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I won’t even tee up my main point before we get to examples and current events. Here it is.
If you make an assertion or truth claim, you must provide the objective proof for that assertion or truth claim.
Scripture is clear on this subject. If we are going to charge someone with a crime, it can only be admitted on the charge of two or three independent lines of witness and testimony (1 Tim. 5:19, Deut. 19:15). Of course, this doesn’t have to be two or three people but can include things like fingerprints, DNA, video, gloves that may or may not fit, and the like. But the point stands that if an accusation is made, proof must be given.
God also makes it clear that he detests false witnesses (Pr. 6:16-19), and the punishment for bringing forth a criminal charge on false grounds should be that the one making the false accusation is punished in the same fashion that the defendant would have been punished (Deut. 19:16-19). For example, if one lies to the police and accuses someone of capital murder and is found out, the accusing party would receive the penalty for capital murder.
This week’s example
There are many examples that I could cite for my Trump supporting friends, but I’ve narrowed it to just one. No sooner had the Capitol been breached by protestors-turned-rioters on Jan. 6 than accusations that it was actually Antifa started flying around social media. These claims were supported with side-by-side photos with captions purporting one side was at a BLM protest and the other in the Senate chamber, or some such thing.
The great irony is that the main photos that made the rounds were of this known white nationalist who live streamed himself in the Capitol and this goofy looking guy with the horns, who is a known QAnon cultist. For the uninitiated, QAnon is a conspiracy theory in the shady corners of the Internet claiming to get information from an above-Top Secret source in the government and that Donald Trump is secretly leading a war against a cabal of satanist, canibalistic pedophiles. Yeah, that’s who we’re dealing with here.
But, for the sake of the argument, even though the FBI has said they have no evidence to support the claim of Antifa involvement, let’s grant that a grand total of two Antifa members have been reported to have been present at the time of the breach by the New York Post. Two. Out of over 1,000. That’s lower than the COVID-19 infection fatality rate, and if somewhere between one and five external agitants are enough to turn a protest into a riot, that honestly says more about the main group’s lack of self control than anything else.
Put away falsehood
God calls us to put away falsehood and speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15, 25), which in turn fulfills the Great Commandment of loving God and loving neighbor. When we bear false witness, we slander a fellow image bearer of God and misrepresent their actions. Even though Antifa’s positions stand in direct opposition to Scripture and human flourishing, we must deal with their shenanigans truthfully, lest we defeat ourselves in the process.
Let me put it this way. Christians ruin their witness to ultimate truth when they fudge on smaller truths. Remember, our entire religion is built on the second person of the triune God becoming a man, being brutally executed and coming back to life. Our claim is so outlandish that the Greek word used to describe the foolishness of the Cross in 1 Cor. 1:18 is where we derive our English word “moron.” We are morons to the world; let’s not give them more ammo.
This is not to say that the political sphere is unimportant, but it’s not of ultimate importance. We should be willing to take an L in regards to Trump if it means the furtherance of the Kingdom. To parse out more Greek, the word Paul uses in Phil. 3 to describe how worthless everything else is when compared to Christ would be closer to being translated as a giant, steaming pile of dog crap. When compared to the glory of Jesus Christ and when considering taking an earthly W for a Christocentric L, Trump being in the White House by hook or by insurrection should be as appetizing as a literal poo poo platter that has cooked all day in a crock pot, and the essence has filled your house with the aroma of a septic tank. It should make us gag. It should make us throw up in our mouths a little. It shouldn’t be a close contest in our minds in the slightest.
And if it is, don’t be surprised when God topples the idols in your life in order to draw you closer to himself.