mentally diminished candidate who had never come close to winning in presidential politics. In 2020, the progressive establishment got behind the weak Biden candidacy (now promoting open borders, rampant inflation, soaring energy prices, and the Afghanistan debacle) and deceptively convinced eighty-one million Americans to vote for a shell of a man.
They also possibly cheated in the election and got away with it. Millions of American voters believe that. Notice I said “possibly” because it’s never been proved beyond a shadow of doubt.
That’s where Bill O’Reilly helped me.
During the tumultuous campaign between Trump and Biden, I found myself wanting to believe that fraud had been committed, the election was stolen, and we must rise up and do something about it. There certainly were signs of evidence pointing that direction.
But signs or theories are not facts. Truth is based on hard evidence—and the more the better.
I chose Bill O’Reilly’s “No Spin News” as my primary news source years ago because I noticed he refused to share theories, opinions, or speculation that was not based on evidence. Bill believed there were shenanigans in the 2020 election, but he patiently waited for facts to surface. They didn’t–with any clarity to overturn the election. So, he accepted the election of Joe Biden and moved on.
Many people on our side of the debate did not. They had been led to believe (without clear evidence) that Donald Trump won–and they bitterly clung to it. That’s not being truth based. It is opening yourself to confusion and deception.
Then Covid came along. The two sides clashed once again like David versus Goliath. The secularists supported the lockdowns, mask mandates, the China-compliant World Health Organization (WHO) and the rantings of Dr. Fauci. The other side saw the dangerous intrusion of Big Government upon basic American freedoms, didn’t trust WHO with any of their pronouncements, and wanted the good doctor fired.
Now the battle rages over masks in schools and getting vaccinated (or not). The battle lines are once again engaged.
But Bill O’Reilly keeps sharing fact-based truth on all these issues. Others do the same. Sometimes it’s hard to find–but honest newscasters seek the best/multiple sources. Progressives tend to use “unnamed and unverified sources.”
Never on the No Spin News.
I was convicted after the election by Bill O’Reilly’s disciplined thought. I had been reading Internet articles and social-media posts that I wanted to believe but couldn’t really back up (as in a court of law). I became lazy in my thinking, biased with some theories, and not patient enough to pursue the clear factual evidence wherever it led.
So, I repented (changed). Bill O’Reilly reminded me to be fair and balanced–and always trust the facts.
I’m glad he did because my faith is based on the same foundation. I believe in God because overwhelming general and special revelation shouts out His reality (Romans 1:18-23). I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord because of indisputable facts about his life, mission, death, and resurrection–greater than any person in history.
In fact (no pun intended), all my beliefs on every subject rest on biblical truth and personal experience that confirm them.
True faith (trust) is based on evidence.
Here are some principles to keep in mind while navigating the “ocean of lies” now sweeping our civilization:
- Don’t believe what you read just because it lines up with your ideology. Make sure it’s based on solid evidence with a humble tone.
- Seek the truth diligently. Always trust the facts (as you understand them).
- Check your sources carefully, especially on the Net. Social media is a sewer of thought.
- Be committed to what the evidence shows–not what you want it to be.
- Be careful who you trust. That’s the biggest issue of life (faith).
- Give credit to bad people when they do right. Give blame to good people when they miss the mark. That’s the key to being fair and balanced.
- Practice your evidence-based core beliefs–but do it humbly.
I have a good friend named John who I regularly see while shopping. He told me some weeks ago that President Trump would be brought back in office by August 15. (He saw it on the Net.) I bet him a steak dinner that he was wrong. How could that work in a fact-based world? When the date came and went, he moved the goalpost back to August 31. That’s what his Internet sources told him.
I’m looking forward to that medium-rare steak dinner, but I mostly feel sorry for my friend. He’s believing a lie because he’s not seeking evidence-based truth.
It’s God who saves us from deception. But he uses many messengers along the way.
Another excellent article. Just read it to my husband. I work for the state legislature but gave up cable (and its news) in 2019. I am cautious of my sources and always try to weigh the truth. It has been so freeing and peaceful and your article has reinforced that I was on the right path. No news….more time for God. 🙂 Thanks again. I really appreciate your articles and regularly share them with my bible study ladies.
Have a wonderful long weekend. 🙂
Good article, Ron! One question: were you seeing how alert we were to error? All through you stated 2016 for Trump vs Biden, when it was 2020. I’m pretty sure you erred on purpose. 🙂