All-out war has been declared against truth. If we are going to win this war – and the stakes couldn’t be higher – then we need to know that there is a war and what we are fighting against. In Part 01, we learned about the enemies of truth, which come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colours. This includes words and phrases like spin, disinformation, misinformation, post-truth, double-speak, smoke and mirrors, and gaslighting. To this infamous list we add a few more items in the vocabulary of deception:
- Mendacity: Another word for untruthfulness and lying, particularly as a regular part of daily living.
- Half-truth: An interesting and deadly variant of the virus of lies. One could be telling a story that is technically factual but the goal is not to shed light but to obscure it. ‘Tell-all’ biographies can fit this description. They may actually be telling ‘the truth’ but the question needs to be asked: Why are they telling this story at all? Is it for the public good? Does it bring accountability to society’s leaders? Or is their real intention to embarrass, harass, or even destroy a public figure? Or to make millions off someone else’s misery? If the latter, then it really should be labelled as a violation of the ninth commandment – giving false witness. A good rule of thumb: If the words are right but the spirit behind them is wrong, then it is wrong … no matter how accurate the wording may be. Remember, a positive account (factually accurate) plus a negative account (spirit of defamation and destruction) equals a negative.
- Right words/Wrong Spirit: A good example of saying the right words but nullifying them by a bad spirit, is the incident in Acts 16. At Philippi, a girl with a spirit of divination followed the apostles Paul and Silas continuously while declaring aloud ‘These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation’ (verse 17). There was no untruth in her statement; however, she kept following and harassing the apostles with this unwanted ‘commendation’ over a period of ‘many days’ (verse 18). This situation became so intolerable to Paul that he cast out the evil spirit in the girl (verse 18), who was wonderfully delivered.
- The politicisation of knowledge: Used by politicians, media outlets, and administrative experts, this means that ‘truth’ and ‘falsehood’ are declared for political ends. Facts are accepted or rejected according to political expediency. Furthermore, facts and information are fashioned around a political agenda, meaning that if lying serves the ultimate goal, then go ahead and lie. The political left will state that a situation is not true when the political right is involved, then turn around and say the exact same situation is true when it meets their goals.
- Content Moderation: This means someone comes and edits your written content, often without your permission. Tweets can be ‘moderated’ to neutralise any challenge to the prevailing narrative.
- Fact Checkers: Social media and others claim to use third-party fact-checkers to guard against fake news. The idea is to check the veracity of a story to promote correctness in reporting. Though it sounds like a good idea, it often happens that fact-checkers are biased, too. Some of them could be political operatives disguised as truth-seekers. Again, fidelity to the narrative proves to be more compelling than the facts themselves.
As we enter into prophetically significant times, expect the war against truth to intensify. It is ultimately a spiritual battle that requires spiritual weaponry to win (Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The forces of darkness — the devil and his demons – focus on stealing, killing, destroying (John 10:10) and deception (John 8:44). The Lord of hosts excels in light, life, love, edification and truth. The contrast couldn’t be greater.
War in the West: The greatest battlefield of the war against truth is in the western world. Why? Ultimately because the West was based on Judaeo-Christian or Biblical foundations. This includes the Ten Commandments, which teach us the highest standards of ethics, morality, and conduct the world has ever known. While the Commandments cannot give salvation, they show our need for the Saviour (Galatians 3:24).
While far from perfect, western civilisation was built on truth from a Biblical worldview. On this foundation, the West became the place that spawned modern science, the renaissance, the reformation, and two industrial revolutions. Great technology has helped modernise life. The market economy lifted many out of poverty. In addition, the West gave the world parliamentary democracy, rule of law, the recognition of private property rights, the separation of powers, the balance of powers, and the codification of human rights. Our world has been made a better place because of all these things.
All of this was made possible by a high, respected view of truth and the Ten Commandments, rightly considered the bedrock of the western legal system. On the other hand, cultural Marxists and revolutionaries have worked hard to decouple the West from its Judaeo-Christian foundations. These foundations teach us there is a higher power above all governing authorities, that liberty is God’s gift to humanity, and the primacy of faith, family and freedom. The Marxist idea is to detach dependence on God and His truth and focus it on the state. If that happens, the first thing to go is the truth.
Historian Niall (pronounced Neil) Ferguson, an academic authority on western civilisation, said that “Loss of faith in the West is more menacing than the rise of China, radical Islam, and carbon climate change.” This is an additional reminder that the greatest foe of all is not those on the outside, but those within.
As we ponder, pray, and act on the challenges of our world, let’s not forget Christ’s immortal words in John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
TO BE CONTINUED
 Niall Ferguson, ‘Why the West Won,’ Prager U, https://www.prageru.com/video/why-the-west-won. Accessed 29 August 2022.