Attitudes toward truth today are lamentable. In the Lord’s church there is less interest in truth than ever before in my lifetime. In this missive I am going to give some false views (fatal error) regarding the truth as well as Scriptural views.
Truth is absolute. By this I mean that it does not change. The Fount from which it comes is pure and it is incorruptible and undefiled and does not change. Philosophy says that truth is relative. They mean by this that truth changes and more so with every generation. We thus have the need for new Bibles every year or two. It may be wrong today to lie, cheat, steal or commit adultery etc., but in a decade or two these all may be accepted as a proper way to live. The truth is still the same—absolute—objective and never subjective. It is the truth whether anyone knows it or not. I could write many pages on this aspect alone, but what I am attempting to do is to elevate the truth to its proper level for reasons that will follow.
There are many religious doctrines that are false that are being taught in the world. Great numbers laugh at the truth; even among those who have attained high academic degrees. These doctrines are taught so that people will live by them. They make fun of the truth. One holds one view of truth another a different view and they are both contradictory. Why should one man accept a religious doctrine which is nothing more than a human doctrine? Many things could be said regarding this, but there is only one major thing of importance to be said and that is we should hold to a doctrine because it is true. It comes from God. One philosopher said that the only reason that one should hold a certain doctrine is because it is found to be true. If there is truth in religion there should be the compelling notion that one should change their views when they find out that what they have believed is false. Universities are constantly trying to turn people away from God. I believe that the USA is in great danger. Many of the people who should be helping are actually hurting by not making Christianity what it ought to be. There are many in the church that have turned away from the truth with the idea that it is not all absolute and you can believe what you wish to believe.
Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth and the [eph.hdd] truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). The seed is the word of God Luke 8:11. Peter said, “… you have purified your souls in obeying the truth…” (1 Pet. 1:22). Knowing and obeying the truth is absolutely necessary to the saving of one’s soul, I do not equivocate on this, but am ready to defend this in public. Since truth is so important it is good that we look at some incorrect and some correct views of truth.
It is a fatal error to hold that truth can be diluted by mere human doctrine and still be acceptable to God. It is hard for me to believe that people could believe that. Since my parents and grandparents were members of the church, and as a child I was taught the Bible is true always and error will not change that. I realize that I had a helpful situation in my life, but today the church is not like that. Jesus said that it was a sin to add to this Book Rev. 22:18. This is a plain and simple statement. If you do not speak what the Bible speaks you will be held accountable before God. The Bible is inspired, it is complete, sufficient and is authoritative. It does not need any help from me or you or anyone else in the world. It is already exactly what it ought to be.
It is a fatal error to hold that men can take away from the truth and achieve the result that it will still be acceptable to God. They argue that they are not changing anything, but we are just dropping out a few chapters here and there. Jesus further said something about taking away, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:19). You have to try to misunderstand those simple words. At times men are prone to not study all that the Bible says on a subject because they might find where they are in error. As a result, they read only that which will accommodate their view or lifestyle or drop the Bible from their lives altogether. Many years ago, there were many Gospel preachers who were willing to meet in public debate those who hold error, but a terrible thing has happened. We have fewer, who are willing to do this, but we have many who do not care enough about the truth anymore to defend it. This ought not to be. Moses said not to add to or diminish ought from the Word (Deut 4:2). It is clear that the Word of God is perfect! It is clear that the Word of God is perfect and God will not tolerate me changing anything in His Word. Neither is He going to tolerate you or anyone else in the world, whether they have read the Bible or not, He will not tolerate our changing it. It does not need our help in any way to make it truer. It is a false view to think that we have the right to add, diminish or change anything in it. As that truth now stands it is able to furnish man completely unto every good work (2 Tim. 3:17).
Why cannot we as human beings, who came from God, come to learn and trust in God by trusting in His sacred Word? In times past and gone we have had the opportunity to really preach the pure Gospel, but now the situation is different. So many congregations have departed from the way of the Lord. They clamor for change. We do not have the privilege to change it. We have many perverters of the Word Gal. 1:6-8. When anyone teaches anything other than the true Gospel; he is under the judgment of God. Paul said “let him be accursed.” The Gospel is God’s power unto salvation and there is no other Gospel. This nation is heading headlong toward atheism. If we do not awaken it will be too late for perhaps a hundred years. We have turned our attention to the problems within the church, and we should, but there still awaits the world who does not believe in God’s Word as being the only objective truth. Pervert means to change something from one thing to another. Some would have us to believe that a perverted Gospel is just as powerful to save as the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many have rejected scriptural evidence and the sound conclusions that are drawn there from for a perverted word. There are other so called gospels, but none of them have the power to save (cf. Gal. 1:6-7).
Another fatal error that we find in regard to truth is to hold that it is not the exclusive means of salvation from sin. Everyone can have his own doctrine. Many churches believe that they teach the truth. Our towns and villages are filled with such even to this day. According to Peter souls are purified in obedience to the truth (1 Pet. 1:22). Jesus still says that it is the truth that makes man free. In a negative way the Bible makes clear that those who do not obey the Gospel will be damned to eternal torment. Is it your belief that God equivocates on this? Is it the case that God leaves it out there and that people cannot understand this? The idea that is advanced, even in our so-called Christian colleges is that everyone has the right to believe what ever they wish to believe. How can this be when the perfect Will of God shows us that if one does not obey God’s will, he will face eternal punishment? It is tragic that this is being taught to our young. God does not say that it is merely probable that damnation will occur if one does not obey the Gospel. He unequivocally and plainly and unambiguously teaches that all those who disobey the Gospel of Christ will be punished eternally. If a man can read this and not even quiver some within his soul, he does not believe the Bible is God’s Word. He thinks it is some kind of fairy tale.
Another fatal error is to believe that a preacher can preach anything else and be pleasing unto God. Jesus did not commission His disciples to preach just some religious message. He specified the message—the Gospel. In order to do this one must study to see what the Bible says. He must look at various passages on the same subject to make sure what the Bible says. Preaching the truth is not as easy a task as some church members believe. This false belief, on the part of some, may be why we have some of the problems that we have today. Do we truly understand that there are buildings that we pass that have a sign that says “Church of Christ” and inside people do not believe that doctrine is important? They would have us believe that all that is needed is a pious attitude. We can all have a pious attitude or “play like” we do, but a real pious attitude is essential to us satisfying God. Being pious is essential, but by itself it is not enough. We must believe and obey the truth.
Another fatal error toward truth is that it can be regarded as true by one person and false by another and both be right. There are so many who now say, “I know that we do not agree on something, but that does not matter. We can both work together and do the Lord’s work.” This is not true at all. I am not about to accept that. When there is something that the Bible teaches that is adamant in its teaching then we must believe it or not believe it, do it or not do it, and one must do it the way the Bible tells us. Where did the notion come from that hints toward the soul damning doctrine of “go along to get along?” You cannot agree to disagree. This is the devil’s doctrine if one has ever been taught! Are we ever going to rise up again to be what we were in the 1940s, 50s and 60s? In the 1970s is when we really began to see drastic changes.
A Christian college can be a wonderful thing, but they are a curse when they staff it with people who have no convictions regarding the truth about the truth. It is false to assert that one can hold to doctrine “x” and another to doctrine “y” and both doctrines be true. Truth is objective and absolute. This means that it does not matter what I think about it or what we have ever heard or read. It is not a matter of what I think about it. It teaches exactly what God wishes for it to teach and never shall it be changed. It has a status all its own and what it teaches. It is not subjective and relative. A relative thing only has to do with circumstances. To say it is subjective is to say that it is what each man believes. If the proposition that Jesus Christ died for my sins it is true, then He died for everybody that has ever lived or will live upon this earth. When Peter said on Pentecost that Christ had been raised from the dead it was true although some rejected it, but their rejection did not change the fact. What the Bible then taught is what it has taught for centuries down to this very day. Truth is truth and it does not change.
We would be in enormous error to hold the position that the truth is unattainable. Though there is some over lapping with points already made, this one also needs our attention because there are those who believe that we can seek the truth, but never attain it. Always looking for it—always looking down the road for it, but never really see it or find it. This has happened to many in the Lord’s church who early in life heard good preaching and started listening to something else and they have been turned away from the truth. However, today we get advertisements of meetings and the preacher does not believe nor does he preach that the truth is all that important. He teaches that you do not have to believe and obey the truth, and you are still alright in the sight of God, and you do not have to be baptized into Christ or live a faithful life. Or that you can skip services for the Super Bowl or not attend when you are away from home. The person who teaches this is not a Christian. Some of these preachers, so called, never extend the Lord’s invitation. These need to be marked if they do not repent. Their argument goes something like this; you surely do not claim to know everything. You are surely not infallible and since you are not infallible how do you claim that you are certain on anything. This is not gospel preaching it is preaching a false philosophy. This argument takes the shape that it is the case that no one knows everything. Then it is also the case that no one knows anything at all. If it is the case that no one knows everything. Therefore, no one knows anything at all. Paul said “prove all things.” How are you going to prove something if you do not know how to prove it? Are you going to study and use reasoning based upon the Scriptures to prove all things? This is a must or we will lack in proving all things. In our Lord’s temptations by Satan He said, “It is written.” He is essentiality saying here is one thing, here is another and then another. Put them altogether and you have the truth. Satan understood this and knew that he could not defeat the truth. Fit these things together and you will come to the right conclusion.
There are many things that I do not know. I do not even pretend to know all things, but there are some things I know that I know because revelation has made them known to mankind. I also know that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” You can take this simple statement and put to shame the greatest philosophers that ever lived whether they be graduates of Harvard or Yale. I may not know all the Bible teaches, but every time I open its pages, I learn more. I heard one of the professors from one of our college’s say that he did not know anything, but he does know that he does not know anything. This is circular reasoning and contradictory. He argues that he knows nothing and then asserts that he knows something. It so happens that the something that he knows is that he does not know anything. This is silly! This surely makes some impression on the young minds under his tutelage, but it lends nothing to spiritual truth.
If we cannot know the truth then the Bible is not a meaningful book to us whatsoever. If we cannot know the truth then we cannot know God’s meaningful revelation and His efforts are totally wasted on us. If this was true none of us could know the truth or find out that we had learned it. Men deceive themselves into thinking that they can contradict one another and we are all going to heaven. The Bible teaches what it teaches without regard to what I or anyone thinks about it. I repeat; truth is objective and absolute. It is not subjective and relative.