Peace and Culture Restored by the Book – Transcript

1 Apr

Peace and culture restored by the Book: A return from alternative facts and America as a reality TV nation

Welcome to the House that Dignity Built. I’m Dr. Daintee Glover Jones, and I am theologically thrilled to have a moment to speak with you for our April 2 message of our 2016-17 series called “The Sum of Peace”. I want to thank Ms. Kalyn Miles, a local flautist, for playing “Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing” for us at the beginning of this presentation. Thank you for using your gifts for God’s kingdom. For the months of March and April, our speakers will be on one accord by speaking and teaching about the power of policy or cultural change and peace in our land. The title of today’s message is called “Peace and culture restored by the Book: A return from alternative facts and America as a reality TV nation”. May God add a blessing to this word, and may He use me to encourage, empower, and inspire us towards peace. Amen.

America has become a nation that looks like a reality television show that is rife with alternative facts. Why should this bother the people of our country? Consider this. I was sitting at a Starbucks coffee shop working on my laptop when suddenly, I heard two women having a heated discussion. One was a Starbucks barista and the other was a customer. The customer was the loudest as she complained about her perceived slow and incorrect order. She ended her argument by throwing her full cup of coffee at the barista, and then irately marched out of the establishment. That moment reminded me of episodes that I have witnessed from various reality shows that use the throwing of a liquid at someone as a disturbed drop the mic moment. I wondered if both of those women had witnessed the same episodes that I had seen. Enough is enough. A recommendation for peace and culture to be restored to America to eradicate its image as a reality television nation is by consuming the Bible’s teachings of truth versus digesting alternative facts.

Kellyanne Conway, a presidential aide, used the phrase alternative facts to explain differences in political rhetoric. A fact is defined as a thing that is indisputably the case. An alternative is defined as another possibility or option. The root of the word alternative is the word alter which means to make different or to castrate. Believers might choose to be careful of alternative truths because these messages attempt to castrate or dilute the power of God’s word. Instead of altering the truth, one can focus on going to the a-l-t-a-r to hear the truth of the word.

Just like alternative facts, reality television is not based upon truth of character or facts. It is simply unscripted television that was created as a result of a Writers Guild of America strike in 2007-08. According to R.B. Jefferson, an advisor on reality show production, reality shows have the following elements: a) Characters that stand out, b) Conflict within the show, and c) Access for your audience to a world that they wouldn’t normally have access to (2013). Kristyn James, a reality television scholar, asserts that “the show[s’] creators, producers, and editors can alter the truth through editing and with manipulation or instigation” (2016). Manipulation is the act of skillfully or unfairly handling or controlling. Instigation is the act of inciting someone to do something, especially something bad.

Why would the producers choose to manipulate and instigate their messages and watchers? One reason is about product placement and sales. When one watches the conflict of two women fighting in a restaurant or a retail store, some might want to visit that place because it was featured on that television show. Additionally, some of the characters will offer their own products for sale, such as hair supplies, clothing lines, etc. Reality shows are hour long commercials. Since reality television is based upon manipulation and instigation, it is not a positive image to use in order to move our country forward into a state of grace and truth. America is not an hour-long commercial!

What is an alternative to alternative facts and reality television? Seeking the truth is an answer. Truth is sincerity in action, character, and utterance. God prefers truth for us. His elements of truth are linked to being able to see activities, observe behavior, and speak words that are as transparent as possible in communicating what is actually happening.

Truth is linked to peace. How is this so? Jeremiah 33:6 is a pertinent scripture to explain this promise. The word states, “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth”. Within this scripture, God promises to heal and restore a city. His health and cure is like a bandage over a wound. Peace and truth are the ointment covering the wound of alternative facts and conflict. God wants His people to have a renewed skin to cover this wound to protect the flesh that is beneath it. When God’s people are renewed, they are able to return to His covenant within His word that is written in the Bible, His book. This scripture is the answer from God to Jeremiah after he prayed. Beforehand, in Jeremiah 33:3, God tells him, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”. He wants us to know the truth of His word. Here are some other scriptures that show us truth in His word.

“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name”.

“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever”.

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!”.

“These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;” (Psalm 86:11, Psalm 119:160, Ephesians 1:13-14, Psalm 43:3, and Zechariah 8:16).

Consider the word of the Bible as original truths with its historical characters that stand out as they deal with conflict and use God’s guidance to persevere. This holy book offers access to anyone who opens the pages. While some of the characters may be manipulative or instigative, God the Father is not this way. Instead, He is the truth and the light. His way shows the sacrificial means that He took to save us, to heal us, to love us, to keep us, to cover us, to provide for us, to shepherd us, to be there with us. Instead of being a fragmented nation, we insist in being whole.
As we come to the end of this message, stay tuned for lecture notes on this coming Tuesday, April 4, at our website I’m Dr. Daintee Glover Jones, and this has been a message from the House that Dignity Built. I bid you peace and protection.

Amen and ashe’.


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