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20 Mar

“Jesus said . . . I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.”

Truth: [noun] 1. The quality or state of being true*; 2. That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality; 3. A fact or belief that is accepted as true.

*True: [adjective] 1. In accordance with fact or reality; 2. Accurate or exact; 3. Honest [archaic].

A significant percentage of the peoples of the earth believe that Jesus of Nazareth, quoted above, was, in fact, the Son of God. But whether that is believed or not, there is no doubt that this exceptional Man presented Himself in the above quote as “the Truth.” He did not present Himself as a “truth-teller” or even as representing a true concept. He presented himself as, in fact, truth itself. But in doing so, He received a response from a human being who had it in his power to condemn Jesus to a hideous death. Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Pilate was not being ironic or a sophist or even foolish in his question for “truth” is a very difficult concept to correctly understand especially given our human culture.

For instance, often truth—like beauty—is in the eye of the beholder. Most rational, objective and honest people consider truth to be accessible through the study of facts, another often-problematic concept. But facts, at least, do have concrete foundations to varying extents depending upon their origins. For instance, mathematical facts are concrete: two plus two does equal four at least in our present understanding of reality. To deny that, is to reject provable evidence of that fact. On the other hand, “scientific” facts can and do change as mankind learns more about the world around him. At one time, it was “a scientifically proven fact” that the atom was the smallest element of nature; now we know better so that “truth” has been abandoned in favor of one that has a more concrete and realistic foundation.

However, after one leaves the physical realm where a “known fact” can be proven [adding sodium to water produces a rather violent reaction!] one then enters into that part of man’s knowledge in which both “facts” and “truth” are subject to the vagaries of human intellect, reasoning and—often most important—desire! Many “historical facts” are the product of desire rather than rational and objective observation. When the “facts” can be skewed or influenced by the observer, the ultimate casualty is truth itself. Even if every effort is made to avoid prejudice and “wishful thinking,” it is possible for different people to come to different conclusions based upon the same facts for each brings to those facts his own “mental lens” that skews his particular view. That is why claims representing “truth” can be different and sometimes even diametric to other such claims arising from the same facts. This is a purely human condition and is not blameworthy in and of itself, as long as it does not arise from an effort to produce a desired result.

But now we come to the real problem and it is as old as Man himself. It is this human failing that has done more damage to mankind than all the wars and cruelties that have afflicted our species since we first achieved the ability to reason—and that is the matter of putting desire before truth or facts. A failure to arrive at the proper conclusion upon viewing the facts is a simple human limitation. An intentional misrepresentation of those facts is the opposite of truth; it is the lie. That same Jesus of Nazareth—also known as Jesus the Christ—spoke of the adversary of both God and man thus: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” In other words, no matter what motivates people to deliberately reject incontestable facts—and thus, the truth—they are following the path of evil and, as is obvious to all but the deluded (and the wicked), no good can come of evil. Indeed, the further away from truth any society moves, the more wicked and destructive it becomes. Soon, as with tainted water, there is no part of it that is healthy, whole and good.

Reformed communist George Orwell whose book 1984 was meant to warn but has come in fact to predict, had many things to say about the society that embraced falsehood: “In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act;” and “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” This latter quote is clearly demonstrated by the hostility of our present society to any who point out the actual facts of history in such matters as America’s misnamed “Civil War” including the current politically correct campaign against the heritage, history, heroes and monuments of the South—not to mention the ongoing efforts to destabilize America and the West through the importation of peoples and cultures both diametric and hostile to Western civilization. These Marxist strategies cannot stand in the face of the facts and truth of actual history and so those who speak those truths must be first ridiculed, then rebuked and finally condemned and eliminated from the society that has come to hate them for the danger they represent to it. For history is like a woven garment; it is interdependent. When there is an assault upon the facts of history, not only does the era under assault suffer, but everything before and after that era are adversely affected. Truth cannot be preserved incrementally; it is an all-or-nothing concept. The idea that truth can be maintained within the parameters of falsehood is an oxymoron; that is, a paradox.

In his book, A Pilgrim’s Regress, Christian apologist C. S. Lewis reveals a “pilgrimage” to the Kingdom of Christ. The first passage of the pilgrim is through the world as we see it, but as the pilgrim is forced to retrace his steps to find that kingdom he cannot reach through his first effort, he sees the world as it actually is—that is, freed from the wiles, disguises and deceits of wickedness. Of course, those same wiles are being used on us today in order to calm our concerns about the level to which our present “culture” has sunk morally and ethically. Yet, it is not hard to see how very far we have sunk from even a half century ago. The 1950s—perhaps the last era of relative innocence in the United States at least among its people if not its government and cultural institutions—would never have permitted the evils foisted upon us by those same institutions. The legalization of abortion could not have happened in the 1950s, neither would the destruction of traditional marriage or the removal of Christianity from the culture have been permitted by Americans. Any politician or civil leader—much less religious figure— who attempted such things would have been removed from his or her position and relegated to ignominy. Neither would the decent adults of that period put up with the contemporary behavior of America’s “youth” and certainly, our present “educators” would have been driven from their positions long ago in the name of sound education. But today, all that was good is now considered at best ignorant and at worst evil while all manner of vile wickedness is lauded and applauded as representing “enlightenment.” Truth is no longer even a paradox—it is as rejected and condemned as the Man who represents its reality. Once again, the world has crucified Truth and its ever fewer remaining adherents can only wait for the day when Truth will come again as promised—with power.

 


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