|Where, Oh Where has "Truth" Gone?
"The first casualty when war comes is truth" (Sen. Hiram Johnson). A more recent axiom playing off this cliché is,
"truthfulness in journalism is the second casualty when war comes." Both seem to have their fair measure, or absence,
of 'truth' in today's marketplace. The well-known 'truth' cliché was recently revisited e.g., the NIE Report on Iranian
nuclear capabilities which seemingly refutes an earlier Executive Branch declaration. Secular 'truth' in the 'world' is, for the
most part, relative and situational across the continuum of time. Today, 'truth' held by the secular world is directly
confronting the Judeo-Christian "absolutes" of "Truth" set out in scripture, beginning in the Book of Genesis. We read in I
John 5:6, "... And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth". Thus, the secular world is actually
confronting the Spirit of God when it runs contrary to (scriptural) Truth.
Today, America is clearly re-polarizing along old fault lines. Examples of such divisions include: Red vs. Blue States,
Republican vs. Democratic, liberals vs. conservatives, religious vs. secular, economically advantaged vs. disadvantaged,
social relativism vs. moral absolutists. "Relativism" defined here as a philosophy where conceptions of truth and moral
values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.[Heritage] In the polarity examples cited
above, the one characterized as 'relativism' vs. 'absolutes' is the most confrontational to the body-of-Christ.
Biblical/moral absolutes vs. social/cultural relativism makeup a dynamic tension tearing a part the foundational principles
upon which America was established. The removal of Ten Commandments from public buildings, prayer sanctioned out
of public schools and various public gatherings, Creationism prohibited from inclusion in public school curricula,
forbidding ceremonial blessings in the Name of Jesus in government-sponsored events etc. are evident throughout this
Nation. These signs are clear indication "Christianity" is under escalating siege from all corner-points. We are at war with
radical Islam abroad and at war domestically with radicalizing secularism. The driving forces behind these wars are
traceable to a welling opposition against Judeo-Christian tenets and vagaries from the dark side of mankind's nature. "...
Hereby know we the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error". (Falsehood) [1 John 4:6] We must rightly divide "Truth" from
'error' and falsehood.
America has an audacious capacity for situational denial, e.g., to deny or not perceive how poorly we are performing
and/or acting on critical governance issues. America has a markedly diminished regard among the nations of the world
(viz. Iraq et al.), has an economy that continues to expand but is becoming more and more volatile, and crippling divisions
on legal/social conundrums, i.e., illegal immigration. It appears to some that America is beginning to loose its
center-of-gravity do to contentious moral/cultural issues, inconsistent diplomatic initiatives, and military adventurism run
amuck. Whoever becomes POTUS in 2008-9, he/she will face daunting domestic policy sinkholes, inherit international
coalition dilemmas, and have to contend with a rancorous and staunchly divided Congress along partisan lines. Still, with
all of those shortcomings, America is yet today the single most desirable country in which to live, raise a family in relative
safety and have a credible opportunity to succeed and prosper. With "Truth" in serious jeopardy, the status quo is certain
to change, drastically. "Truth" here defined in terms of the Judeo-Christian tenets and 'truth' referring to secular wisdom.
This country is pursuing an ever-enlarging secular agenda, which unquestionably leads to a state similar to those
experienced by the Corinthian and Laodicean churches in the New Testament. The plight and dire straits listed for the
worldly Laodicean church (Book Revelation) reveals consequences for prolonged waywardness from God's statutes,
commandants and decrees - - such consequences can apply to an individual church as well to a nation!
We read in Isa 59:8 -- 15 [NIV] the consequences which faced Israel (740± B.C.) for their waywardness, iniquities and disregard
of God's scriptural-based Laws. "Truth" here is a seminal part of applied Justice:
8 The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who
walks in them will know peace.
9 So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we
walk in deep shadows.
14 So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there
was no justice.
The sorrowful plight setout in the scripture verses just mentioned, reflect many of the struggles evident in modern-day
Israel as well as consternations peering at America over the near-far horizon. The unanticipated events of 9-11, gave
evidenced that national priorities can 'turn-on-a-dine' and subsequently change the course of a nation's priorities. The 9-11
tragedy is seen by many as a 'wakeup call' for America, regarding the forces of evil that lurk about us and are seemingly
unnoticed, until they strike. Yet, once the rubble was removed we quickly returned to our same way of living, with the
exception of a preemptive Iraq-II. "That same way of living" incorporates a progressive demise of our Judeo-Christian
bulwark of moral/cultural/social values and absolutes. If God gave those "absolutes" (via scripture) then we in essence are
reducing God and His influence on America's choice of values and application of Justice. "God's Truth" is the foundation
of both values and Justice, in a Judeo-Christian rooted society. Are we still living in a Judeo-Christian nation?
As America willfully forfeits God's Truth and remains complacent about its progressive erosion, do in part to political
correctness, the consequences apparent in Isaiah Chapter 59 will come home to roost. The good news is, "However, when He,
the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He
will speak; and He will tell you things to come." [John. 16:13] Will America seek to hear and listen to the Spirit of Truth, or blithely
continue along its own pathway of secular-centered destiny? Below is a linear continuum reflecting how critical and central
"Truth" is to the individual believer's spiritual maturation
The process of living-in and walking-out the Christian Doctrine follows a progressive revelation. The believer's journey
pursues a course of unfolding understanding, commitment and yielding to the Word of God as the foundation, power and
Truth which governs his/her life. More than just a few ministries today teach a 'skip-jump' (abbreviated) method of
revelation in an attempt to guide a new believer (as well as many seasoned followers) into his/her spiritual maturity. Such
methods often rely heavily on ritual, ceremonial, and/or emotive experiences along with various secular-type dogmas.
Their purpose often is to usher the believer into a 'deeper' Christian walk, often to the detriment of their spiritual
development. The psycho-social gospel is becoming more and more prevalent in several 'mega-churches' in America.
Short cut Christianity only produces a diluted belief system and weakened ability to proceed down the "pathway of
righteousness", while the forces of unrighteousness are attempting to prevail against us. A linear doctrinal continuum rests
upon Scripture, the Gospel, The Cross, His Resurrection and His Second Coming.
|The Word - Truth - Belief - Trust - Faith - Obedience - Fruit - Fulfillment of Commission
|The Word here being, "The Word [Christ] became flesh" (John 14:1a) and meaning the written Word of God, as
well. Belief comes out of the Truth held within the Word of God. You cannot readily believe in that which you
do not hold as grounded in Truth. Trust emanates out of your belief. You cannot really Trust in that which
you do not believe. Faith then comes out of the Truth revealed in the Word of God, and one's belief and
Trust in that revelation. Thus, Obedience is a fruit of your Faith in action.
If we are going to successfully navigate through the obstacle course of tumultuous times to come (and they are expressly
coming), effectively participate in the fulfillment of Christ's end-time purposes, and contribute to the out-working of His
end-time Plan (Eph. 1-10), then we must have a true understanding of how straight-line Christianity works for us and why
it was designed that way. Each believer has an integral part in fulfilling God's Great Commission, and subsequently
gathering the harvest of souls into The Kingdom, He has set before us. If ever there was a time and season to become in
line, in-sync, and submitted to the Word of The Living God, it is today. Do not allow yourself to be caught
out-of-alignment with His Word, when He comes for His Church, the Body-of-Christ. Will America seek to hear and
listen to the Spirit of Truth, or blithely continue along its own pathway of self-seeking destiny?
The Apostles asked Christ "... how would we know the way?" and Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through Me". [John 14:6]Â If we do not have the "Truth" of Christ then we
cannot find the "way" and walk in the "life" He has prepared for us. Guard the "Truth" of Christ like your life, for the
secular world is making every attempt to take it from you, "because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short" [Rev.12:12]. Where has "Truth" gone?, nowhere, it is where it has always been,
in Christ Jesus. It is mankind's diminished seeking of the "Truth" which has gone astray. We read in Gen. 6:3 where God
states, "He will not contend (strive) with man forever" ... the end of forever may not be too far off, just over the near horizon!
Jon D. Hannum, Ph. D.
Amen Ministries of Austin