Truth has become an endangered species. Acts, #38. Acts 10 & 1 Timothy 6.3-5
Yeah, I got it, of course I did: “Why in the world would you be teaching about a sheet that Peter saw in a vision in the first century? I mean, Christine, do you realize what is going on in the world? Do you realize the racial divide, the civil unrest, the false teaching slipping into the church? Oh, and my best friend was just diagnosed with Covid. Do you realize how many pastors have turned woke? Why talk about Peter, a sheet and unclean things?” Okay, okay!
Because truth matters.
The purist source of truth--absolute truth--is the Word of God which presents us with absolute holiness, morality and righteousness of a holy God who is all powerfull, all knowing and everpresent. That is why we study God’s Word cover to cover, seeking to understand how it all began--in the Garden, then Noah, Abraham, Moses, the 10 Commandments (not the 10 suggestions); how it progressed--the kings, the prophecies which put forth 700 years beforehand a Messiah that would come…and then the New Testament story of Jesus--his teachings, life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension into Heaven, the coming of the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus himself just weeks before, and the start of the early church. Their struggles were not so different than ours--pressure, persecution, dispersing of their community, and then the salvation of Saul, who we know better by his Greek name Paul - who gave us 13 letters to churches which gave us our Christian life and doctrine.
If ever we have needed the truths in the Word of God, it is now. But sometimes it does require some work on our part (like here in Acts chapter 10). What we are seeing now in our culture is chaos and confusion--especially in our young people. They are told they can be whatever gender they choose and have relations with whomever they want, not even staying with one preference. Yeah it is called pan sexual…. What in the world?
Tuesday at the gym I saw a clip on an overhead television of a young person going through the physical transformation to become an alien- yes, I am dead serious. Things are spinning out of control!
Friends, nothing is sacred anymore. And popular culture would have you believe that nothing is absolutely true or true absolutely.
Recently, we have read and studied Saul, (later exclusively referred to by his Greek name), Paul, get radically saved on the Damascus Road. Lest we think ours is the most erudite generation . . . the most evolved and intelligent, we best think again. In the ancient world in which Paul resided, many regularly looked to argue some obscure point--all to look brilliant—for the purpose of popularity and the almighty dollar. Many times, their positions were neither valuable nor necessarily true, yet these same men found their way into Christian churches as well, interfering with the delivery of the life-saving gospel message. ‘Sound familiar? That is what is happening today!
Look what Paul to wrote to Timothy: “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” 1 Timothy 6.3-5
You and I must always be discerning about the teaching we heed, along with the manner and character of our teachers. Does the teaching line up with the Bible, or is it fallacious? Paul said of himself: my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2.4.
Indeed, be certain about what you believe, and be prudent about the teaching you let influence your thinking.
Seems like a lot of folks today just want to hear things that make them feel good, particularly about themselves and also the condition of the world—often preferring wishful thinking to reality. But C.S. Lewis wrote so poignantly, “if you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”8
Truth is paramount.