There is simply no way to avoid it and unless you are completely absent from daily living you have no doubt not escaped the mass engagement with it. Politics. It dominates our media and our media tries to make it dominate our lives. Conventions by the Republicans and Democrats this week and next have made it certain that the inundation would not just continue, but increase.
In a battle for attention, both groups have fought to take center stage, although with two stages there is no center stage. It is a struggle of contention and hostility, not just between parties but within them as well. The fights have left voters disenfranchised, disoriented, and distressed. Speeches and response to speeches have done little to quell the concerns. Instead the events reveal much about the current status of society and leaves many questioning how to respond.
To be quite honest, I find myself frustrated with the political system and therefore have found it is a better investment of my attention if I focus on other things. However, it is so prominent few people can avoid lending a small portion of consideration towards the debate. With that morsel of concentration I have found it fascinating to reflect on what this week’s events reveal.
It is no secret that truth has become a malleable object within the hands of our current culture. It should be no surprise then that is what we see: the pursuit of truth has become the politics of truth. Those politics then have taken three honorable aspects of truth and replaced them with irresponsible characteristics.
Principles of Truth vs. Propositions of Truth
Truth follows logical forms of employment where an argument’s validity can be traced through equations that ‘prove’ it true. However, in place of those basic principles are propositions. Suppositions, opinions, and theories are considered absolute with little to back them up.
Convictions of Truth vs. Compromise of Truth
Truth stands on unshakable foundations. It was followed with firm convictions that were also unshakable. Instead of convictions, compromise now prevails. Interestingly, compromise displays itself in two distinct ways.
First, the truth itself is compromised. Because it is moldable to a person’s own desires, the real truth no longer exists. Even the fact that we have to describe something as ‘real truth’ to identify it is redundant shows just how far this problems is.
There is a second form of compromise that takes place. We see how many who seemingly are firm in their convictions will compromise when promised something of gain for themselves.
Defense of Truth vs. Delay of Truth
There was a point in time in which the defense of truth was not only a worthwhile cause, but an unquestionable one. With questionable actions and activities by prominent people within the sphere of politics ongoing, concerns over the truth of events and reliability of testimony are rightly questioned. However, truth is still unrevealed in many of those questioning circumstances. Delays have clogged the ability to defend the truth.
This election cycle though has caused more division and consideration than many others. I am not here, nor should I be here, to tell you who to vote for. However, in light of the unreliability of so many political contenders, Christians are searching deep within asking, “What do I do and who do I vote for?” Therefore, our role is to work together as believers in the one true God and consider what it is we are to do.
In light of the devaluation of truth within our culture, I suggest there are three primary responses we are to have:
1) Convicted by the Truth (cf. 2 Timothy 4:1-4): God’s truth must be our conviction, so much so that it dictates every aspect of our lives. Even in the most dire of circumstances, we rise up with this conviction as the backbone of all decisions that we are to make.
2) Defend the Truth (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3): If we are convicted by the truth, then it should be worthy of defense by us.
3) Live the Truth (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:1-2; 1 Peter 3:15-17): Finally, our defenses our meaningless if the truth is not validated and vindicated by our testimony it.
Our response should not come as a surprise. In fact our response should be how we are already living.
The severity of the circumstances may cause many of us to question the status of our society, yet it should never cause us to question the status of our God. I fear that this is where many stand. They are left with a hopeless dread of what the future may hold. We have our part to play in which we (1) check the current state of affairs, (2) consider the commitments of the candidates, and (3) calculate the consequences of those commitments until we finally act accordingly. Whatever the outcome of that may be though, we must rest in the sovereignty of the Lord. In this there is always hope of what the future may hold regardless of the present circumstances.