Lately, it seems like truth is under fire. We would be here all day talking about political truth; Manti T’eo, Heisman finalist, may or may not have been part of an elaborate hoax with an imaginary girlfriend; Lance Armstrong will supposedly tell the truth in a few hours; Chip Kelly, the Philadelphia Eagles’ new coach, told his players and school he wasn’t leaving Oregon hours before he left; Louie Giglio, previously the inaugural benediction provider, was removed from consideration after sharing his translation of Biblical truth.
Maybe the truth isn’t cut and dry. But where is truth and how can we find it? Our forefathers, who also seem to be under fire lately for their authorship in the Constitution in regards to gun control, wrote elsewhere in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Which truth were they talking about?
In John 8, Jesus told the Jewish audience who believed him, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” But how do we know the truth? How can we determine what God really wants? That’s the question people of faith have been asking for thousands of years.
Paul later wrote in Romans 1 that “the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse….They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.”
In between the 18th and 25th there are verses that are used by some to argue that the “truth” we should be focused on is about the sexuality of human beings, and that the idolatry of our current generation boils down to gender and sex. Regardless of what you think about the morality involved in sexuality, it seems to me that there’s much more we’re watering down and simplifying away when we consider truth. And Paul thought we better get our story straight if we really wanted to follow God!
In his excellent song simply called “Truth,” Lecrae lays out that “some folks say, ‘All truth is relative, it just depends on what you believe.’ But that means you believe your own statement; that there’s no way to know what’s really true. If what’s true for you is true for you and what’s true for me is true for me, what if my truth says your’s is a lie? Is it still true?”
Whether it’s simply giving our word, denying God’s love to individuals based on their decisions, or misrepresenting our faith by our decisions, we are all peddling truth and lies. If we work to be “tolerant” rather than welcoming or loving, we can deny our own selves, and reject God in the process. But to deny that there is absolute truth is to deny our faith; if we deny the truth of sin, we water down the gospel to deny God the power to its fullest extent represented in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
We all know that Chip Kelly and Lance Armstrong lied (verdict is still out on Manti T’eo). We wouldn’t argue the facts. So if we believe that Jesus died on the cross to make the world right, then why did he do that? Because there was sin that couldn’t be forgiven without his sacrifice! “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, “Paul continued in Romans 3. But when we betray the truth, we can turn to the cross and be forgiven. That’s where grace trumps truth, tolerance, and sin. Thank God.