The Root of Truth
Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – June 2019
By Pastor Lloyd Pulley
"And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"
This quote hangs proudly in many of the nation's oldest universities, often near or upon the philosophy building. That makes sense, since the root of the word "philosophy" is "love of wisdom." I would be willing to wager, however, that most philosophy students would not know where that quote came from.
What can we make of phrases like "love of truth" and "knowing the truth" when few studying under these marble monuments believe in objective truth anymore? In our image and emotional driven culture, how we feel matters more than actual fact. The idea of taking responsibility for one's own life quickly suffers shipwreck on the reef of our own emotional fragility. Contrast this generation with the "Greatest Generation" where the obligation was sacrosanct- to do one's duty. What has usurped this notion in the modern mind, is the attempt to create one's own reality.
Isaiah the prophet rightly predicted that "truth will be trampled in the streets". Today we see this acted out in a "mob rule" type fashion. Recently in New York City crowds gathered to see a live 3d ultrasound of an unborn child and hear from various speakers express the value of life in the womb. Our pro-life ministry was present that day, as we are involved in giving women with unplanned pregnancies more options in keeping their babies. However, hateful and loud protesters encircled each group and disrupted a peaceful pro-life event.
Instead of the authorities keeping the protesters at bay and allowing the freedom of speech of the pro-life movement, they acted more in common with UN "peacekeepers" directing the event participants to disband in favor of the unlawful encroachment of the mob. This will doubtlessly only encourage more mob-like actions in the future. It is the preferred method radicals use today to stop free speech in cities and universities around the country. Welcome to the new Socialist Republic of America.
Horace Greely, American author and statesman, once stated that "It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a bible-reading people. The principles of the bible are the groundwork of human freedom."
The harsh reality we are facing is that this generation simply doesn't know the Bible! Or worse, some have been duped into believing it is a tool to oppress and control people. We must remember that the main difference between a child and an adult is that a child needs discipline while an adult, disciplines himself. If we dismiss the Bible which encourages self-regulation, then we will need an incredibly large and oppressive controlling government. This is something which we can neither afford nor is it nearly as efficient in benefiting and protecting society as the influence of the ancient Scriptures.
Without a biblical framework, which was an integral part of this nation's heritage, we are prone to being enslaved mentally and socially by clever powers behind the scenes capitalizing on dividing us into groups. The latest move by a democrat-controlled congress is to create a new right for sexual equality, which if it becomes law will most likely see as its first victim: religious rights.
Biblical illiteracy is not just a societal problem. We pastors have a lot to answer for as well. Has the demand for big personalities and numerical growth led to the preference of clever and entertaining self-help messages instead of a faithful expounding of truth from Scriptures? While we can appreciate the unique styles of churches that reach a variety of people, we must insist on consistent teaching rooted in the Bible.
Now back to the quote that started this conversation. It comes from the Bible, the fourth book in the New Testament, John's gospel:
John 8:31-32 "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'"
It is the Word of God that will give us discernment and wisdom and protect us from oppressive rulers! But for many in this Bible starved landscape it is very hard to discern truth, with vital information systematically edited out from education, media and politics.
My simple advice is– don't take any biased opinion, including mine. Get a Bible and read it for yourself! Then you can test all things by its timeless pages and think for yourself.
And we invite you to hear good biblical teaching from a wide variety of teachers locally and nationally by tuning into The Bridge Christian Radio at 91.9 FM (or online at bridgeradio.org). You are also invited to join us this June as Calvary Chapel Old Bridge and The Bridge host a summer festival called Bridgefest on June 22nd in Ocean Grove, NJ. It's a day of fun for the whole family with biblical teaching and activities that ends with a nighttime concert with Big Daddy Weave. Visit us at bridgefest.org.