Some time ago, Adventist Today was forwarded a video clip from an independent ministry that made what immediately seemed to us some rather preposterous assertions.
I needn’t tell you who it came from or what the claims were; if you’ve not seen the one we saw, you’ve seen many very much like it.
Without even looking very deeply, it was obviously untrue, and we presented proof that it was fiction.
But what surprised us was the number of dear, well-intentioned people who were upset with us for that. They voiced their concerns in different ways, but it amounted to this: I don’t care if it’s true or not, it should be true. I want it to be true. It gave me a certain feeling, a kind of assurance, so I’m going to believe it’s true.
This not only lacking evidence, but despite evidence that it’s not true.
This desire to believe things that are appealing but untrue goes all the way back to Eden. Perhaps the most powerful New Testament expression of this is 2 Timothy 4:3-4:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
You don’t have to look far to see examples of what the apostle describes. Our church has nurtured believers whose religion is more about mythical Catholic infiltration, unscientific beliefs, unlikely conspiracies and pushing out those they disagree with than about trying to be like Jesus. My Australian friend David Geelan has written a number of pieces specifically regarding truth and evidence for Adventist Today—I encourage you to reread a few of them here. David continues to tell us that “truth matters”—and he’s right.
Why do we fall so easily into believing these stories? Are we set up for it by our exciting eschatology? Whatever the cause, believing and teaching such things is certainly more attractive to some than the hard work of being real Christians in word, deed, character, and truthfulness.
It is to tell the truth about God and his church that my fellow writers and editors and I work for Adventist Today. We may occasionally say things you don’t want to hear, but it is our purpose to direct the minds of our people away from fearful conspiracies and speculations back to our real goal: “to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.”
Adventist Today Executive Editor
September 29, 2023
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