Truth Decay

January 14, 2021
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John 8:31-32 – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (ESV)

I was listening in on the radio to Jennifer Kavanagh, a representative for the RAND Corporation, an American non-profit global policy think tank. She made observations about social media and their influence in the recent USA presidential election campaign. She mentioned the phrase truth decay.

This is a term initially used within the RAND Corporation to describe the rise of what has been derided as "fake news" — misinformation promoted by some on instant media.

Simultaneous with the propagation of fake news is the erosion of trust in the established systems of government to tell the truth or the media to promote it. It has been coming for decades, but the use of instant media has given accelerated rise to the wilful endorsement of a number of dangerous and harmful delusions taken on board as fact.

The outcomes of these wilful deceits are still in play, and I fear that the consequence will be a wide and various long-lasting influence on some of society's most fearful, frustrated, disaffected, and disillusioned population to cause even more mistrust and rebellion — despite the facts available. Evil prospers in mistrust, isolationism, and fear.

This dialogue was followed on by an interview with President Obama. In the interview, he also used the phrase truth decay to describe his understanding of the increasing promotion by non-critical media for the proclamation of misinformation as truth that blurred opinion with fact. I believe that he said something like "Social media can spread the notion of an idea around the world before truth has even left the starting gates."

As I listened, I thought, Okay, God, what is this clanging bell in my head? Wilful lies are being spoken and believed as truth for personal agendas.

Answer: We know whose spiritual influence is behind half-truths and life's lies!

My heart feels the disquiet for the blatant, wilful abuse of authority and power. Those in positions of power and influence around the world use messages and lies to bolster their own position. Media are used by some to pander to itching ears and fearful hearts, because their listeners hold onto hurts and baggage that blind them to the truth that they would see if they could allow Jesus' light to show them the way.

Are we in the end times? Maybe. The end could be millennia away, yet spiritually, there is nothing new, just more. Meanwhile, Jesus told us that He is the Truth.

He is our Rock, our Anchor, our Saviour, a very present help in times of trouble. I listen to Him because I know that His Truth is everlasting and will stand the test of time. We can have peace in the midst of turmoil by the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus. Keep the faith.

Prayer: Lord, here we are again, appalled by the state of our world and the lack of justice, equality, and freedom therein. We know that we are often complicit in the perpetuation of the status quo. By Your grace, enable us to let go of the past. Renew Your life in us to shine Your light in our darkness and to show the way forward, in, through, and for Jesus. Amen.


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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Rod.


    Amen to that!


    Thank you Rod for sharing this truthful devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thanks, Rod. It sounds like your media is as bad as ours! I’m constantly amazed at how people are so willing to believe the lies or to promote them.


    Thank you for this devotion. We desperately need Godly people to promote the truth, particularly here in the United States. God Bless.
    (Washington State)


    Thank you, Rod, for your current devotional. I have quit watching television and am just about to resign from Facebook. There is a journalist named Cal Thomas who worked on the staff of the Huntley-Brinkley Report. He said that he NEVER knew what their political affiliation was. Sad to say on both sides of the fence, conservative or liberal, one knows what the person’s persuasion is.
    Raising children, as you and our children are, is a challenge and as much as we use a lot of social media, I wonder if the value outweighs the negative. Of course, it is not going away. And on and on and on, right.
    Your thoughts are always germane to the subject.


    Hi Rod,
    I have been bombarded with this theme of truth for many months. I have been drawn to Paul’s writing (Ephesians) for my messages which highlight the danger of the dissemination of half-baked truth sold as pure truth.
    I am reading the work of Carl R. Trueman “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self”. It is not an easy read since his thesis is rooted in philosophy. Trueman (notice the pun) argues that for centuries there has been a movement to deconstruct truth that flies in the face of those who dislikes the jagged corners of truth that confronts their ideology.
    I would like to circulate your message with my message.
    Blessings.


    Catchy title, so timely and full of truth. Thank you.


    If everyone was willing and able to listen to the voice of the Spirit, there would be no deceptive leaders or fake news.

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