No news is good news

Remember when we had three TV networks and only print newspapers? A mere handful of sources from which to get our news fix…our daily diet of data on the goings-on in our community, country, and world? Today we have a truckful, and personally, I think it’s making me sick.

The glut of news, so-called news, fake news, counter news, fact checkers, opinions, and spin is compromising our intellectual and emotional health in the same way overeating and junk food compromise our physical health. Would you agree? If good “news nutrition” is truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…it seems to me we are being forced to scavenge through garbage to find anything healthy and real.

I’ve got 13 online news outlets bookmarked and the task of discerning truth from half-truths and deception is so overwhelming I don’t want to look at any of them. Social media as de facto news sources only add to the confusion. I quickly scroll through my Facebook news feed each morning scanning for personal comments from people I actually know and eschewing (an apt term, eh?) shared news links and political commentary. The only TV news I watch is local and, honestly, I’d avoid that too if I lived alone.

But it’s not just that it’s so hard to know what to believe these days. It’s also that the news I can believe is so depressing. And on top of that, there’s little if anything I can do about it. So I don’t want to know. A few months ago I began what I intended to be a weekly post of linked examples of hypocrisy and incoherence in the news. But that required an intake of mass quantities of heavy, high-cholesterol, heart-sickening information and I just couldn’t stomach it.

Funny how in the 21st century I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like the only news I can be confident is true is that which initially went to press in the first. Really old, ancient even, written records from multiple sources tell of the birth, life, and death of a man who was also God…who created the universe and every being that inhabits it, and died at the hands of some of them. But on the third day rose again so that we might also have life after we die. Now, that’s news.

Fake news, some believe. No. The evidence indicates otherwise. But it still takes faith, just as we must choose what to believe from the banquet (garbage dump?) of “factual” fare that passes for news today.

No, not fake news. Good news. The gospel of our salvation is the food that leads to eternal life. It’s the news that leads to spiritual health, which is the only kind of health that can be sustained through death. The gospel nourishes, heals, and gives life. It’s news that has withstood scrutiny, persecution, and efforts to discredit it for nearly 20 centuries.

It’s truth. And I cling to it more than ever in a day when lies are rampant and truth itself is so devalued as to be dispensable. No wonder it’s become so elusive.

And no wonder the world is so sick.