In the Absence of Truth
Our pastor has been preaching a series called “The Beautiful Resistance”. It’s all about how to resist the pull of culture as a follower of Jesus. He’s prefaced his teaching every week by pointing out that we live in a post truth culture. Meaning that our culture’s version of truth is a slippery, sliding scale that is usually based on how each individual feels about something.
A friend and I have been discussing the vaccine. We both have been in research mode since it became available and for everything we find that makes us feel better about taking it, there is equal and opposite information that has made us want to refuse (Please don’t send me more information one way or another…I promise, I’m well informed). This information is coming, in both directions, from educated, experienced, trustworthy sources. And it all seems “break even”…pushing us into making a decision based on “our truth”.
The internet is kind of like that. We have so much information now, that a lot of it just cancels itself out. At least it would if we took the time to dig into an opposing viewpoint…which most of us don’t. If we’re honest, we just want someone to confirm what we already thought…someone to agree with “our truth”.
And you have people claiming absolutely, without a doubt, that they know the truth. The system is rigged. It can’t be trusted. If you only knew what they knew, you’d be as angry as they are. And if you don’t care about what they care about, you are a miserable human who should be ashamed. You must be blind!
Sigh. This world is exhausting with its dryer cycle of facts and theories and studies and statistics. It’s a world where the truth can be spun into webs of lies, and spiders hide awaiting their next victim. It’s a world where people who “have the truth” miss the whole entire point. It’s a world where those same people are so blinded to the truth about themselves and their motives that you can barely say anything to them without getting mauled.
At least Pilate asked “What is truth?” We have generations walking around so sure of themselves…so confident that the opinions they’ve formed are “truth”…at least it’s their truth. As if truth can be personalized.
The other day, my husband said, “well, at least no one is denying that 1+1=2.” And I responded “not yet.” Why aren’t they? I mean, who told us that one plus one is two. Maybe they were wrong. And what happens to the world when one plus one doesn’t equal two anymore. Can’t we all decide what we want one plus one to equal? Why is there even a need for one? Maybe we should just throw out numbers all together. They limit us after all. And we need more choices...more freedom…more ability to make a world like we envision it.
Can you see where the absence of truth takes us? Not into freedom, but into insanity. That’s where we are right now. On the verge of insanity.
And in insanity, it’s survival of the fittest. Everyone is out for themselves. There is no goodness or love or compassion or good deeds. Everything has a selfish motive and no one cares how “their truth” affects anyone else’s truth. In a post truth culture, it’s not surprising that anxiety and depression are on the rise. It’s not shocking that people are destroying each other with their words and cancelling each other over small offenses. It’s not amazing that we are so divided.
It would be so easy to become hopeless if we didn’t have free access to a solid, standard of Truth. But we do. And this kind of Truth has the power to set us free from all the other kinds.
Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” We don’t have to have all the answers if we get this one thing right. Not because the answers aren’t important, but because when we know Jesus, we have an insight into this earthly realm that isn’t available outside of Him.
When we come to Jesus, we are given His Spirit. That Spirit dwells within us and guides us into all truth. We are no longer grasping at straws or covering our eyes and picking a number. We have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. We not only make better decisions because we are seeking the Omniscient One, but that same Source works all things together for good for us.
I’m not saying that Christians should be dumb or ill informed. I’m not saying we should stick our heads in the sand singing “I surrender all”. Nope, it’s better than that. We know the One who already knows it all. His Spirit dwells in us. He knows us so well that He will give us exactly what we can handle…exactly what we can help with…exactly what direction we need to go…and when we accidentally mess it up, He cleans it up and makes it okay.
But we have to keep shifting our eyes back to Him. We can’t expect the world to lead and guide us. The world only has its own best interests at heart.
When we know the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we don’t have to know everything else…because He does.
Turn your eyes on Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the “truths” of earth will grow strangely dim in the Light of His glory and grace.