We live at a time where the concept of ‘truth’ has been attacked and undermined with political correctness and the pretence of ‘tolerance’. Black and white values are no longer permitted – society prefers everything to be a shade of grey. The idea that something is ‘true’ is usually ridiculed as being narrow-minded and bigoted and this is never more the case than with religious belief. Even when two ideas are mutually exclusive (e.g. Islam saying God has no son versus Christian’s saying Jesus is God’s Son), we are forced to accept there is ‘some’ truth in both – this is clearly absurd as either one is true whilst the other is false or neither are true. We are no longer able to critically examine claims to determine the truth without the fear of causing offence and being seen as intolerant.
It is important to see this pseudo-scientific nonsense for what it is – it removes all points of reference and absolutes replacing them with half-truths, distortion and an artificial notion of tolerance (which is actually quite intolerant). We have reached a point where society simply cannot handle the truth – our culture is super-sensitive and hyper-precious with feelings. This suppresses the truth and allows falsehood to thrive as honest discussion and exchange of ideas become impossible. Any remote notion of ‘truth’ we have is replaced with the latest trendy ideas and fads as a rudderless society searches for meaning in this crazy environment.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus was at pains to stress he was telling the truth – he uses the expression, “I tell you the truth” at least 22 occasions. This doesn’t mean He wasn’t telling the truth the rest of the time He simply wanted to stress the importance of something and was possibly anticipating a time when the truth of His words would be questioned. Jesus also claimed to BE the truth – this is an audacious claim and one that is surely worthy of investigation. If true, His words must be taken very seriously indeed as He certainly backed up His words with actions which is something we rarely see now.
In our culture, it has become very hard to accept someone is telling the truth as our experience of people’s integrity is hopelessly polluted from our experiences of being lied to – our politicians, media, scientific establishment and virtually every other opinion-formers often attempt to deceive us through half-truth and exaggeration. It has become impossible to trust anyone and we have never been more skeptical of the information we are fed. Jesus Christ was uniquely different – Jesus was never found to lie and His life was entirely consistent with His words. There has never been an individual who better demonstrated He was telling the truth. Not only that, Jesus spoke of infinitely serious issues that affect everyone – if He was telling the truth, what He said affects us all.
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)
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. (1 Timothy 2:4-7)
If you are not a Christian, our prayer is simply that you investigate the life of Jesus with an open mind – faith in Jesus and the accounts of His life have nothing to hide. Scrutinize the gospels with the genuine desire to find the truth – this should not just be an intellectual exercise but also a spiritual one as Jesus Christ is the key to both.
Fraud and deception only dread examination, truth embraces it (Samual Johnson)