Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Conatus; Truth


What is truth? Truth is conformity to fact or reality; correctness, accuracy, true facts, genuine depiction or statements of reality, that which is real, in a deeper sense; spiritual or ‘genuine’ reality. The question lies in the perspective from which truth is viewed, whether it is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute. The specific Greek word for truth in question or in THE question is the word aletheia; truth, true, truly, truth, verity. Vine's Expository says "truth" is used objectively, signifying "the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of the matter". The word carries the absolute force of its meaning in Ephes. 4:21,"..., as the truth is in Jesus:...", this is indicative of the full sense of the rendering, the parting from a meaning denoting a mere ethical value system, to 'truth' as represented by Jesus Christ in the fullness of scope, expression and embodiment. This truth refers to the integrity, sincerity, grace and love of God as shown by His character revealed in Jesus. It cannot be overstated, underscored or emphatically expressed enough that the Word become flesh (Jesus) is the incarnate or personified exact resemblance of God.

John 14:6,'Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.' The search for truth, the quest to determine its form, to define its substance and content, to find the absolute relation of truth as reality to truth as genuine in life, has been the aggravation and bane of philosophers, clergy and many others. The reality of an absolute truth requires an acquiescence to a power or to the knowledge of a power greater than ourselves existing and with wisdom beyond our comprehension; therefore having judgement, equity and understanding of a nature giving it the authority to justly implement and administer reward and punishment. Within the concept of this authoritarian truth we find the plausible structure of a cell,...convictions are prisons... they separate and divide communuity by the moral and ethical strictures which a marginal population recognizes as authority and acts in accordance with the mandates expressed by that authority. They set aside personal agendas to live within the legal parameters established by that authority. The belief is that the greater good of the whole is enhanced by the acceptance of the governance based on truth, moral and holistic behaviour, and the personal sacrifice of non-virtuous behaviour which seeks to gratify personal desires for the greater good enhancing the lives of all.

John 8:32,"...and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Many searchers of truth do not recognize the freedom shown in observance of the truth. The pursuit of truth finds its significance in lives when they are lived out in the fullness of their intended existence free from the devastating effects of sin, “Properly understood…the desire to act justly derives in part from the desire to express most fully what we are or can be, namely, free and equal rational beings with a liberty to choose.” Freedom is not liberty to be enslaved to immoral behaviour any more than it is being enslaved to limited choices, a non-autonomous existence built on a framework of cause and effect controlling our actions. Freedom is the ability to function within the framework of societal, moral, ethical, holistic and spiritual parameters ensuring the health of the individual and the health of the community. Freedom is to be motivated to act in a manner consistent with a moral perspective dedicated to the survival of self and the community.

When there is no basis for truth, there is no basis for moral right and wrong. Justice becomes whatever works or whatever helps those in power or those seeking power to influence for personal gain and to maintain self-interest. Carnal hearts feel no other grievances than those that molest the body,their desires,their wants and affections and distress their worldly affairs and their personal quest for happiness. The loudest voices crying against intolerance are those same voices screaming their discontent as a result of their shame for their personal conduct in living outside standards of acceptable and normal behavior. Their cry for respect is the formation of their foundation for self-respect. Their desire is to eliminate the moral propriety expressed by God through their very nature and the voice of God as expressed though Jesus Christ. In Jesus and his Word we have a standard for truth and for our moral behavior.

What is truth? It is the radical choice to believe that at the foundational level to being human, to be in relation to other humans, requires fidelity to a moral framework designed by God, lived out in person by Jesus, exemplified by the disciples, and is being perfected in me.