What is truth?
Updated: Oct 12
We live in an information age when digital media makes so much available at our fingertips. But how do we divide the truth from falsehood? This is a serious issue that was highlighted by a recent legal case. A person used anonymous Twitter accounts to spread lies about a BBC broadcaster. He has been identified, has apologised, and agreed to pay six-figure damages to his victim.
Not every victim of lies is as fortunate. Most of us will be aware of the misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, their effectiveness, and their safety. Whilst this misinformation has not been targeted at individuals, it has influenced some as to whether they should be vaccinated or not.
Surprisingly, the question that forms our blog title is not new. It was asked by a Roman Governor, Pilate, some 2000 years ago, as he tried a man the Jewish authorities wanted to put to death. He didn’t know who to believe, especially as the man on trial seemed unwilling to answer his questions or to defend Himself. The outcome was a massive miscarriage of justice, as the man was crucified outside of Jerusalem.
Should we have sympathy with Pilate? In another context the man who stood before him, Jesus Christ, had said of Himself, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me’.[i] Pilate’s wife had warned him not to act against Jesus. Pilate finally realized that there was no case against the defendant and that envy was the motivation of the Jewish leaders. Sadly, although Pilate knew the truth, he refused to act upon it.
This is a challenge to all of us. If we are honest, we know the truth. The Bible says we are sinners – we have failed to reach God’s standard for our lives.[ii] We know it to be true! The evidence is all around us, as well as within us. However, it is not difficult to find digital material that will justify any behaviour and salve our conscience, removing any sense of guilt!
Beware! Failure has consequences in our relationship with God, now and eternally. The problem must be tackled! The good news is that Jesus Christ is the way – the way to forgiveness and a right relationship with God.[iii] The verse we have quoted above confirms it. As Jesus Christ is also the truth, we can rely upon what He says. He keeps His promises.
Are we prepared to trust Him? Are we prepared to accept that His death was for our sins?