Wisdom And The News

Things Aren't Always As They Appear!

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THE BACKGROUND:  In our country, and all the more so as we quickly approach the mid-term elections, it should come as no surprise that the media, especially news organizations, hold political and philosophical positions or perspectives reflective of the business’ owners and management teams – notwithstanding protestations to the contrary.  The days of old where the press simply reports observable and corroborated facts, leaving the opinion-making to the reader, are no more.

The political and philosophical perspectives of a news organization can be detected, as can the organization’s level of integrity to the truth by screening multiple articles or reports over a period of time to watch for trends.  If you think this would be a simple process, you might be mistaking.  Our personal biases and life experiences greatly impact and can even skew how we interpret truth and integrity.

News organizations, like all corporate entities, have owners, executive staff (e.g., presidents, CEOs, CFOs) and attorneys who daily concern themselves with budgetary, human resource, regulatory and operational matters – not to mention the never ending concern about meeting viewership, subscription and funding or advertising goals.  Annual, monthly, weekly and often daily meetings at various levels of management are held to focus, streamline and assure smooth operations, and to decide how to shape, package and otherwise address (or not to address) the major issues requiring investigation and reporting.  This is where the integrity level of the organization is established, for better or for worse.

THE SITUATION:  It’s been my observation that news organizations sometimes publish entire pages full of reports from a consistent perspective of supporting or not supporting a certain political figure or governmental policy on one day, but on the very next day, publish reports from the opposite perspective, or report in a manner of “playing one side against the other.”  This can be viewed as objectivity, balance and fairness, or it can be viewed as something else.  It’s often accomplished by spacing the contrasting reports over different days or news cycles, by creative titling or article placement on the pages, or by burying critical or exculpatory evidence in the body of the report – so as not to draw immediate attention or to lessen the impact of an important point.

It would be one thing if opinion pieces were relegated solely to “editorial” or “to the editor” comment pages, but given the manner in which articles appear nowadays – and especially in digital publications – it can be very easy to click on an opinion piece and mistake it for objective news reporting.  After all, it’s on the front page!

Ironically, the opinion pieces often do contain accurate and newsworthy information, but the reader needs serious discernment as to what he or she is consuming.  It’s easy to forget that what is NOT included in an article or news report is just as important, and sometimes more important, than what IS included (the sin of commission vs. omission, so to speak)!  Another modern day approach is reporting by highly paid and esteemed “stars” (e.g., Hannity, Bongino, Lemon, Blitzer, Spicer), who present facts intermixed with opinions and prognostications right in our collective faces.  Too many of us enjoy the “gotcha game” approach and IT SELLS.  Although this bolsters viewership and brings in more money, is it good, bad or a little of both?  Well, I’m not going to attempt to answer that question, and besides, we’d never agree with each other anyway!

THE RESOLUTION:  I do, however, desire to remind us about the cleverness of how our news and commentary is presented – and one thing seems very clear, it’s not presented from a biblical, Christian, faith-based, God-fearing or “WWJD” perspective or worldview!  Regarding the wisdom of the world, the scriptures say that God traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness (1 Corinthians 3:19)!  I thank God that FGGAM is under the leadership of Pastor Dewey Moede for that very reason.  All the glory goes to God!

I’m certainly not suggesting that we embrace ignorance or refrain from local, national or international news, so long as that activity doesn’t become an idol or stumbling block in our lives and interpersonal relationships, but that we seek God-given discernment and wisdom in processing what we consume.  It’s the Lord who gives wisdom and seeking wisdom is pleasing to Him (Proverbs 2:6 and 1 Kings 3:10).  We should always remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).

Pray about what you consume.  Limit or alter what you consume, as necessary.  Vet political candidates based upon the word of God, and His command that we love each other and seek first the kingdom of God – and certainly not based solely on what the mainstream press has to say.  The evil one is counting on us to blindly trust every worldly thing we see, hear or read in the absence a biblical worldview.  Help us to always seek You first, Lord Jesus!

Supporting scriptures:

1 Kings 3:10 [NLT] – “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom.”

Psalm 111:10 [NKJV] – ”Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.  All who obey [H]is commandments will grow in wisdom.  Praise [H]im forever!”

Proverbs 2:6 {NKJV] – “For the Lord gives wisdom; [f]rom His mouth come knowledge and understanding…”.

1 Corinthians 3:19 [NLT] – “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.  As the Scriptures say, ‘He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.’”

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