Post truth seems to be a popular phrase these days – the concept that you can cherry pick your facts to fit your world view. I really struggle with this because I believe there is only one truth. You don’t get to decide what is true. Something is either true or it isn’t.
Truth just is.
George Orwell once said “the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” One just has to watch the news to see how true this is. People identify as all sorts of things, and no one is allowed to dispute it because each of us get to define our own version of truth.
I think truth is really important. I was chatting to a friend a couple of days ago and the subject of truth came up. When it comes to my faith, I want to know the truth – and once found, I want to share it with others, so they can know the truth too. My desire to be right doesn’t always come across in the way I intend (not everyone feels the love behind my sharing) – when I have hold of a truth, I can get quite evangelical about it. The conflict arises when others have found their own truth. The problem is we can’t both be right.
I want to be right – not in a “I’m better than you” sort of way, but in a “this Christianity thing is really important and if I’m sharing it with someone I want to be sure I am sharing the right thing, not some near truth.
Later that evening, I got to thinking about something Jesus said in John’s gospel. . “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always taken that to mean the pursuit of knowledge (about the right things) would bring the freedom Jesus was talking about. I mean, if you study hard, read lots, listen to lots of clever preachers, you have to be free from all the confusion of not knowing things. I’ve spent large parts of my life studying, striving for that freedom that I knew would come if I just pursued truth just a little bit more.
The issue is that when I do that, I don’t feel free. Every time I think I’m there, someone suggests something else that I need to learn and the cycle starts again.
I don’t believe that Jesus wants to tie us up in knots like that – so maybe I’ve missed something.
I think maybe the answer comes later on in John chapter 14, verse 6.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus says here that He is the truth.
And the life.
And the way.
I wonder if The Way to real Life, meaningful Life, Life that lasts (eternally) is through knowing The Truth.
My more recent life experience is that this is true. The only real freedom comes from knowing Him. Books are great. Listening to sermons either “live” or as podcasts useful, but nothing beats spending time with the one who made you, one who has plans for you that are “beyond what you can ask or imagine.”
The beauty of this is that I still get to study. The difference is that now I am searching for Him, not searching for information about Him. It’s a journey – I hope you’ll join me on it – I guarantee it’s worth it.
And that’s the truth.