Charles Stanley –Living Above Circumstances

Philippians 1:12-18

While under house arrest, Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians. The apostle could receive visitors but couldn’t travel. Despite living in a home, Paul was more than likely chained to a Roman soldier 24 hours a day. Moreover, because he knew that a trial was years away, these were his living conditions for the foreseeable future—perhaps for the rest of his life.

Under such circumstances, Paul might have thought to ask the Lord to release him. After all, God had called him to preach, to disciple believers, and to reach the Gentiles. But he was stuck in Rome, unable to plant new churches or visit those whom he was nurturing by letter. Besides being unjust, the imprisonment was keeping him from important work. Surely, if anyone had a right to gripe, it was Paul, who had endured persecution, shipwreck, and beatings for the gospel. Yet he never once complained. His letter to the church at Philippi is filled with rejoicing, as focusing on God let him live above his circumstances (Phil. 4:8).

The more we talk and complain about a situation, the worse it looks, until the problem looms larger in our mind than our faith does. Conversely, carrying challenges straight to God keeps matters in perspective. The Lord is bigger than any hardship. On His strength, we rise above the difficulty.

Problems can look so big and unwieldy that they distort our perspective. God invites us to live above our circumstances by fastening our eyes on Him. The trials of this life shrink when compared to our loving, powerful Lord, who exercises His might in defense of His people.

Bible in One Year: Acts 18-20

Our Daily Bread — A Façade

Read: Matthew 6:1–6

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 5–7; Hebrews 12

Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.—Matthew 6:4 nlt

Kerri tries hard to get people to admire her. She acts happy most of the time so that others will notice and compliment her on her joyful attitude. Some affirm her because they see her helping people in the community. But in a transparent moment Kerri will admit, “I love the Lord, but in some ways I feel like my life is a façade.” Her own sense of insecurity is behind much of her effort of trying to look good to others, and she says she’s running out of energy to keep it up.

We can probably all relate in some way because it’s not possible to have perfect motives. We love the Lord and others, but our motives for how we live the Christian life are sometimes mixed with our desire to be valued or praised.

Jesus talked about those who give, pray, and fast in order to be seen (Matt. 6:1-18). He taught in the Sermon on the Mount to “give your gifts in private,” to “pray to your Father in private,” and “when you fast, don’t make it obvious” (vv. 4, 6, 16 nlt).

Serving is most often done publicly, but maybe a little anonymous service could help us learn to rest in God’s opinion of us. He who created us in His image values us so much that He gave us His Son and shows us His love each day. —Anne Cetas

Dear Lord, please forgive me for desiring praise from others more than from You. Please help me as I struggle to keep my motives pure.

Our desire to please God should be our highest motive for obeying God.

INSIGHT: In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), Jesus issues a warning about hypocrisy (6:1-8). After His strong caution against it, He gives us the proper motivation. Our reason to share with open hands, to raise our hands in prayer, and to fold them before an empty plate is both stated and implied. When we do these things, we do them out of love for the Father, the source of all good, knowing He will bless our efforts. The implication is fairly clear. The approval of the Father is better than any praise we may receive from friends and neighbors. It is the reward from Him that we should truly and deeply want. J.R. Hudberg

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Vapor and Hope

The last few years have been a time when many familiar things, many things we take for granted, have not only been shown to be fragile but have collapsed or disappeared. Great companies now come and go with a disturbing frequency and things seem to change at an ever-increasing rate. Whether this is real or perceived, the shrinking of space and the acceleration of time are issues felt by many, and they are regular social phenomena.

People generally do not like much change too fast. Yet old boundaries disappear; older values are doubted, questioned, or rejected. Familiar ways get moved or change. Our desire for stability, for security, for some degree of permanence is incessantly pressured by a culture addicted to novelty and the new for newness’ sake. We experience what a friend of mine calls “cultural vaporization.” As water evaporates with a pot of boiling water left on sustained heat, so the many cultural dimensions subjected to constant pressure or deconstruction, they too, evaporate.

The world of the present may not always feel like a human-friendly habitat. Often driven by visions of progress, beliefs in the efficacy of education, freedom, and technology as the means of liberation, the 20th and early 21st centuries appear to have reached the limits or limitations of our created systems. They are not all bad, but they are by definition, limited, a fact that many seem unable or unwilling to admit. Present responses are often important and necessary correctives to the grand strategies of the past, the arrogant sense of mastery, and the delusions fostered by unrealistic views of humanity and our potential, but do they possess the substance that makes for a sufficient response to the deepest issues?

Who and what are we? What is reality? What is the really real and who says so? If there is a transcendent God, if there is a Son who draws near, who has a purpose, a will, and a way for life and creation, then God’s will and way are central to how things operate and how they might operate at their best. The management of life and the path of wise living in Christian terms is called stewardship, and it’s based on a view of economics which implies following Christ as the way and truth and life.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Vapor and Hope

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Living in a World of Fools

“Wisdom is too high for a fool” (Proverbs 24:7).

A fool wants his own way.

There’s no question in my mind that we live in a world of fools. In fact, everyone born into this world comes in with congenital foolishness—otherwise known as the sin nature. Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” Since we live in a world of fools, let’s look at a few of their characteristics.

A fool denies God. Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.” I call this practical atheism. A fool lives as if there were no God—denying God with his actions.

A fool becomes his own god. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.” No man can live without a god. It isn’t a question of, does he worship? It’s a question of, whom does he worship? If a person doesn’t worship the true God, he will worship a false god—which inevitably will be a reflection of himself. He becomes the one who determines truth and error, articulating his own standards for living.

A fool mocks sin. Proverbs 14:9 says, “Fools mock at sin.” Since a fool makes his own rules, he wants to justify his own behavior to make sure he’s going to be all right in the end. He attempts to eliminate sin along with its consequences.

A fool, then, begins by living as if there were no God, substituting himself as god and determining his own style of life. Then he denies the existence of sin because he cannot tolerate guilt.

When God saved you, you stopped your foolishness and became His wise child. Be encouraged, knowing God will continue to help you grow in wisdom through your understanding of and obedience to His Word.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray for the salvation of a family member, friend, or neighbor who is living foolishly.

For Further Study

Read Matthew 7:24-27. What is the difference between a wise man and a foolish man?

Wisdom Hunters – Stay Awake 

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to drift unintentionally through life? Workdays, school events, social commitments, and recreational pursuits begin to blur together, with days turning to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. When we finally stop to catch our breath, we look back and ask ourselves, “How did I get here?” and even more importantly, “Is this where I want to be?”

Christ-like living is something you and I have to intentionally, actively, and alertly pursue with every fiber of our being. No one ever stumbles upon Christian maturity and Christ-like character by accident, nor does it happen overnight.

I believe we can all think of people whom we know personally or respect from a distance that choose to live intentionally meaningful and devout lives, people who bear the fruit of a life spent focused upon Christ and His Kingdom. They are the beautiful souls who view Christ’s likeness as the ultimate goal and aim of their life and are willing to reframe every other desire in light of that pursuit. We are deeply motivated by the humble, simple faith of ordinary men and women who choose to live each day as though it could be their last, eagerly anticipating and hoping for the day in which the Lord returns in glory to rule and reign.

If you’ve ever tried to stay awake all night, you know that the easiest way to stay awake is to remain active and engaged in work that engages your entire person: mind, body, and soul. If you crawl into bed, turn out the lights, and then resolve to stay awake, you’re setting yourself up for almost certain disappointment! The same is true of our life with Christ.

The best way to “stay awake” in your faith is to stop passively drifting through life and choose instead to passionately pursue Christ with every fiber of your being. Look to the example of others who have stayed awake in their faith and learn from them. If you’re able, seek them out and ask for their wisdom and advice on how to live an intentional Christian life.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Stay Awake 

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Sola Gratia

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9a

Recommended Reading

1 Corinthians 2:3-5

Somewhere, sometime, someone said, “You gotta dance with the girl who brought you.” It is used today as a caution against switching priorities, values, methods, strategies, or goals. It is a call to remembrance, a warning against giving in.

And it applies to the Christian life. The “girl” who brought us to the dance of salvation is named Grace. Christians are committed to the idea that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) but sometimes forget that we must live by grace as well. This was a serious problem in the early churches of Galatia. Paul took the believers to task for “turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). They had begun with the Spirit of grace but were reverting to the laws of flesh. It’s an easy temptation to which many succumb. We find ourselves thinking it is all up to us when God doesn’t come through on our timetable.

The Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century said it best: sola gratia—by grace alone. Don’t abandon the grace of God in midstream. His grace is always sufficient.

Let no excess of suffering drive us away from the throne of grace, but rather let it drive us closer to it.

Charles H. Spurgeon


Acts 14 – 15

Joyce Meyer – Sometimes Love Is Just Being Friendly


This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you.- John 15:12

God has blessed us with many things, and when our heart is right, we are thankful for each blessing. But we can do more than just be thankful. We can demonstrate that gratitude by deciding to use the blessings in our lives to be a blessing to others everywhere we go.

You can do this in big ways or in small ways, but doing it always blesses someone else. You’ll be amazed at the results. One way you can be a blessing is just by being friendly. Make a real effort to be friendly with people everywhere you go and show a genuine interest in them. Try to make shy people feel comfortable and confident. Try giving a kind word to encourage someone who seems to be down. There are countless ways we can be a blessing if we think about it creatively. Don’t let the sun set on any day without reaching out in some way to someone else.

Prayer of Thanks: Father, I am so thankful, not just for the countless blessings You have given me, but for the chance to share those blessings with others. I pray that You will show me new and creative ways to be friendly and encouraging to someone today.

From the book The Power of Being Thankful by Joyce Meyer.

Girlfriends in God – Will You Please Give It a Rest?

Today’s Truth

The LORD is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul.

Psalm 23:1-3

Friend to Friend

We once had an Australian cattle dog named Dallas. Australian cattle dogs are extremely loyal to a master of their choice. Dallas chose our son Jered to be his master. When Jered came home from school each day, Dallas would greet him at the door and follow him wherever he went. If Jered did homework in his room, Dallas curled under the desk. When Jered ran an errand, Dallas rode shotgun. Dallas instinctively knew that the only place he would find genuine rest was at the feet of his master. The same is true in our lives. But … I am not very good at this rest thing.

Life is so daily and often filled with uncertainty, a reality that can make me very nervous. I want to know what the plan is and how that plan is going to be implemented. Details! I need details!

Instead, God calls me to leave the details up to Him and rest. I don’t want to rest. When I rest, I feel guilty. I have places to go, people to see, and important things to do.

But I hear the quiet whisper of the One who knows me best and loves me most, “Mary, it is time to rest.” I have tried to ignore that whisper more times than I care to admit, but it is only a temporary maneuver on my part.

The Lord is my Shepherd and is well acquainted with the antics of stubborn sheep like me. He will lovingly make me lie down in green pastures and firmly lead me beside quiet waters. Why? He wants to refresh my soul. He wants me to experience the peace that can only be found at His feet.

Rest is not really an option. It is a spiritual discipline that we need to make a spiritual habit in our life.

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Will You Please Give It a Rest?

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Great Love for Us

“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

A dear friend and Christian leader from another country hated and resented his father, who was an alcoholic. Through the years, my friends had been humiliated and embarrassed by his father’s conduct. He wanted nothing to do with him.

As he grew more and more mature in his faith, and the Christlike qualities began to develop in his life, he began to realize that his attitude toward his father was wrong. He knew well that God’s Word commanded him to love and honor his mother and father, with no conditions.

Then he began to comprehend and experience the truth of loving by faith after a message which he had heard me give. As a result, he went to his father and, as an act of the will, by faith – because at that point he did not honestly feel like doing so – he expressed his love.

He was amazed to discover that his father had been hurt for years because he had sensed that his son despised and rejected him.

When the son began to demonstrate love for him – to assure him that he cared for him, whether he drank or did not drink – it prompted the father to commit his life to Christ and to trust Him to help him overcome the problem which had plagued him most of his life.

Through this new relationship with the Lord, my friend’s father became a new creature and was able to gain victory over the addiction to alcohol several years before he died – a dramatic example of the power of love.

Bible Reading: Romans 5:9-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Knowing Christ’s great love for me, I will claim His supernatural love for others today

Ray Stedman – Debatable Issues

Read: Romans 14:1-4

One person’s faith allows them to eat everything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. Romans 14:2

This issue arises out of the background of the early church in which there was a real moral question about eating meat. Not only were there the Jewish restrictions against certain forms of meat — Jews did not eat pork, and even beef and lamb had to be kosher — but it had to be slain in a certain way. So a Jew, or even one raised as a Jew, after he became a Christian, always had great emotional difficulty in eating meat. There was also the problem in Rome and in other pagan cities about the matter of eating meat that had been offered to idols. Some Christians said that if you did that it was tantamount to worshipping that idol. Other Christians said, Oh, no. How can that be? Meat is meat. The fact that someone else thinks of it as offered to idols does not mean that I have to. So there was a real problem in the church.

As in every area of this type, there were two viewpoints. There was a liberal, broad viewpoint that said it was perfectly alright to do this, and a stricter, narrower viewpoint that said it was wrong to do this. You can put many of the modern problems that we have into this category. Should you drink wine and beer; should you go to the movies; should you dance; what about work on Sunday? Let us be very clear that there are areas that Scripture speaks about that are not debatable at all. It is always wrong to be drunk. It is always wrong to commit adultery or immorality. These things are clearly wrong. In both the Old and New Testaments, God has spoken, he has judged, in these areas. Christians are exhorted to rebuke and exhort and reprove one another, and, if necessary, even discipline one another according to patterns set out in the Scriptures. This is not judging each other in those areas.

But there are all those other areas that are left open, and the amazing thing to me is that Scripture always leaves those open. Paul will not give a yes or no answer about some of these things because God does not do so. There is an area, in other words, where God wants to leave it up to the individual as to what he or she does. He expects it to be based upon a deep conviction of that individual. But it is up to them.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Debatable Issues

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Jesus’ Other Sheep

Read: John 10:14-30

My sheep hear my voice . . . and they follow me. (v. 27)

Who are Jesus’ “other sheep” (v. 16)? They are all those people, in every time and place, of every tribe and language and race, who belong to him and who will be brought eventually to salvation through him.

Notice the present tense: “I have other sheep.” Jesus doesn’t say, “I will have other sheep someday, once my missionary forces go out and win converts.” His sheep already belong to him. He knows who they are, every last one of them. When we proclaim the gospel to the world, it’s not in the uncertain hope that someone, somewhere, will believe it. It’s in the sure confidence that Jesus’ sheep are everywhere, and when they hear his voice they will follow him.

For a number of years Words of Hope partnered in broadcasting the gospel to Southeast Asia in the Hmong language. I was visiting the producer of those programs in his office. “Let me show you something,” he said, handing me a stack of pages with hundreds of names written on them. “These came in the mail, with a simple request: ‘Pastor, we heard you speaking on the radio about the Lamb’s Book of Life, and we would like you please to record our names in it.’”

Of course, the pastor assured his listeners that they need not worry. Their faith in Jesus was evidence that their names had already been recorded in the Book long ago, by the Lamb himself.

—David Bast


Thank you for the assurance that my name is written there.

Greg Laurie – How Unforgiveness Hurts You

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.—Ephesians 4:32

If you’re someone who holds grudges, if you keep score and can’t let things go, then you need to know something: You will suffer in life. You also will see your prayer life come to a screeching halt.

Forgiveness is the key to all healthy, strong, and lasting relationships. That’s why we must realize how important it is to forgive. Jesus said, “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God” (Matthew 5:23–24).

Maybe you’ve decided that you won’t forgive someone who has wronged you. Guess who will be the one to get hurt? You will. Harboring resentment and unforgiveness will hurt you more than the person you’re refusing to forgive. If you want to be healthy and vibrant spiritually, then you must learn to forgive.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us” (Matthew 6:12).

You may think they don’t deserve forgiveness. But do you? Do I? No, we don’t. Our forgiveness doesn’t hinge on forgiving others, but forgiving others should hinge on God’s gracious and generous forgiveness toward us.

The forgiveness that comes to us from Christ is based on His merit and on His death and His love for us. If we know anything about what Christ has done for us, then we should forgive others.

The Bible says, “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Forgiven people should be forgiving people. And if you want to be healthy and vibrant spiritually, then you must learn to forgive.

Kids 4 Truth International – How Can We See God?

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

Wouldn’t you like to see God? Wouldn’t you like to see with your own eyes the God Who created your eyes? Wouldn’t you like to spend time with Him in person and to know firsthand what He is really like?

The Bible says that nobody human has ever seen God, but the Bible also says that “the pure in heart…shall see God.” How can that be? Jesus preached that, through Him, it is possible to see the Father. In Jesus’s “Sermon on the Mount,” He tells us how it is that we can see God. What does Matthew 5:8 say that we need to be in order to see God? We need to be “pure in heart”! But what does it mean to be “pure in heart”? What does it mean to be “pure”?

To be “pure” means you don’t have anything in you that isn’t supposed to be there. If you have a glass of pure water, that means there isn’t anything in the glass except water. No dirt, no bugs, no poison – or anything else – but water. If something else is in the water, then it is not pure water.

For a person to be pure means there is nothing in him that isn’t supposed to be there. He is just like God made him to be. In other words, there is no sin in him. The problem is, no human being is born the way God originally made him or her to be. Because Adam and Eve sinned, we are all born with sinful natures. So how can we become “pure in heart” and get back to the way God intended for us to be – pure-hearted? Through Jesus Christ! If you are believing on Jesus Christ and trusting in His righteousness to be your righteousness, then Jesus purifies your heart (makes your heart pure). His blood washes away the record of your sin and frees you from the power of sin. Not only can Jesus cleanse and purify your heart one time, but He can keep on helping you to keep on purifying your heart.

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – How Can We See God?

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – No Cross, No Gospel

Today’s Scripture: Romans 5:2

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand.”

When you set yourself to seriously pursue holiness, you’ll begin realizing what an awful sinner you are. If you aren’t firmly rooted in the Gospel and haven’t learned to preach it to yourself every day, you’ll soon become discouraged and will slack off. In the pursuit of holiness, nothing’s more important than learning to preach the Gospel to yourself every day.

In doing so, we must be careful not to preach a Gospel without a cross. All the wonderful promises of forgiveness in Scripture are based upon Christ’s atoning death. Through it he satisfied God’s justice and averted from us God’s wrath. We must be careful not to rely on the so-called unconditional love of God without realizing his love can flow to us only as a result of Christ’s atoning death.

This is the Gospel by which we were saved, and the Gospel by which we must live every day of our Christian lives.

In Romans 3:24, Paul said we are justified by grace, referring to what we might call our point-in-time salvation, the day we trusted in Christ. In Romans 5:2, however, Paul spoke of this grace in which we now stand. Here he refers to our day-to-day standing before God as being on the same basis as our justification—the basis of grace. But this grace—unmerited favor to those who deserve wrath—comes to us through the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is the “God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) and is disposed to deal with us by grace, but not at the expense of his justice. But with justice satisfied, God can now deal with us in grace, both in our salvation and in our day-to-day relationship with him. (Excerpt taken from The Discipline of Grace)

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – The Power of Words

Today’s Scripture: Genesis 37-40

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. – Proverbs 12:18

The late Paul Little of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship used to tell us that when we speak unwisely or boastfully or pass along some gossip, it is hard to retrieve those words. It’s like trying to get toothpaste back in the tube.

In the story of Joseph, we find a young man who spoke unwisely and suffered the consequences for many years afterwards.

One day Joseph and his brothers were in the field, and Joseph told them his dream: “We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” And his brothers, who were jealous of his favored position with their father, hated him even more. They said, “Will you actually rule us?”

Now, folks, I think Joseph was a great man, and very wise. In fact, I don’t remember any other major mistake this man made. But I think what he did here was a mistake.We all know there are some things that we should simply keep to ourselves. Had he thought about it for a moment or two, he could have seen how relating his dream would promote anger and hatred and jealousy among his brothers.

As Joseph’s story unfolds, the power of God turns tragedy into triumph. But the truth still comes through loud and clear that you and I need to watch what we say.

The New Testament makes it clear that the daily walk of the disciple should be characterized by lowliness and meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, and endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace (see Ephesians 4:2-3).


Lord, today may what I say honor You and encourage others. Amen.

To Ponder

Today, look for opportunities to speak healing words.

BreakPoint –  Christians ‘Under Caesar’s Sword’: Responding to Worldwide Persecution

One hundred years ago, one-third of the population of Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was non-Muslim. It was home to hundreds of thousands of Jews and Christians.

Today, Istanbul, now the capital of the modern state of Turkey, is less than one percent non-Muslim.

This did not happen by accident. What’s more, the same forces that turned one of Christianity’s great cities into a virtual Christian-free zone is still at work throughout the world.

These processes and possible Christian responses to them are the subject of an important new project, “Under Caesar’s Sword,” and a short documentary by the same name.

The project is a joint effort of the University of Notre Dame and the Religious Freedom Center of the Berkley Center at Georgetown University. The goal of the “three-year, collaborative global research project” is to investigate “how Christian communities respond when their religious freedom is severely violated.”

Note that I said “when” not “if” their religious freedom is severely violated. As the project’s website tells visitors, “today Christians constitute by far the most widely persecuted religion.” It cites a study by The International Society for Human Rights, which states that Christians are “the victims of 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world.” Christians are also “the only religious group that is persecuted in all 16 of the countries highlighted as egregious offenders by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2012.”

All told, a Pew Research Center found “that between June 2006 and December 2012, Christians faced harassment and intimidation in 151 countries, the largest number of any religious group.”

If you’re a regular BreakPoint listener, some of these dismal numbers should be familiar to you. What won’t be as familiar are the faces and voices behind the numbers. Nor will the localities featured in the 26-minute documentary.

The stories told by “Under Caesar’s Sword” take place not in ISIS-controlled Syria or Iraq, but in Turkey and India, two ostensibly non-sectarian democracies. In India, Christians who’ve been harassed or worse by their Hindu nationalist neighbors, have to file complaints at police stations festooned with Hindu idols covered in garlands and other offerings. Not exactly the stuff confidence in the legal system is made of.

Continue reading BreakPoint –  Christians ‘Under Caesar’s Sword’: Responding to Worldwide Persecution

Denison Forum – Did Denzel Washington support Donald Trump?

“Denzel Washington Switches to Trump, Shocks Hollywood.” This headline announced the news that the famous actor was supporting Donald Trump for president, primarily because “he’s hired more employees, more people, than anyone I know in the world.” The story was fake. Not one word of it was true. But that didn’t keep it from going viral and trending on numerous news outlets.

Here are other examples of fake news in the news:

  •  Donald Trump won the popular vote.
    •    The Clinton Foundation bought $137 million worth of illegal arms and ammunition.
    •    An FBI agent associated with Hillary Clinton’s email leaks was found dead in a murder-suicide.
    •    The Pope endorsed Donald Trump.
    •    The Pope endorsed Bernie Sanders.

None of these stories is true. But they were so popular that they were picked up by news feeds on Google and Facebook, giving them even more credibility.

Welcome to the era of “post-truth.” The Oxford Dictionaries just declared this term to be their “word of the year.” According to their definition, “post-truth” is an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Editors noted that use of the term increased by around 2,000 percent in 2016 compared to last year. They explained this spike “in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States.”

These are challenging days for truth.

For decades, we’ve been told that truth is personal and subjective. The argument runs thus: Our minds interpret our senses, resulting in knowledge. But no two people sense the world or interpret their senses in precisely the same way. As a result, there can be no such thing as absolute truth. There’s only your truth and my truth. If “appeals to emotion and personal belief” persuade you, that’s your truth. Such appeals may be “post-truth” with regard to objective truth claims, but who are we to judge?

Continue reading Denison Forum – Did Denzel Washington support Donald Trump?