I like social media as much as the next person, and while I don’t mind people expressing their opinions (well, usually I don’t mind), I get cheesed with many of the things they use to validate their opinions.
That’s right. I’m cheesed with Internet news sources.
There was a time when good rules of journalism prevailed. Not just anyone had the resources and funds to publish a newspaper or go on the air, and the editors and producers ensured they had reliable quotes from reliable sources. They wanted to make sure they had the facts straight.
I can’t give you an exact date on when such reliability choose to retire to a remote corner of North Dakota, but I miss it. Even the major news sources have stepped into the pool of “creative news reporting.” Consider Brian Williams’ penchant for inserting himself into the story.
The Internet can take it to a whole new level. These days, you don’t need be a Ted Turner or Rupert Murdoch to create your own news website, dress it up with a glossy look, and give yourself an air of legitimacy. So many of these sites—often quoted or shared via someone’s Facebook page—aggressively push their own viewpoints in the name of news reporting. Op-ed pieces are viewed as news stories, scattered with enough links (often to other questionable sources), and unfortunately, opinions becomes facts for the indiscriminate reader.
Abraham Lincoln said it best:
I want news that can be verified by reliable sources—multiple sources—who were there.
It’s not different for me when it comes to spiritual matters. There are plenty of opninos about Jesus, but I want the truth. I want reliable witnesses. Thankfully, we get that with the four Gospels:
- Matthew and John walked with Jesus for three years.
- Mark was not one of the 12 disciples, but he was a contemporary of them and likely wrote based on the accounts of Peter, who he often worked alongside.
- Luke, a contemporary of Paul, said, “I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning” (Luke 1:3).
That’s reliable testimony—but wait! There’s more!
The truth of who Jesus is and what He offers is backed by three strong testimonies.
So we have these three witnesses—the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son (1 John 5:7-9).
- The water refers to Jesus’ baptism, the beginning of His earthly ministry.
- The blood refers to His crucifixion, the end of His earthly ministry.
- The Spirit refers to the testimony of God Himself.
I can know—know for sure!—Jesus offers me eternal life because there is strong testimony to back it up. That’s a pretty secure feeling.
This post is based on the study “God’s Promise of Eternal Life” in Bible Studies for Life.