Today, Merriam-Webster defines “truth” as “the body of real things, events and facts.”
Each of us has a desire to know the truth, but distinguishing fact from fiction can often feel overwhelming. According to Pew Research Center, 64% of adults in the U.S. struggle to discern truth from falsity when listening to elected officials, 48% struggle to discern truth on social media and 41% struggle to discern truth while watching or listening to cable news.
Perhaps we are looking to the wrong sources for truth.
While we have a shared desire for truth, we live in an age in which fewer and fewer people recognize the existence of absolute truth — let alone a truth knowable through God.
In fact, Barna Group describes the “post-truth” world as one “in which reality is relative and even the facts are open to interpretation” and found that only 35% of Americans believe in absolute truth, 44% believe truth to be relative and 21% have never considered it.
Our desire to know the truth cannot be fulfilled if we refuse to accept a truth outside of ourselves. Those of us who follow Christ must recognize the everlasting truth of God. Acknowledging this truth does not dismiss or diminish our varied life experiences.
Yet, respect for and knowledge of God’s truth seem to be fading, even in the church — which is why it is essential we return to Scripture as our source of truth and allow it to convict, correct and challenge us.
We see four major foundations of truth revealed in Scripture: God the Father (Deuteronomy 32:4), God the Son (John 14:6), God the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-14) and Scripture itself (Psalm 119:160). Truth is not something we create but rather something we discover.
It is common for people to question how a knowable truth can transcend time and place. After all, doesn’t every society and every individual have their own values and their own life experiences?
However, the modern world’s framework of ideas and comprehensive system of beliefs is based on a notion far removed from the biblical standard. Truth is purely subjective. There is not one absolute truth, but rather an infinite number of truths, many of which are contradictory to one another, all existing at the same time.
No one can hold to this type of relativism without being logically inconsistent.
The Bible is full of truth claims, many of which are absolute. A famous one from Jesus is “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). If Jesus’ claims are true, then they’re life-changing. If they are not true, then we may as well live however we want. Because if the God of the Bible is not true or trustworthy, then nothing in the universe is.
Truth with a capital “T” makes truth with a lowercase “t” possible.
People frequently ask me, “What does Calvary Church teach?” That is irrelevant. The issue is what Scripture says: Who and what it declares God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the church and heaven and hell to be. I can’t speak for all of Calvary Church. I can only speak for what I see — by God’s grace — Scripture declares.
When we believe and teach that what we feel is more important than what we know, we contribute to the creation of a generation that is long on zeal and short on facts, enthusiastic but hazy when it comes to truth.
Scripture is the beginning, middle and end of our understanding of God and his ways and of truth itself, which is why we must read it, learn it, share it and, when necessary, defend it.
Skip Heitzig is the senior pastor of Calvary Church in New Mexico and is the author of numerous books and publications. His radio and television broadcast, Connect with Skip Heitzig, is available throughout the United States and around the world.