Truth + Half-Truth = Half-Lie = Lie. It’s a progression. We start with the truth. Add in something that’s not quite true. Now it’s a half-truth. But it’s really half-lie. And the conclusion we reach with that half-lie is almost certainly an outright lie. The big question is, are we willing to acknowledge that? Maybe, are we even capable of acknowledging that? Or are we so conditioned to even the half-lie that we think something with the tiniest piece of truth must really be true?
I first wrote about this nine years ago. July 2019. I moved my web site to another location, but didn’t bring this with the move. Now, it’s time. Although, the truth and the half-truth are different. So is the lie.
Oddly enough, it was originally supposed to be about a political topic. It ended up being about science. And towards the end, I wrote:
Obviously, it changed. It got much bigger –
But today, it’s going to be political. God, religion and politics. Talk about Truth, half-truth and a whole lot of lies – in that order.
Anyway, the first part of what you’re about to read is from that original article, nine years ago. I’ll let you know when we switch back to the current day. I’ll do that, although I suspect it’ll be pretty obvious.
Truth + Half-Truth = Half-Lie = Lie
I was at a worship concert this evening –
Does that make it a truth –
“And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.”
A lie with no basis in truth at all takes a whole lot more effort to put together and get a lot of people to accept it.
Unfortunately, unless people really know and understand the truth –
Reminds me of when I was a kid –
They assume that parallel universes exist, because nothing else (in their opinion) can explain why their equations of how things work –
This particular article starts off with “Everything you’re about to read here seems impossible and insane, beyond science fiction. Yet it’s all true”.
Back to the present
And this is where we move to present time – July 2019. Sorry, that old article still isn’t back online yet. Maybe one day.
The PEW Forum did a study in 2014 to try to determine what they titled, “Belief in God by political party“. The results from what we’re going to look at here came from 3 questions. Here they are – in the form of the script used by the questioners, along with the possible answers.
The first two were about religious beliefs.
READ TO ALL:
Now we have some questions about people’s religious beliefs. First…
Q.G1 Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?
3 Other (VOL)
9 Don’t know/refused (VOL.)
ASK IF BELIEVE IN GOD/UNIVERSAL SPIRIT (Q.G1=1):
Q.G1b How certain are you about this belief? Are you absolutely certain, fairly certain, not too
certain, or not at all certain?
1 Absolutely certain
2 Fairly certain
3 Not too certain
4 Not at all certain
9 Don’t know/refused (VOL.)
And here’s the political party question, in script form.
PARTY In politics TODAY, do you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat, or Independent?
4 No preference (VOL.)
5 Other party (VOL.)
9 Don’t know/Refused (VOL.)
There’s no indication as to what VOL. stands for. Given the value of “9” for the final option in each category, it looks like that’s how they mark an answer to be thrown out. Essentially, marked as bad data that the statistical analysis programs will ignore, but still factor into the final results. Hold on to that thought.
Here’s the result of combining those three questions in an attempt to determine “Belief in God by political party”.
Belief in God by political party
|Party affiliation||Believe in God; absolutely certain||Believe in God; fairly certain||Believe in God; not too/not at all certain||Believe in God; don't know||Do not believe in God||Other/don't know if they believe in God||Sample Size|
|Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.|
And there we have it.
God is Republican! Of course, that’s an outright lie.
Mostly. That’s a half-lie. Or something like that. Anyway, it’s not true.
And yet, that seems to be the prevailing belief in this country. Somehow, God must be Republican, because far more Christians vote Republican than from other parties (sorry, that’s another data point for another day). But mostly because Republicans believe in God and Democrats don’t. That’s what the “Believe in God; absolutely certain” column supposedly shows.
Republicans more absolutely certain they believe in God
There’s at least one problem that comes with the “absolutely certain” designation. These people claim to believe in God. That’s all well and good. However, how many of them believe in the God of the New Testament? You know, the one of whom Jesus said,
Jn 6:28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jn 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
That begs a question. Do we really believe what Jesus said? For instance, did Jesus say go forth and make Republicans? I don’t think so. I seem to remember something like:
The Great Commission
Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Oops. It’s not about making Republicans. For that matter, it’s not about making Democrats either. Truth is, It’s about making disciples. You know – disciples – people who will believe the things Jesus believed, try to do the things Jesus taught us to do, and try to live like Jesus lived? That kind of Christian disciple. Not a political disciple who happens to claim to be Christian.
So while it’s all well and good to think, correctly or not, that Republicans are more absolutely certain they believe in God, the truly important question is whether or not the “God” they believe in is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit of the New Testament – or the political god of the Republican party.
Other / don’t know if they believe in God
I leave it to you to look at most of the columns in the middle, but I do want to point out the last one. The percentages of Republicans and Democrats who came under the category of “other / don’t know” are 1% and 2% respectively. Those are very small numbers. Very small.
BTW, remember that part about bad data? This is where they ended up. Don’t know and other got lumped together. To my way of thinking, that makes this column kind of like a garbage dump. We have to be careful about conclusions drawn from here. But one thing’s for sure. No matter what the distribution actually was between don’t know and answered something other than one of the “approved” answers, the two parties are very close. Statistically insignificant.
Do not believe in God
And even the column “Do not believe in God” – I wonder how accurate that number is. The thing is, it’s not what we believe in our heads that’s important. The truly important question is what will we hear at the end of our lives? There’s the all too real possibility that it’ll be the 4 scariest words in the Bible: I never knew you. As in:
A Tree and Its Fruit
Mt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Mt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
Anyone in any of those columns might hear those words. If we listen to the false teachers, the one with the half-truth / half-lie statements – like potentially the politicians of any party – we may very well not believe in the God of the New Testament. Rather than believe in the God that made us in His image, we can easily end up believing in the “god” that our political party made in their image.
Conclusion: Truth + Half-Truth = Half-Lie = Lie
Sure, anyone, including the spokespersons for a political party, or a candidate running for political office, can come up with some segment of “truth”. That’s where “truth” contains words that really did come from the Bible, or at least sound like they came from the Bible. But that alone doesn’t make it truth.
Even a little half-truth is a lie. And the conclusions based on that half-truth / half-lie are most likely going to be a full-blown lie.
Who then? Who mixes the Truth with the lie and comes up with the believable half-truth / half-lie? C. S. Lewis says it’s the enemy –
Remember the tiny little half-truth from Satan?
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
There was the tiniest bit of “truth” in there. Certainly not as far as intent goes. It wasn’t the warning God actually gave. But a few of the words were there. Eat. Any Tree. The Garden.
But what about, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden”. There was also the warning, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die”.
God actually told them they were free (as in they had the free will) to eat from any tree in the Garden. However, if they ate from that one tree, they would die. Actually, literally die die. For a much deeper look into that, please see The Problem of Free Will.
So – rather than science, I’m looking at the half-truth (or less) coming from political parties these days. Somehow, it seems so much worse than ever. Maybe I’m just noticing it more? Or maybe it’s really getting worse. I don’t know. But it has reached a point in this country – and others – where we’re so evenly split that nothing gets done. People seem more personal in their attacks on each other. Both sides actually seem to hate the other. Does that sound even a little bit Christ-like?
Lots of people in politics claim belief in God. Claim the moral high ground. Look for the religious people to vote for them.
What we need to remember is that we shouldn’t be learning about God from our politicians. That’s what churches are for. And in both cases, political people and church people, we should very carefully look at what they say about God. Be sure, from the Bible, that what they say is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
At the same time, we need to remember where Jesus’ “alliance” was when He walked this earth. It wasn’t the Romans. Not even the Jewish leaders. It was The Father. God in Heaven.
It’s important for us to actually know what the Bible says. To know how Christians are told by Jesus to live. In reality, to know the truth. That’s the only way we can identify what’s half-true, half-lie and outright lie.