political spin

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

One of my favorite films is the recent Spielberg, Lincoln. Powerful about the president most of us would say is the greatest United States President of all. In that film you get a real taste of American politics, and dare I say it?- political spin. Maybe it’s not so much spin as arm twisting. I think the film has immense value for trying to get the story and history right.

I admire and look for the politician who seems concerned about truth telling and really talking through the issues. Even when I disagree with them spot on, I can at least respect them and continue to listen to what they say. But when I perceive that politicians or political candidates are simply trying to get votes by actually misrepresenting what their political opponent is saying, I have difficulty taking them seriously.

Political gamesmanship is another story. If one is appealing to truth while at the same time trying to get the edge psychologically with voters over their opponent to gain support and momentum for their campaign, that’s one thing. As long as they are not twisting the facts either through adding on or ignoring what their opponent actually said, then I’ll keep listening. Even though I prefer simply a straightforward word of truth as they understand and can tell it, while at the same time seriously taking into consideration what their opponent says. Unless they can point out the inconsistency in some way in their opponent.

In a certain setting I used to be rather mocked as the one who would say something like, “On the one hand this, on the other hand that.” I suppose one can over think, and indeed I’ve been accused of that. It’s certainly true that people can under think as well. In this world we more often than not have to proceed with the best thought we have, not imagining that either what we’re doing or we ourselves are foolproof.

The kingdom in Jesus in which we Christians live in and through him and by the gospel is another matter altogether. We embrace truth and love in Jesus, we take up our cross and follow. Our appeal is strictly to truth and ultimately to the Truth, who is also the Way and the Life (John 14:6). There is no spin or deceit, but simply seeking to persuade by appealing to the truth in both word and deed, the truth that is in Jesus.


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