Saturday, June 10, 2006

Truthfully We Can Know The Truth

The truth can be difficult to hear, especially if you try to convince yourself that there is no truth. You can squirm and disagree and argue all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that there is a truth that can be known, a truth that does not change, a perfect truth. And you're not going to find it within yourself as some would have you believe.

People defend their resistance to the truth by saying that everything is subject to our interpretation. But is it? Is God's truth, as revealed through the Bible, subject to our personal gut check? If something convicts us do we get to reject it simply because it doesn't make us feel good? Hardly.

People like Neale would have us believe that everything is relative and that whatever makes me feel good is true for me, and whatever makes you feel good is true for you. So, if being an Islamic terrorist makes you feel justified then go for it! If joining a community to drink some special Kool-aid is going to make you feel accepted and loved, then obviously that's what you should do. GIVE ME A BREAK, ok? When has everyone doing whatever they wanted made anything better? Look around you, most people are doing whatever is "true" for them and the world is a mess! But Neale would have us believe it is all the Church's fault, trying to force people into believing what they believe, etc. And yes, it is partially our fault as we still sin, but let us not chalk it all up to human error. Just because I screw up doesn't make Jesus' statements any less true.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Jesus understood the idolatry of the human heart, He knew we want to go our own way and declare ourselves God, but He also knew that this belief will lead to nothing but destruction. And so we find written in the pages of Scripture instruction, guidance, a moral compass, AND most importantly we find the message of Salvation. In Christ, through Christ. He understood our flesh wants to live it up and fill every lustful desire, but He tells us "[i]f any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me, " (Matthew 16:24) ah but that doesn't sound very fun does it?! But Jesus is the truth, He speaks the truth, and that truth is found within our Bibles. So, when the text that is declared to be God inspired (2 Timothy 3:16) says that destruction is coming for anyone that rejects Him (Matthew 3:10, Matthew 7:13, Matthew 24:51, Philippians 3:19, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 20:10-15) and speaks of old things passing away and a new heaven and a new earth coming (Revelation 21:1), you can be sure it is true.

I can't imagine still going through my life leaning on my own understanding (see Proverbs 3:5), all I remember is how lost I was, how distraught, how miserable. But in Christ I have a loving Father who protects and guides me, I have something that doesn't change to line myself up with to see if I am in error. And this God through His Word tells me to be a servant, to be lowly, to care for others rather than seeking to lift myself up. People can blame whoever they want all they want, but the fact remains that the mess this world is in isn't God's fault. We've all departed and rejected the truth in order to seek out our heart's sinful desires, so when someone comes along and says that we can't know the truth all they're really doing is feeding into this lie that nothing matters. I can do what I want, because it is true for me. Hogwash.

In this everything is relative world, I lean upon the one constant, the one truth. The God who is revealed through the Bible.


Rick said...

can i pushback a little here? i don't disagree with what you've said about neale's post, and the "conversations with God" series goes further than it should in too many places.

but the ideas we have of "absolute truth" can also go "too far" the other way. as you've grown, as i've grown, our understanding of truth has changed and hopefully gotten better and more meaningful, right? it's not that anything's relative as much as it's relative to where we find ourselves sometimes - a verse applies here, applies differently there, think a different perspective over there.

i think alot of the problem being addressed by this discussion is that too many of us get locked into stagnate non-growth, instead of letting Truth be something real and change-inducing in our real and changing lives. how's that?

Kristina said...

Hi there Rick!

Well, obviously we're going to grow and change, and we absolutely should be! My own understanding of God continues to grow, and someone shoot me if it stops. Well, don't really shoot me, I don't want to die in a state of non-growth! Maybe just say something to me. ;-) And yes we're going to see things differently, but I really do believe there are things that we can agree upon that are without doubt completely true, things that do not change even if our perspectives of them do.

The fact that the Father has revealed Himself through the Bible and extends the offer of salvation through His Son and only through His Son, are some of those things. Before I knew God this was still true, I may have rejected it but that doesn't change the fact that this was absolutely and completely, unshakingly, true.

This idea that Neale puts forth, that I see modeled all over the place, this idea of just doing whatever you want and not seeking an objective and constant guide is insane. I don't know what I want half the time, I change my mind, I want things that aren't good for me or good for others. If I chased down those desires my life would be a wreck! But by laying down my desires at the cross and saying "Not my will, but Thine" I have the ultimate guide - God Himself - leading me. When I seek first the will of my Father I can be sure that He'll take care of everything else. And people make that sound so dreary, so depressing. But it isn't! It is liberating! Knowing that I've been set free from my sin, knowing that the chains that bound me no longer hold true, knowing that the things I grew up with and things that have been done to me don't have to determine who I am, knowing that the things I've done to others doesn't keep me from the ability to become someone new. AH THE FREEDOM found in Christ! And that is the truth, and it does not change. Praise God for that! Praise Him that He is completely just and righteous and will tell me when I'm off track, that even though I may be changing He does not. He does not compromise. Beginning to end He is the same. And I rejoice in that!

The truth does not change, but we are to be changed by the truth, absolutely. Day by day I hope to be transformed and molded more into the image of my Savior. But if there is no truth, if there is nothing constant, what then am I being changed into? Ah, there in lies the problem. I'm not being changed into anything...anything of any use anyway...if I'm not lining up with God I cannot do any of the good I would like to, because it is only as God enables me that I can do these things. All the "good" in the world is useless if not done with a heart that is seeking God.

Rick said...

:) - and i don't disagree with anything you've posted or commented. but here's what i've seen as the problem: when someone claims "absolute truth" when it's really "best guess opinion" even if it's dead-on right, people get hurt for disagreeing, or for making different but just as good application.

the word "truth" doesn't need "absolute" - it's a redundancy if truth is truth, right? but we add "absolute" to give it some weight that it doesn't need if it's really truth.

i guess what i'm saying is that there are some "absolute truths" that just aren't. and to tail-in with what you're posting, there is indeed truth - disregarding it is hazardous, but i would add that standing so solidly on it that real truth has no place in us, that's deadly, too.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life - for me, this whole discussion takes a different turn on "Jesus is truth" as a relational subjective thing.

anyway, thanks for the back-and-forth. just wanted to throw $.02 into the mix ;)

Kristina said...

the word "truth" doesn't need "absolute" - it's a redundancy if truth is truth, right?

Yes, absolutely. ;)