The Rev. Lou Tiscione
This famous question was asked by the Roman Governor of Jerusalem who was the authority “ordained by God” to crucify Jesus. Of course, his name was Pontius Pilate. He asked Jesus this question already having determined the answer. In Pilate’s mind, truth was secondary. He believed that the most important thing was power. Ironically, Pilate was right. However, he did not acknowledge the truly sovereign power, God Himself. He was standing in front of the truth and was blind to Him!
The observers of Culture have called our time in the West as the Post Modern Era. Simply stated, this era subverts the importance of truth as Pilate did. In the Post Modern’s mind, there is no such thing as absolute truth. One of the symptoms is reflected in our culture by what is called spirituality. We see it in movies and television. There are popular dramas centered in the world beyond this one. Talk shows on T.V. have segments to discuss the importance of having some kind of spiritual connectedness. People seem to be on never-ending quests to experience the latest spiritual guru’s method for attaining a deep spiritual fulfillment. You may have heard someone say, “It’s all about the journey.”
The obvious problem with this philosophy is that the “journey” may indeed end in destruction.
Opposed to this is what is called truth. The simple definition is: truth is reality. The Bible teaches that men naturally suppress the truth. We like to press reality down so as to seek to live above it or ignore it. A friend of mine once said that denial is not only a river in Egypt. We can deny or suppress the truth all we want. But we must live in and face reality.
Every time we look around, we see men and women telling us that truth is relative. What’s true for you may or may not be true for me. Those who see reality are referred to as simple-minded or bigots. Their charge against those of us who recognize absolute truth is: “Who made you the purveyor of truth?” The political world is filled with such charges. There are those whose sole effort it seems is to “make numbers” say whatever is expedient. We have poll numbers, jobless numbers, etc. that are designed to support one position over and against another.
The church is no different. Those who claim to speak for the church would have us believe that it’s all about relationships and that truth is something contrary to what they would call love. They would claim that all this talk of doctrine is of no value. What’s important, they would say, is one’s relationship to Jesus and to others. This is true. However, it never enters the realm of possibility in their minds that there are many different Jesuses proclaimed. Having a relationship with the real Jesus is what matters. There is only one true Savior. He said that He is the truth and the life and the way. He is the revealed Jesus of the Bible. Dare I say that He is not simply known in the eye of the beholder? He is the reality of life!
The church’s job, these leaders would say, is to seek to meet “felt needs.” Or to offer courses on how to have a better marriage or how to live as a single person, or divorced person. Rather than to see that the church is to teach what is in accordance with sound doctrine, what the Bible teaches. This emphasis will enable believers in the church to apply God’s word to every circumstance of life as people who have been set apart by Him. Thereby believers will be equipped to make a difference in the world for the glory of God.
So to answer my question which is the title of this short article, let me be bold and say very simply and clearly that truth is that which is real. Truth matters since it is reality. By God’s grace, He has revealed truth. His name is Jesus. He is the only begotten one of God, not born, but eternally proceeding from the Father. He is the one revealed in the Bible. He is the one offered in the gospel. All life is lived in response to Him. Every relationship is designed by God to find meaning as a result of knowing the Truth, Jesus.