Friday, May 21, 2010
What is truth?
There is nothing new under the sun.
The fact that truth is under fire is also not new. That's because truth is very hard to nail down, because everyone has their own version of truth or their own perspective. If you do not understand what I am talking about, just ask two children their own version of the same argument. Both see the conflict from their own perspective, so where is the actual truth? Truth tends to be subjective, but is it really truth then?
When my sister went to Russia to get her daughter, she was confronted with a truth conflict. She stood before a Russian judge who said that the American news outlets were reporting that Russian adoptions were halted because of the unfortunate story of a woman who sent her adopted Russian son back to Russia on a plane by himself. The judge had not actually received any instruction from Moscow to stop adoptions but because of the international attention to the news report, he felt he could not sign her adoption petition until he had clarity of what was really happening. What was the truth of the situation? Were adoptions being halted or not?
The truth was that the American journalist who sparked the story hadn't bothered to check his resources and Russia had NOT stopped adoptions. That journalist stopped adoptions because of faulty reporting. It delayed my sister's adoption for seven days, which though frustrating, were unavoidable due to a lack of truthful reporting.
Stories like this make me question the truthfulness of the media. Hmmm...
No, truth is not subjective. Truth is foundational. Truth is what you build your belief system on, what you base your relationships on, what you can depend on. Truth is the unchangeable facts that stand alone and that you can count on.
Truth is constantly under attack and has been since the garden of Eden. (Did God really say...?) But because it is truth, it can withstand the attack. Were the attacks on the Twin Towers solely a Islamic extremist group enacting punishment on the Great Satan, or was the American government behind it? There are people who will argue both sides but that doesn't mean that truth doesn't exist, it just might be unknown for the moment.
Here's my problem, though truth has always been under attack, I have never known a time in the history of the church that biblical truth has been considered more subjective than it is today. Scriptural understanding has become a matter of personal conviction and interpretation. This is absolutely frightening! Satan has gotten his foot in the door of the church and is wreaking havoc in the community of believers because no one can agree on what truth is - and no one wants to take a stand because it might offend!
So, I want to spend some time looking at basic biblical truths that believers question or shy away from today...or maybe they just flat out don't believe. My standard is going to be God's Word. Now, I can already hear the objections to this exercise - Kristen, you are going to bring your own interpretation to it and you will hold up subjective beliefs as truth and expect everyone to agree with you. That's really not my plan.
There was a song years ago that went like this: Jesus said it, I believe it and that settles it for me. My goal is to clearly lay out the scripture that supports truth and let the Word speak for itself. Feel free to call me on my subjective input and let's have a good discussion. But if our faith is not grounded on truth, then we have no foundation at all. If I am building my life on the Rock and the Rock is really made out of raspberry flavored Jello, I'm in big trouble. Is Jesus a rock or is He unstable, subjective opinion?
Jesus actually answered that question Himself. As He stood before Pilate, He said, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." (John 18:37) Jesus is truth. His words are true. His Word is truth. He came to testify to the truth. Unfortunately, Pilate was blinded to the truth and all he could do was look at Jesus and say, "What is truth?"
Remember, there is nothing new under the sun. Two thousand years ago people questioned truth and they continue today.
Folks, we have the Truth. We are of the truth because we hear His voice.
So, if we really want to know truth, we have to go to the Truth-giver and seek it out. We have to pour over the written revelation of God Himself. He will answer our questions and He will give us the foundation of truth that we can build our lives on.
Sound like a plan?