This is Part 4 of a series on Biblical truth. Check it out.
In John MacArthur’s The Truth War, he began:
Who would have thought that people claiming to be Christians—even pastors—would attack the very notion of truth? But they are.
MacArthur cited special examples in the book, then made this statement:
The idea that the Christian message should be kept pliable and ambiguous seems especially attractive to young people who are in tune with the culture and in love with the spirit of the age and can’t stand to have authoritative biblical truth applied with precision as a corrective to worldly lifestyles, unholy minds, and ungodly behavior. And the poison of this perspective is being increasingly injected into the evangelical church body.
MacAuthur goes on to show how God and truth are inseparable. Satan tempted Eve with the lie that undermined God’s truthful word. Ever since, the enemy has attacked the truth, because truth is inextricably bound up with God (John 8:44) and His Son Jesus Who speaks the truth and Who is the Truth (John 8:45; 14:6).
If we love God and love Christ we must love the truth and defend the truth when it is under attack. One characteristic of those who come under God’s judgment is that “they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10). All will be judged who “did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12).
I highlighted Jesus’ trial before Pilate because it is so indicative of the world’s approach to God.
Jesus emphasizes the truth when He speaks with Pilate.
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.
To which Pilate scoffs, “What is truth?” and walks away. (John 18:37-38)
Bringing these two points together, we can say that…
Jesus is the King of truth and everyone who is of the truth hears His voice. If you reject what Jesus taught, either directly or through the apostles, then you do not have the truth and you are not listening to His voice.
This is Part 3 of a series. Check it out. I guess we could call it What If Truth Went Viral?
My goal in this series is to highlight Jesus’ truth claims in context, but I will also try to look at why our society today is so hostile to those truth claims Christians make today.
Lately, I’ve been reading through the writings of John the apostle, called “beloved” … Jesus’s best friend by all accounts. While reading, I was struck by how often Jesus made “truth” claims.
That’s right — Jesus made truth claims and they weren’t the wishy-washy “all truth is God’s truth” kind of truths. He made “this is THE truth” statements.
Today, Christians are called narrow-minded, bigoted and intolerant because we believe in absolute truth. The truth we believe in is what Jesus and those who learned from Him taught, yet we are called arrogant for accepting spiritual knowledge over the ever-changing philosophy of men. Even some who claim to be Christians say we should set aside doctrinal differences and come together in love and unity with all Christians.
There are truths that exist as actual truths that are not found in the Bible. They exist in the societal and scientific realms. The Bible is a historical and philosophical book. It’s not a scientific document. That doesn’t mean it is wrong on scientific facts, but that is not its focus and it does not strive to explain the science of the world in details that 21st century people are going to recognize. It was written from the perspective of God’s servants in the eras in which they lived. So, for example, the sun appears to revolve around the earth, because that is how the writers perceived it, not because it was thought to be scientifically factual. Had the Bible been written today, the wording might be more accurate to science because that is the culture we live in, but God — who exists outside of time — knew this generation could not accept truth statements. Had Jesus made His truth statements today, He would have been placed in a dark hole in Supermax as a potential terrorist.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that people get upset when you quote Jesus’ truth statements today.
Which brings me back to my original question –
Where did truth go?
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The summer season is upon us and my mind turns to courage of an organic sort this time of year.
Courage is one of those words that people generally use to describe acts of heroism or as a trait to be valued in our military or rescue personnel such as firemen or policemen. It connotes a lack of fear.
For myself, to be fearless is not the lack of fear but the refusal to allow fear to have power over my actions or reactions. To me, to be courageous is to overcome fear.
Everything one does in Alaska in the summer (and for a good deal of the winter) involves courage. It generally starts in April when we hike into our property off the Steese. We know the bears are waking up, but we can’t resist going out to check on our lumber pile (uh, future cabin) and work out what the best winter/spring trail will be.
Brad was chased by a grizzly a few years ago and had to hold him off with a chainsaw, so there is always a little hyper-vigilance as we start down the trail. We don’t think of ourselves as brave. We certainly aren’t heroes. We are definitely exercising courage. We’d be foolish not to consider the risk of grizzlies, especially in the spring when they’ve been fasting all winter. We look tasty and they don’t care if we’re raw or not. They don’t even want ketchup with that. Still, for us, it is an every weekend kind of thing and while there are risks involved, we overcome our concerns and head out to where we want to go.
I think there is a great deal of courage in everyday actions that people do without even thinking about it.