What is truth? What does it look like amid a health pandemic, economic uncertainty, and civil strife? Does truth look different when placed in the context of the current worldview? And how does it stack up against the biblical view we, as believers of Christ are to follow?
When Jesus was brought to Pilate for judgment, the curious ruler asked Jesus, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. (John 18:37-38)
The truth question in 2021
Pilate’s response to the question of truth is often repeated today. With the introduction of relativism, we too may be asking the same question. We demand fewer rules and more personal freedom. The answer to the truth question is dependent on who or what has the greatest influence on our life—man or God.
The prophets warned that a time would come when the matter of truth would cause great division among men. Lack of truth ultimately leads to deception, pride, and injustice (Is. 5:20-23). So here we stand, in 2021, a divided nation, fighting over, “what is truth?”
With that thought in mind, I’d like to recast an earlier WordBytes entitled, “Can you handle the truth?” I have changed the title to better fit the social context in which we now find ourselves. While there are many proposed definitions of the truth there can only be one. Time to answer the question, “Can we handle the truth in 2021?”
Can we handle the truth?
Especially when that truth is measured against the authority of Scripture and the lordship of Jesus Christ? We face a major challenge to walk in biblical truth while living in a postmodern world. Especially as we enter this second decade of the 21st century.
With all the political rhetoric and social bantering, we need truth. Behind the news bytes and sound bits, there is an intention movement to redefine “what truth is and what it isn’t”.
But can we really handle truth? What will we do when we receive it? Will we bury it? Ignore it? Or kill the person who brings it? That’s exactly what the Jews did to Jesus.
This inclination to “repackage” the truth is nothing new. It comes directly from the father of lies, Satan (John 8:44). We must be careful how we define truth, or we too may fall prey to the subtly of deception. “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?” (Gen. 3:1, NLT)
Does truth have a limited “shelf life”?
In decades past, people could depend on the media to communicate the “truth” regarding specific issues of the day. Newspapers, magazine publications and newscasters were committed to operate at the highest ethical standards.
In addition, we could depend upon our local leaders—civic or religious—to offer us truth. But over time that has changed.
Unfortunately, both media and individuals now offer opinions based on their personal agendas or corporate bias. Truth is now shaped by social media and image consultants—by the number of “likes”, “retweets” and “followers” one can amass. This leaves us “in search for truth”.
Truth and Realty
What is truth? Truth is defined by Webster as that which agrees with reality. Our reality and meaning are grounded in God. That reality began in the Garden of Eden. Created in God’s image, our purpose and destiny are tied to our identity in Him through Christ (Col. 3:3).
This reality was sidetracked by sin and replaced with Satan’s counterfeit that placed self on the throne where only Christ was to be seated and exalted. Because of Jesus’ atoning work on the Cross, our sins were forgiven, and we are now reconciled back to God (2 Cor. 5:18, 19).
When we affirm our faith, we acknowledge that we have died to our old sin nature (Gal. 5:24) and walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4). We no longer follow the worldview—its influence was negated by the Blood. Our meaning and reality is now realigned with God (2 Cor. 5:15). “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28a).
Connecting with Truth
More than ever before, we must connect with the only True Source of Truth, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior (John 14:6). God’s Word and the Spirit of Truth stand ready to silence the lies, myths and fables we might hear (2 Tim. 4:3-4). It is God’s truth that will guide our behaviors and our responses in this fallen world.
God is the only source of truth for our lives. Can we handle the truth? Do we dare to speak truth when the world doesn’t want to hear? In 2021, let us through the Holy Spirit have the courage and commitment to be Truth followers!