Caption: Image of Bible (Nick Youngson / Alpha Stock Images)
So, you’re a Christian, possibly an evangelical Christian, and you’ve heard about the Pro-Truth Pledge. You may be wondering, “Why should I sign this pledge? Is it really what it claims to be?” or, more importantly, “What would the Bible say?”
Firstly, what about the Bible? What does it have to say? Well, the Bible was written before humanity knew about electricity, let alone the internet, so the Pro-Truth Pledge was not mentioned, but the Bible does have a strong message about truth and lies.
Bearing false witness is against the ten commandments as recorded in Exodus 20:16 “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” And in the new testament, Jesus says, “Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” – John 8:44. Revelations chapter 21 repeatedly states that liars are to be sent to hell.
Additionally, Matthew 12:36 states, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” This verse makes it pretty clear that even accidentally spreading misinformation without taking due care to make sure it isn’t fake news or otherwise mistaken would have theological consequences.
Clearly, the Bible states that telling the truth is good and that lying is wrong. It is also pretty clear that merely repeating what you have heard without making sure it’s correct first does not fulfill the spirit of truth-telling.
However, these arguments alone aren’t good enough justification for signing this pledge. Why bother signing the pledge when you are already telling the truth? Accountability.
According to Galatians 6:1 which reads, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
Christians ought to be holding each other accountable and trying to help each other be righteous. We know this, but sometimes it’s hard. People generally don’t like being told that they are doing something wrong and it is even sometimes considered impolite to call someone out in a lie.
But accountability to fellow Christians is an important part of how a righteous man stays on the straight and narrow. The Pro-Truth Pledge has the benefit of helping you inform others that you are making a concerted effort to be more honest. It also can tell your fellow Christians that you are open to gentle reminders to remain honest.
The Bible doesn’t have anything to say about the Pro-Truth Pledge directly. However, it seems to be a useful tool to help you keep yourself honest and careful with your words, as it is intended to do.
Is the Pro-Truth Pledge what it claims to be, however? Well, this study indicates that it does accomplish its goal of causing signers to be more truthful. I know of no better argument for a course of action than the evidence of its effectiveness.
In conclusion, should you sign the pledge? Christian Pastor Lorenzo Neal describes in this blog why he signed it, and encourages others to sign; Bishop Pierre Whalon also signed the pledge. It is your decision, but I have a question, why wouldn’t you sign?