By Chuck Deveau
In our postmodern world, the concept of truth is subjective. I can have my own truth, and others can have their own truth.
So, what happens when my truth conflicts or collides with your truth?
Theoretically, we are to accept both as true.
But in practice, we are to accept that which is politically correct as true.
Take, for example, the action most governments and political power brokers have taken to shut down all non-essential businesses to slow and hopefully stop the spread of Covid-19. Suppose you believe that all businesses are essential and that shutting down businesses has profound negative financial and health consequences. In that case, you are considered a hater who does not care for others. You are also labeled as one who denies the truth.
But what happened to the idea that each person is free to have his own truth?
The same double standard applies to LGBTQ, the social justice movement, election laws, border walls, and hundreds of other issues for which the only correct response is to advocate the politically correct view. Tolerance of the politically correct views is not enough. Now we must advocate those views.
Finding the Objective Standard
Is there a standard to which we may look and appeal to solve this conflict and bring clarity and calmness to our lives and establish the consensual harmony most of us desire?
Is there an objective template for truth that we all can and should appeal to and which objectively overrides all the highly subjective and personally biased definitions of truth?
I am talking about objective truth that can serve as an umpire, perfectly calling “balls and strikes” for the benefit of all of fallen humanity in our quest for peace, serenity and personal fulfillment.
As a Biblicist, I would argue that Jesus Christ is, in His very essence and being, “the Truth.” In fact, that is precisely what He lays claim to be:
“I am the way, the truth [=not a truth or an opinion of truth], and the life. No man comes to the Father but through [by] Me (John 14:6, emphasis added).”
Thus, whatever He has spoken or said, as recorded for us in Scripture, reflects only absolute truth (cf. John 18:37-38). I am not merely talking about the red-letter verses in the Gospels. The entire Bible is the Word of truth.
Deeply inscribed on a marble wall in the lobby of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) headquarters in Washington, D.C., is John 8:32:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
My understanding of the intent of this Biblical recitation was to incite all CIA agents, from top to bottom, to always tell the unvarnished truth to the agency and all government operatives so that all USA foreign policy decisions could be made based, solely, upon “truthful” intel.
In the light of the last few years, how has this “truth” been working for them as well as for us as citizens of the USA and for those whose domestic security is critically dependent upon the accuracy/truth of this intel? Are we safe from falsehoods and politically motivated intelligence agents?
This quote on the walls of the CIA headquarters, folks, is from the heart and lips of God’s Son, Jesus Christ! Again, the same Jesus Who declares in John 14:6,
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.”
Jesus says that He is the very embodiment, personification, and expression of “truth.” And this is immediately followed by a very crucial truth that is wrapped up in Him and His words: “…no person comes to the Father but through Him.” Absolute, divine truth is incarnate in the Person of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and readily available for all mankind to embrace and believe.
It only takes one response of faith in Christ to receive His offer of the free gift of everlasting life and become eternally preserved and set free from the damnation of eternal hell (John 3:16). This will never change or be forfeited! This is the irrevocable, free gift of God!
But it is only those believers in Christ who continue to abide in Him and His Word who will experience all the life liberating properties of that life on a practical, daily level. This is what Jesus meant when He said to those who would “abide in Him and His Word”:
“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
Access to Truth
We are so blessed to have access to the One Who is the Truth and Whose spoken and recorded words constitute the Christian’s constitutional mandate which answers the question, “What is the Truth?” and its effectual, eternal impact upon the life and lifestyle of the believer who consistently, if not constantly, “continues in or abides in the Person and Words of Jesus Christ.”
So, what is truth? Truth is the Person of Jesus Christ and the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
But what about issues that the Bible does not discuss, like fossil fuels, cloning, in vitro fertilization, stem cell research, tech giants, term limits, lobbying, and so forth?
The Bible expounds principles that can help us better understand many subjects not specifically addressed in Scripture. In addition, God has given us the ability to do research and to analyze data.
Truth is what corresponds to reality.
Chuck Deveau is host of “The Things That Matter” radio broadcast and serves with Men Of Messiah in La Quinta, CA.