Wherefore Art Thou, Truth?

Don’t allow closed minds to deprive you of an abundant life . . .

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The following was posted five years ago under the title “Getting Traction in Your Life.” At that point in time I could not have envisioned a culture such as we are currently experiencing.

Thinking carries a moral imperative

My purpose then was to point to the only truth we can depend on. Since that time I posted  “Navigating True North, in a ‘Post-Truth’ World,” a look at the unbelievable growth in relative truth, which is no truth at all.

I believe these truths are more pertinent today than ever, as we witness apostasy in the Church like never before. This is true worldwide, but perhaps at a greater shift in the USA.

“To think well and usefully a man must be endowed with certain indispensable qualifications. He must, for one thing, be completely honest and transparently sincere. Another qualification is courage. The timid man dare not think lest he discover himself, an experience to him as shocking as the discovery that he has cancer. The sincere thinker comes to his task with the abandonment of a Saul of Tarsus, crying, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Thinking carries a moral imperative. The searcher for truth must be ready to obey truth without reservation or it will elude him.” [A.W.Tozer Devotional; Chasing Truth]

The very definition of truth negates any idea that it can be relative.


Foundational truth, guided by wisdom, is the only means by which an individual – and hence a society – will weather the inevitable storms of change. Unfortunately there is a strong movement in these times to sell the idea that truth is relative. We hear this stated oftentimes, in various ways, but few people ever stop to evaluate what that actually means. It might sound good, perhaps even intellectual. Acceding to such a philosophy makes us feel we are connected with the mainstream. Rarely do we hear opposing views to dissuade us. But, truth is NOT relative. Truth apart from wisdom is a dangerous thing. “Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.” (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

The very definition of truth (‘a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality’; Merriam-Webster) negates any idea that it can be relative. There are some areas where there is little disagreement on that. For example, does anyone believe that 2 + 2 does not equal 4? No, there will be no argument with that because it can be seen in concrete form, and there is no moral dilemma associated with it. Each person’s fingerprints are unique. DNA is unique. The laws of thermodynamics are repeatable. In fact, the very essence of research into the physical worlds of health, science, physics, etc, is based on repeatable norms and baseline truths. Rather than dispute these basics the scientist/mathematician accepts them as foundational truth and builds from them.

Why, then, do we so quickly jump to the conclusion that truth applied to life can be relative in certain areas, e.g. morality and the realm of faith? Most, if not all historians agree that moral decline precipitated the fall of the Roman Empire. However, social commentators in the twentieth century have viewed the contemporary decline in morals within Western civilizations as proof we are evolving to a more enlightened state. If God is the Creator of everything (a foundational truth that man has denigrated over the past three hundred years) then every aspect of His axiomatic Self is foundational and fixed. “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens.” (Proverbs 3:19) There must, by definition, be foundational truths that are not variable over time and cultures and generations.

In Western civilization the student has become so full of himself/herself, that he/she questions the very foundations of the knowledge gained from the teacher. Our ego and associated pride create hindrances to accepting the truth of the ages and to realizing just how simple foundational truth can be. “The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.” (Simone Weil) Perhaps we have so dissected the Word of God that it no longer bears resemblance to His authorship, and we then, arrogantly, say we have proven there to be error. The classic conundrum!

The drive to justify self-centered, amoral and immoral lifestyles is gaining so much momentum that any truth standing in the way must be disavowed and discredited. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

A genuine seeker of truth, regardless the venue, remains objective and open to evaluate whatever she finds. “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29, emphasis mine). This could be considered a challenge by Almighty God. It is one that a large number of people have accepted and have proven true. James, the brother of Jesus, said this: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

Don’t be afraid of truth. Don’t allow closed minds to deprive you of an abundant life available through a relationship with the only living God. Seek Him through His Word, the Bible. His Spirit will be your guide

Open Letter to Mr. Rich Stearns, World Vision

Mr. Rich Stearns, President                                                                                       31 August 2016

World Vision

P. O. Box 70399

Tacoma, WA   98481-0399

Dear Mr. Stearns:

This letter is to regretfully inform you of our decision to eliminate our financial support for World Vision. Our real regret is for Nazzy Lungu, (ID/Pledge Number  ___), the young lady in rural Zambia we have been supporting since 2006.

My wife and I watched with sorrow as the you and the WV leadership took a stand in favor of non-biblical marriage, contrary to the very clear presentation of God that marriage is between one man (physiologically born male) and one woman (physiologically born female). You disingenuously backed off of that position when a large number of Christians threatened to drop their support. Our younger daughter made that move, withdrawing her support of the girl she had been supporting for nearly 10 years. We decided to maintain our support of our child, for Nazzy’s sake. However, it was obvious your theological position was set in stone, even though you backed away from its implementation.

This most recent problem brought to the forefront your apparent support of a two-state land grab in Israel. Your people supposedly did not know the person you hired to oversee the WV funds was 1) not a Christian, 2) had a background with the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Palestinian groups, and 3) was recruited to infiltrate World Vision. That level of incompetence does not speak well of your organization. After that, when informed by the Israeli government of the fact that your representative was funneling WV money into the radical jihadist organizations, you chose to ignore the problem (and probably aided in the deaths of numerous Israelis and Palestinians).

After a little digging, it became clear to us that you hold a favorable view to Replacement Theology; a spiritually dangerous position and an idea that cannot be supported by Scripture (ref. News Article). And you are allowing that position to direct your decisions with regard to your relationship (or lack thereof) with Israel.

You are using the hundreds of millions of dollars given to support children and whole villages around the world to advance your hidden theological and political agenda. How does that set with your Mission Statement and Corporate Charter?

It is for these reasons we are withdrawing our support for World Vision. Please close our account and remove us from your mailing list.

Sincerely,

Evil Unrestrained

A sample of News Headlines in the US from December 16th, 2011.

  • A gunman with a rifle opened fire at a Southern California Edison office in Irwindale on Friday, killing two employees and wounding two others before taking his own life.
  • A Penn State assistant football coach testified Friday that in 2002 he saw Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy and that he reported it, in graphic detail, to Coach Joe Paterno and two senior Penn State University officials.
  • 5 shot dead in small town west ofKankakee, including boy, girl and baby
  • The state medical examiner has ruled that the death of aFloridaA&MUniversitydrum major last month was a homicide after concluding that the student was severely beaten in a hazing incident and died within an hour.

In every one of these situations someone has made a choice to pursue a path of evil, but it did not start with this choice. The long slide to unrestrained evil starts with one poor choice, generally insignificant and unnoticed by others.

Evil unrestrained leads to excessive perversions.

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”  (Romans 1:28-31)

A familiar statement made in the 19th century by British Lord Acton stands true:

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

We see this is many nations where the rights of the people have been severely limited or extinguished, and where there is no freedom of speech.

  • Excess in any material form generally has no good outcomePower can be used for good

But – abuse of power leads to horrible consequences

  • Pursuit of financial gain can lead to strong commerce and businesses, jobs, security, etc.

But – unrestrained greed will lead to abuse of people, friends, coworkers, etc., excessive desires, cheating, lying

  • Sexual intimacy was created by God for good, to be shared in the marriage bonds, and for procreation.

But – abuse or excess of this desire, in any context (including marriage), leads to sexual addiction, excessive desire for personal physical gratification; and, unrestrained, it leads to many forms of sexual perversion.

  • Eating is a necessity of life and can be pleasurable.

But – unrestrained desire for food leads to many forms of physical ailments, as well as obesity and its consequences.

God’s way is one of selfless pursuit, loving others as yourself, placing their good ahead of yours.

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

Colossians 1:10

God stands ready to provide the wisdom to make wise choices.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6

There is a sense of entitlement, found in affluent societies, and it battles against any form of selflessness.

But the courage to make wise choices, against our deepest inner cravings, against the pressure of our peers or the social setting we operate in – that requires strength of our own will. That emanates from within our soul – the character that has been planted there. And it is upon that foundation that strength of character builds.

While many in the world (might I say most) scoff, laugh or sneer at leaders who make the hard but necessary choices to do the right thing, deep within there is an admiration of men and women who are capable of doing just that; who can plow through the seas of uncertainty and stay the course.

God is the “Ultimate North Star.” He will guide us to true north. But that path is never easy..

Getting Traction in Your Life

Foundational truth, guided by wisdom, is the only means by which an individual – and hence a society – will weather the inevitable storms of change. Unfortunately there is a strong movement in these times to sell the idea that truth is relative. We hear this stated oftentimes, in various ways, but few people ever stop to evaluate what that actually means. It might sound good, perhaps even intellectual. Acceding to such a philosophy makes us feel we are connected with the mainstream. Rarely do we hear opposing views to dissuade us. But, truth is NOT relative. Truth apart from wisdom is a dangerous thing. “Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.” (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

The very definition of truth (‘a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality’; Merriam-Webster) negates any idea that it can be relative. There are some areas where there is little disagreement on that. For example, does anyone believe that 2 + 2 does not equal 4? No, there will be no argument with that because it can be seen in concrete form, and there is no moral dilemma associated with it. Each person’s fingerprints are unique. DNA is unique. The laws of thermodynamics are repeatable. In fact, the very essence of research into the physical worlds of health, science, physics, etc, is based on repeatable norms and baseline truths. Rather than dispute these basics the scientist/mathematician accepts them as foundational truth and builds from them.

Why, then, do we so quickly jump to the conclusion that truth applied to life can be relative in certain areas, e.g. morality and the realm of faith? Most, if not all historians agree that moral decline precipitated the fall of the Roman Empire. However, social commentators in the twentieth century have viewed the contemporary decline in morals within Western civilizations as proof we are evolving to a more enlightened state. If God is the Creator of everything (a foundational truth that man has denigrated over the past three hundred years) then every aspect of His axiomatic Self is foundational and fixed. “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens.” (Proverbs 3:19) There must, by definition, be foundational truths that are not variable over time and cultures and generations.

In Western civilization the student has become so full of himself/herself, that he/she questions the very foundations of the knowledge gained from the teacher. Our ego and associated pride create hindrances to accepting the truth of the ages and to realizing just how simple foundational truth can be. The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.” (Simone Weil) Perhaps we have so dissected the Word of God that it no longer bears resemblance to His authorship, and we then, arrogantly, say we have proven there to be error. The classic conundrum!

The drive to justify self-centered, amoral and immoral lifestyles is gaining so much momentum that any truth standing in the way must be disavowed and discredited. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

A genuine seeker of truth, regardless the venue, remains objective and open to evaluate whatever she finds. “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29, emphasis mine). This could be considered a challenge by Almighty God. It is one that a large number of people have accepted and have proven true. James, the brother of Jesus, said this: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

Don’t be afraid of truth. Don’t allow closed minds to deprive you of an abundant life available through a relationship with the only living God. Seek Him through His Word, the Bible. His Spirit will be your guide