News Feed Versus Truth Feed

  • Steve Hatter
Man using his tablet

We are living in an age of information saturation. Saturation seems an apt descriptor because it means we’re enduring media in a manner described by one dictionary as: “to a very full extent, especially beyond the point regarded as necessary or desirable.”

The nature of calamity and strife invites people to want saturation from the information providers. We become mesmerized by watching the proverbial train wreck in slow motion. That said, there are things we need to know about, whether it’s the latest health threat, the war in Ukraine, the state of the U.S. economy, or any number of urgent topics, and the twenty-four-seven news cycle churns perpetually and overwhelmingly to meet this need. But along with the catastrophic, we are also deluged with the meaningless and inane.

And if that is not enough to concern us, we must also understand that even as we are saturated with stories, the stories are saturated with lies. Therefore, my thought for today is this: What should Christians do regarding the daily news feed? How do we apply wise discernment to the information flood when much of what saturates us is also, tragically, untrue?

John MacArthur argues that “in its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong.” Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. We then make choices resting on the truth we discern and trust those choices will bear fruit.

Most people today are unsure if there is even any ultimate source of truth—that there is an objective standard by which all things are measured. “Is truth objective or relative?” ask the most educated in our culture. Christians, of course, believe God is the single source of objective truth, and Scripture is the special revelation of God’s perfect truth that believers need for all life and doctrine. The secular world increasingly sees truth as relative, believing that individuals can decide truth as they see it. Moreover, most of our culture’s most powerful people hold this position.

The marriage of such power and subjectivity has an especially problematic potential. Tyranny will soon follow when a society allows the powerful to own the privilege and authority to define truth. The powerful decide the moral standard for those they rule. Only an elite few, whether by breeding, beauty, education, wealth, artistic or athletic talent, or even brute intimidation, dictate to the many a man-centered truth, apart from any higher power. In short, might makes right. Truth becomes pliable and, therefore, valuable as a governing tool, and individual freedom dies.

Another worrisome potential when people reject objective truth is anarchy. Any legitimate organizing principle designed to restrain human impulse cannot survive the cradle because voluntary submission requires moral agreement. Anarchy was undoubtedly the case with ancient Israel in the time of the Judges as Judges 17:6 reminds:

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Considering all I’ve just said, here is why I’m so grateful to be a Christian:

First, basic Bible knowledge exposes the utter folly of not just everyone doing what was right in their own eyes but also the problem of having no moral and legitimate king. Unassailable truth must rest on a foundation of legitimate authority, and the Bible teaches that only God—the true and living God—owns this authority. He is King. He is the standard. And this standard is holy and pure and good. Man is but a vile usurper when he seeks to define truth versus error, right versus wrong.

A look at the God of the Bible’s limitless attributes versus man’s myriad limitations should obliterate any argument over the legitimacy of His authority. Give me the eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, righteous, loving, just, merciful, gracious One to be my King!

Moreover, our King promised to provide truth for daily living—real and practical aid in achieving discernment amidst the cacophony of false noise. He has done this through the means of His inspired Word—our Bibles—and enlightenment made manifest by the indwelling of his Spirit in our hearts when we believe on the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. He has not left us adrift in a confusing, threatening world. He has provided all we need to be discerning regarding every topic, situation, ethic, or issue.

However, this provision must come by faith. We must believe. We must be saved by faith alone, in Christ alone. Our regeneration enables a new ability to see true righteousness pop from the pages of Scripture, which, as one writer put it, is synonymous with discernment. We must believe and evangelize this notion, especially in perilous times.

If you struggle to trust that the Bible is inspired and, therefore, reliable, authoritative, inerrant, infallible, clear, and sufficient, let me offer a few verses for your consideration. The Bible claims to speak to every topic, every situation, every ethic, every potential issue, or question, and that you need not look elsewhere for wisdom relating to life and doctrine.

2 Peter 1:3 promises, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence”

2 Corinthians 3:4–6 encourages, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

2 Timothy 3:16–17 assures: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Ask yourself, do I believe this? If you do, you are discerning through a biblical truth grid, which competes well with anything man-centered more than you may know. Do not let the media or academic elites intimidate you! Armed with Biblical discernment grounded in the Word of God, you can now go forth boldly and be about the Apostle Paul’s command in Romans 12:2:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

That is just lovely language—“what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We Christians have a lot we can say that will help our family, friends, and neighbors rightly discern. Believe and be bold!

Psalm 119, the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible, dedicates 176 verses of Hebrew poetry to marvelously show its readers the priority of God’s Word to God Himself, who inspired a human writer to be carried along by His Spirit to pen His perfect intent.

The opening stanza of Psalm 119 introduces the message to come, stressing the importance of its power and blessing. Take a moment and meditate on what God is saying as He invites a journey through all the Psalm:


How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of Yahweh.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
They seek Him with all their heart.
They also do not work unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
You have commanded us,
To keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh may my ways be established
To keep Your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!


His Word is true! We need to saturate ourselves in God’s Word and, not the compounding lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil. That is how we discern the truth feed from the news feed!