What Is Truth?
"What is truth?" This question was immortalized when Pilate expressed his doubt that truth could be objectified. Like today first century Rome embodied the conflicting world views of a multi-ethnic culture. Everyone had a word and opinion as to what constituted right and wrong.
The United States is as diverse a country as any in the world. From every corner of the globe people come with customs and beliefs that are in conflict, and the only thing that holds them together is a constitution that valued truth. Yet, it also valued the free exchange of ideas as people struggle in their search for the allusive ideal. The conundrum of freedom of inquiry and the belief in absolute truth is the reality that the search for it often leads people further from it.
In the spiritual war, that wages in the heavenlies, the two weapons used most frequently are fear and deceit. Both work against finding truth. They also work to shake a believer's faith.
Fear makes us worry that what we believe isn't tolerant, loving, and acceptable. What if smart people tell me I am scientifically wrong? What if popular people tell me I am old fashioned? What if political people tell me I am intolerant? What if professors tell me I am irrelevant? I am afraid I will look stupid and inept.
Deceit works with fear and tries to tell us that what is evil is good. "God made us this way" "There is nothing wrong with any pleasure" "We don't need religion" "there is no right way just shades of grey." Deceit appeals to our pride and tells us that we will be just like God. It makes us question and doubt God's goodness and His promise.
God provides armor for us to stand against the melee of the world, and the first piece we are to put on is the belt of truth. We are to gird ourselves, cinch it, tighten it up because it holds the rest of the armor in place.
Truth, however, isn't a system of right and wrong. It's more then that, it's deeper, and stronger. Truth is a person. Jesus said, "I am the truth and the way." When Pilate pondered his existential understanding of truth, the answer stood before him - Jesus. Jesus didn't give us another set of objective codes of law, he gave himself. Though the world makes fun of Christians when they ask, "what would Jesus do?" It is the right question.
We stand against the onslaught of evil by submitting to the goodness of God in Christ. As Paul said we abandon everything to attain the goal of knowing Jesus. The world will hate us, insult our intelligence, cast aspersions on our motives, identify us as hate mongers and everythingaphobes. But we can stand if we are held together by the belt of truth, the word of God, both living and written.
The bible isn't a manual for living. Yes, it gives us instruction how to relate to one another, but it is more then that. It is God's word to us about his Son. It is a love story of redemption. It is an offer of grace and forgiveness. We stand against evil because we stand on the rock.
I have discussions with some very smart people. They have a way of twisting reality to fit into preconceived categories of philosophical ideals. I can't argue them out of their positions, but I can live out the truth of Christ in me. I can chose to obey the new command of Christ, which isn't new at all, to love others as Christ loved me. To return hatred with good, cursing with blessing, offense with forgiveness, and death with life.
That battle rages. The enemy assaults us every day. Will you fall captive? "Know the truth," Jesus said, "and it will set you free." I'm just saying...
Ephesians 6:14a "Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth,"