Thursday, February 16, 2006

# 129: Truth or a Lie?

Most, if not all, people don’t like being lied to. Even if it hurts, most often, the truth is better than a lie. And still, we are being lied to in all walks of life. There are many reasons for lies, but mainly to deceive. We all have done our share of lying. Many of us have learned how/why to lie from our parents, though they may have not been aware of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was truthful? Well, it will never happen, at least in this age. Of course, some are habitual lairs, while others occasionally lie. Some lies are harmless, while others cause much harm. I believe most humans want to be told the truth.

The greatest sources of truth in the physical world, are derived from the laws of physics. These truths are absolutes. There aren’t many other absolute truths in this physical world. Here are a few areas that are abounding with lies, where we would prefer to find truth. Used car dealer are notorious for their lies; and still there may be a few honest ones. Next are lawyers. They are paid to be dishonest, though there are a few honest ones. I have a Christian friend that was a lawyer, but isn’t any more. Guess why? The media, especially TV, along with its advertising, is a gigantic and extremely profitable industry based on the exact science of finding-out/knowing what the masses desire to watch, hear, and read. They present their wares, most often, in a subtly exaggerated, dramatized and sensationalized manner. Often, even the news, is far from the truth. Possibly, PBS is one media that is not as guilty. In other words, the majority of our media is far from the truth.

Politicians are another breed of lairs. By their actions, (you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours) they are in essence lying, and the general public feels the pain. This present administration is full of lies. I hate these type of lies because there are many who call themselves “Evangelical Christians” who believe the president’s lies, along with that, not many politically and religiously influential people have the intestinal fortitude to call President Bush on them. The most damaging lies are those the clergy is guilty of, by their eloquent silence (sins of omission); they mislead millions on difficult-to-believe-and-apply verses, which are clearly displayed in post # 127. These lies cause mortal damage to many who are naive about the Christian truth. The hierarchy’s sin is extremely egregious since that is where Christians would except to find truth, and the last place, most would think of finding dishonesty and deceit. Those religious scoundrels act and talk like the gracefully beautiful and wealthy woman who was engaged to a godly man; she claimed to be a virgin, but she turned-out to be a slut and a whore.

In the realm of spirituality and religion, everyone claims to know the truth. Does that mean there are many spiritual truths? It seems that way. There are thousands of Christian religions, all claiming to possess the truth. Then the eastern religions are truth to its adherents. The Qur'an preaches to DESTROY those who challenge their belief. That puts Bush and Mohammed on the same playing field: disqualified as having any truth! The Jewish religion claims to know the truth (Eye for an eye) and rejects the gospel of love presented by Jesus Christ through the New Testament. With so many truths out there, how can anyone find the absolute truth, if there is one? Then of course the agnostics, claim there is no such thing as an absolute spiritual truth, since they don’t believe there is a God. Therefore, it seems like a mind boggling subject for anyone who is serious about finding what spiritual truth is. Should a person just throw up their hands, and choose whichever truth makes them feel comfortable in their particular lifestyle?

There may be a way to discern what is the criteria for truth. And if/when we do find out, then every belief or lifestyle that contradicts that criteria, can rightfully be deleted from the list of many truths. The Christian Bible displays an excellent criteria throughout the New Testament Scripture. I will mention only three New Testament verses that are the framework for that truth, though there are many more verses, concerning that criteria.

Here is the criterion by which, I believe, genuine truth can be known; therefore, any religion person or thing that contradicts this standard should be disqualified as truth. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all you strength. And the second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30. The love of neighbor is described more clearly by this verse: “. . .but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3. Along with that, there is a peculiar command in which one can easily distinguish genuine Christianity from many other forms of false Christianity, along with most Eastern religions. This principle is mentioned throughout the New Testament; I will quote just one verse. Matthew 5:43, “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Some might say, “The first two parts of truth seem simple enough. [sure] But the loving of one’s enemy is a different story.” That verse alone, not to mention the remainder verses, are undeniable evidence that our warmongering president and those who voted for him, are wallowing in realm of non-Biblical “christianity”–if there is such a thing. To abide with that standard of love is much more demanding than meets the eye. Many claim to live within those perimeters. But, that may be a pathological lie. The best way to be certain a religious system or individual is in accordance with love, is to scrutinize the lives and beliefs of the group/s or individual/s.

Let me inject this thought: truth must be experienced in order to be known. For example, most of us know what it is for a woman to be pregnant. But only a women who has experienced a full term pregnancy, is qualified to describe in detail what it is like to be pregnant. The fact remains, only mothers are the ones who experience pregnancy. In the same way, for absolute truth to qualify as truth, it must be experienced. Listen to what Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the TRUTH and the life.” [Emphasis added]. Jesus is truth because He is experiencing it. Also, in John 8:31-32, “Jesus said, if you hold on to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Words can set no one free. The only way those words can become truth is for them to be converted into a life. Then one will be set free to experience Jesus’ holy teaching, which is God’s truth. Repeating, that holy truth can be mouthed, but that is not truth. That sounds like a conundrum. What I mean, it is like a preteen virgin teaching an adult class on the pitfalls and consequences of illicit sex. To reiterate, all I am attempting to say is this truth that gives life must not only be believed but experienced to be of any life saving value. No experience, no truth, no life. If any christian religion or any others do not coincide with this all important love foundation, it will all be in vain.

Simply put, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of absolute truth. And if we are genuine, Bible believing, born-again Christians–not with our mouths, but with our lives--what He is, we are becoming, what He loves, we desire to love, what He hates, we hate, what He teaches, we obey and teach. For us, the truth is never stagnant; we are living in a realm of perfection, which is governed by God’s truth. In that justified and sanctified state, we are growing closer to that ultimate truth as every day passes. If anyone is not growing, the likely reason is they are dead. Anything in life that does not grow is dead or dormant. Lets hope, at least, a few church people are dormant, and this post will help them spring to life.

This is a hard sell I am attempting to make. I hope this illustration will help. Can a young child actually understand the emotions produced in the life of an adult when he/she falls in love with the person of his/her dreams? Can they understand the thrill that is produced when making love? Absolutely not. They will have to wait until they can experience it themselves. Therefore, holy words, regardless their grandeur, is not Christianity. Christianity is to experience the life of Jesus Christ, if even to a small degree.

Anyone can say they love God with their all, but the proof is in the pudding. “This is love for God: TO OBEY HIS COMMANDS. And his commands are not burdensome.” 1st John 5:3. Then some may ask, “What are his commands?” The New Testament is the only authority that exemplifies hundreds of verses. I made a partial list of 60 + commands in post #127. These are the hard edged verses, that disagree with our human nature. For that reason, they are not mentioned in most churches.

If and when anyone finds a group or an individual that is actually making every effort to life up to that criteria of love for God, neighbor and enemy, you have almost found genuine truth. Now, to believe it and live it by making every effort in one’s life, as described by Jesus Christ; then, you have actually found absolute and undeniable truth.

This journey will not be for most, because obedience to those commands is contrary to our human nature--most of us like the way we now live. The price is steep, but the result will be glorious when Jesus Christ in the flesh is walking on earth again, in this day and age, in your body and mine. Therefore, believing and living in truth is the duty of every genuine Christian.

This Godly walk is not for Salvation but the affirmation of belief in Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior. I am sure most will say, “Forget it, I am staying where I am.” And I can understand; Christianity is not for everyone who goes to a christian church. Talking about the difficultly of living the Christian life, listen to what the Apostle Peter said in 1st Peter 4:17-18, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, if it is HARD for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?” [emphasis added].

The very first step for anyone who wants to take the plunge into the arms of Christ, is to familiarize one’s self with what is required by God through the New Testament–don’t listen to your church leaders. Also post #127 can be a shortcut and will help anyone not familiar with the New Testament. These verses I posted are the most severe; the remaining verses are mostly a tough downhill challenge (easy to slip and fall). Simply put, living the Christian truth is not a cake-walk, but a tough uphill climb to the pearly gates of eternity.

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