— By LOU TISCIONE
It seems that every day a new story is breaking that reveals a lie told to the public. I am amazed that some, possibly many, don’t seem to care.
This troubling symptom of our American culture leads me to ask, “Is truth important?” I am a Christian pastor of an evangelical church. I face people every day who are frequently unaware of the truth or fail to see its relevance. I have talked with many over the years who have lived as though truth didn’t matter. In effect, their lives were lived opposed to reality, since truth is reality.
I know the answer to my question. Every genuine Christian likewise knows the answer. The obvious answer is: truth is important! It must be important because truth is reality. In order to avoid reality, men have developed the philosophy that there are no absolutes.
The only absolute that these folks hold is that there are no absolutes. Within this philosophical system the governing dogma, “there are no absolutes”, everything is relative except the absence of absolutes. That is, the only absolute is that there are no absolutes. If you think that this is confused thinking, you’re right. It is confused because it is illogical.
There are many biblical texts that emphasize the absolute standard of God’s word, which is always true and reliable. Amos 7:8: “... The LORD said, “Behold, I am setting a plumb live in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them; the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
The plumb line that God showed Amos was the word of God. This vision prefigured the coming Messiah. Jesus is the standard, the plumb line. He said that He is the truth. (John 14:6)
Concerning our public environment, the “culture of lying” that surrounds us should be no surprise.
Jesus gave His assessment of mankind. He said, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19)
Men will always seek to hide the truth so as to keep their evil deeds from the light of day. The Apostle Paul wrote this, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”
Truth is important and men lie. So what are men and women of integrity to do? Jesus taught His disciples that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)
I believe that truth in the public sphere is a necessity. I also believe that those who are people of integrity have a responsibility to expect our leaders to tell the truth. The starting place is close to home. Jesus said, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes” or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” (Matthew 5:37)
Individuals of integrity are the starting point, especially professing believers in the risen Lord Jesus.
We must look for truth in those who we elect for public office. Truth matters and it matters profoundly and is absolute.
A few years ago the mantra by the relativists was, “character doesn’t matter.” We learned how far off that principle took us from the ideals of our country. Respect was lost because world leaders saw what was put forth as leadership in our country.
We are living in a critical time. Our nation is at a cross road. Truth is one way and error another. Error and lies will only lead to disaster. Jesus said that the truth will set you free. We stand for freedom. In order to represent freedom we must be seen as truthful. To be seen as truthful, our leaders must be men and women who know that there is absolute truth. Those who do should be held accountable to live what they profess. Those whose past behavior reveals that they are relativists should not be elected by a people desiring truth.
My prayer is that we as a nation would move from electing form over substance and support candidates for public office who are men and women of truth.
Lou Tiscione is pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA).