Summary: Who am I to tackle the meaning of Truth? To me, this is my most important contribution. If you use it, please let me know.
December 22, 2013
A Russian couple was walking down the street in St. Petersburg recently, when the man felt a drop hit his nose. “I think it’s raining,” he said to his wife.
“No, that felt more like snow to me,” she replied.
“Actually, I’m sure it was just rain,” he said.
As these things go, they were about to have a major argument about whether it was raining or snowing. Just then they saw a minor Communist Party official walking toward them. “Let’s not fight about it,” the man said, “let’s ask Comrade Rudolph whether it’s officially raining or snowing.” As the official approached, the man said, “Tell us Comrade Rudolph, is it officially raining or snowing?”
“It’s raining, of course,” he answered as he began to walk on.
But the woman insisted: “I know that felt like snow!”
To which the man quietly replied: Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear!”
Truth can be in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, someone in control with power, such as the Party official. Mankind has been in dispute about what truth is since the beginning. Ask anybody the question; what is truth? The response will be what that person has experienced and what their understanding of reality is. With such a variance of opinion and conviction, which is different for each person, humanity has been missing the defining meaning of absolute truth; something that should mean the same to every human.
Our dictionary gives the definition of truth as; the real facts about something, the things that are true. Additionally, words such as fidelity and consistency are used, and the state of being the case, sincerity in action, character and utterance. British dictionaries use; fidelity to an original or to a standard.
Without a singular standard, humanity lives in chaos, particularly when there are multiple standards. Look anywhere in history and you will see that without a true standard to live by, individual truths only result in conflict since we want others to live by our standards, rules or belief, so the world will be at peace with us. While there is a desire for harmony in relationships, we can’t reach such bliss with conflicting and individual truths. Such is the case with religion. For example, there are so many versions of truth within the Evangelical Church that 41,000 denominations exist in the U.S. alone. Add to this list the differences in other religions around the world, and you find vast confusion about truth of life and how to live in success.
War is blamed on religion, although it’s not religion that causes war, it’s humanities insistence that a particular way to live is absolute and all others should adhere. Every combatant believes their truth to be the winning one, and have the will to force their truth on another nation, tribe or person. Blame war on differences in belief, belief that may or may not be connected to religion. Belief is not exclusive to religion. The mind that attributes all war to religion is already at war with religion.
It is true, we are a warring society, and by society, I mean all of humanity. If we have no external enemy, we turn on each other. If there is no conflict in our lives, we make it happen through drama or live out conflicts vicariously through football teams, famous racecar drivers, mixed-martial-arts fighters, soap operas or even professional wrestling favorites. Movies and video games portraying violence is the modern norm that helps keep our conflict-loving attitudes engaged.
In 1963, the year President Kennedy was assassinated, a document was created by top social engineers, political and military leaders in our Country, on the desirability of peace. The conclusion was that our society needs war to be satisfied, so the War on Poverty and War on Drugs were planned to satisfy the desire for struggle so more Government and taxes would be seen necessary. We don’t like poverty and illegal drugs, so selling these wars to the people, supported by Government was easy. The ruling classes know that manufacturing their version truth is important to their goals.
But isn’t there a better way? Can we not find a way to live outside of conflict? Is there truth we can all accept without force or war of some kind? There is, and establishing a truth that leads to love is what Christmas is about.
Last week’s lesson included a statement from Matthew 11 verse 12 that reads, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been administered by force, and only those in power control it.” So force has been used to bend mankind’s thinking, even in religion, but now and because of Christmas, the arrival of truth has changed how we accept what God has to offer. John chapter one, verse 17 reads, “For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Yeshua, The Messiah.” Truth as presented and represented by Christ is the way to live, and grace helps us bridge the gap between arriving at that truth and living in it. Truth alone is difficult for mankind, but when grace and forgiveness is added, truth is tolerable yet beneficial in bringing us all to peace and joy.