By James Werning
We criticize unfair judicial courts with their biased witnesses, and yet we turn a blind eye to prejudice slander in our news sources. My experience has shown this to be true. For many years I was an outspoken critic of media bias on the other side of the issues, while ignoring my own biases. I simply stopped thinking critically when I heard truth-claims that aligned with my worldview.
No matter where we stand on the issues, we are by nature quick to accept single-sourced accusations as true. Meanwhile, similar unfair claims are made on the other side, when in fact the truth often lies somewhere in the middle. It’s like a nasty divorce. When you hear her side of the story, you despise “that man.” Then when you hear his perspective, you say, “Wait a minute. Are we even talking about the same marriage here?”
In fact, truth is discoverable when we scan the breadth of media sources with an open mind. For example, when I was bold enough to study a wide range of sources for American history, some of my revisionist views were quickly proven to be false. I was able to solidly separate fact from fiction by looking at these diverse sources. That took courage, of course, to ask questions that the people with whom I associated were not asking. But when I did, the truths I discovered brought me tremendous freedom and joy and confidence.
True truth is accessible when you are humble and childlike enough to question your favored sources and listen to differing opinions. True truth is available when you are strong enough to stand on your own two feet and think for yourself. For those who follow Jesus, that means asking yourself:
Am I brave enough to sit and listen to my “enemies?”
Am I bold enough to break from the religious crowd and selflessly love those whom I fear?
Do I love my enemies enough to listen to them?
Am I taking responsibility to discover truth, or have I relinquished that responsibility to others?
Am I humble enough to admit that I can be deceived?
Am I following Christ’s sacrificial approach to handling conflict?
Am I willing to be criticized by religious people for seeking truth and justice, rather than to tacitly accept their claims that may be untrue?
If you are only listening to one side of the issues, you are being misled. You are also being groomed by people with selfish materialistic agendas who know nothing of a God who seeks love and truth and justice and reconciliation. Even respected Christian leaders have fallen into this trap, speaking about people instead of with them, adding to the noise of ungodly slander.
It’s time we humble ourselves and admit that we are being deceived. It’s time to admit that we are being set up by enemies — whether physical or spiritual — to fight their battles, not ours.
The deception has gotten so bad that many people see future violence as inevitable. Some Christians are even collecting weapons to shoot the same neighbors they won’t sit and talk with today. What would Jesus say about that!?!
Please stop condemning God’s children on the other side of the issues without giving them a fair hearing. These days, allegiance to any one news source is like joining a lynch mob of the 1960s — it will lead to violence against innocent people based on false accusations.