Holding Tight to Permanent
Post-truth was named the Oxford Dictionary's "Word of the Year" for 2016. It is defined as, "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion + personal belief." Oxford Dictionary also asserts, "Rather than simply referring to the time after a specified situation or event - as in post-war or post-match - the prefix in post-truth has a meaning more like, 'belonging to a time in which the specified concept has become unimportant or irrelevant.'"
Let that sink in. Our world has defined truth as having become unimportant and/or irrelevant.
I don't know how that may strike you, but I had to pick my jaw off of the floorboard of my car when I heard that. Not because I don't see the scary reality of relativity in our society, culture, and generation, but because we have so far removed ourselves from what truth is that we have named it, claimed it and stamped it onto the year 2016. As believers in Jesus Christ, this should not go unnoticed by you and I.
After hearing the radio personality tell the listeners this new piece of seemingly useless information, I sat back and let this 'word of the year' sink deep into my bones. It occurred to me that if we are a 'post-truth' culture, those who claim to carry the Truth & are to bear its responsibilities are the ones to blame. Passivity has ensued and tolerance is god. We are caught staring straight into the face of 2 Timothy 4:4, locking eyes with those with "itching ears" and are found mute.
Beth Moore once said, "We are going to end up doing the biggest disservice we could possibly do to our culture by taking away the Truth."
I've found a severe distancing, if not semi-removal, from the Word of God in the Christian community as of late. We are forsaking Scripture in favor of our opinions and feelings. We feel as though we are beyond its relevance for our culture, no longer finding reason to align with what it teaches, so we yield to molding the Bible's absolute truth to fit our temporal cultural truth. It's the greatest irony - that in our sincerity to love and accept people to truth, we feel as though we have to distance ourselves from the inscripturated Truth.
It's a slippery slope that Christians are walking on that is nothing more than a distraction from the Enemy for us to seek truth from the outside, rather than from inside. I like how Kevin DeYoung says it, "You and I simply will not mature as quickly, minister as effectively, or live as gloriously without immersing ourselves in the Scriptures." If we want to be effective, Gospel-minded, Kingdom-building individuals we must be faithful to learning and obeying what Scripture teaches. If our goal is to become more like Jesus in our love, authenticity, honesty, and grace, His adherence to Scripture should not be glossed over. Jesus submitted His will to the Scriptures, committed His brain to studying the Scriptures, and humbled His heart to obey the Scriptures.
Will we be people who live in the tension of Truth and love? Or will we "have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power"? (2 Tim. 3:5)
Will we continue to allow our culture to dictate what is true about God, about humanity, about social issues? Or will we align with the authority of God's Word & significantly shift the conversation?
Will we boldly stand on the revelation that redeems both in word and incarnate?
Every act of redemption is also a revelation - redemption reveals and revelation redeems. Both are in Jesus. "He is God's full and final act of redemption and God's full and final revelation of Himself... as king, as priest, and as prophet" (DeYoung). We cannot separate the written word from the Word in flesh. Both are the origin for Truth.
We are invited into an ongoing narrative that begins and ends in the bound pages of Scripture. The heritage of our faith is available to us and we have the unique opportunity to see the unfolding of a people who believed God and submitted to His Word AND a people who chose temporary feelings over Truth. We get to choose which camp we will pitch our tent in. May we be the people who seek Truth, live in its abundance, and proclaim it to the world.
In a world that prizes the new, the progressive, and the evolved, we need to be reminded that Truth is found in Jesus Christ - He who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).
"Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.
If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.
Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts.
The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.
To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless." (Psalm 119:89-96, NIV)
DeYoung, Kevin. Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough and What That Means for You and Me. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010.