By Don Boys, Ph.D.
Pilate asked Christ, “What is truth?” but he refused to listen to His answer. Christ had said earlier, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He was then, He is today, and will be tomorrow.
A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong does not become right, and evil doesn’t become good because it is accepted by the majority. Right and wrong are not decided by popular vote. Leo Tolstoy said, “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” The consensus theory holds that truth is whatever is agreed upon, but that is inaccurate, insidious, and insane.
George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit–telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” That is the day in which we live. People are often shocked when truth is revealed. There is general distain for truth and when a person gets to where truth doesn’t matter to him, he becomes a deceitful, despicable, and dangerous person.
Be aware of this fact: there is nothing that is going to make people hate you more, and love you more, than telling the truth. We should tell the truth because it is the truth, not because it will make our lives better.
I seldom quote a Roman Catholic but truth is truth even if spoken from the lips of an animal such as Balaam’s donkey. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote in his 1931 A Plea for Intolerance, “Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth…or principles. About these things we must be intolerant….Right is right if nobody is right; and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. And, in this day and age we need, as Mr. Chesterton tells us, ‘not a church that is right when the world is right, but a church that is right when the world is wrong.’”
Both Sheen and Chesterton were right.
I often think of a story about the fellow who one day went to visit an old musician. He knocked on the musician’s door and said. “What’s the good word for today?” The old musician didn’t say a word. He turned around and went across the room to where a tuning fork was hanging. He took a hammer and struck the tuning fork so that the note resounded through the room.
Then the musician said, “That, my friend, is ‘A’. It was ‘A’ yesterday. It was ‘A’ five thousand years ago and it will be ‘A’ five thousand years from now.” Then he added, “The tenor across the hall sings off-key. The soprano upstairs is flat on her high notes. And the piano in the next room is out of tune.” He struck the tuning fork again and said, “That is ‘A’ and that, my friend, is the good word for today.”
Truth is truth yesterday, today, and forever. Truth does not need the law to prop it up since it stands on its own merits.
Truth is always the same. It never changes. Truth is defined as “that which has no distortion.” Truth is most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality. Truth does not require acceptance to be true. Truth is not always beautiful. Truth is truth when I don’t understand it. Ignoring truth does not change it. Wanting and wishing and waffling about something do not make it reality; it is better to hear a cruel truth than a mild delusion.
The concept of truth is discussed, debated and often distorted as seen in philosopher Richard Feynman’s The Character of Physical Law, “We never are definitely right, we can only be sure we are wrong.” What a way to live: never knowing the truth but, for sure, knowing one is wrong. No wonder so many philosophers take their own lives.
Erich Fromm (1900–1980) believed “it is generally recognized that there is no absolute truth” but that is absolutely not true!
Decades earlier, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) thought untruth was better than truth if it had current life enhancement as a consequence. If a falsehood has positive and constructive effects then it is preferable to truth according to Nietzsche. He also affirmed, “There are no facts, only interpretations.” He, Fromm, and others were wrong. There are facts or truths that are absolute: God created the world including man. Man fell, becoming a sinner. Every person inherits a sin nature. Sin brings death. Christ died as a propitiation for sin then physically rose from the dead. Everyone has an responsibility to receive Christ. Death is sure. Hell is hot. Eternity is long. Heaven is free on God’s terms.
If there is a sovereign God, then obviously, truth matters.
A statement cannot be both true and false and it is usually considered best to believe what is true. Some people think that believing a statement makes it true. We have seen this in our day as people have been brainwashed by secular education and the media. Politicians, preachers, philosophers, professors, psychiatrists, and prissy princes of the press think if they tell a lie long enough, and loud enough, it will become true: a butchered baby was not a live person; homosexuals are born that way; people have a right to determine their gender; same-sex “marriage” is as acceptable as normal marriages, etc.
However, they are wrong. No one group has the authority or ability to decide truth. There is no my truth, your truth, and their truth–just truth. Moreover, how one responds to truth does not change it. Truth cannot become more truth or less truth–just truth.
Something is not true because a man dies for it. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Pagans have died for their faith as did Christians, yet all religions cannot be “true.” Because so many Christians have died for their faith does not make that faith more true. There is no such concept as “more true,” just as you can’t be “more dead.”
Philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard was right when he wrote, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” Today you have “stumbled” over truth, although truth is obvious if one opens his eyes. Truth can’t hide for long because, like the sun and moon, it is obvious to those who look.
Winston Churchill wrote, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.” That is easily seen every day. People say they hunger for truth but are often repulsed by the taste of it.
What will you do with truth today? Will you hurry off as if nothing ever happened?
Boys’ new book The World’s Best Jokes! was published last week as an eBook. To get your copy, click here.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years; authored 17 books and hundreds of columns and articles for Internet and print media publications; defended his beliefs on hundreds of talk shows. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com andwww.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)
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