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From post-truth to divine Truth

From the February 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

There’s a saying that a lie repeated a thousand times becomes truth. And studies show that people do tend to accept opinions and pseudo-facts as reliable information if they hear them often enough. 

Special interest groups, using instant communication and global social networks, have helped to make what psychologists call “the illusion of truth” a formidable influence today, especially in politics. It is said we are in a post-truth era, or an era in which “objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief” (Oxford English Dictionary). 

How do we counteract this deceptive tendency? A good place to start is with what the Bible tells us about God: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

This “God of truth” reveals Himself in our experience, giving us a firm foundation to rely on. Just as we would moor a boat to something secure, such as a dock, we can find peace and safety by basing our thoughts and actions on divine Truth.

Through the prophet Moses, God revealed the Ten Commandments—moral laws that lead us to live in harmony with God and with each other. Christ Jesus taught the importance of obeying these laws, as summed up in two great commandments: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:30, 31). 

These laws are not human constructs, subject to manipulation by personal interests or social whims. They are direct revelations from God to man, and living in accord with them is innate to us as the children of God. Jesus taught and demonstrated that obedience to these moral and spiritual laws enables us to experience the kingdom of heaven, harmony, right now.

Turning to divine Mind brings us intelligence and inspiration, including the capacity to discern what is true.

Let me share an example. Some time ago it bothered me to watch political news and opinion programs on television because they so often featured guests with opposing positions who, instead of discussing verifiable facts, argued their discouraging opinions and many times ended up screaming at each other. I decided not to consume that kind of programming. But later I noticed that even watching previews of these programs made me feel indignant and irritated, and the stress made me feel unwell. 

I couldn’t continue in this way. In Matthew 3:2, John the Baptist exhorts, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” From the perspective of Truth, I reasoned that the irritation was totally foreign to my nature as a daughter of God. I repented and prayed with the sincere desire to purify my thinking and feel the peace of the kingdom of heaven. I knew that it is the divine right of each of us to live in harmony and brotherly love.

This did not mean denying reality. On the contrary, it meant rejecting post-truth views and turning to the divine Truth that liberates. At the time, I was studying the Sermon on the Mount. I paid close attention to what Jesus says in the Beatitudes about being meek, merciful, a peacemaker, and pure of heart (see Matthew 5:1–12). These humble attitudes are the bedrock of Christian character, and expressing them helps us to be conscious of what’s true—our relation to God and the peace and purity always at hand. When our thought is in tune with what’s true spiritually, we’re less apt to be deceived by false material appearances.

I decided to put these qualities into practice more consistently each day and to accept as real only God’s wholly good creation—spiritual man and the spiritual universe. I began to see the importance of prayerfully affirming that the man of God’s creating cannot be dragged down into a state of negativity and moral blindness that would lead him to forget the laws of Love. Living these laws is, in fact, the very essence of our being as the sons and daughters of God.

It was inspiring to consider Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of Mind in the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which says in part: “The only I, or Us; the only Spirit, Soul, divine Principle, substance, Life, Truth, Love” (p. 591). 

Since the divine Mind is the only real source of our thoughts, turning to this Mind brings us intelligence and inspiration, including the capacity to discern and value what is true, and to avoid being manipulated by political or social agendas. As I looked to Mind to guide my thinking, I soon felt at peace, very loved by God, and able to love others more.

In God’s family, there is no place for social fragmentation or us-against-them thinking. Living from the perspective of invariable Truth, we cannot be misled. Divine Truth brings wisdom, stability, and freedom to our daily life.

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