February 19, 2014.
Today’s post might lean more towards logic and philosophy than you have been accustomed to when it comes to the subject of religion. Don’t be frightened, I’m not going to get too metaphysical or anything. However, I do believe that there is a certain amount of logic and reasoning that can be applied to our spiritual lives. As James says:
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
Open to reason. So let us reason together, on what you have probably learned is one of my favorite topics: truth.
What kind of truth do you believe in? Absolute or relative? Many philosophers in the past have dealt with this question, and arguments still arise today. I would imagine that many of you reading this see truth as an absolute, at least most of the time (or at least when it deals with other people and not ourselves). I too think truth is absolute. A realtive truth is a very weak truth. If truth is relative to the person or culture, how can we really know with any certinty what truth is, or even if there is such a thing as truth? C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, has a very good discussion on moral law which I would suggest to the interested reader. For time sake (and because its not exactly the topic at hand), let us assume that truth is absolute. Certainly, if you are a follower of Christ, you must believe in an absolute truth, and that is God (and his truth).
So what is the topic today? I want to talk about the implications of an absolute truth, or at least one important implication in particular. If truth is absolute and established by a higher moral power than man, then anything I believe about truth does not in anyway effect truth itself. Let that sink in. If there is truth (which there is), then it stands regardless of wether I believe it or not. Regardless of wether or not I like it. Regardless of what anyone teaches about it. Just as God told Moses, “you tell them that I AM send you,” truth is. Period.
Why is this important? Today, throughout the religious world many different truths are being taught. Some truths mesh well together whereas others don’t. Some people believe that you must find the truth whereas others believe it dosen’t really matter what truth you hold on to. I don’t believe this is good. Truth is truth, and there is no room for “different” truths.
But here’s the kicker. We get so riled up and mad at people when they speak a different truth than our own. I think this works towards our detriment. Now, I do believe you should stand up for truth and sound doctrine. However, getting mad at someone because they believe you personally on the right track is a bit illogical. Truth is truth, no matter what ANYONE believes about it. If it is true that I am on the pathway to hell, then no matter what you believe about where my destination is, you cannot by this belief change the truth on the matter. Vise versa, if the truth is that you are saved and going to heaven, no matter what I teach and believe about your salvation, it simply doesn’t matter.
This goes the same about doctrine. If there is a truth in the word of God that society (or even the greater religious word) doesn’t like, it still stands. Preachers and pastors can speak and teach against it until The Lord returns, but it will not change it by even a fraction of an inch. No amount of feeling, or of higher learning, or of Greek/Hebrew study will ever change truth. And isn’t that a beautiful thing?
Again, I am in no way suppressing correct doctrine; if anything, I am encouraging it. Whereas it doesn’t matter what we think truth is in relation to being about to change it, what does indeed matter that we search and find truth, and then teach nothing but truth. This is more important than almost anything.
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
(1 John 4:4-6)
I say all this to give a reasoning behind this application. If someone comes to you an teaches a truth that implies something you don’t like (such as your soul or a soul of someone you love is in danger), instead of getting mad, test it with scripture to see if it is indeed true. The fact of the matter is, if what they are saying is truth, then it doesn’t matter how mad you get, or how sad you feel or how upset it makes you, it stands. The same is true for them in the reverse case. There will come a time when the truth hurts. There will come a time where it might even seem so bad that you or I am unwilling to accept it. Remember then, that the truth will prevail regardless of wether or not we choose to accept. Let us not get mad at people’s beliefs. Let us test them to see wether or not they ring true instead.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
(1 John 4:1)
Suggested Daily Reading: James 2, 3, 5, I John 4.
May The Lord grant you wisdom.