Monday, September 26, 2011

What Is Truth?

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him,
and apart from Him
nothing came into being that has come into being.

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood
nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word,
then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6.

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. .Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Pilate asked. “What is truth?” John 18:36-38

If we could have listened in on the above conversation between Pilate and Jesus,
I am convinced that there would have been a sarcastic tone in Pilate's question:

“What is truth?”

Do you believe Jesus is the truth and that we can stand on His Words?
What are the fundamental truths in the Bible that are the foundation of your beliefs?
Can we believe what Jesus says, or not?

Many who profess to be Christians do not take Jesus words and the Bible literally. They would like to view the Bible in the same way that they view the US Constitution … information to be considered. If they agree with it, fine. If not, they will adjust the truth to fit in with whatever makes sense to them … and the next thing you know, a million babies are being aborted in America every year.

Well as wrong as this line of thinking is, in regards to our constitution, it is many times worse when we talk about using this type of thinking when reading the Bible. Although I believe the constitution was not intended to be amended to meet the changing whims of society; it was created by men and is subject to amendments.

The Bible on the other hand, was inspired by God and is presented as the never-changing absolute truth of the all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful creator of the universe, who never lies and is never wrong. The Word of God is infallible and inerrant. This is a core belief that sets Christianity apart from all other religions. The Bible is not the teachings of good men but rather God speaking through men by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Without this belief, that God’s Word is truth, our belief system loses its power, and our faith would be destroyed.

Additionally, any other belief, religion, philosophy or creed would be equally valid if there were no Bible inspired by the Creator. With no biblical basis of truth, the Bible would be reduced to just so many words, or another self help book. The truth would be reduced to the wisdom of men and each of us would be the god of his own life, discerning good and evil.

When carried to this end, Christianity is reduced to the same level as atheistic thought. I think we can all see where this would end up … total chaos. But beyond the foolishness of this chaos, the idea ignores the fact that there is eternal truth, principles which are self evident and absolutely true, whether we believe them or not. This was clear to me long before I became a Christian.

What has led us to this confusion? Some time ago, Josh McDowell said that most evangelical Christian youth in the United States no longer believe in absolute truth. “In 1991, 52% of our born again church kids said there is no absolute truth. In 1994, 62%. In 1999, 78%, and in 2002, 91 percent of our born again church kids said there is no absolute truth. Can you believe how horrible this is? The primary cause of this problem is the influence of secular education and secular media since the 1960’s.” It is amazing to see how much impact that 40 hours a week for 16 years will have on a young person’s belief system. Can you imagine where we would be without Biblical teaching?

The same broken down educational system that produced a politically correct attitude in our Attorney General Eric Holder, that won’t allow him to say that Islamic terrorist bombers might be Islamic terrorists, has been brainwashing our children with babble for over 50 years: “There is no right or wrong. There are no moral absolutes. Everything is relative. Everyone’s beliefs are equally valid. All paths lead to god. Each person needs to decide what his truth is. The end justifies the means. Everything is okay in moderation. There is no god.” … and many other false beliefs. The idea of separation of church and state which was promoted by mostly socialists and atheists has resulted in a values neutral public education system where naturalism and atheistic views are free to rule the day.

But that is not all. The church has become weak. The seeker friendly philosophy has opened the door to many new Christians, but at what cost? Watered down Christianity? At our local mega church, the teaching and the music is no longer religious to the point that I can hardly tell if I am in a church anymore. The number one church in America is led by a motivational speaker, Joel Osteen, who says “teaching the word is not his gift.” I must admit, I enjoy his messages. They are uplifting and encouraging, but I also like a Big Mac and fries.

And recently Rick Warren, the number one pastor in America said, “the future of the world is religious pluralism, and we must learn to get along … “we need to encourage those (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam) who are about the common good.” I must say he made some very good points about working together to help the sick and needy but the church can do that without pandering to non-Christian religions.

And then he said; “let me give you my definition of a fundamentalist. Fundamentalism actually started out as a good term among Christians in the early 20th century. It was a word which meant a Christian believer dedicated to the fundamentals of the Bible: Jesus is the way to heaven; the Bible is the word of God, things like that. The word has been hijacked now to basically mean a radical or a terrorist or something like that. Here is my definition of a fundamentalist: A fundamentalist is anybody who stopped listening. That’s a fundamentalist”

He then goes on to explain that there are Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Secular, and atheist fundamentalists. That is a total insult to those of us who are still committed to standing on the fundamental truths of the Bible.

Warren may be doing great things with the millions a year he makes from his book, and he has ideas that are filled with church growth success principles, but I think he bumped his head on this one.

It is not a wonder that 90% of Christians don’t believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith, with statements like that from our church leaders. It is now clear why he did not ask Obama the tough questions on abortion, when he had the chance. He is more focused on the common good, than he is concerned with confronting evil.

Contrary to this false teaching, millions of Christian fundamentalists are still listening to the only one that matters: Jesus Christ. We are still standing on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. We have no desire to pretend that Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and other false religions are doing anything other than leading people away from God.

Political correctness has no place in committed Biblical Christianity. If me ... not listening to false religions, crooked politicians, and the false teachings of the world is his definition of a Christian who stopped listening: then I am guilty and proud of it … I am a Christian Fundamentalist. But the truth is not that we actually stopped listening; but rather we strongly oppose the message. I apologize if I sound angry, but this should be just cause for all believers to become angry. I'm just surprised he didn't slam the tea party movement as well.

So, that leaves us with these questions: “What is truth?” Do you believe Jesus is the truth, and that we can stand on His Words? What are the fundamental truths in the Bible that are the foundation of your beliefs? Can we believe what Jesus says, or not?

As far as believing Christians being labeled as radicals by the world, and grouped with the other undesirables that the sincere pastor listed above, it is of little concern.

Jesus warned us: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. “He who hates Me hates My Father also John 15:18-23

Nicodemus said to them, “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?” They answered him, “You are not also from Galilee, are you?

My answer? ... Yes, and I'm proud of it!

God Bless you my Friends, Bob

In order to better expand upon the topic of truth, This post has been reprinted from Paradox Principles 5/15/2010

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