Jesus said, “Why is My language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” John 8:43-45
Without a doubt, the greatest tragedy of our time is the savaging of truth. “What is truth?” Pilate replied to Jesus before sentencing Him to death, and still today the cost of slandering and reviling truth in our public and private discourse means death to those people and ideals that are worth sacrificing our lives for—just ask Jesus.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me.” John 18:37
Our polarity has led us to de-evolve into a state of chaos and noise where the loudest, most persistent voices win no matter what they are espousing. History offers us an endless supply of lessons with which to sharpen our understanding and heighten our sense of danger at the precipitous ledge to which we have brought ourselves as a society. Yet as a pastor deeply invested in the life and person of Jesus Christ and of His Body, the church, I am most concerned with the blatant disregard of truth being practiced within Christianity today.
We find a dizzying array of examples of societal influences co-opting the church of Jesus Christ (with the church’s agreement) to validate ungodly movements, positions, and leadership to the destruction of others—staining our hands with innocent blood. Whether we speak of our role in the Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazi’s use of the state church to validate its own heinous crimes, the world-wide slave trade underwritten by church leaders and the ensuing racist systems still driving American policies today, or nationalistic uses of the church to endorse strategies that directly devalue other peoples and nations: it becomes obvious that we are too quick to cede the Gospel of Jesus Christ into unholy hands for ungodly gain.
What Jesus made perfectly clear in His life and teaching, His death and resurrection, is that Christianity is sacrificial love in action—not merely for one group, or people, or nation, but for the entire world. “For God so loved the world that He gave only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17
Lies are simply evil, no matter who is speaking and spreading them, for their purpose is to destroy our relationship with God and one another, marring the image of God within us all—their intent since the beginning of creation.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:19-21
Truth is not merely an ideal, it is the person Jesus Christ, and we as Christians are commanded to live and speak the truth in sacrificial agape love. To disregard what is true, to teach and disseminate lies, and to seek to destroy the image of God in others while holding up the cross in defense is the essence of the antichrist; to call what is unholy Holy, or what is Holy unholy, the very definition of the unpardonable sin. Mark 3:28-30
Jesus said, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24
Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-18
What He said.