Kamil Porembinski/Flickr

Know what you believe

When we’re a credible source, the world will want to know more

“Did you know?” my friend says to me in the mini-van on our way to her daughter’s birthday party. “Did you know the pictures of the children being beheaded by the ISIS aren’t even current? They’re from years earlier, but media has used all of these old pictures to say this is what is happening now.”

I just shook my head and stared out the window at wheat fields, at barley, at the colours of fall.

I didn’t know. I hadn’t done my research. But the more I blog and write; the more I profess my faith in the gospel, the more I realize my need to know the truth, even as we follow the Way, the Truth and the Life...

We’re bombarded by stories.

Stories of young men being gunned down in Ferguson.

Stories of ISIS, stories of ALS and stem cell babies and stories of Gaza.

In a world of Wikipedia, in a world where anyone can create a website defining a term or an event or a person, we as Christians are responsible for one thing: knowing what we believe.

And this is extremely difficult in a culture of fast information. In a blogging atmosphere, in a let’s-keep-up-with-the-latest-tweet world, in the flash of Instagram and Facebook and hashtags, it’s hard to slow down long enough to investigate the real facts. Because those could take weeks if not years to find out. And who has that long when we’re trying to figure out which band wagon to jump on?

But here’s the thing, Church.

If we don’t know what we believe when it comes to the news—if we don’t know what is true regarding the facts of the latest breaking story—and if we spread false information just in a frenzy to be heard, we will not be trusted when it comes even to the gospel.

How can we testify about a man born 2,000 years ago if we haven’t even investigated today’s current affairs?

The longer I live, the more I realize the need for silence. For quiet, in order to hear the Holy Spirit’s whisper.

It’s this whisper that convicts us of truth and falsehood—yet are we typing too fast to listen? Are we scanning so many news feeds that we’re relying more on opinion than fact? Are we more anxious for “likes” and followers than we are to know the truth?

Knowing the truth takes time; it takes an ear to hear and an understanding of Scripture. What do prophets say about these days, friends? What does the book of Revelation say? Who are today’s false teachers? Who are the wolves in sheep ‘s clothing? It’s not going to be the ones we expect.

So Church, I urge you, on behalf of an unbelieving world—know what you believe. Not just when it comes to the gospel—but when it comes to the latest piece of trending news. It takes guts to stand up and say, “I refuse to comment because I don’t know all the facts”—but when you do, the unbelieving world will know you’ve done your research when it comes to Jesus.

And they’ll want to know more.


Emily T. Wierenga is a pastor’s daughter. She’s an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (


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About the author


About the author