Fact Checking

John Cyr

The year of our Lord 2020 certainly has been an interesting one to say the least.  One of the many outcomes of this year has been an increase to our vocabulary.  We have learned new phrases such as “flatten the curve”, “contact tracing”, “PPE”, “zooming”, and so on.  Words such as “lockdown” and “quarantine” have taken on new meanings for us as well.  Another phrase that has become popular in 2020 is “fact checking”.  We have seen this a lot especially in the social media world as ‘fact checkers’ will provide warnings for information or posts that they deem misleading.  ‘Fact checking’ has been used especially for social media posts dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the election campaigns and results.


Of course, one could ask the question: ‘Who fact checks the fact checkers?’  Do the ‘fact checkers’ have access to the truth that the rest of us don’t have.  These questions and their answers certainly can lead into a spiral circle of chaos with people pointing fingers at one another and accusing the other party of lying.  The ‘fact’ that we live in a post-modern society where truth is not treated as absolute just aggravates the problem.  So how do we really know what is true and what is false?


While the term ‘fact checking’ may be new, the principle behind it has been practiced well before the advent of social media.  The great Apostle Paul constantly had to deal with others trying to ‘fact check’ his ministry.  Much of his second recorded letter to the Corinthian church is a defense of his ministry and refuting the claims of the ‘fact checkers’ who made many false claims about him.  Even our Savior, Jesus, had to deal with this.  The Pharisees were constantly ‘fact checking’ His claims.  So, again, how do we really know what is true and what is false?


This is a huge question that I cannot answer in this short devotional.  Indeed, philosophers down through the ages have been trying to answer this question.  In John 14:6, Jesus makes the claim, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”.  As creator of the universe, Jesus is the source of truth.  He has defined everything as it is.  As Christians, we look to Jesus and His word as our source of truth.  While Pilate was interrogating Jesus (John 18), Jesus tells Pilate, “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”.  Pilate famously responded with, “What is truth?”.


As Christians, we look to Jesus and the Word of God for the source of truth.  As a matter of fact, we are ‘fact checkers’.  We can take any claim made in the world and ‘fact check’ it against the Word of God.  If it aligns, then the claim is true.  If it doesn not align, then it is false.  We need to be actively directing people to the truth as defined in God’s Word and also actively ‘fact checking’ the lies that contradict God’s Word.


If you are not a Christian, then I would encourage you to check out the Scriptures for yourself.  Jesus makes these very bold claims.  See for yourself if what He claims is true or not.  Do some ‘fact checking’ of your own.  See for yourself if what the Scriptures teach align with the reality we see around us.  


It is ironic that the year ‘2020’ (20:20 being perfect vision) has resulted in so much confusion and mis-information.  It is not going to get any better in 2021.  I implore you to keep reading God’s Word and use it as your ‘fact checking’ source for living your life.

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