“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Donald Trump points from his podium to the assembled news media and yells, ‘Fake news… They’re all fake news!’
His menacing words and tone are horrible. And because it’s a blanket condemnation, his words are unfair and untrue. Yet, Trump has tapped into a global grievance. According to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, worldwide trust in the media is at an all-time low. And it’s not hard to see why. The media’s commercial and ideological agendas seem all too obvious.
Certainly, there is a bias directed against Christianity. Too often, media commentators are ill informed and dismissive when they speak about God and the Bible. Many blithely assume the most qualified person to determine the existence of God is a prominent scientist (usually a physicist).
For example, a few years ago on the 7:30 Report, Leigh Sales asked the following question of the cosmologist, Lawrence Krauss, “Why has science not yet done away with belief in God?”. The assumption amongst many journalists is that religion and superstition overlap perfectly – but that, hopefully and eventually, science will do away with God. After all, if he were real, God should be detectable in a test tube or with a large radio dish.
Such boundless confidence in science seems to come from the fact that science keeps providing technological marvels to help us in our everyday lives as well as in understanding the natural world. But God is supernatural. Which means, he’s not a measurable part of our natural world. Instead, as creator, he’s outside its bounds.
Ironically, the one place where God intervened publicly and dramatically is a place where scientific methods (such as repeatable experiments) aren’t easily applied. That place is the cross of Christ nearly 2,000 years ago. There, God sent his son to die for the world making it possible for us to return to him in relationship.
However, the cross makes for a pathetic news story. Indeed the Bible says, ‘the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’.
But how do we know what’s fake? Perhaps the Bible itself is fake news? Consider this, when Jesus’s empty tomb was found, the Bible recounts how the chief priests conspired to bribe the Roman soldiers guarding Jesus’s tomb to spread a report that Jesus’s disciples had stolen the body. If the Bible is trustworthy then Jesus rose from the dead. If it’s fake news then that story is spin.
As always, the only way forward is to think carefully (and prayerfully) about the reliability of the source.
Dear God, thank you for the way your words in the Bible reveal your integrity and faithful love to all generations. Amen.