• Perry Floyd

How True is Truth?

Sanctify them (Jesus' disciples) in the truth; your word is truth. Jesus' prayer in Gethsamene, John 17:17

For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" John 18:37-38

An article on NPR's (National Public Radio's) website lists 12 common half-truths that many of us have accepted as facts. For instance, various news organizations have pointed out that Subway's $5 footlong sandwich actually measures 11 inches instead of 12. (Subway has explained that their methods of baking the bread can cause a slight size differential.) Here are a few more half-truths the article explored:

  1. Peanuts are not really nuts (and neither are Cashews or Brazil Nuts). Walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts are real nuts, but peanuts are actually legumes.

  2. The American buffalo is a bison, not a buffalo. It's part of the Bovidae family, which includes domestic cattle and goats.

  3. A koala bear is not a bear; it's a marsupial.

  4. A palm tree is not a tree. Palm trees belong to the monocot family of flowering plants, which also includes grasses and grains.

  5. "Swollen glands" are not actually glands; they are a series of lymph nodes.

  6. A mountain goat is not really a goat.

  7. 7. Pink is not exactly a color. Physicists claim that pink should really be called "minus green" because "pink" is just the leftovers of white light when you take out the green.

These are unusual days, when discernment has never been more necessary for those who follow Jesus. Fake news, biased reporting, election fraud, quarter-or-half-truths abound. Many in leadership positions echo Pilate' query to Jesus, "so what is truth, anyway?" Implied: who cares? Postmodern theorists define truth as culturally conditioned, a thing each particular culture determines. "Your truth is for you, mine is for me," I've been told.

TIME Magazine emblazoned its cover "Is Truth Dead?" on April 13, 2017. Here's what you and I can hang onto: Truth is what aligns with reality. I don't make up truth, I don't determine truth; I discover truth as I experience and know reality. And for us, Jesus' words provide the anchor: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Truth is Christ-centered. He is God in the flesh, all things were created by him, for him, through him, and in Him all things hold together. I have learned to compare what I hear to God's Word, which is truth. I have learned to lean upon reality for truth, not my, your or anyone's opinion. I echo David's prayer in Psalm 25:5 "Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long."

Maximizing discernment, Perry Floyd

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