No matter what anybody may say, I know that the world is not made up of varied shades of gray. There IS such a thing as right and wrong, black and white, good and evil. There IS such a thing as absolute truth. Just because some people are so far gone that they are unwilling to acknowledge it, does not mean that it doesn’t exist. Everything is not subjective. Everything is not relative. Truth DOES exist. It absolutely exists. In fact, it is illogical to believe that truth is relative. That statement itself – “truth is relative” – is an absolute statement proposing that truth is absolutely relative. Not only is the statement absolute, but it is also a logical impossibility. It can not possibly be true. If it were true, then the statement – “truth is relative” – is itself a relative statement. If this is the case, then sometimes truth is NOT relative – meaning that sometimes there are absolutes. If absolutes exist, then this statement is false. So, you see, truth is not relative. Truth is absolute!
Are you still with me? Does your head hurt? I promise, I’m not trying to make your head spin. I just wanted to start there, because truth has become very unpopular in this day and age. Nobody really wants to hear it; and too few are willing to open up their mouths to speak the truth. This obviously applies to secular society, but not exclusively. Sadly, the “feel-good” messages that merely tickle ears and satisfy senses have become commonplace within the church. What ever happened to messages about purity, sin, discipline, persecution, sacrifice, obedience, suffering, repentance? Does anyone even preach about hell anymore? Too many churches have tried to make the gospel palatable to everyone who walks through the door, out of fear that somebody might get offended.
Here’s the thing about truth… Sometimes, it’s offensive. Truth is offensive because like a light, it exposes the hidden issues of the heart. Nobody wants to be exposed. Nobody likes to look at their own sins, weaknesses, or need to change. So, when someone shines a great big flashlight into the darkened depths of our hidden ugly, it’s offensive. That’s not the preacher’s problem. Sorry, but it’s not. The problem lies with the one who is offended. They now have a choice to make. Will they respond in humility and repentance? Or will they harden their heart and become embittered? The next step is theirs to make.
Now, let me get back to the issue of truth within the church, because it is a dire situation in desperate need of repair. Unfortunately, in an attempt to become “seeker sensitive,” many churches have become just the opposite. They have failed to present the Truth to the true seeker. Not only have they presented a watered-down, candy-coated gospel, but they have failed to introduce people to the person of Truth, the Holy Spirit. No wonder so many self-professed Christians have adopted the same carnal views and ideologies as the surrounding culture! How can they know Truth, if they have never met Him?
- John 14:15-17 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you”.
- John 16:13-15 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you”.
- 1 John 4:4-6 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
As children of God and followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be unlike the world around us. We can not allow the surrounding culture to influence us in such a way that it determines our views. We should be the ones that influence the culture. We are to be led by the Spirit of Truth, the ever-present guide that God has provided to help us and lead us into revelation. In a world of moral ambiguity, we are called to be different because we know the Truth. We, therefore, have a responsibility to shine the light of truth into the world. There IS such a thing as right and wrong, black and white, good and evil. If we will not open up our mouths and speak the truth, then who will?