by Phillip Vanwinkle
MAY 26, 2017

Does The Truth Matter Anymore?

Does The Truth even matter anymore? While discussing recent events going on in the United States, a friend and I brought up this question. It appears that people in today’s society, at least in America, could not care any less about Truth.

People have stopped caring whether or not something is actually true, and mainly try to write some narrative that will fit into their own belief system. If you are on the political right, then the Republican Party can do no wrong. And no amount of evidence will convince you otherwise. If you are on the political left, then of course everything the “right” side does, is offensive, and nothing they do is ‘good.’ They say that  the President is ________ (fill in the blank)… yet they say this with absolutely no evidence or any credible evidence to back up their statement. So, Why does this happen? Why does everyone regardless of which side of the aisle you are on behave this way? Because people have no respect for the Truth. I’m not talking about “truth from your perspective,” I’m talking about Truth, as it is… objective, absolute, Truth.

Does Truth matter? Ask the man on death-row who is innocent. Does it matter to him if the actual truth comes out, and he is cleared of all his charges? Does Truth matter? Ask the father who is torn up because he can’t find his child, and believes he is a bad dad because of it. Does it matter to him that the Truth of the matter is that during the night some people came and kidnapped his child, and there was nothing the father could have done about it. Thousands of scenarios could be thought of… but we must decide does Truth really matter?

Love For The Truth

In writing about Biblical Truth, Paul informs Christians that there would be some, many perhaps, who do not love the Truth. He says:

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thes. 2:10-12)

Notice the progression of those who do not ‘love the truth’.

First, they will be deceived. God allows people to believe whatever they want. And if they fail to love Truth, God allows them to be led away by lies. They would then be deluded by the errors that they believe, and last, their belief in lies would eventually condemn them.

God tells us that we ought to Love the Truth. But we must understand Truth in order to love it.

So, we start this discussion on truth by asking, “Does Truth Exist?”.  And then, “Can we know the truth?”.  The fact is, either Truth exists and Truth is knowable or it does not and we cannot.   

Jesus teaches us that we can know the Truth! In John 8:32 Jesus explains, “Ye shall know the Truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The words are clear and precise. Jesus expects us to know the Truth, and it is that truth that will set us free. In contrast to what happens to those who believe lies, they are condemned (2 Thes. 2:10-12). When people believe the Truth, they are set free by the truth.

So, if Truth exists, and it does; and Truth is knowable, and it is; then we must ask another question. Is Truth objective or subjective?

The Truth: Objective or subjective.

 The fact of the matter is this; The Truth can only be The Truth, if it is Objective.

If Truth is ‘right’ based upon one’s feelings, emotions, ideas…etc. then every person is, himself, responsible for his own truth. If each person is responsible for his own truth, then there is no such thing as the Truth.

Subjective truth is true to a certain individual, but it is not necessarily THE TRUTH. For instance, if I say to you, “Strawberry ice-cream is the best ice-cream” I am stating a truth, a truth that is dependent upon the subject (me). But Strawberry ice-cream being ‘the best ice-cream’ is not Absolute, Objective Truth!

During a few months of my life, I was asked to join in a ‘Bible Study Group’ of young adults. I was at a new congregation, so I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers in this group. We were going through the book of 1 Timothy. Week, after week, I sat and listened, as the teacher went around the table asking “What does this scripture mean to you?” And the fellow would answer, and say what the verse meant to him. Followed by the next person, then the next person etc... Finally after a few weeks of this kind of study, He asked me the same familiar question. “Phillip, what does this passage mean to you?” I had held back as long as I could… I said, “It really doesn’t matter what the passage means to me, it matters what the passage means, period.”

“What do you mean?” He asked. I said, “When the Holy Spirit wrote these words, he actually meant something. What he meant in the passage is what matters.”

Why? Because The Truth, is determined by what was meant when it was spoken/written, not by what the passage means to me today!  

If the Holy Spirit, meant “ABC” …2000 years ago. Then the passage means “ABC” today. However, if that passage means “XYZ” to me today, then my opinion of the passage is simply wrong! The Truth is still “ABC” even if I have believed a lie, and think the passage means “XYZ.”

That is why it is important to understand that The Truth is incredibly important. Because Jesus did not say “your truth will set you free.” Neither did he say “a truth will set you free.” He said, The Truth… The Truth will set you free.”

I have written on this subject in a previous blog post. I invite your attention to it here: Are We Asking the Right Question?

This will help in understanding further the difference in Objective or Subjective truth.

There are some who say there is no such thing as “Truth.” Of course, their statement is self-defeating. Because if their statement “there is no Truth” was the Truth, then their statement about their not being any truth, would be false.

In the end analysis, we must conclude that in order for there to be such a thing as “The Truth” it must be absolute, and it must be objective.

Why is this so important? Because we live in a society that is suffering because they have lost the understanding of this concept.

Lack of Knowledge of The Truth

Long ago, Hosea, the prophet of God, speaking on His behalf said:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)

While I understand this passage is discussing the knowledge of God and His Law. The principle is still true. Because many Americans have forgotten how to think properly. We no longer know how to judge with righteous judgment. And since we have failed to love The Truth, we will walk down the same path mentioned by Hosea.

Remember what Paul wrote about those who do not love the Truth?

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thes. 2:10-12)

If we do not turn this around in our own lives, if we do not start respecting, and loving The Truth our end may very well be the same. Deception, led away by lies, following delusions of error, and based on our lack of knowledge of The Truth, we will be damned.

But we don’t have to walk down this road. If we will return to our love for The Truth, live according to His Word. We must know, understand and follow The Truth, and in doing so, we will be ‘set free.’ 

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