“Its easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that one has never heard before.” (Robert Wilson Lynd: 1879-1949)
This quotation, by the Irish writer Robert Lynd, is very true in the field of religion. For example, it’s amazing how many people believe the lie that death isn’t death, not because it’s reasonable or because there is scientific evidence to support it. They believe that lie simply because they have heard it said thousands of times.
If we hear any “alternative facts” often enough, we start to accept them as being true. Whether these “facts” are presented by politicians, scientists, theologians or any other so-called ‘experts’, their efforts to convince their audience may eventually succeed, due to constant repetition. The practice of ‘brainwashing’ is not new; it has just been given a new name.
During the past year, new terms have been coined for truth, or more accurately, untruth. Another term currently used makes the meaning more explicit – ‘fake news’. That really does mean what it says. Social media is being used to spread untrue stories. Anyone now using social media has to be very careful they aren’t being fed ‘fake news’!
What is truth?
That question was asked by a Roman ruler of Palestine 2000 years ago, when he was listening to the answers Jesus gave to his questions:
“Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.” (John 18:37-38 NKJV)
But not long afterwards, Pilate ordered Jesus to be crucified! He probably thought that his cruel decision would bring an easy end to the matter. But a few days later Jesus rose from the dead!
Not fake news!
One truth that has never been convincingly shown to be false is the resurrection of Jesus. Quite the reverse in fact. After scrutiny by legal experts, their verdict has confirmed that the Bible record is definitely true.
Interestingly, in the days immediately following that event there was a deliberate attempt to circulate fake news:
“The elders … gave a large some of money to the soldiers, saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ “ (Matthew 28:12-13 NKJV)
The truth of that fact, that Jesus did rise from the dead, forms an essential part of the gospel, the “good news” firmly believed and preached by the first Christians.
What about us?
On a personal level, have you been led to believe any ‘alternative facts’, simply because you have heard them repeated numerous times and never checked them for yourself?
The facts about death and the resurrection are clearly stated in the Bible. Using the analogy of harvesting a crop, with some crop being gathered early (the “firstfruits”) and the rest later, this passage uses the fact of Christ’s resurrection as proof that others will follow:
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have (died). For since by (Adam) came death, by (Jesus Christ) came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23 NKJV)
Don’t believe any ‘alternative facts’ about going to heaven when you die. They are just not true!