We live in an age in which there are many platforms for a myriad of voices to make their opinions heard. The technology currently in the hands of the general population allows the two-way street of information and opinions to be jammed with traffic. We have more information going out and, therefore, more information potentially coming in than ever before. At the very least, we can say that this presents new expressions of old challenges. More probable is the idea that this lends itself to the destruction of the stable foundations of human culture and society. It is far beyond the scope of this article to explore the details of such challenges, but I would suggest that the increased amounts of information raining upon us from cyber space have had a powerful impact upon the topic of TRUTH.
Nearly everything has been reduced to opinion. Add to this the suspicion that people communicate their opinion primarily for the purpose of gaining power over other people, and we produce an environment in which we have reason to doubt what others say and selectively choose, due to personal preference, what we “believe,” but very little reason to conclude that any one idea can actually represent TRUTH. Truth, for many, is an ever shifting perspective influenced by a wide variety of factors in the process of becoming but never being. As I will emphasize, this is not actually a new phenomenon, we simply have technology which aids in its dissemination. The apostle Paul wrote of certain people that they were “…always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2Ti.3:7).
As we are subject to blog after blog, news reports viewed and presented in light of one’s liberal or conservative presuppositions and panel “discussions” consisting of people “talking” over one another with escalated fervor, anything resembling reason takes its place on a list of extinct species. This is not to say that some perspectives are not reasonable, it’s just that the proof is lacking and, really, no one cares.
That being said, I am concerned that this is a soup in which Biblical information and the worldview arising from it are left on the chopping block and seen as scraps to be fed to the dogs. This is very sad and extremely detrimental to society. Among all the things that our society finds easy to dismiss, Christianity tops the list. For example, there is a greater emphasis on taking Bruce Jenner seriously than there is on taking Franklin Graham seriously.
Characteristic of the relatively recent postmodern expression of arrogance that manifests this dismissal of truth is the naïve and blinding assumption that we have stumbled onto a new way of understanding truth claims in our current age of advanced wisdom. The shocking and very perilous reality is that this suppression of truth is and has been the core problem characteristic of epistemic and moral confusion and wickedness the human race has consistently managed to produce. The apostle Paul said it this way (bold text is my emphasis): “…the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Ro.1:18-25).
The idea that this new, postmodern approach toward truth-claims is simply a further manifestation of our futile speculation and foolish, darkened hearts is expressed in poetic, wisdom literature with, “All things are wearisome; man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”? Already it has existed for ages which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; and also of the later things which will occur, there will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still” (Ec.1:8-11).
Knowing this is not a new battle, we must understand that the church, in each generation, must assume its position on the frontline if advancement is to take place against the lies and deception perpetuated in our culture. We must understand the significance of our being “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Ti.3:15) and of our responsibility for “destroying speculations and every lofty thing being raised up against the knowledge of God;” of not participating in unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead exposing them. Too many professing to be part of the Christian community have either become participators in our cultural deeds of darkness (often encouraging others and even using it as a church-growth method) or have failed to equip themselves for the battle over truth.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2Ti.2:15).
Are you a workman who does not need to be ashamed?