Originally Published 2020.08.25. More commentary on society, especially as we headed toward the 2020 election. Knowing what we know now based on behaviors before, during, and after the election, I apologize for hitting it on the nose!
PROPAGANDA – The spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person OR ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause. Mirriam-Webster.com
I now present a case study illustrating this definition.
So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”
They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.”
Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”
The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.”
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”John 18:29-38
Isn’t it interesting that when Pilate asks them about accusations, the mob of priests, politicians, and rank and file dodge the question: He wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t done something wrong.
Pilate tells them that they should judge him by their law. They answer with a half-truth: They can’t execute him because it is unlawful. They may have been playing to Pilate with false deference to Rome. Still, they were likely motivated by wanting Rome to crucify him rather than receiving the blame for stoning Jesus (which they were able to do; they stoned Stephen just a few months later).
Whether you want to call it information, disinformation, misinformation, ideas, rumor, facts, or allegations, the purpose of propaganda is to injure or damage while forwarding or helping one’s cause or agenda.
It was propaganda that drove that mob on Passover morning so many years ago. By three o’clock that afternoon, the propagandists thought they had helped their cause. The irony is that the crucifixion of that man for whom Pontius Pilate could find no fault served to forward God’s cause, and was part of God’s agenda to rescue us from our sin!
Over the next 68 fun-filled days, let’s reflect on what Jesus thinks about the propaganda put forth by candidates, pundits, social media, the news media, and John Q Public concerning this election. Maybe it will stop us from participating in the fear-mongering, rumor casting, allegations, half-truths, rancor, etc.
Know this as fact: A savior will not be elected or re-elected on November 3rd, even though the zeal of some would make you think this to be true. Indeed some will act like the world is ending, and others will celebrate like a savior was delivered.
As for this Hitchhiker: My SAVIOR was before the beginning of the world, campaigned in Judea with a platform of love, honesty, kindness, and reconciliation, conceded to God from the cross, his white house was a tomb in a garden, ascended alive to the right hand of the Father, and will be in office when it all ends!