The last Church Talk column? No. Not today.
But, I predict one day you will be hard pressed to find Biblical truth discussions in any publication, online product or television program. Our culture is rapidly moving away from the truth because it doesn’t fit our lifestyle.
I am reminded of the movie “A Few Good Men” in which a lawyer says to a witness, “I want the truth.” The witness retorts, “You can’t handle the truth.” The movie came out almost 30 years ago, but Jack Nicholson’s character as the witness was a prophet to many today. You can’t handle the truth because you don’t want to.
Truth has been compromised in churches. It has been compromised in politics. It has been compromised and distorted in almost every facet of life.
Our politicians put their hands on a Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. What they mean is they’ll uphold the Constitution as they choose to interpret it and wish it to be, rather than how it was written. And the First Amendment is the primary victim.
That amendment guarantees basic rights many have bled and died for. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom to practice religion and freedom to assemble peaceably. Our politicians and jurists have rewritten this.
We have freedom of speech as long as nobody is offended by what we say. Some speech can be hateful, vile, perverted and filthy. But what is most hated today is God’s word. It is not and is never hate speech.
Freedom of religion has been reinterpreted, not as the right to practice one’s faith, but to worship, as long as it stays at home or in the walls of the church.
And peaceable assembly is defined as peaceable if you assemble for certain causes, even if you burn, destroy and kill, but not for others, even if you are peaceable.
Even more frightening is the hatred of truth that comes from God’s word. God is a loving but holy God. His precepts and commandments are not capricious, but are for the good of the individual and society.
God cannot do anything except what is good for us. But we have decided to toss his word and substitute our own selfish, sinful will and lifestyle. And if an individual or a church preaches God’s word, there can be an accusation of being hateful.
So, I think one day, and it won’t be long, the true Christian and the true Bible-believing and teaching church will be subject to persecution, punishment or worse. Humanity will be devoid of truth and with that will be devoid of love, peace, compassion and joy.
“What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus. (John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the father except by me.”) Jesus said further in John 16:13, “He is the spirit of truth and will guide you into all truth.” And in John 8:32 Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
One would think that our culture would value this freedom. We fought the American Revolution to be free from the control of England. We’ve continued to fight for our freedom and the freedom of other nations. But today we have chosen to allow ourselves to be bound, imprisoned, enslaved by our selfish desires and sinful natures.
We know we will one day stand before God to give an account for why we didn’t accept his truth and freedom. But we live for today and don’t realize that judgement day, for the individual and the nation, is never more than 24 hours away.
We ignore God’s word as he shares about the slavery and consequences of sin. We treat each other with hate and disdain. We lie, cheat, steal, kill and then try to rationalize our actions. If anyone tries to slow or halt our self-destructive behavior, we minimalize or censor his/her sharing of the truth of God’s word.
There is absolute truth. It isn’t what I think it should be or what I say it is. It isn’t what you imagine it to be. And it isn’t the pseudo-truth of our modern day.
It is what God says it is. And God wants us to know the truth. He gave us his word; he gave us his church; and he left his children here on earth to share the truth.
It’s time we stop listening to the lies of Satan and come back to the truth. Only in doing that will we be able to stand before our righteous and holy God and only then will our nation live.