President Barack Obama lied, and Representative Joe Wilson is not the only one saying so. The Associated Press even admits that Obama misrepresented the truth in his recent speech to Congress. Calvin Woodward (AP) wrote, “One of President Barack Obama’s health care ‘horror stories’ is about a woman who, he says, lost her health insurance on the verge of breast cancer surgery because she didn’t disclose a case of acne to the insurer. That’s not what happened.” Woodward goes on to explain that Obama’s shortened version of this complicated health care story “is just one cited by Obama that mixes fact with fiction.” Fact is to fiction as truth is to lie.
“What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus this question just before he was handed over for crucifixion(John 18:38). Now you should know that I’m somewhat of a wordsmith, lovingly referred to by some of my family and friends as “the Word nerd”. I have always had a fancy for words, their origins, and their definitions, especially those in the Word of God. Are you sitting down? Believe it or not, when I look up truth in the Encarta Dictionary through Microsoft Word, the first definition is God. Hallelujah!
But regardless of one’s belief in God, most people believe in truth; although many have a hard time explaining what it is, especially if they do not believe. Most equate truth with fact, the reason Woodward ran his article as a “Fact Check.” He’s claiming Obama did not state fact. He did not speak truth. He lied.
Simply put, truth is reality. But for a full understanding, one must first recognize that we are a part of reality only by way of our Creator. He is the source of reality. Therefore, the only reliable source for truth is Him. We each view reality through the lens of our own existence, and because we are flawed, so is our perception of reality. But reality from God’s vantage point is perfect. Regardless of our limited view of any given situation, God remains on His throne, supernaturally present throughout the universe. As a result, He has the only perfect view. Truth is reality through God’s eyes.
Truth is perhaps the most crucial foundation for our existence as a nation. Judgments are handed down based on evidence revealing truth. Laws are made based on the truths and values of a civilization. And leaders are chosen, typically, for their integrity and upholding of truth. All three of these make up our government, and all depend upon the exaltation of truth above all things.
I am concerned at the lack of truth, not only spoken by our president, but by many members of our government and other influential leaders in recent days. A disregard for truth is at the core of what is wrong with America. Reports of dishonesty in finances, marriages, and politics abound.
Yet President Obama wants us to believe in him, to believe that he can lead us to a restored hope in our country. He wants us to trust him and to follow him in, as he stated, “the work of remaking of America.” George Washington said, “To form a new Government, requires infinite care, and unbounded attention; for if the foundation is badly laid the superstructure must be bad. “ Is this the new kind of foundation President Obama seeks to set, one that includes the purposeful use of falsehood?
Thomas Jefferson said “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.”
Yet I must also cite Obama for speaking of truths in his inaugural address. He listed values that he deemed as sustaining truths of our country upon which our success depends. The first value he listed was honesty. Yet I dare say that he has fallen short of this virtue on at least this one occasion.
George Washington said, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.” Jesus said we are the light of the world. We that have His light are to radiate it, not hide it under a bushel. (Matt 5:13-16) May we shine the light of truth – reality through God’s eyes – in every way God leads us. Let us continue Washington’s charge: “There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.”