Seeking Truth in a World Overrun With Bias (#705)

Where can one find out what's true anymore, when people, politicians, and the media are only cherry-picking the facts that serve their particular agenda? Brad joins Wayne for a discussion about the polarization of our culture and where it might lead and how it has affected their own relationship. How can we have meaningful conversations with people who don't just have a different interpretation of the facts, but a disagreement about the basic facts themselves. They also talk about the difficult relationship between love and judgment.

Podcast Notes:
A Language of Healing for a Polarized Nation
Pew Research on Polarization
If You Can Help Us in Kenya

10 Comments

  1. Wayne I think the missing thought is absolute truth, which brings with it an absolute ethical code. God’s truth is True, regardless of what others feel or think. We don’t have to condemn but we have to discern. There is a difference.

    I missed Brad! Glad he was back and I hope he comes back again.

  2. I am utterly confused by what little I try to hear from the media specifically about the “impeachment process”…one line I will see by transcript a person testifying there is no quid pro quo then mainstream media saying this same person said there was quid pro quo. We have presidential press conferences to tell the public the president is innocent and then mainstream nightly news saying the opposite. I have one “inside source” who works in Washington but how do I even trust that source due to their party loyalty.

    I also got confused a bit in the latter part of Brad and Wayne’s conversation of “no judgement” vs “ we make judgments everyday”…I think a specific example or two from Brad may be helpful to further explain what he is trying to say?

    Jesus said He did not come to condemn the world and so shall we also not condemn but love.

    I absolutely love John 4. Jesus meets a woman who is considered sinful…He never once condemns or judges her negatively…yet encourages her and meets her where she is at spiritually….she sees love, she feels love, she feels SAFE to ask questions her heart longs for because that is how she is created…and what does Jesus do? He encourages her with, “you have said truthfully”, He doesn’t condemn her actions but simply meets her with her deep longing and answers her question that she can worship God not in a location but in spirit and in truth…He doesn’t address the behavior except encouraging her honesty. He offers liberty from discrimination, religious suppression, condemnation and meets her with divine Truth that truly liberates us….life in God…His way not man’s laws or attempts to control mankind.
    How beautiful…may we all follow this example.

  3. I have optimism about people being able to find the truth. Maybe not as God sees it but certainly on the human level. Trustworthiness, logic, time (how it plays out) and talk vs acts all lead us to what is true. Maybe not perfect truth but true enough to move forward.

    There are people who are leading us to question our ability to get at the truth. That we need someone to tell us what is true rather than each learning that process themselves.

    I agree that there are those whose interests benefit with the public being polarized and angry with each other.

    Followers of Jesus have a lot to bring to this angry dialogue. We are about loving those around us and bridging with people, not building walls and shutting people out. I am optimistic about the Spirit of God continuing to move in his people to be the salt and light.

  4. We are fortunate to live in a democracy in the United States. We can easily access documents such as the Constitution, the Amendments, Bill of Rights, Congressional records, the Mueller Report, testimony from the depositions from the current impeachment inquiry. We have access to Congressional hearings, Bills that have been passed in Congress, passed or failed in the Senate, our elective officials voting records, as well as Bills the Majority leader has tabled. We have access to read twitter accounts and with a couple of clicks can fact-check or clarify what we read.

    We are fortunate to have access to Constitutional scholars, investigative reporters who have made contributions toward informing the public, at times risking their own safety, reputations and livelihood.

    I have remained an independent voter over the last 50 yrs. I have voted for both republicans and democrats. Although I may have a difference of opinion regarding policy differences with elected officials, friends, family or acquaintances, I can’t recall a time where it impacted a relationship with someone. I agree that politics around issues can be disingenuous. Yet, what we are facing currently in the United States feels different.

    We will have hearings beginning next week. We will see if distractions are created as a way to distract the American people. In the end we will decide for ourselves if the witnesses and the information they offer is credible and move forward from there.

  5. In Matthew, chapter 7, Jesus explains about judging (and He even does a bit of it to demonstrate).

    1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged;

    6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.

    I believe most people who say, “Don’t judge me”, are usually meaning, “Don’t persecute or punish me for having a different view from you.”

    Of course none of us are called to be the “punishers” or persecutors, but we must discern (know by fruits) what is true and what is not true in order to pray for those whom Jesus called the dogs, swine and wolves of this world.

    Certainly (as the podcast description reads) there is a “difficult relationship between love and judgment”, but there is NO relationship between love and persecution.

  6. P.S.
    (Of course, there are also lost sheep to pray for.) And if you consider anyone to be your enemy, you are specifically commanded to love and pray for them!

  7. This was the second time I can remember in the last year that Brad & Wayne have gotten into this discussion about judging & making judgments. If I look at what I’ve heard from many from the pulpit over the last 21 years and also proceed out of my own mouth at times, I would have to agree with Brad that we make judgments about many things every day, and therefore, making, or passing judgments about something in the culture or someone’s behavior that we can prooftext from the Law as being wrong, is perfectly acceptable, and within our rights as Americans to do. The problem we create though is that there are plenty of behaviors deemed as Abominations in the Bible; plenty of condemnation to go around once we start handing it out, and especially my favorite abomination of all time, PRIDE!

    Over the years through this podcast, Wayne and Brad have shared a lot of excellent insight and introduced us to some great works from others committed to returning us in our thinking and affection to the Father, Son & Holy Spirit who have always loved each other and have always loved us.

    The best explanation I have ever heard as to why Jesus would have said: “Judge not!”.

    “Judgment, after all, takes up the room we need for loving.” – Greg Boyle, Barking to the Choir.

    Trust God, Trust Love!

  8. Thankful for the comments here that helped lead me to look up and read the transcript finally for myself and trying to look at what “evidence” they present for impeachment. The mainstream media and politicians have clearly made a story that is not based on facts but really made it seem true.
    Thankful for Rand Paul’s speech on the floor as well. Whether we like the president or not or like the party or not we need to at least base it on truth/facts.

  9. I completely agree that there is a spiritual dynamic to this polarization.

    And I vote Republican, Democrat, or Independent depending on the candidate. So I am most puzzled by the fact that there is no discussion of how our current President drives this polarization.

    He says things that are provably untrue (the largest inauguration crowd, my father was born in Germany, I won the Michigan Man of the Year Award, etc. ), stirs people up with vitriol ( lock her up, send them home, etc. ), and has made calling anyone he disagrees with by inflammatory names a basic part of his politics from the beginning ( Lying Ted, Little Marco, Shifty Schiff, etc., ad nauseam) .

    I totally agree with the point that none of us is totally objective. Learning what blind spots I habitually have, and accepting the input of others about my bias is a normal part of maturation.

    One man is not the only problem, but ignoring the fact that our current president stirs the pot of division and polarization every day with tweets and sound bites does not help the issue. He is, in fact, the most powerful man in the nation, and has an undue amount of influence on all of our lives. If evangelical church leaders will not speak the truth to power, out of fear, then sadly, they are allowing the negative spiritual powers to be strengthened.

    I pray that more and more Christ-followers will stand up and say, “Enough is enough.”

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