Truth is a slippery, slithery eel. It can be hard to grasp, takes a lot of work to pursue, and often hides in the mud. Truth is real; lies are also real, but they are misrepresentations of truth. Truth is often covered and camouflaged by the mire of skepticism and silence. Yet truth remains unchanged, else it wouldn't be truth. I don't know about you, but my brain hurts.
The airwaves are awash in reality shows. Sadly, the lives and reputations of so many "reality" stars are drowned in the excesses of their lives, which may be why they seem so real, and why we watch them. We occasionally seek escape from the real world, either by engaging in flights of fancy created by Hollywood computers or engrossing ourselves in the filmed foibles of people whose lives are worse than ours, allowing ourselves a measure of relief in the superiority of our circumstances.
Are reality shows really reality? Everything we see and hear and read in the media is filtered through the red pens and recording processes of editors. Scenes and sounds are arranged for desired effect, whether the product is a teleplay or ten-o'clock-news tragedy. We experience a "reality" that is manipulated and malleable.
Standing before Pilate, Jesus said, "[F]or this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me" (John 18:37). Pilate responded, "What is truth?" thinking to wash his hands of his responsibility. He couldn't manipulate or edit Jesus, so he just dismissed him.
The reality is that we need one source of truth. There are so many theories, philosophies, speculations, ethical rationales, political paradigms, and social constructs in the world that it's difficult to know where to turn. "If it feels good, do it!" only lasts until it doesn't feel good anymore. Whether we admit it or not, we are all looking for unbendable, reliable truth to explain and influence the reality of our lives.
Jesus gave the answer for hearts that truly want the truth. When praying for his disciples, he said to the Father, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). He knew that the only way they could please God is by following the truth.
Is the Bible reliable? "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away," said the incarnate Truth in Matthew 24:25, 2,000 years ago. "For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations," said the Psalmist almost 3,000 years ago in Psalm 100:5. Millions of people for thousands of years have found the Word of God completely reliable for every aspect of their reality. No scientist, archaeologist, sociologist, psychologist, medic, cleric, skeptic, politic or lunatic has ever proven it wrong.
Is the Bible useful? "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
Will shaping our reality after the Bible damage our reputation? "Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause" (Psalm 25:3).
Does the Bible have eternal value? "Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life'" (John 6:68).
Can the Bible be manipulated? "And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book" (Revelation 22:19).
Can the Bible be used as a standard for all truth claims? "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).
Truth is, there is true truth, real reality, and it's found in the Bible.
Alan Allegra is a freelance Christian writer in Pennsylvania. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. More articles at Lifestyles Over 50: http://www.lifestylesover50.com/ and the Morning Call: www.mcall.com. Available for writing. LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alanallegra/
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