Today’s cultural condition necessitates that every societal participant become an arbitrator of truth. Whether from unreliable social media posts to more respectable news sources, taking in information requires diligent discernment. This is because we are living in times of crisis in which truth is no longer knowable.
The pursuit of a personal agenda alleviates any responsibility towards the pursuit of truth in our society. As a result, the information so readily absorbed by the general public is information that is willfully distorted by the suppression of unfavorable details while overemphasizing agreeable elements. People can no longer trust news anchors, politicians, or CEOs. The cultivation of this environment though not only means we can’t trust those in the public spotlight distributing the information. The issue has deeper consequences in that we are unable to trust friends, family, and those closest to us. Instead, we must now carefully assess even our closest confidants.
Living in the middle of such a truth crisis necessitates a response. Truth though, requires effort. Truth is not merely a matter of acceptance and recitation. It requires deep thinking, intentional understanding and constant verification. This means that when a person takes in information, rather than quickly sending it off to the next in line, it is necessary to expend energy and time in investigation.
The exertion for such tasks is more than many are willing to sacrifice. In light of the cultural crisis and the intense response it necessitates, many have found it far easier to compensate by creating their own truth. It is far easier to create our own reality based on personal feelings, emotions, and desires rather than seek out an unknowable truth. Therefore, an individual can accept or reject notions based on how it fits in his or her own personal paradigm. There is no need to waste precious energy determining accuracy, finding contradictions, or utilize logical evaluations.
Unfortunately, we live in a aerial society. Technology has transformed many into a bunch of flying squirrels unable to give attention to anything valuable for a substantial amount of time. When not acting as squirrels jumping from one thing to another, we act like flying parrots, simply repeating what we read or heard. The notion of creating one’s own truth fits well with an aerial society because it appeases both of these characteristics.
Truth is knowable. Truth is knowable because it exists in the form of a person: our Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). The cultural rejection of truth is a simple affirmation of the paths of unrighteousness (found in Romans 1) that suppresses truth (Romans 1:18) and God’s election of the world’s foolishness as a revelation of His wisdom (cf. 1 Corinthians). As Christians though, we live with the revelation of this wisdom that is Christ (1 Corinthians 1:28-30) who is truth.
As such then, our responsibility is one that upholds the truth for all to see. We do that in the following ways:
- Seek Truth (Psalm 25:5): In contrast to a society that generates its own relative truth, we seek a truth that is already revealed. In order to know the truth though, one must desire to know it.
- Walk in Truth (Psalm 86:11): More than merely seeking the truth, believers should walk in truth making it a part of who they are.
- Cultivate Truth (cf. Romans 12:1; 2 Timothy 4:2): Finally, as we walk in truth, we cultivate a life of truth that instill truth in those around us. We exemplify truth so that others may enjoy truth.
Truth is an important aspect of the Christian life and therefore it is desirous that it is inculcated into our lifestyle.
A lifestyle of truth provides greater satisfaction than any of the alternatives. Consider three important qualities of truth: (a) Truth sets free (John 8:32), (b) Truth saves (2 Thessalonians 2:10), and finally (c) Truth sanctifies (John 17:17, 19). Truth removes the ‘gray’ areas of life generating an assurance that is found nowhere else. This is because truth is guided by a real person, Jesus Christ, who acts in the interest of God’s glory and the good of God’s people.
While we currently live in a society in which truth seems unknowable and many have responded by simply creating their own, God has clearly revealed what truth is. Instead of needing to be arbitrators of truth, we should be bearers of truth. Later on, I will discuss what we should do with the truth (specifically how to seek, walk, and cultivate truth).