What is Truth?

jesus-pilate-1 In John 18:38 Pontius Pilate famously asked Jesus the question “what is truth?”

I once heard R.C. Sproul give this definition: “That which corresponds to reality.”

One of the interesting things about a Biblical Christian Worldview is that it assumes the existence of an absolute objective truth that is external to mankind.

We are not the source of truth. Our opinions or preferences do not decide what is true. There is a real truth that is really real and it proceeds from God, not from us.

Jesus said that He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus is the truth! There is no truth outside of Him.

So why does this matter?

Because it has huge implications on the way people think today. A common thought today is the absurd notion that truth is a matter of personal preference.

I remember someone that I knew back in the late 1980s. I used to speak to this person about the reality of the One True God. This person, however, insisted that “that’s what’s true for you, but that’s not what’s true for me!”

The world wants there to be “tolerance,” yet the one thing nobody wants to tolerate is that which is Really Real – Real Live Truth.

How do we know truth?

  1. Nature – The Bible says in Romans 1:20 that all of creation testifies to God. Nature is a source of truth.
  2. Conscience/Intuition – The Bible also says in Romans 2:14 that man has the law written on His conscience. God has put something in us that knows His Truth on some level!
  3. The Holy Spirit – John 16:13 says the the Holy Spirit guides believers into all truth.
  4. The Written Word of God (The Bible) – We have only one external, objective and authoritative source of truth – The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

truth_out_there I suspect that we as human beings were designed to know Truth primarily through relating to God, but because of sin our perception of nature, our conscience, and our sensing of the Holy Spirit is all prone to deception. Thus God brought into the world an external objective source of truth in the Bible. Although we can even deceive ourselves about what that says!

Eastern Worldview denies any real objective truth. Naturalistic worldviews say that real reality only consists of nature itself.

But the Christian Worldview holds that God Himself is the Truth, and therefore the source of all truth.

So when you are trying to analyze the world around you and make applicaton of truth, remember that your nature and your conscience are sources of truth, the Holy Spirit will lead you into truth, but the Revealed Written word of God trumps an other perception of truth!

Property – an Unalienable Right

Here is a great quote from James Madison about the Unalienable Right to Property:

PROPERTY . . . In the former sense, a man’s land, or merchandise, or money is called his property. In the latter sense, a man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them. He has a property of peculiar value in his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them . . . He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties, and free choice of the objects on which to employ them. In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in excess of liberty, the effect is the same . . . Government is instituted to protect property of every sort . . . This being the end of government . . . Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that being a natural and unalienable right . . . A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species . . .

James Madison, “Property,” Quoted in Verna Hall’s The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America, Volume I: Christian Self-Government, pp. 248A

There are two things that occur to me as I read this:

  1. It is urgent in the preservation of Human Freedom that we honor the right to Property of Conscience. Individuals have a right to speak and live according to the dictates of their own conscience. You cannot make a pharmacist supply an “abortion” drug. You cannot force a hospital or doctor to provide abortions. You cannot force a business man to hire someone who practices homosexuality and force him to provide benefits for a homosexual “marriage.”
  2. Taxes need to be spent for the benefit of all. Taxing one’s property with the intent of benefiting another is stealing. That is right Communism and Socialism are stealing! The “Welfare State” involves theft on a grand level. Building a road that everyone can use promotes the “general” welfare – this is acceptable. Providing food for an individual is “individual” welfare – this is unacceptable. Neither government nor the individual has the right to steal from one individual to provide for another.

Possible Objections:

  1. What if one man’s conscience is in conflict with another’s? Then what? This is why we need God’s Law in the Bible – so that we can study and discern His Heart and His Ways and get His Wisdom about these things! God has also written His laws on the hearts of all men. (Romans 2:14-15) We can study this and see where mankind has created law consistent with God’s law! For example, there is no right in the Scriptures for same gender “marriage.” Additionally, human law and history show clearly that the ancient concept of marriage involves a man and a woman. We can recognize that this “law” is written on the hearts of men.
  2. But wasn’t Jesus into helping the poor? There is no doubt in my mind that God requires us to love our neighbor. It is a duty of all men to aid one another in times of distress or need. The error comes when we put our focus on forcing one neighbor to aid another by stealing the one’s property and re-distributing it to another according to our own agenda. We will get much further in helping the poor when individuals are encouraged in this responsibility. We are each responsible, but we don’t have the right to steal property to get the job done. Those of us who follow Christ need to find and promote solutions that do not promote stealing or any other kind of violation of property. In other words, we each need to help the poor out of our own property!

I am convinced that the threats to Property of Conscience and Property in general are amongst the greatest threats to preserving Freedom for our children and our children’s children. The ideas of Socialism and the New Morality pose a significant threat to the human race! Am I saying everyone who espouses these ideas is evil? No, I will leave that approach to others. If all we do is offend our fellow human beings who have mistakenly embraced significant errors by labeling them we will get nowhere fast. Offense hardens a heart into it’s current position.

I do propose that we as Christians live out Freedom and act in Compassion to display real solutions to the world. Unfortunately, many of the ideas of Socialism have become common place, even among those who have no concept of where their ideas have come from. If all we do is tear down those ideas, the myth that “conservatives” don’t care about the poor and needy will continue. We do need to dispute socialist ideas, but we cannot do that only.

Our Solution?

Defend Property. Act in Compassion. Preserve Liberty.