The Problem of Truth :: By Steve Schmutzer

Truth always comes at a cost.

Discovering truth is laborious. Exposing it is risky. Speaking the truth is unpopular, and it invites ridicule. Defending the truth can even result in death.

Honestly, I can relate to the first four of those situations. Hopefully, I can avoid the fifth.

There’s no way around the fact that being an ally of truth is a choice marinated with perilous implications. It’s a big reason why so many people choose to dilute truth or deny it instead.

These opening remarks demand the question, “What is truth?”

It’s not the first time that question’s been asked. The Roman Prefect, Pilate, asked it about 2,000 years ago. He directed the question to Jesus who was standing in front of him and who had rightly claimed to be the source of all truth (John 18:37-38).

Like so many people today, Pilate questioned the concept of truth. He doubted the evidence. As a result, he had little appreciation for right and wrong. These things were shifting sands for him, and so Pilate found it easier to join with popular opinion.

Pilate’s politics, his relationships, his decisions, his goals, and his convictions – all these things and more besides – were defined by something called “relativism.” His ideological loyalties lacked any real moral compass.

If something, or somebody, was personally inconvenient, it was eliminated. If it was useful to him instead, it was elevated.

The end justified the means for Pilate. He did and said what he wished to serve his personal agenda, and it made no difference if the process was corrupt. Pilate demonstrated he had no moral absolutes.

Moral absolutism is the belief that there are supreme and fixed standards against which moral issues can be assessed. This means certain actions are right or wrong, no matter their context.

Taken to its natural next step, this means that such actions are inherently moral or immoral, irrespective of the beliefs, motives, and wishes of the individual or culture that engages in them.

Finally, this – in turn – suggests that morals are inherent in the laws of the universe and within the nature of humanity.

And – – that would be correct! They are.

The Bible states the reason morals are inherent this way is God created us to have a conscience (Romans 2:15; 9:1). We were “programmed” from the very start to know right from wrong.

Early cartoons often showed a little devil on one shoulder and a little angel on the other. Our conscience bears witness to our inner value system that we were born with. Right and wrong are known to all of us, and we are held responsible for the choices we make.

“The truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). That’s another reference to Jesus Christ being the origin of all truth. It underscores that we are vulnerable to the clammy chains of deceit and lies when our life is not in a right relationship with our Creator.

All around me now, this reality is evidenced. I see many people who would rather subscribe to a lie – it’s so much easier. Many people don’t want to seek out the truth – it’s way too hard. Many people defend depravity – they want their own poor choices to be approved. And many people scoff at the plain facts – they want to believe other things which truth has exposed as fraudulent.

I’ve never seen a time when our world is more prone to follow falsehoods than I see now. Be that so – each of us is still responsible to seek out the truth. There is no ‘safety in numbers’ if the misled masses are ultimately headed over the cliff.

Our conscience is given to us as a warning system. It signals when we are straying from truth. Our conscience also serves to help us recognize God’s eternal power and divine nature, and it assists us in avoiding the consequences of our foolish choices (Romans 1:20).

The times are urgent. Here is the truth.

The truth is God loves you more than you can possibly imagine. He doesn’t want you to ruin your life now – and He especially doesn’t want you to lose it for all eternity. You have a choice here.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life” (John 14:6). Because He is the only way for salvation, it’s what you choose to do with Jesus that’s the most important choice you’ll ever make.

Do you accept Jesus as your Savior – or do you reject Him? There’s nothing in-between.

When it really comes down to it, Pilate had to face the truth about Jesus.

And, like it or not – so do you!