Truth matters, and it doesn't change. So, why would you be concerned? As Christians, truth is a cornerstone of our faith. But for a large segment of society, the nature of truth is being redefined.
TV stations spend thousands of dollars covering criminal trials. Observers ask, "What's the truth? What really happened?" Witnesses are called, sworn in, and give statements under oath. They promise to tell the truth.
How interesting to return to history's most important trial. Jesus is led in, having experienced a lack of sleep the previous night. He has already suffered abuse and beatings at King Herod's palace. Governor Pilate, dressed in a polished military outfit, stands transfixed at Jesus' words, hearing the words we still read today.
Jesus stated, "In fact, for this reason, I was born, and for this, I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
"What is truth?" Pilate asked, amazed at the quiet testimony from a man the Jews wanted to be killed. He didn't accept Jesus' words and was initially unwilling to charge him. A few minutes later, though, he washed his hands of any further conversation. He had turned away from the one who said, "The truth will set you free."
In our day, the concept of truth is challenged. We hear a man or woman say, "My truth is this, …" They give a personal observation. Then a listener responds, showing displeasure. "Yes, but my truth is different from yours!"
What's happened to truth, and why does it matter?
In our pluralistic society, truth has become synonymous with experience. One's personal worldview dictates his or her reality. Thus, truth has become the expression of relative values, not absolutes. Multiculturalism permits everyone to claim various facts. "If enough people are willing to believe in an idea within an information ecosystem, then it must be true to the consumers within that social space," writes the CBC.
You might hear something like this. "There are many religions and philosophies in the world, so how can there only be one truth?" we are told. "Claiming a single truth is non-sensical. Nothing is definite. Do you claim to know everything? You are looking through the lens of only one religion, disregarding the basic principles of globalism. Everyone's opinions must be valued and examined objectively."
Doesn't a person change opinions and ideas throughout a lifetime? As we grow, we expand our relationships. Our minds absorb new facts, altering our perceptions and broadening our experiences. So, "speaking my truth" now may not be the same as "my truth will be ten years later." This way, truth, an absolute, is reduced to a flow of consciousness. It is subject to ongoing change.
I'm reminded of Paul's discipleship in the churches he planted. He instructed them not to "be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the TRUTH in love, we will grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ." Ephesians 4:14,15
Latin American Mission (Canada) works in eleven countries through missionaries and short-term volunteers. In our partnership agreements, we want to speak the truth. The Gospel must ring out clearly. Even when they show us at our worst, truthful words are better than half-truths or white lies. Our theme this year is satisfactorily bearing fruit, as the pictures above show grapes about to be harvested. May we always lead people to him who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
– The monthly blog from David Phillips, Interim Executive Director
This month, following the elections in Brazil, we are upholding the people of this large nation in our prayers.
Number of states in the country: 26 locally governed states and Brasília is the capital city.
The growth of Protestant churches began after the Civil War in the USA. Presbyterian and Baptist missionaries initiated their church planting in the early 1880’s. Today, as many as 22% of Brazilians worship in Protestant, Charismatic, Pentecostal, and indigenous denominations. Brazil sends more missionaries to unreached portions of the world than most European countries.