Are we living in a post-truth era?

Sometimes it can seem as if facts take a back seat to opinion or emotion. But getting to know God as infinite, pure Truth itself is a powerful basis for finding clarity, harmony, and mental as well as physical healing.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
Loading the player...

Rumor has it that we’re living in a post-truth era. “Post-truth” is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief” (lexico.com). While this may be an apt description of what appears to be going on within the current political arena, “post-truth” is not a term I would use to describe the world in which we actually live. And here’s why:

As a Christian Scientist, I’ve come to appreciate Truth – with a capital T – not as an all-too-often-subjective representation of fact, but as a synonym for God – infallible and invariable, entirely good, completely pure; as something I can depend on; as that which, even when resisted, finds a way to make its presence known in my life.

So when I hear the term “post-truth” (which I translate as “post-Truth”), I tend to hear “post-God,” and that just doesn’t sync with my experience.

This doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been the odd occasion when I’ve been fooled into believing otherwise. In fact, last November, a couple of days before the presidential election in the United States, I faced just such a situation. My stomach became so painful that it was all I could do to lie down and send a text message to a friend to ask for his prayerful support. As I waited for his response, I opened my Bible – completely randomly – and read, “What aileth thee?” (Isaiah 22:1).

At first I thought, “What do you mean, ‘What aileth thee?’ My stomach aileth me!” But then I realized what a great question it was. And I had to admit that at that moment, what was ailing me most was the notion that I was living in a post-Truth world – a world where the God I had come to know as infinitely good couldn’t be trusted, a world where I couldn’t trust others, a world that seemed to be drowning in a sea of mistrust and fear.

Glancing again at my Bible, I read, “A grievous vision is declared unto me; ... Therefore are my loins filled with pain” (Isaiah 21:2, 3).

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

This connection between what we allow into our thought and our physical well-being is fundamental to the practice of Christian Science. The key, however, isn’t thinking positive thoughts, but rather allowing our thoughts to be governed by God, divine Mind and Love.

“To be immortal, we must forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and gather the facts of being from the divine Mind,” writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 370).

By turning to Truth with a capital T, we’re turning to God, not just some abstract idea of truth, subject to the whims of personal interpretation. We’re appealing to that which presents and perpetuates itself in such qualities as honesty and integrity. And when we persistently affirm the all-presence and all-power of Truth, we’re able to relieve ourselves of the discouraging and sometimes debilitating belief of living in a world, or living a life, that is devoid of Truth, devoid of God, devoid of universally and divinely bestowed mental and physical harmony.

So what do we do when we’re bombarded with what seems to be anything but the truth? When we find it next to impossible to have a conversation with someone whose take on truth isn’t in line with our own?

First and foremost, we need to call upon our innate ability to see in ourselves and others the God-given integrity that Christ Jesus saw in everyone. “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” said Jesus, “that I should bear witness unto the truth” (John 18:37). This is a reminder of the importance of distinguishing between what is and isn’t true about God and God’s beloved creation, and of recognizing that we each reflect the purity and consistency of Truth itself. When we do this, healing happens.

Praying with these ideas brought me a greater confidence that I could trust God to be God; trust others to be what God created them to be; and understand that Truth’s presence and power make no allowance for fear.

Physically speaking, my situation improved immediately. Within a short time, I was completely free of pain. Even better, though, was the realization that followed: that divine Truth continues to reign supreme.

Adapted from an article published on sentinel.christianscience.com, Aug. 12, 2021.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.