One of the challenges during this last year has been knowing what the truth is. Whether it be ‘fake news’, the truth about various vaccines, the interpretation of data or any other number of issues. It is important to know the truth, but ‘truth’ can be presented in such a way that we can end up not knowing what to believe.
For example, in 1997, Nathan Zohner, a 14-year-old student at Eagle Rock Junior High School in Idaho Falls won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair by showing how conditioned we have become to alarmists spreading fear of everything in our environment through junk science. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "Dihydrogen monoxide" because:
1. It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting. 2. It is a major component in acid rain. 3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state. 4. Accidental inhalation can kill you. 5. It contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape. 6. It decreases the effectiveness of automobile brakes. 7. It is found in tumours of terminal cancer patients. He asked fifty people if they support a ban. Forty-three said yes. Six were undecided. And only one knew that the chemical is ... water.
We have just celebrated Easter. The most audacious claim in all human history gets dangerously close to being buried under mountains of bunnies, chicks and chocolate - but we must ask the question, ‘What of the Resurrection? Did it happen or not?'
A book was published in 1930 titled ‘Who Moved the Stone?’ It was a book that was never intended to be written because its author, a lawyer called Frank Morison, set out to examine the evidence for the Resurrection because he was convinced that the story was not true. He set out to debunk the Resurrection as a myth but ended up with the inescapable conclusion that it is a real event in history and that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God. His findings changed his life.
How can we know the truth? Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1943, said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” There was an inventor by the name of Lee DeForest. He claimed that “while theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.” Maybe a little more research was needed on both those points! Perhaps, like Frank Morison, all those years ago, we owe it to ourselves to take seriously the claim by the Christian Church that Jesus Christ has indeed risen from the dead and that he is in the business of changing lives in the here and now. Let us go back to the evidence of the many millions of changed lives since that momentous event and to the New Testament Gospel stories themselves. Let us sort out the truth from fiction. It could be the difference between hope and despair, doubt and faith, confusion or peace.