In the world of fake news, relative values and alternative facts, truth itself seems to be the casualty, sacrificed on the altar of offense. What is truth, or lie, is now subjected to whether we, or more particularly special interest groups, feel offended.
I read news articles, even from more reputable sources, that are full of condemnation for what somebody has said or done – how offensive it was. There is rarely any time given to the question ‘was it true?’. For somebody that values truth as an objective reality, I always want that question answered. It is rarely even raised these days.
I am forced to conclude that this is the culture that we live in is so unmoored, cast adrift, that even basic assumptions such as ‘truth is a good thing’ can no longer be taken for granted.
These are not mere semantics, limited to social media wars. A fundamental rejection of truth in favour of feeling can lead to such things as children affirmed to be the opposite sex, given drugs and then surgically mutilated in order to try to reinvent reality. With sadly predictable results.
Thousands of children may be abused now, but millions can die on the altar of lies. For example, the Holodomor famine of the 1930s was a result of the enforcement of collectivist ideology against reality. And there are plenty more examples of our allergy to truth.
This is nothing new. When Jesus spoke, he deeply offended the authorities, the religious figures, and even his own disciples. Only a few ever touched the question of whether His words were actually true.
This is how Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin went:
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him.Matthew 26 v 59-67
Well, I recognise this: The Twitter mob of the 1st Century!
Jesus is still offensive to us. He didn’t just claim outrageous truths. He claimed to be The Way, The Truth and The Life. And that “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
That’s the level 1 offense we will all have to respond to, one way or another.
Is His offense so severe that we will crucify him again in our lives?
Or is his truth so compelling that we will crucify our lives in love and worship of Him?
There are no other choices.