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Pursuing Truth in a World of Fake News: Reflections of a Christian Journalist After 20 Years with CBN News

11-25-2020

COMMENTARY

When I came to CBN News in November of 2000, America was engulfed in the post-election battle of a lifetime. Well, here we are again. The 2000 election wasn't resolved until after Thanksgiving when the Supreme Court weighed in. The same will likely hold true for the 2020 election. Both elections remind me that there is a finality to everything in the course of human history. It all points to the decisive actions of the ultimate Supreme Judge and a deep hunger for absolute truth.

These past two decades have been truly momentous, and certain themes keep popping up on my radar with each news story that comes my way. We are living in the middle of a daily fight between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lies. At the heart of it all I perceive a spiritual battle for the souls of men and women, boys and girls – the battle is very real, and the consequences are eternal.

Twenty years ago, I left a job in Manhattan with a view of the twin towers to come to CBN with a goal of helping reach the world with God's good news.  But less than a year later, I sat at my desk in Virginia Beach, watching the unspeakable evil of 9/11 unfold on my TV screen as a Pandora's box of death and destruction was unleashed upon the world.  

Soon after 9/11 came existential wars against radical Islamic terrorism, historic hurricanes, and now a deadly global plague. It's all enough to make anyone lose heart. Without knowing the spiritual reality behind it all, the biblical and prophetic underpinnings of history, it would leave anyone full of fear and without hope in a world gone mad.

I have learned over the years that the battle to project God's good news is often about countering the seemingly incomprehensible evil in our world with a spiritual perspective, providing a worldview that can help others process what we're all experiencing. I work with dozens of amazing Christian journalists, and we all do our best to deliver some of that Christian perspective every day. Most of our stories aren't written as Commentary or Analysis with overt Biblical explanations, but our Christian worldview is still at the heart of everything we do, which is why we pray together for God's wisdom as a team every morning.

At the end of the day, the news itself isn't what matters most. It's what God is doing in it and through it that actually matters. CBN News is always aiming to report the unbiased facts of any story. But having a Christian perspective on the world can lead to a better understanding of those facts, as compared with the secular or even anti-Christian perspective from some media outlets. When you combine facts with eternal context, you have a better chance at ascertaining truth. That context is key, and it's what's missing from much of the coverage by the establishment media, or the "mainstream media" as some like to call them. 

What is Truth? 

Truth is an increasingly rare and precious commodity in the news industry. And in recent years, objectivity in journalism has been blatantly exposed for the myth that it is. So now we are left with one question: what is the truth and where can I find it?

Those who deny or ignore the spiritual side of life unintentionally obliterate the very compass by which we can actually determine true north. The world is hungry for truth. We're all sick of the lies, the fake news, the deception. 

The Bible makes it clear that deception has a name. The "father of lies" is Satan. Likewise, the truth has a name. The truth IS Jesus. 

In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. And no one comes to the Father except through me." The Word says there is one God and there is only one bridge between God and mankind - Jesus the Christ. By knowing the One who is the truth, we can make more sense of our world. Ignoring the spiritual realm is ignoring the greater reality. It's what matters most because it's the unseen force that drives everything we see in our world.

Whether you're a Christian journalist or a news consumer, we all need some essential tools in this day of confusion and deception: a spiritual gift of discernment, and more broadly, the gift of God's Holy Spirit of Wisdom. James 1:5 says if anyone lacks wisdom he should ask his Heavenly Father for it. And Jesus said, "how much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask."  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Wisdom, so asking God to fill us with His Spirit will lead to more wisdom. 

Here in the physical realm, when CBN News pursues truth, we're often covering issues like freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Why are they so important? Those essential freedoms allow the gospel of Jesus Christ to go forth to bring true heart-change in this world. These freedoms can help people break free from the lies that keep them from encountering the love and healing power of God. When individual souls are saved and healed, it brings God's kingdom to the earth which means evil begins to fade allowing truth and peace to grow. 

When covering stories about the persecution of Christians or people who take a stand for righteousness, evil efforts to confuse children about human sexuality, or instances of God's people crying out for revival, I'm reminded that every story is personal, and there are always lives being impacted on a very deep level. Every life matters to God, from the most blatant sinner to the most innocent unborn baby.

I'm also reminded that what I've observed from afar as a journalist is nothing compared to what many of you have endured firsthand in your life. God is clearly and keenly involved in both the macro and micro of humanity. Just know that the times in life where you've doubted, He's never given up on you. The times in life when it seemed everything was crashing down, He kept you alive. The times you faced a health crisis, endured trauma, encountered evil up close, He has never abandoned you or forsaken you.

Here are some biblical truths I've been reminded of repeatedly over the last 20 years. May they guide you through the next 20 years, or however many years we have left before Christ returns:

  • God is light. In Him, there is no darkness.
  • God's ways are higher. He knows the future - it's written in His Book. 
  • God is sovereign, but he's given us a role to play in seeing His kingdom come on earth. He wants us to fight for it.
  • God has your best interests at heart. He cares most about where we will all spend eternity.
  • God is love. He loves you and wants a relationship with you. 
  • When you begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, everything else starts to make sense.
  • Jesus is the way. Jesus is the truth. Jesus is the life.

  

What is salvation? Your important questions are answered here!

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