If the actions taken by Leftist governments and politicians bewilder you and have you asking yourself how anyone can think or do things like that, know that what you’re seeing is nothing new. Their driving philosophy and behaviors have been around a long time and are on display in many biblical accounts, especially in the life of Christ.
The Left and Post-Truth
To understand the motivations and actions of the Left, you have to understand post-truth philosophy. Despite being declared the “word of the year” in 2016 by Oxford Dictionaries, many don’t have a clear understanding of what post-truth is, how it differs from other philosophies like Postmodernism, and its long history.
Postmodernism has always been a type of mood that eschews objective truth; very much a “true for you, but not for me” way of thinking. By contrast, post-truth has the courage to lift the kimono higher than postmodernists ever dared to reveal its true motives and is a step down into a darker place. Post-truth adherents view facts as irrelevant or less important than individual beliefs, opinions, political agendas, social causes, and emotional appeals when it comes to considering a truth claim.
Post-truth presents in one of two ‘modes’ – soft or hard. The soft mode comes into play when personal preferences result in the discarding of facts, whereas the hard mode goes a step further to propagate blatant lies and distortions of facts in order to support an agenda.
Because, as Thomas Aquinas said, “The contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated”, suppression of the truth (see Romans 1:18) is typically practiced first by post-truth advocates, followed by ignoring the truth, and finally, distorting and lying about the truth. Any attempt by someone to reference objective truth becomes an adversary, much like what Paul asked his Galatian readers: “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16).
You and I can expect nothing less in today’s politically-charged, post-truth culture. What Richard Weaver said in his book Ideas Have Consequences is spot on: “Nothing good can come if the will is wrong. And to give evidence to him who loves not the truth is to give him more plentiful material for misinterpretation.”
Mix post-truth and the Leftist philosophy that was resurrected in 18th century France, which is characterized by power-mongering, intolerance, arrogance, distortion, and a hateful rage of God’s truth, and you have one very deadly cocktail. There are many biblical accounts that showcase how this poison was active in the time of Christ; for the sake of space, we’ll look at just a few.
Enforcing the Post-Truth Moral Code
“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath” (Matt. 12:1-2).
Today, we see the Left using post-truth thinking to craft a morally-bankrupt playbook that they use in conjunction with an agenda of relentless faultfinding and public castigation. Any artificial nods to tolerance given in the past have been cast aside for its true self, which manifests now in extreme intolerance and zero forgiveness for any supposed transgression.
It was the same in Jesus’ time. The Pharisees had added to and distorted God’s Law so badly that it was unrecognizable from the form God intended. Any violation of their distorted set of do’s-and-don’ts was met with a swift, punishing hand.
Can you imagine being hounded to the point where you and your group are followed everywhere and constantly confronted for any supposed infraction to another group’s made-up moral code? It happened to Jesus back then and it happens constantly today. For example, talk to any baker, photographer, etc., who won’t play ball with a gay wedding and you’ll get the picture.
Ignoring Correction and Evidence
“Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” — so that they might accuse Him. And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him” (Matt. 12:9-14).
Right after the episode of the disciples picking wheat, we find the enemies of Jesus trying again to trick Him “so that they might accuse Him”. They ignored His Sabbath-breaking corrections in the grainfields and they do so again when it comes to Him healing a man with a crippling physical disability.
But it goes further this time. They not only ignore His corrective instruction but, amazingly, also wave away His supernatural miracle that confirms He is from God (cf. John 3:2). And then they begin to discuss “how they might destroy Him”, with the word ‘destroy’ in the Greek meaning “to cause something to perish”.
Adherents to Leftism and post-truth are typically immune to being corrected in their thinking, no matter how strong the evidence (e.g. Jesus’ miracle). In fact, correction often enrages them to the point where they consider the idea of violence against their accusers a real possibility.
Lies, Character Assassination and Muddled Thinking
“Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons” (Matt. 12:22-24).
A little later in the same chapter, we find Jesus performing yet another miracle that is ignored by His enemies. Infuriated that the crowd is starting to get the picture of who Jesus really is, the Pharisees now stoop to lies and character assassination.
Because they are emotionally vs. cerebrally-driven, post-truth adherents are victims of muddled thinking and their arguments would be laughingly bad (Satan casting out Satan??) if they weren’t so disturbing. Such is the case with the Pharisees attempt to slander Jesus, which He points out to them (vv. 25-28), but naturally His reproof falls on deaf ears.
The Final Solution
“The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus” (John 12:9-11).
The acts of Jesus’ enemies ignoring His miraculous evidence reaches a zenith when they look past Christ raising Lazarus from the dead and explicitly make plans to murder Him (John 11:53). But they incredibly extend their murderous intentions to included Lazarus “because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus”.
The resurrection of Leftism in France was marked by raw emotional violence and murder that would remove anything and anyone that got in the way of the movement’s pride, greed and pursuit of power. If you think that spirit is not with us today, visit any Leftist social media site and see how they react to any opposing thought or read through Yancey and Williamson’s book “So Many Christians, So Few Lions”.
Is There an Antidote for Post-Truth and Leftist Thinking?
Combine a philosophy that discards reality and objective truth with a condescending amoral power-hungry movement that can act violently while believing its actions are moral and you have a real dumpster fire on your hands. Is there hope for the people who are caught up in it?
There is. I know a guy who was on the same, wrong path. He was mean, arrogant, and nasty, plus he was relentless in his persecution of Christians even down to being murderously violent. But the Apostle Paul got his heavenly wake-up call from Christ, and afterwards had this to say:
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life” (1 Tim. 1:12-16).
So, yes, there is hope for those currently ensnared by post-truth and Leftist thinking. The example of Christ changing Saul into Paul shows He can change anyone into a loving child of God.
Robin Schumacher is a software executive and Christian apologist who has written many apologetic articles, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at various apologetic events. He holds a Master's in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament.