What is Truth?

Truth.2Telling the Truth or accepting something as absolute truth is definitely on the decline in our age of relativism, subjectivism, and secularism.  Our culture reminds me of this old story.

A businessman was interviewing applicants for the position of divisional manager. He devised a simple test to select the most suitable person for the job. He asked each applicant the question, “What is two and two?”

The first interviewee was a journalist. His answer was “twenty-two.”

The second applicant was an engineer. He pulled out a calculator and showed the answer to be between 3.999 and 4.001.

The next person was a lawyer. He stated that in the case of Jenkins v. Commr. of Stamp Duties, two and two was proven to be four.

The last applicant was an accountant. The businessman asked him, “How much is two and two?”

The accountant got up from his chair, went over to the door, closed it then came back and sat down. He leaned across the desk and said in a low voice,

“How much do you want it to be?”

People today speak today “stretching the truth.” “Bending the truth.” “Twisting the truth.” Or “distorting the truth.” All of these are euphemisms for lying! The fact of the matter is that truth is straight. Narrow. Exact.

Two plus two has always been four! And always will be! Regardless of how many people try to change it!

This is true in every discipline of life. Not just mathematics! And especially so when it comes to God’s Word. Jesus and Bible writers had a great deal to say about the importance of truth. In His prayer to the Father Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn 17:17

God’s Word is Truth. It is unchanging. Unbending. Unbowed.

Today’s culture, however, looks at truth as being “relative.” It says, “What is truth for me, may not be truth for you. And what truth is for you, may not be truth for me” This philosophy can be summed up in two words: “No Absolutes!”

This philosophy spouts off phrases like “It doesn’t matter what you believe (or do) as long as you’re honest and sincere.” “It says there are no absolute truths in life.” Of course, this is ridiculous! That statement in itself is an absolute!

Our post-modern culture values tolerance more than truth. Anyone who stands for truth is said to be “judgmental.” Accused of being intolerant.” And even a hater! Of course, the definition of “tolerance” has changed. At one time tolerance was respecting people with whom we disagree and treating them with dignity and respect. Now “tolerance” means that every idea is equally valid, equally true, and every life style is equally right. Not matter how bizarre it is!

I don’t know who coined the phrase, but our age suffers from “truth decay.” Modern culture doesn’t value truth, it values convenience. Ease. Self-gratification. Folks today ask, “It is easy?” “Does it work?” “Is it right for you?” If so, it must be accepted. That’s pragmatism! Not truth.

Like the Gentiles in the ancient world our society has “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator….” (Rom. 1:25)

We need a call back to Truth.

Jesus said, “I am the truth” (Jn 14:6). If we want to be free from sin, guilt, and destructive lifestyle we must come to know Him. His Word. His truth. He said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (Jn. 8:32).

When we believe, embrace and obey truth we can have our souls purified, our consciences clean and hearts right with God.

Regardless of what society says, Christians are called to a higher standard, asked to submit to a greater Authority. May the Lord we able to say of us “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

11 Comments

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11 responses to “What is Truth?

  1. Another great article Ken, keep up the good work David

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  2. Stephen Segrest

    Following you for years now, I clearly value you as an important “Teacher” of God’s Word in my life. But how you (and other socially conservative Christians) commonly define “Truth” in ridged absolute right/wrong terms sometimes pushes me away. One example is abortion. In saying that God’s “Truth” is absolutely clear-cut creates the Todd Aikens of this world (no exceptions for threats to life of the Mother or multiple babies [partial abortions], rape, incest with children). On homosexuality, a question repeatedly asked is never addressed: “How do we hold to “both” values that homosexuality is a sin but that gays shouldn’t be discriminated against? — or in Africa, killed.

    Rather than Truth, I think better words are humbleness, prayerful, always having a spirit of Agape when you may not agree with somebody.

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  3. Stephen Segrest

    For many of us “socially moderate” Christians, we react to this horrific story on abortion in Detroit not in outrage, but with a deep sense of sadness, disillusionment:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2014/05/23/31-of-detroit-pregnancies-aborted.html

    Many of us “socially moderate” Christians (which include Republicans) look to our Christian teachers and leaders asking the question: “How do we interact in a secular world, where we often feel between a rock and the hard place?” For the most part, Christian teachers and leaders really never answer this question telling us to just hold firm to “the truth”.

    With Todd Aiken type “Biblical Truth” we see nothing getting accomplished as the secular world rejects these truths (as the Detroit story illustrates).

    Also basically, they do it the Todd Aiken “Biblical Truth” way in Mississippi and Louisiana — which results in a welfare State and also STD rates at epidemic levels.

    Socially moderate Christians believe that abortion should be safe, legal, and “extremely rare” — where a key way to achieve this is public sex education and availability of contraception (especially to people in poverty). Of course, socially conservative Christians go ballistic over this approach. Scandinavian countries which do this have a fraction of the abortion rate that exists in the U.S.

    Could you from time to time, write not your opinion, but stories from our Bible when people of God found themselves having to choose (in society) between what seemed like the lesser of two wrongs?

    This is not about personal responsibility of our individual actions (which our Bible’s Truth is clear on). This is about interacting in a secular democratic society (that didn’t exist +2K years ago).

    Thanks.

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  4. Stephen Segrest

    An example of being “between a rock and a hard place” in the secular world is Peter’s denying of Christ. While most teachings of this are framed in a negative light of Peter, one question never asked is “what if Peter had not denied Christ in the secular world of these circumstances?” Wouldn’t he had been arrested and crucified? In doing what he did, he lived to “fight another battle” in what he achieved in spreading the Good News in the Early Church.

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  7. Stephen Segrest

    Here is data from the CDC that shows the frustration of being between a rock and a hard place between Faith and a secular society. Mississippi and Louisiana enact sex education in public schools based on the Christian value of abstinence. These States lead the U.S. in cases for “Sexually Transmitted Diseases” (STD) — which is higher than many 3rd World Countries and at epidemic rates.

    http://time.com/2861318/interactive-maps-see-where-4-stds-are-most-rampant/

    Here is the type of conversation I have with my conservative Christian friends:

    Me — I think we should provide sex education and have contraception protection available in public schools or public health organizations.

    My Conservative Friends — Then you condone sin, and don’t mind encouraging kids to have sex.

    Me — Do you have any Excedrin on you that I can take right now?

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