The accused criminal stood before the man who would either set him free or sentence him to death. The judge was shaken by the calmness, the lack of fear in the one before him. "Everyone on the side of truth listens to me" stated the accused. The governor scoffed, turned cynical by too many years of sour life and asked the question most all of us wrestle with, "What is truth?" (John 18:37-38)
A recent Barna poll revealed that nearly 70% of Americans believe there is no absolute truth. In a society of relativism, rationalism, pragmatism and tolerance there is very little room for any belief in truth, real truth. But our ignorance does not make it untrue. Just makes us ignorant.
Is there truth, absolute truth. Or are we, like Pilate, simply left with a haunting question debated by philosophers and ignored by the rest of us. And, hey, is absolute truth important anyway? Is it something we should be concerned about?
Suppose you are having physical pain and go to a doctor. By putting you through a battery of tests she discovers that you are suffering from a terminal disease. The good news is that she had caught the disease in the very early stages and it can be treated. But, and this is a big but, she does not want to risk hurting your feelings or causing fear so she tells you that you are fine. Is absolute truth important? You BELIEVE you are fine – isn’t that enough? Nope. No matter what you believe, the truth is all that matters. And the absolute truth is that you need treatment or you are going to die.
Suppose you and I are walking along a busy downtown street. You intensely look at me as we talk. I look up just in time to see a truck jump the curb and head straight for us. You believe we are safe. I duck into an entryway of a nearby store and leave you to be crushed by the truck. Hey, I didn’t want to interrupt you. You can get really testy when you’re interrupted. Is absolute truth important in that situation? You BELIEVE you are safe, isn’t that enough? No matter what you believe, the truth is all that matters. And the absolute truth is that you are going to die if I don’t push you out of the way. Makes you feel like I’m a little more important than you thought, doesn’t it?
Let’s do another round of "Let’s Suppose." You believe that when you die you are done. There is nothing after this life and that’s it. Or you believe that if you are a good person you’ll go to heaven. As long as your list of good deeds is longer than the list of bad stuff you’ll walk through the pearly gates. Or you believe that it doesn’t matter what religion you follow as long as you truly believe and do your best. Does absolute truth matter? Hey, you believe you’ll be all right. Isn’t that enough? No matter what you believe, the truth is all that matters. And the absolute truth is that to get to heaven requires a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and without it Hell is on the other side of death.
I remember standing in front of the coffin of a very dear friend. With everything in me I wanted to go back a week to prevent the accident that took his life. No matter how badly I wanted to do so, the absolute truth was that he was dead and there was nothing I could do to change that truth.
The Bible provides us with absolute truth for living. No matter how much we would like to change some of it, we can’t. It is absolute and unchangeable. Instead of bucking against it we need to learn to embrace it. (Yes, even those pesky parts that we don’t like). By embracing the truth, it will set us free to be all that we were born to be.
Therefore the question we must answer in every situation is "What is the truth here?"
Truth is important, unchangeable and absolute. TRUTH REALLY IS ALL THAT MATTERS! By learning it through the Bible and living it through everyday life we discover God’s perspective on life. That is how we crawl up onto God’s lap and see life "From Where God Sits." I invite you to do so. It is worth it.
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 (NIV)
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."" John 8:31-32 (NIV)
"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
Friday, January 19, 2001
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