A Brief Reflection on Truth2
Of the many things John writes concerning the Word, the Son of God, in John 1, one of the more important is his statement in v. 14 that he is “full of grace and truth.”
Let’s be clear right from the start. God isn’t whatever you want him to be. He is who he is whether you like it or not. God is not like silly putty in the hands of those who wish to twist and shape him into something more palatable to their senses. He has always been, is now, and will forever be the same. His character and revealed will do not change when culture does or when he falls out of favor with human opinion.
Jesus Christ embodies, defines, and speaks truth whether or not you think he does. Simply because you don’t like some of the things Jesus said or did does not mean they aren’t true.
Truth is not what works or what feels good or what the majority of people in a public opinion poll say it is. Truth is not what fits the need of the moment. Truth is not what feeds your self-esteem or makes you feel good about yourself.
Truth is what God has revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ, and what he has stated infallibly in the written Word of God, the Scriptures. The truth about God and humanity, about heaven and hell, about right and wrong, about what is righteous or unrighteous when it comes to human sexual conduct never changes. You may not like it, but your feelings one way or the other have no effect on whether or not something is true or false, right or wrong.
There is no greater tragedy in our day than the relativizing of truth. Pundits tell us that truth is no longer absolute or transcendent or eternal or trans-cultural. Truth is whatever you want it to be, whatever gives you a sense of well-being and value and purpose in life. If you don’t like the truth of the Bible, no big deal. Make up your own truth. Create your own theology. Establish your own sexual ethics. Construct your own doctrines that match your passions and desires and loves and likes.
Well, no. John says, as do all other biblical authors, that truth is who Jesus Christ is and what he has said and what he has done and what he has declared is yet to be.
Truth is not dependent on whether or not you believe it to be truth.
The truth about God and what he is like doesn’t change just because we live in a world of computers or because we’ve succeeded in sending a man to the moon. The truth about what is right and wrong doesn’t change merely because we’ve invented the birth control pill or uncovered the mystery of the genetic code.
You can choose to be offended or have your feelings hurt to hear that two plus two equals four, but that doesn’t change the sum of the equation to five!
Tragically, many think that if we can simply get enough people to believe the opposite of what the Bible says, we can render the latter false. Once again, no. The great need of our day isn’t, as someone recently declared, that Christians must adjust their understanding of truth to the prevailing winds and trends of modern culture. The great need is for culture, human opinion, and behavior to bend and be aligned in conformity with the revelation of truth as seen in the person of Jesus and the inspired Word of God. I’m not optimistic about the latter coming to pass, but regardless of how people respond to what God has made known in Scripture, regardless of what they think about his Son, truth remains unaltered, undiluted, and eternal. End of argument.