Archive for the ‘Basics of Truth’ Category

Our Struggle For Truth

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

The mind’s struggle in the search for truth is a universal one.  You hear it everywhere. Everyone thinks they know the truth.  But the truth is, not everyone really wants to know the truth. Many of us want to create our own comfortable little world of  “truth”.

I’m reminded of the words in the John Denver ballad, “What One Man Can Do”.  John expresses the reality of man’s struggle when he sings, “It’s hard to tell the truth when no one wants to listen, when no one really cares what’s going on.”  That’s the problem.  Most of us don’t really want to know what’s going on.  We don’t care. We just want to live in our own little castles of ideas without interference, whether those ideas are founded on reality or not.

Simon and Garfunkel express the same quandary in their song called “The Boxer”.  It’s a song about a poor young man trying to find comfort but is stuck in  meaningless misery.  He bemoans the fact that he has “squandered” his life because he has embraced “promises” that have turned out to be “all lies and jest”.  Then he admits, “Still a man hears what he wants to hear.”  We can’t blame anyone but ourselves if we believe lies instead of truth.  If we really want to know the truth we will find it.

Like John Denver says in another song, “But we both know the truth is hard to come by and if I told the truth that’s not quite true.”  We would like to hide behind cliches like “Truth is hard to come by” or “Truth is relative” but the honest in heart know “that’s not quite true”.  Anyone who is contemplative enough, like these poets and songwriters, knows that it’s a struggle in the mind of man to really want to know the truth about anything.  They also know that if one really wants to know the truth, one can.

The Word, The Truth and The Light

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

One of the basic principles of the Christian faith is found in John 17:17 when Jesus says in His prayer to His Father, “Your word is truth.” Then in Psalm 119:105 the prophet David says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” This is no literal light that we would see with our eyes, but a light that shines into the soul and illuminates the dark recesses of the mind. It is a light that if not eclipsed or veiled by pride of opinion will brighten the mind and life as if transported to another level or realm of existence. Those who haven’t experienced it yet can’t understand what this means until they do.

Those who embrace this light and truth are like those of whom the apostle Paul spoke when he said “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5) These sons and daughters of light are eager to embrace the conviction found in Isaiah 8:20 where it says “To the law and to the testimony if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” That is to say that anyone who doesn’t teach in harmony with the “Law” of Moses as well as the “testimony” of the prophets which give witness to and affirm that Law, doesn’t have light or truth in them. They are children of darkness.

The children of light have a great advantage in being able to know what is light and truth and what is not. Get a Bible and begin to read it and see if you don’t find truth and light. Just don’t let pride of opinion eclipse the light from coming into your soul.

Light and Darkness

Monday, February 11th, 2008

yin-yang.jpg For the Christian one of the most dramatic symbols or images of truth is light. To my knowledge darkness has never been used as a symbol for truth. At best some have tried to see darkness as equal to light. This is illustrated by the Chinese concept of the yen and yang. According to that idea darkness and light are two mutually complementary entities that need and will continue to need each other to exist eternally. Apply that to truth and and error and it’s like saying that truth and lies will always coexist and in fact need each other to exist.

One reason I can’t accept that philosophical idea is because that isn’t how light and darkness really are in the natural world. In nature light always has the predominance. In fact darkness is nothing but the absence of light. Darkness doesn’t come from anywhere to dispel light. There is no such thing as a dark bulb. There are no beams of darkness coming from some “dark” source “shining” into the light. You might block light waves with a solid object but the darkness is still only caused by a diminishing of or the absence of light.

Secondly darkness is not equally powerful in it’s balance of push against light but is helplessly subject to light’s invasion. You could put it this way, light is not the least bit intimidated by darkness but is complete master of it whenever it sees fit.

Like light, for the Christian, truth is not dependent on lies for it’s existence. Truth is truth and error will just have to get used to it. Just like the dark will have to get used to it when the light decides to shine. Jesus said “But he who does the truth comes to the light.” (John 3:21)

Truth Sets Free

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

FreedomJesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me . . . . to proclaim liberty to the captives.” How does He liberate the captives? He says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. Someone asked me once “How does truth set us free?” That is a really good question and maybe one of the most important if we want true freedom.

Another word for truth or better yet maybe another state of truth is wisdom. I coined a little saying the other day - if a Fact is a Truth Frozen then Wisdom is a Truth Warmed. Proverbs 9 in the Bible is a chapter on wisdom. One verse says, “For by me (wisdom) your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.” The answer to our question is really simple. If you want to be set free from (in this case) a short life, get wisdom, get truth warmed up.

The universe and life has built within it certain truths about how it works optimally. Life operates by ceretain truths. If we embrace those truths in a way that they become warmed up as a part of our very nature, our lives will be benefited because we will be in harmony with how life was made to be lived. Whenever we live out of harmony with the truths of our being there is dissonance created and our life will be shortened. Embracing the truth can set you free from the consequences that come from living in conflict with the principles of truth which govern our nature. Seek truth.

Proving Truth

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The only person you can prove anything to is yourself. I watched a debate on ABC’s Nightline recently where some Christians claimed they were going to “prove” to some atheists “that God exists”. I knew from the moment they made the statement they were in trouble. Their attitude was that they were going to overwhelm their opponents with so much compelling information that they would be forced to accept their premise. This goes against the most basic principle of how truth is received and thus taught. You may have heard the old axiom; “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” and if that’s true (and I believe it is) then you have failed to prove anything.

As a seeker for truth myself I understand that the process of finding and receiving the truth requires personal desire, thought and consideration before I can assimilate an idea as my own or reject it as error. When someone comes to me as if they have the truth, overwhelming me with ideas and not allowing me to process and consider if it is true or not I usually tune them out.  Most searching and thinking people will.

On the other hand when teaching truth the most important thing is to know that those listening are engaged willingly with their own thinking process. The most important part of teaching truth is making sure your listeners are engaged as thinkers. Truth doesn’t need anyone to force it on anyone else.  It has it’s own natural appeal to those who are searching for it.  Through this process people are enabled to prove for themselves what is truth.

As a teacher of truth I am not out to “prove” anything.  I just present what is true and those who are honestly searching for truth will recognize it when they see it.  They can prove truth to themselves.

Symbols of Truth

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The desire to believe we have the “truth” exists all around us.  At the very core of the human quest for knowledge is the desire for truth. Throughout time and culture there have been different words as well as  images drawn upon by mankind to illustrate or represent “truth”.

For instance “Light” itself as an element has often been used as an analogy for truth, as opposed to darkness which has often represented error, the perfect opposite of truth.  When we find truth we often speak of ourselves as enlightened.

When it comes to mere words “Actuality” is a word that to me represents that which is true.  This is similar to “Reality” which speaks of that which is “real”.  That which is real is true and actual.  We could also speak of “facts ” - a word which also represents that which really is.  We often speak of that which is “right” whether it be with reference to philosophy, behavior, or facts.  Whatever is right is true.

The fact that languages of all cultures have developed words or symbols to represent “truth” is an indication to me of the basic desire and need of our very natures to know and identify truth.  It’s built within us.  The natural desire of people to identify what is true and real exists all around us.

Here at Glorious Truth I will periodically use some of these common words and images as I speak about my search for truth.  I would like to know what symbols and words you use when you speak of truth.

What’s Relative

Monday, June 4th, 2007

One important thing that we must understand during our search for truth is that some truth may be beyond our ability to understand. If there is anything that is relative with respect to truth it would be our desire and capacity to discover it.

Just think of how our understanding of the universe has grown over the years. This increase is directly related to somebody’s desire and capacity to search. Think of how the Hubble telescope has improved our capacity to look into the universe. If there is only one truth to be learned here it’s that the universe is bigger and grander than we can even imagine. Without someone’s desire to know truth we wouldn’t know what little we do about the universe.

Go the other direction and look into the human body. Only two hundred years ago there was very little known about how the body systems worked. Just think of how somebody’s desire and then technology has helped us understand something like the immune system and the relationship of the cells and their components. Our discovery of the truth about our body is relative to our desire and capacity to study it.

As we search for the truth we have to ask ourselves; “What can I be certain of as truth and what is beyond my capacity to know?” When it comes to God, the universe, our world, our health, or our relationships, we want to know as much truth as we can, to achieve personal success. We want to increase our desire and capacity for knowing truth as much as we can because in the end our comprehension of truth is relative to our desire and capacity to search it out.

Truth Matters

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Someone might ask; “What difference does it make if I know the truth?” My answer to that question is that, “Truth matters.”Consider yourself driving down the road. From all appearance it’s a straight road. The truth is that one mile ahead over a hill is a hidden sharp right turn. Your going along at ninety miles an hour and you see a sign that alerts you to slow down to thirty five miles an hour so you will be able to make the turn ahead. Suppose you say, “It doesn’t matter.” and just keep going ninety. I think you get the point. Truth matters.

For instance, apply that principle to your spiritual life. Suppose you have views about God and spirituality that aren’t true. It may be that you will find yourself on the wrong side of the road. In every area of life there are always negative consequences of not knowing the truth but believing an error. It behooves us then to make sure that we know what is true in the spiritual realm.

What about your physical health? Suppose society or doctors or marketeers tell you something about what you should eat or do to be healthy. Does it matter if what they are telling you is the truth? Of course it does. Almost every week we hear about people who are harmed by following the latest recommendation. It is really important that you take time to find out the truth about how you can best be healthy.

Have you ever wondered why your relationships don’t work? It’s probably because someone isn’t acting in accordance with truth as it relates to how healthy relationships work. Embracing the truth about relationships can help you avoid all manner of surprising turns.

What about our environment? Is it true? Are we destroying our environment because of things we are doing? Wouldn’t it be a shame if we were to go along acting in accordance with ideas that were harming us believing that they weren’t harming us?

If we are going to achieve success in life, truth matters. Avoid it at your own peril. Cling to lies and you will find yourself continuing to crash along the road of life. Don’t let laziness, tradition, or blindly following hold you captive. Search for truth yourself, because truth matters.

Truth is Truth

Monday, June 4th, 2007

A very important proposition that we must embrace before we can move forward to the truth about anything is that “truth is truth”. According to Webster truth is, “the body of real things events and facts”, or the property of a statement “being in accord with fact or reality.” Truth even embraces “spiritual reality” according to Webster. Truth therefore is that which is real or actual in all aspects of life.

I’ve heard people say something like, “Well what’s truth to you is truth to you and what’s truth to me is truth to me.” For me to embrace that statement would feel like a cop-out. It is true that we all may have different perceptions of what we call “truth” but that doesn’t change what truth “actually” or “really” is. Truth stands by itself with or without my approval. I may have opinions but if my opinions are not in accord with what “really” or “actually” is, then our opinions are not truth.

When you look at the world today you see conflicting masses of people holding desperately to what they think is truth. People are going in all different directions, pushing and shoving each other to press their version of “truth” to the top. I wonder how many truly open minded people there are searching honestly and diligently for what the truth really is?

Our goal here at Glorious Truth is to search for what is “actually” or “really” truth. This requires an open mind. It requires that we not be stuck on what we have always believed but to really be openly searching to see if what we believe is actually true. Once we have discovered the truth as it actually is then we can, without risk, embrace it and incorporate it into our lives

Basics of Truth

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Truth has been given a bad rap. In a world where relativism is the order of the day, the idea of truth has slipped into a black hole and we have lost an awareness of its nature, its beauty and form. This is the first of several basics of truth, that the cultures of our world are not inclined towards finding truth.

Because we have drifted so far from even the idea of truth in our culture there are certain basics that we must recover before we can even begin.  We must go back to kindergarten as it were.  If we are ever going to experience the freedom that truth brings we must understand what makes up the nature of truth.  We must understand how truth interfaces with the mind and how our minds were made to interact with it.

To speak of anything as objectively absolute or true is often seen as narrow and judgmental.  While it might be true that the chaos is coming from judgmental and narrow people the reality is that those people have become that way because they have failed to apprehend the truth about life.

When you look at the chaos in the cultures of our world you are seeing the results of a relativistic approach to life. If we all were searching for truth we would be drawing closer together.  Judgmental and narrow people have become that way because they have failed to apprehend the truth about life.

I have come to believe the truth that it is in the process of embracing things that are not true that we become narrow and judgmental and this leads to chaos. Those who set their minds on apprehending and embracing the the truth will find and make peace. Whenever people search for objective truth they begin moving towards harmony with their true selves and one another rather than pushing at each other from their respective relativistic platforms. Peace and freedom is always the result of the embracing of truth.

Check out the articles under the Basics of Truth and let me know your thoughts.