Just three years ago today, a “John Doe” (as the judge described him) committed the worst murder spree in the history of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when he drove a van down Yonge Street, killing ten people and injuring sixteen others. It still has an effect on me as I remember so well standing on my balcony and seeing several bodies lying just across from my building. Apparently, he had been reading misinformation on the Internet.
All our lives, we take in either misinformation or truth. It’s been that way since the beginning, when God created the world and it was good. It was not long before the serpent said to Eve, “You will not surely die.”
To this day, the tension between misinformation and truth persists, with serious consequences depending on the choices that we make, to believe misinformation or to believe the truth.
The negative results from wrong choices seem to be even more apparent today than ever. Individual circumstances may lead to personal choices, but those who advocate that vaccines are not helpful in controlling pandemics lead uninformed people astray. Conspiracy theories like QAnon abound. While professing to tell the truth, some powerful politicians blatantly state lies that the people want to believe.
In sharp contrast, I am so thankful that I have the Bible that gives me the truth. I believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God and that they constitute the only rule for Christian faith and practice.
Fortunately, although misinformation is easy to advance, it will inevitably be exposed, while the truth is more powerful and will continue to grow. I found these statistics about the growth of the Bible:
“Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book. A survey by the Bible Society concluded that around 2.5 billion copies were printed between 1815 and 1975, but more recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion.” Guinness World Records
As an example of the power of the Word, in 1980, our elder son was privileged to lead a tour group to China. He had many marvellous experiences, but there was one that made the biggest impression on his mother and me. While walking by himself on a busy street, a young Chinese man stepped out of the crowd, and in perfect English said to Bruce, “Are you a Christian?” Startled, Bruce replied, “Yes, I am — but why do you ask?” He responded, “I’ve found this book — it’s called the Bible. I’ve read it, and I’ve become a Christian, and you are the first one I’ve ever seen.”
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
With such evidence of the growth and power of God’s Word, it is surprising that there is such biblical illiteracy amongst Christians. Let us all take the opportunity to read and study God’s truth as revealed in the Bible.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to guard against taking in misinformation. Strengthen our desire to study and learn from the truth set out in Your Word. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada