Mark Twain was a funny man. I enjoyed reading his writings in high school. This morning as I was reading the transcript of Albert Mohler’s of his daily briefing (he quotes Mark Twain), it reminded me of the lies that appear in the investing world. Be alert when looking at investments and when picking someone to manage your investments or when listening to investment advice! Here are some examples:
- “This investment will double your money in less than a year.” Don’t believe this type of statement.
- “This investment reduces your risk.” You need to have a good understanding of the meaning of the word risk and factor in more than just market volatility. Think inflation and taxes before you assume something is low-risk.
- “I have an investment most don’t know about and I want you to have the first opportunity to buy.” Run away!
- The name of a mutual fund can be very misleading. Look at the top holdings and other summary fund information in the mutual fund prospectus to see if they are living up to their name. I have seen some that say they are “value” funds when they are really growth oriented. Others are small cap funds, but they don’t say that in their name.
Romans 1:24-25 – “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
Read the fine print. Be skeptical. Do a bit of homework before you decide act. Here is a portion of the article I read:
Albert Mohler – Lies and Truth
The Briefing – March 14, 2018
Lies speed ahead of the truth according to new scientific study
“…Christians also have to keep ever in mind the distinction between the truth and the lie. All of this becomes important with the major scientific research project that was published last week in the journal Science. As one of the scientists behind the research reported in the New York Times on Sunday, the bottom line is this, lies spread online faster than the truth. The subhead in the article? “Lies diffuse farther, faster, and more broadly than the truth does.” One of the most famous quotes attributed to the American author Mark Twain, is one that is reported variously, but comes down to this. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” It is very interesting to see this report in the journal Science. It’s interesting to see a summary of the report in the New York Times and furthermore, the New York Times gave not only one opinion piece to this research, but also a full news article.
But, as you’re looking to the research, just keep in the mind the fact that that distinction between truth and the lie, the true and the false, well, it’s pervasive throughout this story. It makes no sense without that distinction and yet, we’re talking about a modern world that has done its best, at least many amongst the intellectual elites and culture shapers to deny that the truth even exists, or that there is a meaningful distinction between truth and a lie. The Christian worldview insists of course there is. Then, you have the secular worldview saying “Well, okay, if there is a difference, why is it that lies seem to be more popular and spread more quickly than the truth?” Well, the Christian Worldview would come back and say in response to this research we shouldn’t have been surprised, and it’s not because we were warned by Mark Twain a century ago. It’s because we understand the pervasive power of a lie in a fallen world.
The truth is, that we as human beings actually love lies. Paul in Romans Chapter one, describing the most foundational human sin, says that we as human creatures have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. He’s talking there about Genesis three. He’s talking about the very first sin. He’s talking about what Adam and Eve committed. He is talking about the sin of which we are all guilty. Exchanging the truth of God for a lie. That’s what it means to be a sinner. So, now you have science, that academic journal, and the New York Times, and many in the culture, and the major media saying “What’s going on here? Why is it that a lie spreads more quickly than the truth? Why are lies, false stories, what some people now like to call fake news, why are these news stories so popular?” The documentation in the story is pretty clear, but what’s also clear in these articles is that when it comes to the influence of these news stories, it may not amount to all that much. It might be, especially in the age of nearly instant gratification on social media, that people share stories they really don’t believe. Or, they share stories just because something may appear to be interesting.
But, in any event, there is a diminishment of the concern for truth and for truthfulness. That’s clear. Professor Sinan Aral at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that’s MIT, concluded his article about the research that he and his colleagues had undertaken with these words, “Some notion of truth is central to the proper functioning of nearly every realm of human endeavor. If we allow the world to be consumed by falsity, we are inviting catastrophe.” Well, that’s one of the most profoundly true statements, no irony intended, that we are ever likely to confront in the New York Times or in any other realm of human discourse. Yes, some notion of truth is central to the proper functioning of nearly every realm of human endeavor. But, here’s where the Christian has to correct, it won’t simply do to say that some notion of truth is central. It must be the right understanding of truth.”
Here is a link to the Briefing article and audio: