Sunday, March 25, 2007


Truth…is a four-letter word…

I am not an educated person. Never have been…never will be…nor will I profess to be. Even though I graduated with top honors at my high school, spent some six years toddling about on a college campus chasing a double major and currently take off-campus seminary classes, I’m constantly reminded, daily, that I am drastically un-educated. However, the life that I’ve accepted…the life I’ve been called to, is a breeding ground for knowledge…and wisdom. One thing I have learned, is, that the absorption of knowledge and wisdom is a choice we each will make. As for me, just call me a sponge.

One thing that I am becoming increasingly concerned about, is truth. Ask a hundred people the question, “What is truth?”, and you could receive up to a hundred different answers. And to each person, their answer is the correct answer.

The concept of truth, is changing. The application of truth is disappearing. As I observe my world around me, it’s becoming distinctively clear that the definition of truth is changing daily. We seem to define truth as it best fits our needs. What once was a world…a society where black and white defined our every move, now has become redecorated with shades of grey…and the boldness of black and white are quickly fading into oblivion.

Politicians, today, are prime examples of this. The political ‘houses’ they are building, are nothing more than a snap-shot of suburbia where all the houses are constructed using the same masterplan with bland shades of grey used for every sheet of wallpaper and trim, down to the lack-luster granite of the counter-tops. But the exteriors are another story….boldly fashioned with vibrant colors, sure to excite our mind’s eyes. What’s on the outside, isn’t always…I’ll let you finish the sentence.

There’s another neighborhood being built however, just across life’s interstate that has the potential of being the homestead of many strangers who are longing to relocate. Home sites have been cleared and foundations poured that appear to be the strongest around. Highway billboards and websites point to the excitement as these new homes are being built at a rapid pace. A Master Carpenter has been selected…the blueprints have been approved…and Phase I is nearing completion. The new subdivision is filled with pulsating colors and children’s voices echo throughout the streets. But secretly meeting in one of the unfinished homes is a group of laborers who are planning a coo against the Master Carpenter. “He doesn’t know what’s best for us,” they say, “We know how to do things better…and cheaper.” And look, the new homes have added a new dimension, they've added steeples.

So for the most part, the Master Carpenter has been asked to leave and a new hierarchy of leadership has taken over. With tears in his eyes, He walks away heart broken, knowing what His plans were for the neighborhood will no longer see reality…unless something changes.

The new leadership starts out strong, trying to maintain the status quo...with one huge exception. Now, the new occupants are allowed to choose the paint scheme for their new homes. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem. But after a great deal of inspection, the new homes have taken on an eerie resemblance of another neighborhood just a few exits away. Now it's become hard to tell one neighborhood from the other.

The Master Carpenter stands in the distance…longing…yearning, while the occupants are busy making painstaking trips back and forth to the paint store where they are overstocked in multiple shades of grey.

Truth is a four letter word...I'll let you fill in the blanks...and it's not found in a paint store.


Mark W. said...

Great, great, great!!! Very thoughtful post; it digs into SO much territory, I don't know where to begin, so I'll say a word about truth. "Capital-T" truth is certainly becoming a thing of the past, even for the staunchest idealists. In "postmodern" society, truthS are a dime a dozen, and the fact that our truths are different from our neighbor's truths is only cause for a shrug and a pat statement such as "to each his own." You are totally right though--since there seems to be so much variety of truths these days, why does everyone seems to be gravitating toward the same innocuous status-quo? I've got my own ideas about that, but they are too lengthy to go into here...meanwhile, thanks for the "educated" post! :)

Jeff Noble said...

Yea, what Mark said.

I think one powerful imperative about truth from the New Testament is Ephesians 4.15-16, "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

It seems that today there is a weak-kneed type of "love" (that is actually no love at all) that, for fear of offense, keeps quiet when it knows that it should intercede or intervene.

The Ephesians passage is in the context of confronting those with little truths that conflict with the Truth. Its directive is for us to speak up and speak out, but to do so in love.

Galatians 6.1 is also a great reminder, "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted."

Just because a person might have the Truth doesn't mean that they have to attach it to a baseball bat.

Let's let Truth paint a beautiful mosaic of our world!

Robert Fellows said...

My "favorite" (loose term) grey area is "...let's just agree to disagree on that/this". An earlier comment suggests the many ways in which we could go with this, and I guess that is one of mine. Another "famous" grey area, Political Correctness. Ugh!

Great post, Brother!

TJ said...

Amazing post, Jim... I had to read it a few times to get the full grasp of the story - it is so, well, TRUE.

Two thoughts:
It is unnerving to live in the times that we do, when truth is constantly being rewritten to fit the desires of those who would have no rule over them. We live in a time where humanism (the exaltation of human thoughts and will) desires to reign over God's rule.

The other thought is if, in John 8:32, Jesus said we would know the truth and it would make us free (truth was not capitalized, so I would assume it's not talking about the Godhead), then what would make any Christian think that the truth would be whatever we wanted it to be?

This sissified, non-confrontational message that's seeping in and out of our pulpits and airwaves that by dodging the truth tells people to decide what truth they will create instead of defining the truth according to the Word of God has got to go. The Body of Christ needs to wake up and realize that it's time to be the voice who will define truth in world once again.