The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
We are living in a troubled time. Many are happy to live in denial. Many believe that truth doesn’t matter. We’re told truth is relative, after all. We are presented with news reports that defy the truth, misrepresent the truth or just straight out lie. The word “spin” is now used to describe lying. The truth is spinned in order to suit and support an agenda.
News agencies often no longer report facts. The facts are “interpreted” to support opinions. When some seek to discover the truth concerning an event, they are met with, “What does it matter now?”
It would matter if the person who responded would have actually experienced the event that was claimed not to matter now. Reality like truth can be ignored but not denied (for very long).
We’re not the first to experience people who don’t think that truth matters. Two thousand years ago Pilate, the Roman governor of Jerusalem, said to Jesus, “What is truth?” John 18:38 In Pilate’s mind, truth was secondary or irrelevant. Truth didn’t matter to Pilate because he thought that he had the power of life and death. Ironically, Pilate said that to the only one who has the power of life and death, Jesus!
The observers of Culture have called our time in the west the Post Modern Era. Simply stated, this era subverts the importance of truth as Pilate did. In the Post Modern’s mind, there is no such thing as absolute truth. One of the symptoms is reflected in our culture by what is called spirituality. We see it in movies and television. There are popular dramas centered in the world beyond this one. Talk shows on T.V. have segments to discuss the importance of having some kind of spiritual connectedness. People seem to be on never-ending quests to experience the latest spiritual guru’s method for attaining a deep spiritual fulfillment. You may have heard it said, “It’s all about the journey.”
The problem with this philosophy is that the “journey” may end in destruction.
Truth’s simple definition is: truth is that which is real. The Bible teaches that men naturally suppress the truth. We like to press reality down so as to seek to live above it or ignore it. We can deny or suppress the truth all we want. But we must live in and face reality.
Modern philosophy teaches, what’s true for you may or may not be true for me. Those who see reality are referred to as simple-minded or bigots. The charge against those of us who recognize absolute truth is: “Who made you the purveyor of truth?” The political world is filled with such charges. To be tolerant, one cannot possibly believe in absolute truth!
Some live their lives solely on “what works.” Truth seems to have a decreasing place in life. Numbers are manipulated to convince us that what we observe is not real. We need polls to be able to make right decisions.
This phenomenon is not exclusive to the secular world. Churches are planted and led based upon the “what works” philosophy. Pragmatism is substituted for a God-centered world view.
Some evangelical leaders say in order to grow the church must seek to meet needs. So, in order to meet these “felt needs” programs are developed. Rather than teaching sound doctrine, the church should teach on matters that “tickle” the ears. Popular topics in our culture should be addressed by the church, issues like sex, who to marry, how to raise children, etc. The assumption is that this will enable people to be better and more fulfilled. Surely, God wants everyone to be happy.
Opposed to this is God’s command. The church is to be holy because God is holy. The means by which God changes lives is through the reading, study and application of His word. God changes lives by His word working in concert with His Spirit.
Jesus said, “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
To those who seek to be free, truth matters profoundly. Jesus is the truth and the way and the life, John 14:6! He is the only way to have a relationship with God.
Jesus is the supreme reality. Truth profoundly matters. Apart from the revealed truth of God there is no hope for us.
God is the center of life.