The Bible teaches that speaking and upholding truth is a required characteristic of good rulers.
Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.Proverbs 17:7
If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.Proverbs 29:12
The Bible also warns Christians against defending those who speak falsehood:
“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.”Prov. 17:15
The reason for the above admonitions is clear. To speak truth and avoid lies is godly: “God is not a man, that he should lie” (Num. 23:19); “God, who never lies” (Tit. 1:2). To lie is satanic: “there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). God hands an unrighteous people over to sins that include “deceit” and “slander” (Rom. 1:29-30).
How, then, should Christians evaluate the claims that the President and others are making about fraud in the 2020 election? It is wise to evaluate claims made in the media by the lawsuits which the campaign has filed. To the best of my understanding, the lawsuits do not match the claims of widespread fraud. Further, as I understand the situation, even if the President’s campaign won their lawsuits, the outcome of the election would not change.
Thus, I think it Christians should be very careful about claiming that widespread fraud cost President Trump the election. It is one thing for a Christian to decide to vote for a wicked man who has ruled wickedly because they think he will be less wicked than another wicked man with even more wicked policies. But it is another thing for a Christian to participate in what God calls an abomination: justifying the wicked in his wickedness (Prov. 17:15).
Many Christians are suspicious of left-leaning media. There are valid concerns about such media. But the kind of valid critique that can be made of outlets like the New York Times—”I came to the conclusion long ago that the Times doesn’t care whether the news stories they run are true. They don’t even care whether the stories are by any general measure important. They have an institutional narrative that they want to sell to the world, and they run stories that are useful to that narrative”—is also true of many media sources on the right.
A characteristic of postmodern thought is to dismiss the importance of speaking truth in favor of understanding speech in terms of power dynamics. I fear that too many Christians (probably unwittingly) get their news from right wing outlets that are essentially postmodern. They don’t speak the truth; they do seek power. For Christians to consume such news inevitably leads to worldliness.
David Wells aptly define worldliness as
“that system of values, in any given age, which has at its center our fallen human perspective, which displaces God and his truth from the world, and which makes sin look normal and righteousness seem strange. It thus gives great plausibility to what is morally wrong and, for that reason, makes what is wrong seem normal.”David Wells, Losing our Virtue, p. 4.
We often think of worldliness in connection with entertainment media. And it most certainly is the case that when Christians consume our culture’s popular movies and music, worldliness infects the church. But it is also true that a great deal of right-wing news and opinion media is also leading otherwise godly Christians to be worldly in the way they think and speak about politics. Our President and his supporters in the media have, for the past four years, made “sin look normal and righteousness seem strange.” Whatever choices Christians made when voting, we should be unified in opposing this kind of worldliness.
In full disclosure of the how my assessment of the 2020 election has been shaped, I’ve linked to sources that have informed my thinking. To the best of my knowledge, the following provide reliable information about the 2020 election. The first link is from an agency within the Department of Homeland Security. The remainder are from two reputable, conservative news organizations.
Information from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: https://www.cisa.gov/rumorcontrol
Fact check articles from the conservative news outlet The Dispatch: https://factcheck.thedispatch.com/
The Dispatch podcast, a political news and opinion podcast from the conservative publication, The Dispatch. They’ve done several episodes on the fraud allegations and post-election legal cases: https://podcast.thedispatch.com/
“The Editors” podcast, a political news and opinion podcast from the editors of National Review, a long-time conservative publication. They too have done several episodes on the fraud allegations: https://www.nationalreview.com/podcasts/the-editors/
Jim Geraghty’s post-election coverage in National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/where-the-post-election-lawsuits-stand/
Dan McLaughlin’s post-election coverage in National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/no-joe-biden-did-not-only-improve-in-four-major-swing-state-cities/
A National Review article about alleged voted fraud in Gerogia: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/georgia-secretary-of-state-pushes-back-against-voter-fraud-claims-failed-candidate-doug-collins-is-a-liar/
I close by noting that even though the above links are to politically conservative news outlets which do, in my estimation, evince a concern for truth in their reporting and commentary, the contributors are not necessarily Christians. Even those who claim to be Christians are not correct in all of the positions they take. Even with the best of sources, Christians need to be wise as serpents and aware of the danger of worldliness.