What value do people find in religion? Perhaps for many Hindus they might be attracted to its diversity and inclusiveness. Perhaps for many Buddhists they might be attracted to its offer of peacefulness. Perhaps for many Jews and proselytes they might be attracted to its long history and traditions. Perhaps for many Muslims they might be attracted to its strength of convictions, its muscularity. And perhaps for most Christians they may have been attracted to Christianity because it is true. Christianity is grounded in the truth. We live in a very spiritual world where 99% of the world’s population profess one form of religion or another. Within our spiritual world there are spiritual forces at work that particularly oppose Christianity because of its truth claims – and in fact, these forces go so far as to deny truth itself! These forces vigorously attempt to hinder people from seeing the truth by confusing even the concept of truth with vacuous suggestions whispered in people’s inner ears, such as find your truth — as if there are different versions of the truth each contradicting each other. Because truth is the greatest strength of Christianity, every follower of Christ and His Word should know the truth and why it is true.
The truth claims of Christianity are subject to the same tests and requirements of proof that any truth claims are subject to: can the claim be tested? and, can the truth claim be verified? In the case of Christianity the answer to both questions is affirmative.
¶ And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:14, 17
C.S. (Jack) Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia) and J.R.R. Tolkien (author of Lord of The Rings) were good friends. They both worked at Oxford University and caught up with each other every week at their local establishment. C.S. Lewis was not a Christian, in fact, he self-described himself as an atheist. In both of their worlds ancient and classic literature reigned – especially its mythology. To scholars of such literature mythology was how the people of long ago wrote about the inter-connectedness of this world with the supernatural realm. Stories of flying dragons, hideously evil creatures, heroes of great courage and military prowess, talking animals, and demigods all revealed something about the truths which the people of those by-gone eras sought to capture.
One day Tolkien and Lewis were walking taking a walk and talking about spiritual matters. Tolkien put a question and a proposition to Lewis. After asking Jack if he enjoyed reading mythology (which Lewis did) he asked Jack if he knew what it was that separated Christianity from all other “myths”? Lewis didn’t know. Then Tolkien said: Jack, Christianity is true myth! It actually happened! That’s the thing which distinguishes it from all other myths. This conversation had a profound effect upon Lewis. He came to see that his friend was correct. A short time afterwards, unable to get this new and glorious thought out of his mind, C.S. Lewis came to accept, albeit reluctantly, that he now had no choice but to become a Christian—because it was true.
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour,
who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
First Timothy 2:3-4
The thing that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions is that its claims are true. That is, they are verifiable and testable. (Read more here.)
If you are ever asked, Why are you a Christian? I hope I can show you why you should answer, “Because I have good reason for believing it’s true!” Conversely, if you are ever asked, “But why not be a Buddhist, or a Hindu, or a Muslim?” I hope you will come to know that you also have good reasons for replying, “Because I have good reasons for believing they are not true.”
How can we determine whether a claim is true or false?
Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
- Truth corresponds to reality.
- Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
- Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
- Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).
The sum of your Word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
What you believe determines how you behave, how you treat others, and how you respond to life’s setbacks — and ultimately how you will die. If you believe that you are indestructible you are going to cross a highway of speeding cars hurtling in both directions in quite a different way to me (I will use the overpass by the way). If you believe that God is an angry god who demands appeasement from you outweighing your good deeds over against your bad deeds – then you are going to live differently to a Christian — and you will also die differently because you will never know whether you have done enough good deeds to appeasement angry-god. Following Christ and accepting His claims and commands as true will result in the follower living quite differently compared to those who have no hope (Eph. 2:12).
O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth?
You have struck them down,
but they felt no anguish;
You have consumed them,
but they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
they have refused to repent.
The challenge that those who know the truth have is to share it winsomely to a world who hates the truth because it is like a bright light being shone into their darkness (John 1:9-11). But just because there are spiritual forces which are literally hell-bent on keeping people from seeing and understanding the truth it does not mean that we should cower to their intimidation and keep silent (Eph. 5:11). Truth should be contended for in a culture that has often been beguiled by lies (Jude 3). We, the Church, are called to be custodians of the truth revealed in God’s revelation of His Word to mankind. This may mean that we won’t win the approval or applause of man, but when we do so gently with respect from a heart that genuinely loves it will challenge those in the media, those in the legislature, and sometimes even those in pulpits.
If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God,
which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
First Timothy 3:15
This is why finding truth matters!
Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.
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