Christian Writers Must Tell the Truth
We live in strange times when it comes to communicating the truth. On one hand, we have leaders like President Biden who approves a “Disinformation Watchdog,” who was caught spreading verifiable lies about his past. But he is a politician, right? Lying to people is part of their job description, and they all do it regardless of their political party. We fall into the trap of deciding which lie we like best.
Social activists of all types are often no different. They will tell any lie, or twist any truth, to get people to support their cause. In-your-face belligerence has replaced ethical communication.
However, we are Christian writers. We need to be better than all of them. Liars and “truth-spinners” serve Satan. Christians serve the Lord and we must go to extremes to tell the unvarnished truth. Anything less brings our Lord and our faith into disrepute.
How can we share the truth in love?
The Cautionary Tale of J. D. Hall
J. D. Hall is a Baptist pastor and editor of the Pen&Pulpit website (now called Protestia) in Montana. He is a conservative and considers himself an “apologist” but he comes across as a political extremist. He appears to violate biblical principles like Psalm 10:7 and James 3:1.
Hall holds many Bible views that many of us could embrace, his acrimony apparently made him cross the line from truth into error. He called a Native American activist, Adrian Jawort, a “transvestite Goth,” and alleged he threatened a Montana State senator.
It was a lie.
Jawort sued Hall for libel. Jawort dropped the suit on the condition he could make a later claim for $250,000 against the now-bankrupt Hall.
Hall still had to apologize for his lie. In the Montana Gazette, another of his publications, Hall said:
“I apologize to Adrian Jawort. The information I published about Adrian was false. Adrian did not threaten or harass Senator Butch Gillespie. I regret the error and sincerely apologize to Adrian for publishing it.”
Sadly, this is not the only way that Hall brought reproach to the name of Christ. He was also arrested on DUI and weapons charges. From this series of events, many Bible Christians might conclude that Hall has been living the Judas-life, not the Christ-life. He calls himself a Christian, but he betrayed Christ when he betrayed the truth in his writing.
Finding the Truth
Politics were in play when Jesus stood before Pilate. There was only one thing on Pilate’s mind. Speaking to Jesus, he said, “So, you are a king?”
Jesus replied that he came in the world “to bear witness to the truth.”
And Pilate’s reply? “What is truth?” (John 18:37-39)
We suffer from the same problem today. We are confused about what constitutes “truth.” Worse yet, we often think our biased opinions are the truth, and we remain blind to the full truth.
Make no mistake, I believe that Jesus Christ is the embodiment of truth. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:16). That settles it for me.
Make no mistake, I believe that Jesus Christ is the embodiment of truth. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:16). That settles it for me as far as spiritual matters are concerned, and that should spill over into our writing life as well as other aspects of our human existence.
But political and social matters? I’m not as sure about them, and you shouldn’t be either.
Truth is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, not misinformation, disinformation, or propaganda disseminated by political parties or social activist groups whether they be liberals or conservatives. If we have faith in Christ, we believe there is a truth that transcends all the bickering and falsehoods we see, hear, and read from all sides.
Where Many Christian Writers Go Wrong
We Christians go wrong because we do not understand the Kingdom of God. Jesus understood it of course, and that’s why he ranked being a truth-teller higher than being an earthly king in the John 14 passage. He is the King of Glory, but today Jesus is just as used and abused by politicians and activists as he was by the Romans.
This leads us to the common error of thinking that, for conservatives, in particular, Bible views and political views are one and the same. That is how J. D. Hall became an admitted liar and brought disrepute to the name of Christ and to people of faith. We all become Satan’s Tool when we confuse any contemporary political or social activist ideology with the truth of Jesus Christ.
The Bible must influence our political and social views. However, we must never allow political and social views to influence our understanding of biblical truth.
The Bible must influence our political and social views. We must never allow those views to influence our understanding of biblical truth. It is at this point many Christians fail. If we study the Bible by doing an exegesis, it means we start with the text and develop our understanding of issues from that process. Sadly, too many Christians use the eisegesis method. They come to the Bible with opinions and give scripture the interpretation they want it to have. They must often “cherry-pick” verses to get the Bible to mean something it does not say.
There was a horrible school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. In the first news reports, Gov. Abbott praised the “amazing courage” of law enforcement officers on the scene. Later, he discovered officials had lied to him, and the lack of courage and coordination likely resulted in the deaths of even more children. Abbott said he was “livid” about receiving untruthful information.
Truth always matters.
Today, mass media appears to be no longer committed to reporting the facts of stories and allowing readers or viewers to draw their own conclusions. Most now slant the reporting of events with their own bias, right-wing or left-wing, and citizens are thus told what to think rather than being allowed to think for themselves.
We got a new word in the dictionary in 2005. It was “truthiness” and it has become all-pervasive today. “Truthiness” is the notion any alleged fact can be based on feelings, and there is no requirement to appeal to evidence, logic, or objective facts.
The politicians and social activists who so commonly employ this are saying the truth does not matter. The only thing that matters to them is their highly propagandized ideology, and independent thinkers must be “canceled.”
Christian writers must completely reject the concept of “truthiness.” It enslaves people. Only truth sets people free (John 8:32).
Readers Should Always Be Able to Believe Us
It is not enough to be a Christian writer. We must be credible Christian writers. That means we must be students of the Bible, and do our best through God’s Spirit, to live by the principles we find within its pages.
We must always keep proper respective. We are guided by the precepts of the Word of God, not ever-changing political or social views.
We seek objective truth in all matters. If we express opinions or feelings, we say so at the start, and never try to pass them off as “the truth.” Fact is the engine that powers our lives, and feelings follow along.
We go to great pains to check facts from reliable sources before we repeat them in our books, blog posts, or even places like Facebook. Anything short of non-biased fact-checking is just gossip and the Bible stands against that (Romans 1:29-30).
If Christians expect to be believed when they share the claims of Christ, then they must have a reputation for being truthful in all matters.