It’s no secret that truth is under assault today. The word of the year not long ago was “post truth.” People are encouraged to share "their truth" rather than the truth about the world. Gen Zers increasingly believe that something can be “true for you, but not true for me.” And in many circles, feelings are even considered supreme to scientific fact.
When my father first wrote Evidence that Demands a Verdict in the early 1970s, he didn’t include a section on truth. Whether people accepted or rejected his arguments for Christianity, they agreed on both the existence and knowability of truth itself. And yet because of the increased skepticism of truth, in the recent update of his classic book, we included five chapters clarifying and defending the nature of truth. Times have radically changed.
And yet the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 reminds us of something vitally important–truth matters. When we are not motivated by some ulterior reason, we all know this is true.
Truth is a life-and-death matter
Think about it: Truth about the virus is literally a life-and-death matter. Consider a few questions that we must answer truthfully, if we are going to save lives: Do masks help stop the spread of the virus? How long must someone be quarantined after testing positive? Can people spread the virus even if they are asymptomatic? Does hydroxychloroquine truly help reduce the viral load in patients? And so on.
The virus is no respecter of gender, race, socioeconomic status, or fame. Sure, wealthy people likely have access to better healthcare than the poor, but sports stars, actors, and even politicians have been infected, and sadly, some have even died from it.
Truth doesn't care about feelings
COVID-19 does not care about our feelings. In fact, it doesn’t care about anything. But if we care about saving lives, we must have the courage and fortitude to discover and follow the truth regardless of how we feel about it. Nothing else can set us free.
Truth is not only important for defeating this virus, it matters for small and big issues of everyday life. We need the truth about the time of an upcoming meeting. And we also need truth for the sake of our health, relationships, and our spiritual destinies.
Amidst all the suffering this virus has brought, one of my hopes is that people wake up to the importance of truth. Too much is at stake to ignore it.
And that’s the truth.