This article is the second in a two-part series exploring modern media’s impact of Christian’s ability to grasp objective truth. To read part one, click here.

Truth can feel especially difficult to identify in today’s age of information overload because the media we consume shapes our perceptions of reality. Social media and the internet bombard Christians with cultural messages designed to erode our understanding of God’s creation and commandments.

“Babies in the womb aren’t really alive,” TikTok tells us.

“Men and women aren’t biologically different,” the internet assures.

Though the world feels like it’s entering new echelons of delusion, the inability to identify or hold on to objective truth — or confusion — isn’t unique to our technology-saturated era. Consider this brief exchange between Pontius Pilate and Jesus, moments before the Roman governor found Him innocent of the Sanhedrin’s charges.

Then Pilate said to Him, “So you are a king?”

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38, ESV).

Pilate’s parting question reflects Roman society’s broader confusion about the existence of moral and natural truth, though it never experienced the reality-altering effects of curated, electronic media.

Perhaps more significantly, Pilate’s enduring confusion illustrates the biblical connection between confusion and sin — he failed to recognize the veracity of Jesus’ claim while interacting with the Creator and physical embodiment of truth.

The triune God’s fundamental tie to objective truth is illustrated throughout the Bible, but arguably best articulated in the Gospel of John.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me”(John 14:6, ESV).

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32, ESV).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:1-5, ESV).

God’s relationship to objective truth means what He says is true.

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As you sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth (Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17:17-19, ESV).

Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him (Proverbs 30:5, ESV).

It also means His creation and actions reveal objective truth.

For [God’s] invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse (Romans 1:20, ESV).

The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous rules endures forever (Psalm 119:160, ESV).

God does not breed or abide by confusion because truth is an integral part of His character. Satan, on the other hand, fosters confusion because his character is deceitful.

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies (Jesus addresses the Jews who do not understand Him in John 8:44, ESV).

Satan introduced confusion to humans in the Garden of Eden. The serpent only lied to Eve after causing her to doubt her recollection of objective truth.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1, ESV).

Confusion remains inextricably linked to sin after the Fall; Satan and malicious people use confusion as a weapon against believers.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth (Romans 1:18, ESV).

The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel through the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4, ESV).

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24, ESV).

Babylon, the name of one of the most notorious oppressors of God’s people, is derived from “babel”, the Hebrew word for “confusion.” The empire, which takes on symbolic significance in Revelation, was infamous for its idolatry — obscuring the objective reality of God’s all-powerful rule with human or inanimate idols.

God also uses confusion as divine punishment for sin and disobedience.

I will send My terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you (God addresses the Israelites in Exodus 23:27, ESV).

The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me (Deuteronomy 28:20, ESV).

“Come, let us go down there and confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore, its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth (Genesis 11:7-9, ESV)

Understanding confusion as a product of sin adds context to Jesus’ statements about truth. God knew sin broke our ability to recognize Him, and thus recognize truth. He sent us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to repair this rift and give us clarity.

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20, ESV).

When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come(John 16:13, ESV).

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, who the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17, ESV).

Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling (Psalm 43:3, ESV).

Though electronic media may be new, modern Christians take comfort in knowing our confusion about truth and reality does not surprise God. He’s gifted us every tool we need to discern objective truth and reality — His word and His spirit in us.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105, ESV).

Satan will continue weaponizing confusion against believers until God comes again, using technology to erode Christian’s trust in God’s created order. But we can triumph over these attacks by spending time studying the Bible, which straightens and strengthens our grasp on reality.

In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:13-14, ESV).