By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Do you ever have trouble delineating whether something is true or not? Our society today is inundated with social media and television reporting “facts” in things that have happened. But are they really true?
Some scientific reports have been tainted by lack of truth. Last year a highly respected journal Science had to distance itself from a New York Times’ major headline-generating study on same-sex marriage. One of the social scientists doing the study falsified the information received and turned it into a scam.
Last year Japanese researchers reported a breakthrough on stem-cell research. It was based on a scientist’s falsified results. In 1998 phony data was used to link autism to childhood vaccines. A scientist stated that “every day, on average, a scientific paper is retracted because of misconduct.”
The world of entertainment has experienced misrepresentations of truth. Remember the rock star NBC news anchor Brian Williams? He appeared on all the late night talk shows and hosted “Saturday Night Live.” He was considered the number one news anchor and was recently ranked as one of the most trusted people in America. Investigations showed he wasn’t always telling the truth. At first there were two or three incidents reported. An investigation later showed there were 11 additional stories where Brian Williams did not tell the truth.
This problem also touches the world of religion. Remember Alex Malarkey who was critically injured in a car crash? He wrote a book, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, in which he told how an angel took him through the gates of heaven where he met Jesus. This book sold millions of copies.
This past year Alex admitted that it never happened. He said, “I did not die. I did not go to heaven. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention.” He lived up to his name – “Malarkey!” Recently a couple of “Christian” musicians admitted they lied about their faith and used Christianity only to sell records.
This past year we saw Philippine President Benigno Aquino tell a lot of untruths in order to white wash last January’s disastrous police massacre. The president sent special police forces to Mamasapano to arrest two alleged bomb makers. This was a stronghold of Islamist militants. The entire operation was badly planned and the police were ambushed. Forty-four officers were killed – the largest loss of elite forces in Philippine’s history. Aquino didn’t tell the truth about his ordering the operation, then he didn’t tell the truth about his refusal to send a rescue mission.
Lack of truth has also hit the sports world. Penn State is learning about consequences. The world champion New England Patriots will be without their starting quarterback for a few games because of “Deflategate.” Four great American Olympian swimmers couldn’t tell the truth in Rio. A lot of college athletic programs are on some kind of probation because of disregarding the truth about adhering to rules.
Sometimes we think repeating a lie will make it come true. Falsehood is false regardless of how many times we say it!
The first step in determining truth is to recognize genuine truth. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6) and “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:36). Solomon writes, “Lies will get any man into trouble, but honesty is its own defense. Telling the truth gives a man great satisfaction . . . Truth stands the test of time. Lies are soon exposed” (Prov. 12:13-14; 19).
And that’s the truth!
John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.
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