Truth or Consequences
Truth or Consequences “Truth or Consequences” was a quiz show
originally hosted on NBC radio by Ralph Edwards (1940-57) and later on television by Edwards (1950-54), Jack Bailey (1954-55), Bob Barker (1956-75), Bob Hilton (1977-78), and Larry Anderson (1987-88). People had to answer a question correctly or suffer the consequences. They had about two seconds to answer a bizarre trivia question. If they answered it correctly (which was rare) before “Beulah the Buzzer” was sounded, the question had two parts! Most of the contestants preferred to answer the question wrong anyway.
If the contestant did not answer the question correctly, there were “consequences,” usually a wacky, embarrassing stunt. In many broadcasts, consequences included heart-rending surprises, such as a reunion with a long-lost relative or with an enlisted son or daughter returning from duty overseas.
In 1950, the radio quiz show announced that it would air the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Hot Springs, New Mexico won the honor. For the next fifty years, Ralph Edwards visited Truth
or Consequences, New Mexico during the first weekend of May. The city still celebrates the event, called “Fiesta” on the first weekend of May. It includes a beauty contest, a parade, and a stage show.
Truth or Consequences is not just the name of a quiz show or the name of a town. It is a law built into the universe. If there is no truth, there are consequences. It is also true that if there is truth, there are consequences. Consequence is a law that never fails.
There are consequences to having truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn. 14:6). If you have the Son, who is truth, you have life (1 Jn. 5:11-12), eternal life, which includes a future home in heaven (Jn. 14:3). If you do not have the Son, who is truth, you do not have a future home in
There are consequences to practicing truth. If we practice the truth, we will have confidence when He comes (1 Jn. 4:16-18). “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 Jn. 1:5). John explains the consequences of not doing what is right and true: “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1
Jn. 2:28). Practice doing what is right and truthful so that you will not be
embarrassed when He comes.
There are consequences to speaking truth. If we speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), we will hear Him say, “Well done.” If we do not speak the truth in love, there are consequences. Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Mt. 12:26).
On Truth or Consequences, Bob Barker signed off with the phrase, “Hoping all your consequences are happy ones.”
© G. Michael Cocoris, January 23, 2012.