On the evening of October 1, 2017, a man named Stephen Paddock used a gun to kill and injure spectators at a country music concert in Las Vegas. You probably know something about the story, but have you noticed all the comments and conspiracy theories that have spun off from the incident; the story about the story?
It’s interesting because Mr Paddock is such a mystery. We don’t know why he shot those people except that he made a decision. His background story gives us no clues, so we are free to make our own judgments. That’s useful for some people.
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A few days later, on October 5, the New York Times published an article about Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in the Hollywood movie industry. He has been accused of gross misconduct with young women who were trying to make careers in movies and television. At this time, it is fair to say the accusations have been denied, and any accusations are only alleged; but that hasn’t stopped the spin-off news industry from writing endlessly about the story.
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Both stories are news explosions. The news media today is a business worth billions, and big stories are gold. And then the conspiracy people add their opinions, mostly on the Internet. YouTube is a big business for the rest of us, and some small fortunes are being made. Even I’m thinking about buying a video camera.
The last wave is comments about the comments; agreeing or disagreeing with other commentators. Like “That other guy is all wrong, let me tell you what’s really happening.”
The big stories are like living things, and in time each one will grow old and fade. When they are fresh, there’s a lot of business to be made, and sometimes, maybe, some truth will be revealed; maybe.
There is a prophecy in the Bible that I never understood:
“The days are coming, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I will send a famine through the land; not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.” (Amos 8: 11 and 12)
For me there was always a church, or a Bible, or a Christian friend and that famine was hard to imagine. Now I get it; God’s truth is becoming a problem for people who want to exploit the stories. I believe we already live in a world where any truth is just a business tool.
So what is the truth about the news stories from Las Vegas and Hollywood? People made bad decisions, and the stories became a gold mine for all the story tellers. And loud forceful story telling is our best version of the truth. One reason I became a Christian is because I couldn’t find anyone to trust. And now, looking back, I see that God has not moved, in my lifetime.
Real truth is spiritual, and it belongs to God.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16: 12 and 13)