Ironically, in the midst of our modern information age and culture it is becoming more difficult to find the truth. Daily, we are flooded with millions of bits and pieces of information from our televisions, computer screens, tablets and smart phones.
How do we filter out the noise (misinformation, bias, propaganda, conspiracy theories, false prophecies, etc.) to be able to determine and retain only that which is true?
Pilate asked Jesus rhetorically, “What is truth?” This was immediately after Jesus had informed him that the very reason he was born was “to testify to the truth.” Jesus proceeded to explain that everyone who listens to His voice belongs to the truth. So, as his faithful followers, as Jesus is our example, we are commanded to value truth and share the truth. So, what is truth?
Simply put, truth is that which corresponds with reality. Truth is singular, meaning reality is not actually based on our individual perspective, memory or interpretations. Truth is what actually happens. As such, truth is objective, and can, in most cases, be demonstrated by evidence. Subjective feelings, thoughts, beliefs and ideas may or may not correspond with reality. Your personal perspective and beliefs may be based upon or align with the truth, it may be based on misinformation, lies and confusion, or something in between.
God is truth. Christians believe that objective truth exists and that we are to be people who are committed to seeking the truth and declaring the truth. We believe that ultimate reality is found in God, specifically in the person and work of Jesus Christ. As such, we align our beliefs and thoughts with the biblical narrative telling the meta-story of the universe (Creation, Fall, Redemption & Restoration), which is God’s special revelation of reality to us. Also, we see and experience God’s design and God’s truths and beauty in His creation (including science). This is what it means to have a biblical worldview. Furthermore, we are instructed to carefully seek the truth and strive to be people of integrity, repeating and speaking only that which is true.
This is all very real and very important right now because many, if not most, secular sources of information are biased and compromised. Furthermore, there are also myriads of false beliefs, false teachers and false prophets amongst the church who have departed from the truth and engaged in godless chatter (speaking things God has not declared), and whose teachings are spreading like gangrene in the body of Christ, risking destroying the faith of some (See 2 Timothy 2:14-19). Tragically, they have deceived many believers, diverting our attention and focus off of our good heavenly Father, the source of all truth. Indulging in falsehoods ultimately leads to disintegration and is a recipe for disaster. It gives the church a black eye and destroys our witness, reflecting poorly on our heavenly father.
What’s the answer? In an age of media bias, propaganda and lies, how do we establish and confirm that which is really true? How do we restore integrity and credibility and model the virtue of truth? First, we seek the truth—we set a high standard of confirming something is really real before we accept it or believe it. Christians can’t afford to cast aside our God-given critical thinking skills. Ask a lot of good questions and listen carefully to the answers. We must be good Bereans, confirming the truth of what we see and hear (Acts 17:11). We should be skeptics, in the best sense of the word. Second, we consider the source of the information asking, “Is this a credible and reliable person or source of information?” What’s their track record of integrity and getting the facts straight? Third, we seek to review the best evidence, which either confirms or contradicts the information. Whenever possible, demand proof (original or primary sources are always best). We weigh the evidence, employing good inductive and deductive reasoning, looking for additional clues as to the truth or falsity of propositions. Fourth, we should commit to not repeating anything as true unless we have confirmed its veracity. Fifth, we humbly repent and apologize whenever we believe inaccurate information or have repeated falsehoods. Finally, we pray, asking the Holy Spirit for clear wisdom and discernment to know what it actually true and what is not.
A poignant negative example of this occurred on January 6th in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of citizen, rallied to D.C. with unsupported claims that the election was rigged and stolen. Some stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and doors, spreading feces on the walls. Among them were Christians, holding signs and banners with the name of Jesus on them, some foaming at the mouth with QAnon conspiracy theories, many of whom believed the hundreds of false prophecies that Donald Trump would remain our president. This was a dark day for our nation and for Christianity. It did not reflect well on the church or on our Creator.
God is sovereign. We are not. We need to humbly repent of trying to coercively impose our personal will onto God. We are on very thin spiritual ice when we pray only what we want, rather than seeking to be yielded and submitted God’s will. We quickly become truth-compromised when we have faith only in that which we selfishly desire, including false prophecies, conspiracy theories, and other lies which may tickle our ears. That is not faith in God; it is faith in faith. And at its core, it’s really prideful self-worship, also known as idolatry. God clearly is doing something very different in America than many of us had hoped. So let’s get with His program. As Henry Blackaby wisely counseled, we ought to “find out what God is doing, and join Him there!”
While I truly believe that God can speak and does speak to and through his people (See 1 Thessalonians 5:20), we need to be much more prayerful and careful when others claim “Thus saith the Lord!” It would also be great if the many prophets who recently messed up so badly would, at a minimum, apologize and repent for misleading us. This is important not only as a matter of personal integrity. As Christ’s ambassadors, our honesty and trustworthiness reflects not only on us, but upon our blessed Lord and Savior. Going forward, we must repent and re-dedicate ourselves to being radically committed to discovering, knowing and sharing only the truth.
Editor’s note: I am aware that there were many allegations of voter fraud of all types in swing states during the 2020 election. This is something that we must investigate and fix quickly if we are going to restore confidence in our elections and retain our democratic republic going forward.
However, Trump’s legal teams were unable to prove any of their case in more than 50 lawsuits. I am not aware of the existence of sufficient evidentiary proof of voter fraud in sufficient numbers in the relevant swing states to change the outcome of the 2020 election, but I am willing to review the information if it is presented to me and am open to having my mind changed.
Dean Broyles, Esq., is a constitutional attorney who serves as the President and Chief Counsel of the National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP), a non-profit legal ministry (www.nclplaw.org) defending religious freedom, traditional marriage, parental rights, life and related civil liberties.