Nothing sells like Certainty
it’s ok to say “I don’t know yet.”
Talking heads — you know who they are — on television, radio, on blogs and twitter, are absolutely sure of their opinion on ... well, everything. Now I'm not sitting here in the WORD-fm studios pointing the finger, ‘cause I have a lot of opinions of my own. I have to, it goes with the job. But I've been co-hosting this show now for five years, and I'll let you in on a secret:
I don't have everything figured out.
I think we, as media consumers, have done our society a serious disservice by glomming onto tv and radio personalities who have an immovable opinion on everything. Everything! Bill Maher has “new rules” he dictates to his audience, Rush Limbaugh can't think of one good thing the President's ever done, and Keith Olbermann chooses The Worst Person in the World each night. Come on. Are we really that simplistic? Is anything in life that straightforward? Is there any issue on earth that can't be seen from at least two perspectives?
The current US immigration debate is a perfect example. Let me take you through my thought process, and see what you think: I hear strong arguments in favor of closing the border; what country can sustain itself with thousands of people pouring in every month when they’re BROKE? And we are. So I think I’m in support of a serious policing of the US border. Then I hear persuasive arguments in favor of amnesty, and I might be ok with that, too. That’s the essence of America, right? the safe haven, the melting pot, the frontier for the huddled masses. OK. I also think that Central American children who’ve endured hellish train trips without parent or guardian shouldn’t be subject to taunting American adults telling them to “GO HOME.” Go home, how? Their parents thought they’d be safer on an unsupervised, violence-ridden, unsanitized train car, than in their gang-controlled home town. But I also see that — for people who’ve slogged through the endless paperwork and costly regulation that accompanies legal immigration — hearing a story of someone who stumbles in here and gets amnesty is pretty insulting. Why’d I go through all the machinations to be legal here, they say, if a kid can jump off a train, and stay here for free?
So. What do all those thoughts make me?
It makes me undecided.
I’m not sure what to think, and I’m certain that no party is going to produce a solution that satisfies me 100% — because it’s complicated. There are nuances — to this issue, and to every issue — and they’re difficult to think through — but what we don’t need are more talking heads shouting about why it’s all so simple.
Now hear what I'm not saying: I'm not saying there isn't right and wrong. There is. But, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, famously wrote, “… the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts.” That means we’re ALL fallen, all confused, all desperate, all needy. Nobody this side of heaven has every right answer. I’m grateful that you tune in here every weekday, because we’re trying to create an environment on this show where it’s ok to say “I don’t know yet.” Let’s hear different sides of an issue, let’s think about a perspective different than ours, let’s not make caricatures of the people with whom we disagree. And there isn’t a “worst person in the world,” unless you want to nominate yourself after a bad day.
Truth exists independent of us — it emanates from a perfect God, the “Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:7) He’s the Rock; we’re the shifters, “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching… (Eph 4:14)"
So instead of being certain about every issue, let’s chill: eat some humble pie, adopt some kindness, and acquire some teachability. Because when it comes to the hardest issues of the day, sometimes …
I'm just not sure.