In the Spotlight
By Romeo Cardinali – September 30, 2021
As Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, he was questioned as to why his own people had
delivered him up to the Romans as a law-breaker worthy of death, Pilate asked him: “So you
are a king?” (John 18:37-38). Without hesitation Jesus told him: “You say that I am a king.
For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world, to bear witness
to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth, listens to my voice.” Pilate’s response was epic:
“What is Truth?”
We need to keep in mind that Pilate was probably not stupid, just cynical and cunning. Like
most men who had risen to the position of Roman Prefect (governor), he had to have been
somewhat savvy and politically skilled to rise to that level of prestige and power. But his
behavior during Jesus’ arrest & crucifixion revealed his character as a man more worried about politics, and responding to mob pressure. Even his wife’s troubling dream the night before (Matt 27:19) was not enough to dissuade him from acquiescing to mob rule, both from the Chief Priests and Elders, as well as the rabble who gladly asked for a common thief, Barabbas, be released instead of Jesus. So when we hear Pilate say: “What is truth?” It’s likely that he saw the world, not in terms of true or false, but levels of expediencies he had to perform to keep his position and perks.
Not much has changed in the last two millennia, mankind today pretty much falls into the same four groups: 1.) Principled people (like our Lord Jesus), who seek to speak truth to those who don’t know, 2.) Powerful leaders who seek to stay in power and avoid being accused that “they’re no friend of Caesar or the Cool-Kids,” and 3.) Religious Leaders who seek their own power by controlling the flow of information (facts), and use fear and the threat of mob violence to control others, and 4.) The Ignorant Masses, who just want to be liked by the “cool-kids” (i.e. Rulers & Religious Leaders). Note: like today, the Ignorant Masses do what they’re told to survive! Nope, nothing much has changed, except the Chief Priests and Religious Leaders have different titles in our culture: Academia, Corporate-Medical-Complex, Corporate-Media-Complex – who daily tell us all, “They’re here to help us, they care, they just want to make a difference, it’s about the children and saving lives” blah, blah, blah!
It’s easy to see how many people – just like Pontius Pilate would get cynical and say: “What is truth?” He rightly understood that it’s really about power, control & money. There’s not much in life to count on that’s true, so for those who are not totally blinded by the “cool kids” and the zeitgeist of our hi-tech-pagan culture, they actually grasp that: “Truth is relative to those who are speaking, and for the ends they are using it.” And that truth is continually changing, sometimes daily without any acknowledgment that they were wrong before, or that they’re probably lying now, or will be wrong when they change the narrative tomorrow! Note: If anyone wants to do a cursory study of human history, they’d see that the “cool-kids” and their cohorts in power – have always been blinded by self-interest, greed and false beliefs, and their pronouncements have MOSTLY BEEN WRONG
There are several verses in scripture that should help us understand our modern predicament. Many believe that Western Cultures are above the cynicism of Pilate, what with all of our Science, Learning and Judeo-Christian traditions, we’re basically honest, good, & sincere people – seeking the well-being of others. But scripture sees things differently, it sees “all of (fallen) creation as being in travail, struggling until the children of God are revealed” (Rom 8:20). It also clearly teaches us – that all who are in the flesh (even believers), are still subject to the powerful influences of “the prince of the power of the air,” (Eph 2:2) and the “world’s system” (James 4:4). And since these fallen “cool kids” control all of the audio (music, speech) and images (idols) and that we see on: TV, Movies, Internet, Videos, Social-Media, Music Videos – they must all be right, and even if they’re not all right, we certainly want to fit in, and be accepted! Who would want to be excluded by the cool-kids?
I remember reading about Christ’s temptation during the 40 days of His fasting as recorded in both Matt 4 & Luke 4. I used to wonder “why would Satan think he could tempt Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity – the Son of God?” He had to know that Jesus was born without sin (Lk 1:35). Why would he waste his time trying to tempt “the holy one of God?” (Mk 1:24). I’m convinced that the answer was not about who Jesus was, but the form he was in: Jesus came in the “likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3). So, regardless of the God-Man Jesus’ pedigree as the “son of the most high,” (Lk 1:32) and His being without sin, Satan knew what fallen flesh was all about! It was his game, his system, and by default from Adam’s & Eve’s sin, it was played by his rules! So much so, that Satan shamelessly promised the God-Man Jesus all the kingdoms of this world: “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will” (Lk 4:6). Bottom line, Satan knew that all of this world’s systems were tainted by sin and ultimately serve fallen men, and not the creator (Rom 1:25).
There are two irrefutable spiritual rules that should govern our understanding of Men, Myths, Media, History and Politics: #1 – “All men are liars” (Rom 3:4), and #2 – Satan is the “deceiver of the whole world” (Rev 12:9). Don’t get me wrong, since we’re all still in the flesh, none of us could function or exist for a day if we believed that everyone was lying all the time, or that everything was a deception and meant to harm. None of us would be able to get out of bed in the morning. We all need to live in basic hope and trust at least on some level, that the bus schedule or store hours are true, or at least meant to be accurate.
But these two spiritual truths should control the way we as Christians think. I personally have a basic distrust of the News Media (in all venues), and believe that the dominant views and accepted beliefs are almost always distorted, if not completely dishonest. I’ve understood this since God first called me to belief in His Son back in 1974! They just have the wrong “world view,” no matter what subject they are discussing. I should tell you that as someone who loves and reads history quite a bit – I’m convinced that much of what we’ve been taught in school, is at least biased, if not outright false. History (the written narrative) has always been written by the dominant culture, and the truth is often far different than the talking heads keep parroting to us. I should also tell you that as a Baby Boomer who grew up during the Viet Nam War, my generation learned early on that we needed to check things out personally, and not just accept everything we were told by those in “authority” (I Thess. 5:21).
I worry that most of our younger generation has no clue of what’s true, or false – and are not well-grounded in biblical truth, or honest history. They unquestioningly accept these “so-called-authorities” (from the world’s system) without reservation. And except for faithful Churches struggling to counter the constant drumbeat of deception, virtually EVERYONE IN MEDIA (TV, Internet, Entertainment, Cable, Music, Social Media) ALL BREATHLESSLY PROCLAIM TO THEM DAILY THE SAME DISHONEST NARRATIVES. Please understand that the same Media that they unquestioningly believe are telling the truth about the origins of Covid, the hurried-to-market-vaccines, survival rates, death rates, and that we have to give complete control to the government in order to survive – ARE THE SAME CORPORATE-MEDIA MOUTHPIECES WHO’VE BEEN DELIBERATELY DECEPTIVE ABOUT MOST OTHER SCIENCE (“falsely so-called” – 1 Tim 6:20), and we CHRISTIANS SHOULD RIGHTLY OPPOSE THEM! They keep spinning multiple deceptions, all citing SCIENTIFIC STUDIES on Abortion, Poverty, Economics, Sexuality, Race, Gender, Marriage, Faith, Homosexuality, and Climate Change. I could go on ad nauseum.
It’s a problem for us all as “we’re in the world, yet not of it” (John 17:14-15). And it’s not easy or feasible to discern every deception, or lie that any State, Government or Empire (Rome, Britain, Ottoman, China, US, Russia) is telling us. So my question to anyone who believes unquestioningly what they’re being told is: “Why do you believe anything these so-called experts are saying about this man-made-disease and its man-made-vaccines?” Why will corporations force all of their employees to be trained that: ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE BORN RACIST, or THAT GENDER IS FLUID, OR THAT UNVAXED PEOPLE ARE SUPER-SPREADERS? What have these so-called authorities done to earn such blind trust? Or is it just that the “cool-kids” in every part of our “truth-challenged” society (Work, School, Church, Business, Medicine, Media, Entertainment, Government) all say that these things are true? If they are so right, why can’t they allow an honest debate on whether the “Vaccines are really great?” Or whether “white people really are born racist,” or “gender is a choice and not based on science?” Why is it agiven that anyone who doesn’t parrot the official pronouncements from these authorities is NOT COOL? I do understand that as humans we can and do disagree. But why then have they CENSORED ALL DEBATE? Why are opposing views, even those presented by credible experts “shot down or disallowed as DISINFORMATION?”
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He also “said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my
word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31-32). I hope it’s not too late for this present generation to ask Pilate’s question in a different way. Not with the cynicism of a bureaucrat governing a wayward outpost in the Roman Empire, but as “honest seekers of truth.” I hope they’ll earnestly ask: “What is the Truth?” And then search diligently, not swallowing the easy answers given by the “lazy hedonistic cool-kids,” who just go along to get along. No, I hope they ask and get the right answers. It’s the only hope for this next generation to not be in bondage, but to be truly free Indeed!