Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What is Truth?



by Dan Jones

For thousands upon thousands of years, the human race has maintained that one of the things that set us apart from the animal kingdom is the ability to control our sexual urges.

For almost all of human history, these were called “base desires” or “animal urges” and it was understood that refraining from sexual activity outside of marriage was the right thing to do, both for the health of our body and of our soul.

And then, right around the time people developed more effective contraception and medicines that cured some (note “some”) sexually transmitted diseases, society suddenly decided to be more “open-minded” about this kind of thing.

So, we’ve been merrily going on with our “free love” and “sexual revolution” for over fifty years now and most people seem to be quite happy and accepting of it...

…until the Ashley Madison website got hacked and the names and addresses and credit card information of 30 million people (almost all men) who had paid money to participate in extra-marital affairs spilled out over the internet like the biggest glass of milk that had ever been spilled in all of human history.

In the words of Homer Simpson, “D’OH!! Stupid poetic justice!”

Ironic, isn’t it, that 30 million people who had planned and paid to find a nice, easy way to cheat on their spouses would be betrayed and have their lives ruined?

The funny thing is, the media did not rush in and find a way to excuse this behavior.

Nowhere have I seen anyone writing that it’s okay because everybody does it or we shouldn’t be such prudes because we all know we really can’t help ourselves, or we should stop being so judgmental, and we really should be more tolerant.

And that’s because no one can write such a thing for a newspaper, or a television show, or a radio talk show, or an internet blog and go home and face their spouse after having done so.

No, the only apologetic I saw for this was that most of those accounts had fake names on them, and it wasn’t really the guy down the block who had that account. (An odd line of reasoning, given that I don’t think your credit card is actually accepted if you use it with a fake name.)

It all reminds me very much of Jesus telling Pontius Pilate that He had been born for the very purpose of speaking the truth. Jesus told Pilate that everyone who is of the truth listens to His voice.

And Pilate replied, “What is truth?”

Now, the Bible doesn’t say whether Pilate laughed or scoffed or looked down and spit on the ground before he said that.

It doesn’t have to.

I believe Pilate really didn’t know what truth was or is. I believe he had spent so much time in the Roman political machine that he firmly believed that there was no such thing as objective truth. I think Pilate, like much of society today, believed that truth is fluid and changing and subject to the whims of the people who define it. “Truth” can be one thing today and another thing tomorrow.

I believe that, because immediately after this brief exchange, Pilate steps out before the crowd and attempts to release Jesus—not because he believes Jesus to be a righteous man who needs to be set free because it’s morally the right thing to do, but because it’s the politically expedient thing to do.

Freeing Jesus isn’t what’s right and true and just for society or for humanity—getting rid of this “nut job” Jew who thinks He is King of some nether-world is the right thing to do for Pilate.

It’s when all of life becomes all about you and all of your needs and what you want and what you really and truly believe you need right now that you can believe an advertising slogan that tells you, “Life is short. Have an affair.”  

And, if it wasn’t such a terrible tragedy in terms of the humanity and morality of all of society, those six words would be the funniest thing I have ever read.

“Life is short. Forget about eternity. Do something incredibly selfish and hurtful and stupid not just to the person you vowed to love till death do you part, but to your kids and scores of people who love you--and to your own soul.”

The media took great joy in blasting Josh Duggar for being outed by this hack --and I am certainly not going to defend him.

But the fact is, every one of us has a soul this dark. Every one of us at some point rationalized and excused some sin, premeditated that sin, and went and ahead and did what we knew was wrong and evil and stupid.

Every one of us, at some point, looked down and spit on the ground, scoffed at what we knew to be the truth, and openly defied God.

And every one of us either already has, or will at some point, find that the deeds we did in the darkness will come into the light.

At some point, like the 30 million caught in this scandal, each of us will have 
to give an answer.

The darkness can run but it cannot hide.

And there will be pain.

Because the truth hurts.

The good news is that the light of Jesus overcomes that darkness. There is forgiveness and healing. There is mercy and grace at the end of that long, dark tunnel. He can heal the hurt and the pain. He can wash you and make you clean when it seems you will never, ever be clean again.

Because He knows.

He knows you.

And He loves you anyway.

He loves you enough to die for you.

Today’s Praise
To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43 ESV

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