Monday, February 3, 2014

Truth is True, Opinion can Counterfeit as Truth

National Monument to the Forefathers: Plymouth, Massachusetts.

  "The monument depicts Faith, and Faith is pointing to God and has an open Geneva Bible and a star of wisdom." Marshall Foster.  Photo and quote from Wikipedia. Statue is featured in the movie, Monumental, a movie about the bedrock beliefs that shaped America, starring Kirk Cameron.
Truth is always true. Truth cannot be manipulated. It either is the truth or it isn't the truth. If something is true and always will be true, it is incapable of being something it is not. It is no longer easy to talk about truth. It has become a 'dirty' little concept in many circles. Why is this? I could say why I think it is this way, but that isn't necessary. Truth represents a standard, an absolute, something unyielding. The natural parameters of truth, in its purity, get in the way of its fully being embraced. It has limits that determine behavior. It may be easier to denounce or avoid what is true because then a life can be lived without binding restraint.

If truth were to bend it would not be truth. The nature of truth means it cannot be manipulated. ‘Find your own truth’ is a statement one hears which seems to mean, what is true for that individual person.  That statement seems in-congruent with the steadfastness of truth. Yet, we all understand its meaning. It is a subjective truth, truth based on the individual’s belief. or dare I say, their opinion on what is true. In truth, true truth is based on something that will always remain true—the same--it will never change. It is wrong to steal. That will always be true, an agreed upon principle for behavior, even though people steal in little deceitful ways and big obtuse ways. The truth will always be the truth, regardless of whether it is believed or not. Truth stands alone. If it is an inconvenient truth, then it may be hidden or buried or disbelieved.

Understanding truth can be a little complicated. There was one time when I stood alone for something I believed in. It was in the workplace. I felt I must stand up if I was to be true to my own convictions and self. So, in a sense, the thing I stood up for may be perceived as ‘my own truth,’ and my colleagues, in their respect, were living out their ‘own truth.’ I believed in a truth but others did not see it as I saw it. We differed in our understanding, perceptions and beliefs, in a situation, it could be argued, where there was no true right or wrong. We all felt passionate about what we believed and it was not easy.

There are times when truth is being compromised. Whistle blowers seek to expose the truth, the coverup, the corruption, the wrong doings and wrong behaviors. This is difficult and even may be deadly. They know a truth, an unpopular truth, that to expose will be of potential risk to them. Someone I know experienced this very scenario. He was in a management position with an agriculture processing company. During the course of his work, he uncovered some inside corruption. He went to the top with his findings. The truth was quickly silenced. He was given notice. It stung. But he knew--that didn’t make it any less the truth. Spiritually speaking, truth is what binds the Bible together cover to cover.

Christ said some astonishing words that few, if any, could comprehend at the time. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” He was claiming to be The Truth, not just as a way to find truth. His sacrificial life (life, death, and resurrection) backed up these words. These were not empty promises with false hope nor were they rash words. Jesus’ death and resurrection validated his earlier claims, proving the Messenger’s message as true, a truth for in that day and still apropos for our present day and on ahead into future centuries.

People have an awareness of truth even if they do not believe the the concept of a universal truth. An argument for the defense of truth is found in everyone's conscience. Embedded within our thinking is a strong sense of right and wrong. Even a very young child displays an awareness of this. They will hide when they sneak something that doesn’t belong to them. People cry 'foul' when there is a cover-up or lack of equality in some way that affects their person or community or even nation. Fair treatment is action everyone understands and expects. “Just’ treatment is in the same category, both related to a sense of what is true, what is right societal behavior. “Speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” are not fanciful or empty words. When testifying in court, the unvarnished truth contains the facts,  as they were at the time and not as we wish they had been. Nothing but the truth is resolute. It cannot be manipulated through embellishment or minimization of details. Truth is connected to a code of behavior. Truth-telling has its basis in truth. Truth can not be shaken or destroyed. It remains and endures.
Jesus Christ makes no apology. His very life was a defending of truth. He was a Rock in the sifting sands of time and shifting waves of public opinion. To this day, we can measure truth by actualizing the life of Christ. The Sermon on the Mount, found in the gospel of Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7 is truth we are well advised to heed that it might go well with us. Framed in Christ’s words is how truth should be lived.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall  inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when other revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12) ESV 
 Truth, would not be truth if manipulated by changing days and societal mores. The things of which Christ said are most important are not on many agendas or to-do lists. That doesn't make them any less true. We see a few saints who qualify for the groupings listed above. Their understanding of truth is lived out God's way. It is as if God's truth flows into them and then flows out of their spirit. It is of a different quality than the world around them. Truth has a reality about it that frames the question. Many people believe that truth is relative. It it is relative, then it couldn't possibly be truth. The two are in contradiction.

A rose is a rose ...
#truth telling #opinion #spiritual #Beatitudes #Jesus and truth #relative truth #Monumental #Kirk Cameron

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