truthI spend a fair amount of time on here talking about telling stories. I believe it’s a great way to communicate a message and many parables seem to tell us Jesus agrees. One thing we have to be careful of though is that the stories we tell are true. A local collegiate newspaper ran a story on how the school was putting mind controlling drugs in the water???? Seems a bit unlikely to me, especially since the author was anonymous. Someone needs to run a fact-checking class for the editors of said publication, but I digress.

Then a little earlier today, I saw a story from a major online news source alluding to the “fact” that one of the presidential candidates, Rand Paul, does not have a college degree. My first thought was if he has risen to the level he has achieved, he doesn’t need one, and if he is smart enough to get people to elect him president, he’s probably smart enough to do the job. I know many people will not agree with my thoughts on this, and I am fairly sure this is what the new source is banking on. People who would take the time to read the story, would see that while he does not have a bachelor’s degree, he is an ophthalmologist by training. How does one become a doctor without a degree? Well in Paul’s case, he basically tested out of college and was accepted to his medical school before finishing his bachelor’s. This changes the whole story doesn’t it?

This particular media channel seems to have been banking on something I’ve learned after 30 years in the field of communications… People don’t read. They seem to have wanted to discredit Mr. Paul by sharing a half truth in the beginning, and then burying the whole truth further down, knowing the vast majority of people won’t read that far. This to me is unconscionable.

Please don’t misunderstand. This is not about politics. I know very little about Mr. Paul and I have no idea if he is a viable candidate or not. This is about something bigger than politics. This is about checking your sources. Knowing what you believe and who you can trust. In general this is about the supremacy of truth. Unless we are creating works of utter fiction, the truth is important. I know it can be tempting to overlook some facts, to move an agenda forward, but the other name of a half truth is a lie. For those of us who follow Christ, the importance of this is compounded many times over.  We after all are supposed to be followers of the One who said “I am the truth…” Truth matters, and for those of us who’ve been entrusted with the greatest truth ever, it’s essential. People catch us in half truths and they will question everything we say, with disastrous results. The truth is pure. Add to it or take from it and it ceases to be truth. People need the truth, and yes Jack Nicholson, when it comes to the Gospel, we CAN handle the truth. Watch your sources. Check your sources. Tell the truth.

Remember what Jesus said, “…The truth will set you free.”

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