What Is Truth?

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Please open a Bible to the book of John, chapter 18, and locate verse 37. This text is in the midst of a fascinating dialogue between Jesus Christ and an official of the ancient Roman government. Here is the full text.

“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” (Jn 18:37-38)

A very poignant question is asked by Pilate: “What is truth?” It is a question that still echoes in the halls of academia, and in cathedrals and sanctuaries across our lands. Let us take a practical look at this subject in light of what claims to be a relatively new religious paradigm: Post Modernism.

We begin with a definition: Post-Modernism is a belief that truth is relative to the individual, and actually created by the individual. It is thinking that if I believe something, then my belief is true for me, but this truth need not be truth for someone else. Your belief, whatever it happens to be, is just as good as mine. It is an encouragement to believe anything you want to believe, and to accept other beliefs as valid – as valid as your own. We may informally call this, “toleration.”

In essence, it is a statement that truth is defined and created by the people who believe it.

In defining truth, I myself would assume that any belief is true to the degree that it is consistent with reality, and false to the degree that it is inconsistent with reality. I would infer from this assumption that when two people experience a legitimate disagreement on some matter of truth (as opposed to semantic misunderstandings or poor/incomplete communication), at least one of them is wrong/inaccurate/incorrect.

I reason this way because of what I learn from the physical realm. If two people have a disagreement about gravity, one believes in gravity and the other one does not, and they both jump off of a tall building, will they both fall? It depends on whether there really is gravity or not, doesn’t it? Truth has to do with reality, which is independent of what people believe about reality.

How does Post-Modernism view such a belief as mine?

Well, since the Post-Modernist claims that any belief is as valid as any other, then my rejection of Post-Modernism, this rejection being itself a belief, must be just as correct and valid as any other belief. Post-Modernism must therefore accept my rejection of Post-Modernism as valid. Thus Post-Modernism must reject its own claim that any belief is as valid as any other … and is therefore shown to be nonsense.

To say that two people with conflicting beliefs about anything are both entirely and equally correct and completely valid in their beliefs is irrational: it is inconsistent with any sort of logic or reason. To claim that two conflicting beliefs are valid is to strip the word valid of its meaning. To say that two opposing ideologies are entirely true is to reject the concept of truth. It is to claim that there is no truth, that no belief is relevant, that all belief is irrelevant, which essentially implies that there is no valid experience of reality.

Sounds to me like we may have come full circle, back to where Pilate was two millennia ago, standing face to face with Jesus Christ Himself. Perhaps we could think of Pilate as a Post-Modernist. Pilate did not accept the concept of truth, even though Pilate was staring Him in the face. Post-Modernism is perhaps not so new after all; it is evidently as old as Man.

Doesn’t Post-Modernism betray itself when it resents and despises those who claim to understand spiritual reality? The Post-Modernist is really only expressing hatred for the truth.

The reality is that truth itself cannot be a matter of respect … or disrespect … or opinion … or toleration or intolerance; it is a matter of … reality!

The greatest Person Who ever lived – measured by any reasonable standard — said, “I am … the truth.” (Jn 14:6)

This Person, Jesus Christ, is the only Being who has ever claimed such a thing, that He is truth itself, with integrity … and He backed His words with many infallible proofs, based upon physical reality. He healed the sick, gave sight to those blind from birth, cleansed the lepers, gave hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb. He raised the dead. As a homeless man, forsaken by his own family, he befriended the poor, the fatherless, the widow, and the child. He denounced false religion. He denounced hypocrisy. He denounced materialism. He denounced racism. He denounced treachery. He denounced perversion and corruption and dishonesty. He approved of loving God with all of your heart, mind, strength, soul, and body, and your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus Christ was intolerant of wickedness. He said the world was wicked and that He had come to show us the way to God. He said that He Himself was THE Way to God … the only way: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) He did not accept any other belief system as valid. He condemned every lie, and He proclaimed the truth … spiritual reality.

He said he would be crucified by the religious leaders of his day. He was crucified by them.

He also said that three days after his crucifixion he would rise again from the dead. And that was in a day when rising from the dead was not generally viewed as a desirable thing.

His tomb is empty.

Once we become familiar with the political, religious, and cultural realities of Christ’s day, it becomes clear that no one would have fabricated a religion like this. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the culmination of more than a millennia of history of the Jewish people, predicting that Christ would do this and why he would do it … and that particular history could not have been fabricated. This is all the proof we need.

Jesus Christ, the Jewish messiah, said He would rise again from the dead.

He did.

He said He has provided infallible proof for us today of the nature and reality of God. Any sincere soul may find Him.

The spiritual realm is reality. We have abundant proof that God is real. Jesus Christ is alive and well. He is the Son of God. Presuming we can ignore him and create truth for ourselves won’t change anything about reality, it will only blind the hardened heart so that it hates reality. Hating reality is not a good thing.

There will come a Day when Jesus Christ will expose all arrogance and presumption and hatred for exactly what it is. Those who would survive that Day should seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near. He is, and actually can be found.

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