What Is Truth?
Updated: Oct 19, 2021
As I sit here, this quiet Monday evening my mind seems scrambled with all that is taking place in our world. We have this thing called a pandemic that has left people dead and/or hospitalized. We have an economy that is showing signs of inflation continuing to rise at an alarming rate. We have hundreds of thousands of immigrants crossing our southern border and a government that doesn't seem to care or know how to deal with it. Which naturally leads to the government itself and the mess that is. It doesn't matter what side of the political fence you are on, you have to admit that what is and has been taking place in Washington DC for decades is nothing short of disastrous.
While people are trying to grapple with all of this, now we have entered what appears to be a new era in America~the age of misinformation. What Is True and What Is Not? You have social media, the news media, the CDC, WHO, scientists, doctors, nurses, and don't forget the government; and all of them are piling on information that we are trying to wade through and figure out what is right and what is not. Just as we think we can trust something the bottom blows out and it's found to be "fake news." The laws passed by the "Ruling Class" seem to only apply when they want them to apply, and yet they are going to mandate you into compliance.
So what is truth? I mean really? What can I trust? Because I don't know about you, but I'm tired. I'm mentally exhausted with everything that is being thrown at us. I keep hearing about "getting back to normal." I heard last year someone say, "We are never going to back to what normal used to be." I dismissed it then. Now I'm wondering. I don't know about you, but I need something to hold onto. Something that will be stable. Some REAL TRUTH!
Josh McDowell once said of truth, "For something to be absolute truth it must be true at all times, for all people, and in all places." I have never forgotten that. It's such a simple, yet profoundly clear statement on absolute truth, and today, I need some truth~absolute truth.
In John's gospel, chapter 18 we see Jesus is standing before Pilot. This is literally the last few hours before Jesus is crucified. After questioning Jesus and actually showing signs of frustration, Pilate makes a rather profound statement: "What is truth!" Note I said statement rather than question as it was not a question at all. It was a statement disguised as a question. The reason I know this is the fact that he did not wait for an answer. He made a statement then turned and left. And yet this question is so relevant today.
Two things stand out to me in this passage:
First, Pilate’s “What is truth?” statement is one of the most important questions one can ask. In fact, how one lives and dies, what and who one values, and what one believes is dependent upon how one answers this question. I believe that it is life’s most important question. Therefore, determining what is true is the most essential and necessary task of our human existence.
Second, when it comes to truth, there are two types of folks in the world. Let’s call them “Mr. Objective” and “Mr. Subjective.” Mr. Objective believes truth can be, and often is, separate from what he feels. And, since feelings can change or be misleading, there must be an objective standard to determine what is true. Therefore, Mr. Objective is on a constant search for this objective standard. In contrast, Mr. Subjective believes that truth is based on what he feels. In other words, if he feels that something is true, it is true. Period. Therefore, rather than seeking an objective standard to determine what is true, he has a subjective standard based on what he feels.
Now I take you back to the statement by Josh McDowell, "For something to be absolute truth it must be true at all times, for all people, and in all places." If I were to ask you to make me a perfectly square box what would be one of the first things you would do? My guess is that you would seek out a ruler or tape measure. Why would you do that? And again my guess would be that you trust that instrument to be a source of accuracy. The standard by which all instruments of measurement follow is; 1 foot will always consist of 12 inches, which will always consist of 2.54 centimeters for every inch. By using this measuring tool, coupled with your ability to accurately cut, you would be able to make a perfectly square box that would meet the standard of measurements.
Now, it used to be that Mr. Objective and Mr. Subjective could coexist just fine in our culture. As a kid of the 60s and 70s, I remember well the mantra, “Live and let live” and “I’m OK. You’re OK.” But, over the last few decades, something very pernicious has happened. Mr. Subjective has changed. As Mr. Subjective has increasingly acquired power in our culture, he now demands that Mr. Objective abandon any standard of objective truth because he finds it offensive. No longer is Mr. Subjective’s truth just his own, but Mr. Objective must now embrace it too or risk being labeled as suffering from some kind of “phobia” and/or being silenced and shamed from the public square. Mr. Subjective’s new mantra is “Live and insist that others live and believe like me.” The “ruler” is now meaningless.
Of course, there is an irony in all of this because in order for Mr. Subjective to enforce his standard, he must embrace an objective truth worldview. In other words, Mr. Subjective must say that the only standard for truth is that there is no standard, which, of course, is an objective standard…right?
I said in the beginning that I need something to hold on to. Something that is stable. May I suggest to you that it is available today. There's a possibility that you already possess it. It's what we call THE BIBLE! In as age when the very idea of truth is being scorned and attacked (even within the church, where people ought to revere truth most highly), Solomon's wise advice has never been more timely, "Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding." Proverbs 23:23
The Bible has been tried and tested down through the ages. Men have tried and failed to destroy it. They have tried and failed to discredit it. Yet today it still stays at the top of the best sellers list world wide. There is not a single piece of literature known to mankind that is more accurate than the Bible when compared to ancient documents. If you want something that will offer your truth, truth you can depend on, I would suggest you choose the Bible as your source of truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No on comes to the Father except through me." John 14: 6