Christians are supposed to be about truth, right? Even if our intentions are pure, we should not be careless about whether or not whatever we are saying or posting. Of course, we’ve all made the mistake of passing on something that we later found out wasn’t true. This happens to all of us, regardless of our faith.
People have historically been a bit loosey-goosey with facts. Just yesterday, I stumbled on a YouTube video about Babe Ruth that contained rare footage and a summation of one of the Great Bambino’s many heroic exploits on the diamond. This particular game depicted a late-inning swing and a towering home run with complete with showing children outside the park chasing down the ball. Did Babe hit it out of the stadium that game? Well, statistics for baseball games are accessible. One particular YouTuber tracked down that game and the Babe had hit no such home run that day. The old video recap was propaganda to make the audience feel good, but it was false.
So this morning, I noticed that a popular minister (that I deeply respect, and won’t name) posted a wonderful excerpt from John Wesley’s journal depicting a series of failed preaching attempts culminating with a crowd of ten-thousand. This story is used to show that persistence pays off. I thought it was inspiring, but I’ve learned to be wary of such things so I had to confirm that it was true. You would think that a popular minister would have already vetted it, but I’ve found that for my own sanity, I need to double check. Over the years, I’ve learned to look for original sources. In this case, it was the Journal of John Wesley, which I have in my Logos Bible software. Sure enough, things weren’t adding up. It turns out that the quote that was posted was a convenient arrangement of some things that actually happened in Wesley’s life, but the dates were changed and things were rearranged to make the series of events appear to be more impressive than they may have actually been.
I suppose the point is this – let’s be a bit more careful about what we’re repeating and sharing. Let’s do our best to double check to make sure that what we’re sharing is true. Even though that quote or story may fit your ideology and strengthen your perspective, in the long run – if it’s false – it will hurt your case and witness.
Have a blessed day!