Do Christians believe in the truth?

Do Christians still believe in the truth?

I mean, we love Jesus! And Jesus himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Christians believe the Scriptures are breathed out by God; they are True. We believe in the Truth of the gospel.

I believe most Christians could ace a True / False test on the topic. My test would have only one question: “Truth is objective (True or False).”

It’d be an easy A - the answer is “True.”

But increasingly, I think it’s a myth that Christians believe in objective truth.

The Issue of Self-Deception

It’s one thing to say you believe in objective truth.

But it’s another to show that you believe in objective truth.

James says that if we only hear God’s word, but we don’t do it, we deceive ourselves (James 1:22). In other words, the Bible says that sometimes we tell ourselves a myth: I believe in God’s word. So I believe in truth.

But when we look at how we act, we show our true colors: “I’m in charge here.”

Christian, you should be suspicious of your claim to love the truth.

Why? Because our Scriptures - the absolute truth - tell us that the human heart tricks itself.

God tells us that we are likely to convince ourselves that we are holding to the truth even as we live like the truth is irrelevant.

Our Reputation Has Faded

But it’s not just an issue of Scriptural authority.

What kind of reputation have Christians earned? Are we known for our uncompromising commitment to the truth?

Consider what David Brooks wrote in The New York Times this week . He observes:

This is the ultimate crisis on the right. Many conservatives say there is an objective moral order that demands obedience, but they’ve been formed by America’s prevailing autonomy culture, just like everybody else. In practice, they don’t actually want to surrender obediently to a force outside themselves; they want to make up their own minds. The autonomous self has triumphed across the political spectrum, on the left where it makes sense, and also on the right, where it doesn’t.

How did we get here?

Examples abound. For instance, some Christians promote the idea that Donald Trump is the President of our country. Some Christians say that getting COVID is better than getting a COVID vaccine. Some Christians argue that abortion is a moral abomination, but it would be wrong to adjust government policies to improve the lives of mothers and babies. Some Christians say racism isn’t real.

Meanwhile, other Christians argue that Trump stole an election from Hillary Clinton. Some Christians refuse to accept that lockdowns have a cost. Some Christians don’t acknowledge the sacred dignity of the unborn. Some Christians call all police officers racist.

The truth is that Christians aren’t known for their commitment to the truth.

The Truth Is… We Live in Taylor Swift’s World

When giving New York University’s commencement speech this week, Taylor Swift perfectly explained our cultural moment. She said,

I know it can be really overwhelming figuring out who to be, and when. Who you are now and how to act in order to get where you want to go. I have some good news: it’s totally up to you. I also have some terrifying news: it’s totally up to you.

I saw plenty of Christian thought leaders blast this statement as false. Oppressive. Wrong.

But you know what? Our social media profiles give it away. Professional headshots. Funny but serious bios. Links to books. By and large, Christian thought leaders are very focused on protecting their reputational brands.

We’ve all decided that it’s up to us. And that’s another way of saying: it isn’t up to God.

How ironic. We live as if Taylor Swift is preaching the gospel, but we condemn her for describing how it is.

Let’s tell the truth about ourselves

In Christianity, the most important truth is that God exists. And the next most important truth is that we aren’t God.

If we want to be known for telling the truth, it should start with confession. When we tell the truth about our sins, it will surprise people.

It’s time to put on our sackcloth and ashes and weep together: we don’t love the truth.

And here’s the truth: If we confess our sins, God says he’ll forgive us, heal us, and transform us.

Let’s tell the truth to each other

Sometimes I am bewildered by how Christians avoid the truth.

I’ll give you one example. This spring I challenged two well-known Christian leaders who platformed Dave Ramsey. Why? Dave’s abuse is amply documented. But those podcasts are still available.

It’s embarrassing. Will you speak up for the truth?

It will be uncomfortable. I don’t enjoy it at all. I get knots in my stomach the rest of the day. But if you love the truth, you’ll find the courage to do what’s right.

Let’s live the truth

Truth has a cost.

Jesus said he was the truth. And we believe him because he died on the cross for that conviction.

If you want others to believe that you love the truth, you’ll show it by how much you’re willing to sacrifice for the truth.

And no, I’m not talking about rising up with patriotic violence. I’m talking about the truth of Jesus. The truth that motivates sacrificial love.

So if our lives don’t show sacrificial love for others, we can’t be surprised when people question our love for the truth. The truth that we say is found in Jesus.

Self-deception is awful. A reputation for hypocrisy is worse.

But the gospel is a great treasure.

May our lives once again commend its truth.