According to the Oxford dictionary, the word of the year for 2016 is post-truth. We are in a world where the truth no longer matters. The concept was introduced in 2005 by the comedian, Stephen Colbert. He called it, truthiness. He explains it as the belief in what you feel to be true rather than what the facts will support. This concept has allows another phenomenon to take hold, fake news. This a deliberate story meant to mislead and often uses social media to increase its impact.
One of the top fake news stories was that Obama was born in Kenya. Even though it has been debunked, 38% of Americans still believe it is true. A second example is Pizza-gate. This one talks about how Hillary Clinton’s favorite pizza place is a front for child sex trafficking. A man, believing this fake story, drove there with a loaded shotgun, shot the ceiling, and tried to free the children. The last fake news story talks about Donald Trump and the Republican Party. The reading today speaks to the truth.
The challenge for today’s churches is to break through the noise and deliver the Gospel. The Psalm says you shall know the truth and it will set you free. How can you know what the truth is in this post-truth era? We know that God is love. Love is our guide. It guides us to the truth. The truth builds relationships while lies destroys relationships. Truth connects us with reality. Relationships are what our faith is all about. God is love – love is real – God is real.