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Chapter 8 - The Value of Truth
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. - Proverbs 23:23
We can see some of the value of truth inversely by considering the effectiveness of lies. The promulgation of the idea of evolution is only part of the war Satan is waging against truth in general. We know that the bible tells us that Satan is the father of lies. We can also see the effectiveness of his strategy to eliminate truth in the success he has had in getting people to accept relativism as the basic way to look at life.
Fifty or sixty years ago it was not unusual to find people getting into fist-fights over politics or religion. This was not so much admirable, but reflective of a time when most people thought what was right and true was worth fighting for. Today, this seems primitive and almost laughable because currently one of the greatest social sins one can make is to make someone feel bad. Society has changed from truth based to feeling based. In a world that has no room for absolutes (like truth), the very idea of God seems a poor fit.
Truth cannot be truth if it is not absolute. This has not been a good time for Christianity because the bible calls four things 'truth', The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as well as the bible itself. These are the only absolutes and that by which all other things can be judged. When relativism is adopted, that which is absolute is rejected. The rejection of the absolute is a rejection of God. We can see how a reverence for truth was useful for the Bereans;
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. - Acts 17:10-11
Following truth is important for several reasons. It is the path of salvation because it leads us to eternal life in Jesus who is our Savior.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
It takes us out of the realm of relativity which is ruled by the passions (feelings) of the heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? - Jeremiah 17:9
It frees us from the enslaving power of sin
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? - Romans 6:16
It frees us from being manipulated by Satan;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. - 2 Timothy 2:26
It is the only true freedom
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. - John 8:31-32
Truth is the way to escape the fate that awaits those who seek only self. Self is consumptive, corruptive, and destructive. The worst elements are more observable in things like heroin addiction and alcoholism. However, the guy sacrificing his family to get a promotion, the girl in a bar trolling for attention, or the student badgering her parents to buy clothes that her 'friendsí will find acceptable are all examples of lives headed towards an emptiness of self that the passing years only make worse.
Truth illuminates a path out of the bleak and darkening life towards which selfishness propels us. Truth allows us to see the path that leads to Christ who is truth and in whom we can have life eternal. Truth also shows us that the only real happiness is in the selflessness of love seen in giving rather than the selfishness seen in taking.
Following a path of truth allows us to build up layers of experience that bring us to ever increasingly deeper levels of truth and closer to our Savior. However, some Christians are presented with a 'package' of denominational doctrinal dictums that they are told are 'true' and are presented as a substitute for experiential truth such that by acknowledging them as true one can benefit from them just as if they had had the experiences themselves. Sadly, spiritual maturity is not obtainable through someone else doing the 'heavy lifting'.
Radical Christianity is a call to examine our Christian faith and practice and follow the path of truth wherever it may lead. It is a process that starts with a recognition of the value of truth and taking up the responsibility to seek and grow in truth. Growing in truth is a process of coming closer to our Lord and Savior.
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