Throughout Scripture we are exhorted to follow, believe, do, understand, speak, know, trust in, and be in, the truth. Our post-modern understanding of truth is a funny thing, though, and we’ve gotten far off the mark these days. R.C. Sproul’s definition of truth is “…that which conforms to reality as it is perceived by God.” This simple definition works for me and in this context, I am the chief of sinners.
Certainly, most believers see this problem as it exists in the world today, but I contend that this is even more prevalent within the church than without – which may be a much greater evil. Here are five ways in which I’ve witnessed my own the sacrificing of truth:
1. Call it cultural. If it wasn’t meant for me, I don’t have to do it.
2. See No Evil. If we intentionally ignore evil, we aren’t accountable for it.
3. My Truth, Your Truth. There are many “truths,” and one is as good as the next. At the heart of this deception is the “figurative vs. literal” debate. I do not want to live in a world where I get to determine what is true.
4. The Sliding Scale. Perhaps the most prevalent, easiest to adopt, and hardest to recognize, this deception suggests that some “truths” are more important to God than others.
5. Love Conquers All. “Loving” others while disobeying God is to hate God, clear and simple. J. C. Ryle once quoted “Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of Peace.”
I do not know how narrow the gate is that leads to everlasting life, but scripture suggests that fewer make it through than any of us could imagine. This has nothing to do with us earning it, of course, but at the very core of my assurance that I’m one of the few is my obedience (1 John 2:3). To that end, it seems that there are some simple rules to help us all be assured that we are His. These are just mine – feel free to add your own and share.
1. I will distrust everything I think is “true” unless scripture clearly supports it and my fellow brothers in Christ (both now and historically) concur.
2. I will flee from any attempt at telling God which of His commands are important to Him and which aren’t.
3. If there is any doubt about whether something applies to me or not, I will choose the safer path and obey.
4. If I see my brother sin, I will tell him as an act of love and a desire for him to repent and be reconciled to his creator.
5. I will surround myself with brothers who will do the same for me.
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” – 1 John 2:4