The pivotal purpose of truth
"When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in
honey" - Arab proverb
As a young child, subject to the usual childhood ailments
from time to time, my mother would expend a lot of energy trying to
force some pure, unadulterated medicine down my throat. I would run,
hide or do anything I could not to swallow that foul tasting brew, but
after a while she got wise and adopted a strategy made popular by a classic
movie of the time, "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!"
She whipped that medicine with so much sweetness I thought I was eating
candy and went from running a mile to begging her to give it to me.
It's a long way back!
Sadly, both the world and to some degree, sections of the
church have moved far from the Christian-Judeo version of absolute truth. The
world has gone the way of trendy relativism and now vehemently calls 'evil
good and good evil,' mainly because the church has surrendered its
moral authority and allowed the ethic of the age to seep into it, rather than
getting itself out more into the world. To bring them both back to God's
perspective on the issue of truth is one of the greatest challenges facing those
who still have a passion to see His righteousness established on this earth
"...as it is in Heaven!
The Pivotal Purpose
It all started with the serpent's question to Eve in the
garden, "Did God really say...?" (Genesis 3:1 NIV). This question was
the first chip of doubt on the pillar of absolute truth. In the broadest of
senses, it can be said that the entire biblical perspective on the history of
humanity since then has been an endeavour to correct the lie of Eden. The
written Law was a band aid fix for fallen man, nevertheless, it
foreshadowed a better solution in the ultimate revelation: Jesus - God become
flesh! Out of this came the Body of Christ, the Church, entrusted with the
primary purpose of keeping the flame of truth as bright as it was
received. Nothing is more pivotal to the social, economic, and spiritual future
of humanity than the restoration of biblical truth.
One of the early church fathers, Saint Augustine said,
"Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is
to see what you believe." Due to the almost terminal state of truth in our
time, strong medicine will be needed to stop the rot before it's too late.
However, it's not too late for the Church to take a stand against error, whether
it be within or without. But if it is to have a fighting chance in this
restoration, it will have to take a page out of my mother's book of
child-rearing wisdom. Absolute truth is a timeless message, but to restore it in
a post-modern age will require a 'wise as a serpent, gently as dove'
strategy, watered with a faith that believes it is possible to see our culture
reclaimed in our day.
Consumerism has been the dominant 'god' of the west for
several generations now. In a consumer culture, packaging is everything.
Manufacturers understand that because people have been conditioned to buy on the
promise of the outer wrapping, often they have to spend more on packaging
than on the product. If we are going to take on the enormous challenge of
proclaiming the strong medicine of truth to this generation, we must be
prepared to add a lot of sugar, otherwise, like me when I was young, they will
run a mile and not receive it. Jesus always met people where they were at, and
we must do the same.
It is encouraging for me to see a new generation of young
Christians arising who not only have the Sword of the Spirit within them, but
are being trained to use it in defence of truth by those from the
previous generation who have survived intact. These young Neo-Nazarites are
separating themselves morally from the current popular culture but are
continuing to infiltrate it spiritually from within, being the salt that Jesus
said we should be. They are finding relevant ways of communicating timeless
truths to an intellectually arrogant age, speaking the truth in love,
but understanding there is no substitute for the yoke-breaking
anointing of the Holy Ghost!