The Truth Shall Set You Free

In the world I grew up in, this was a frequent verse you would hear said by Christians.  Christians not only believed it but the surrounding culture believed it.  The truth was something you could find, learn, and apply.  The only challenge was getting “the Word” out there.

But starting in the 80s and especially in the 90s, post modernism really took off.  Truth was relative.  Truth depended upon your perspective.  In an important way, this was a vital step forward for our society (even if many remained rooted in the old ways).  It’s easy to dismiss other people or peoples if you think you’ve got a hold of the truth and they don’t.  And many excellent television shows and movies have been made showing the same event from different perspectives and how what the truth of the event was was really colored by who experienced it.

But then, when accepting the world had “shades of grey” and perspectives in it, many stopped believing in “black and white” anymore.  There is no ultimate good or ultimate evil.  What is good or what is evil simply depends on your perspective.  It seems silly now but I still remember being shocked in the early 90s when I came across a Lucas Arts video game where they said you could fight for the Rebel Alliance or fight against the Rebel Scum.  Rebel Scum?  “Wait”, I thought.  “You want to train people to fight for the ‘bad guys'”? It is all so tame by what is in stores nowadays.

There must be truth in the midst of the shades of grey or there is no right, there is no wrong, and ultimately there is no God.  So how can we affirm truth and recognize perspective as well?

I believe humility is a key aspect of the Christian life.  God knows what is right and wrong and God reveals the truth to us.  But people, particularly individuals, can get far off course when they think they can easily individually discern the truth.  None of us naturally has this capability.

I believe Christ will show us the truth when he comes again.  Until then, God gives us the Bible, our minds, and experiences, and he gives us one another to discern the truth.  The last one in that list is so important.  In our fallen world, the truth is often best discerned by a group of people.  And that is what makes church so important.  If we want to know what God wants us to do we need each other to figure it out.

Let us seek the truth together for it will set us free.  As we do let’s be humble and depend upon one another as we move forward.

In Christ,

Tom Paine


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