Here is a question you probably never stop and think about. But it affects everyone around you, and it affects you—all day, every day. The question is this: Why do we have so much information, yet so many problems?
Now more than ever in human history, human beings have enormous amounts of information. We celebrate that. We marvel at it. We wonder at the things we can build and invent based on all that knowledge.
Yet more than ever in human history, we have enormous problems: failures, inadequacies, confusion, self-destruction of all kinds, unspeakable evils we do to others and to ourselves.
How is this possible? Doesn’t information solve problems? Doesn’t knowledge make things better? Doesn’t knowledge make us better?
Knowledge is multiplying and multiplying. Yet finding the truth has never been more elusive. It has never been so easy to acquire knowledge, yet also so easy to acquire wrong knowledge.
As Herbert W. Armstrong pointed out in Mystery of the Ages, this is a paradox. It doesn’t seem like both of these things could be true. But look at the news. Human beings have vast amounts of knowledge—and towering problems.
We must realize that we human beings are producing a gigantic amount of knowledge that is wrong. We assume we generally can tell the difference between true knowledge and false. But the truth is, this assumption is false!
This reality is staring us in the face. We live in a post-truth age in which objective fact and truth rarely determine which stories spread or how rapidly they spread. The fastest-spreading, farthest-reaching knowledge is often false knowledge. As Cordell Hull said, “A lie will gallop halfway round the world before the truth has time to get its breeches on.”
And now it has come to this. We are living through a pandemic—a pandemic of confusion, disinformation and outright lies. People are taken seriously who say that truth is relative, that “absolute truth”—which is redundant—does not exist, that everyone has his own individual truth.
The actual truth, the absolute truth, is virtually impossible to find.
This final, silly stage of our societal decline was prophesied in the Bible. In fact, the Bible shows that our relationship with the truth is what is causing these other problems that we view as more serious. It warns us that in this advanced state of untruth, people “will not endure sound doctrine,” “will turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables,” will love lies, will resent those who speak the truth (Isaiah 30:9-10; 2 Timothy 4:3-4).
There is a source of wrong knowledge and of lies. There is a source for all the resulting evil and the suffering—a mind from which it originates. That source, as Jesus Christ said, was and is Satan the devil.
John 8:44 says, “[T]here is no truth in him.” When the devil speaks, he speaks of his own, and he speaks a lie. He is a liar and the father of it! And your own Bible says this wicked, deceitful being is the god of this world and has deceived the entire world! (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9).
Does that explain what you are seeing around you?
The lesson of our age and of all history is that people actually don’t like the truth. That’s why their leaders lie. They know that if they tell the truth, they will never get power. So the reason politicians lie actually traces back to all of us. We don’t like the truth because it is often embarrassing and hurtful. Fantasy is much more pleasant than truth, so people prefer fantasy.
This is why human knowledge is such a hopelessly intermixed blend of true knowledge, errant knowledge and outright deception.
So how can we be free from deception and disinformation? We need the truth! And the truth comes from God!
Notice what 1 John 4:4-6 reveals about the truth. This passage shows us that if we are of God, then we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. This gets down to the very origins and sources of truth and error. Human minds will always believe something different from reality (the truth) without God and His Word.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Thy word is truth,” and “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 14:6; 17:17; 8:31-32).
Today’s world is powerful testimony to the slavery that comes from indulging in and embracing lies. Don’t you crave the freedom of knowing the truth? Aren’t you sickened by a world in which every man does that which is right in his own eyes? (Judges 17:6; 21:25).
Finding and understanding the truth and solving our evils is not a matter of producing more human knowledge. It’s a matter of submitting our minds and attitudes to the Creator of human minds and the source of right knowledge—knowledge that solves problems and prevents evils!
It is not enough to only receive knowledge. In fact, it is not enough to even receive God’s knowledge. You have to love it. Seek the truth. Know the truth. Submit to the truth. Use the truth. Love the truth. And you will be free.