I try to balance my posts between God stuff and other stuff. But, because of my passion to speak truth into people’s lives (including my own), God stuff tends to win. For me, all roads lead to God, not to Rome. Nevertheless…
Modern culture is taking the road to ancient Rome, toward two progressive beliefs: pantheism (everything is divine) and paganism (design your own god), leading to the conclusion that: Life is a BYOG (bring your own god) party, and no belief system is any more valid than any other. The cultural milestones on this road (see ancient Rome) look like this:
- Previously, we allowed diversity; now we celebrate it, affirming that all beliefs are equally valid.
- In doing so, we lose our former understanding of the distinction between rights and truths, i.e. that the right to believe something does not make it true.
- We denounce “exclusionists” who disagree with this revised definition of diversity, labelling them judgmental and intolerant, and take steps toward (ironically) excluding them from public discourse.
- The jaded intelligentsia, perceiving that if everything is true, then nothing is true, reject all beliefs, crossing what philosopher Francis Schaeffer called “the line of despair.” Or, as one humorist puts it, “Zero times a dozen donuts equals zero donuts. What happened to my donuts?!”
Life without truth is not freedom. It’s despair.
Pontius Pilate, the governor of ancient Judaea, had jettisoned, as had the Roman masses, any innate sense of how to discern truth from lies (the God-given yardstick Jesus called “righteousness”). “What is truth?” he asked Jesus. It was a rhetorical question–Pilate did not believe there was an answer.
He’d crossed the line of despair.
But there is a way out (which, according to some ancient writers, including Augustine and Eusebius, Pilate eventually took). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). “When you abide in my word [when you “live” there], you are truly my disciples [shaped by Jesus]. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Matthew 6:33)
Our world isn’t ready for the exclusivity of Jesus’s words. But, like Pilate, they need them all the more. They need to see truth in action. Need to see what real disciples—people shaped by Jesus—look like. They need to see that they can be free, that there is a way back from the line of despair. Not everything is true, but something is. Someone is.
And that Someone is still setting people free.