Words versus Truth|
Up is down. Day is night. Black is white. In is out. Cold is hot. Loud is quiet. Old is new. War is peace. Sickness is health. Silence is speech. Lies are truth. Truth is fiction. Good is evil. Love is hate. Murder is mercy. Misery is gaiety. Boys are girls. Men are women. Husbands are wives. Mothers are fathers.
The words you just read are merely words. There is no truth in them. Words can be made to say anything, whether true or false. The mere fact that I wrote these words does not make them true. Even if I could force everyone to accept these words, repeat them, or even believe them, this would not make them true. Words do not alter what is real regardless of how often they are repeated, how forcefully they are indoctrinated, or how strongly they are believed.
Truth is one thing. There is such a thing as absolute truth, and it is not subject to man's opinions or societal trends. It cannot be changed on a whim or even by an act of Congress or a Supreme Court decision. When Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" (John 18:38), he implied that no one can really know the truth or that truth is merely relative. However, there is a standard of truth that can be known, and that standard is the word of God.
In our time and throughout history, men have tried to change the truth of God by the use of words. Presently, we see this pattern continuing in the debate over marriage within the federal courts. The question at hand is a matter of man's laws, which are merely words written on paper. Regardless of those words, the truth about marriage will not be affected. From the beginning, marriage has been the union of one man and one woman by the ordination of God (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6). This is the according to God's own word, which is truth (John 17:17). His word is not just ink stains on a page like that of man, but rather it is eternally "settled in heaven" (Ps. 119:89) as the foundational truth of the universe. Unless man's laws recognize the immutable word of God, they have no connection to truth.
In the short term, those who attempt to alter the truth by the abuse of words may get their way, but their way will ultimately fail. To them, God's unchangeable word has a message. In Isaiah 5:20, the Scripture says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" This pronouncement of woe is a declaration of the great distress and trouble that will certainly come upon such liars sooner or later. While their words may succeed in normalizing homosexuality, transgender behavior, pedophilia, bestiality, or any other sexual perversion, the truth will stand unchanged as a testimony against them. Even if they persuade every man and woman to believe their words, the truth will not change. "Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar" (Rom. 3:4), and all liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8).
Here is the challenge for those of us who profess to be believers in God and His word: Will we abide by the truth, or will we be overcome by man's words? Many years ago, the apostle Paul charged Timothy to be a champion of God's word and the truth regardless of the trends of popular opinion. That charge now belongs to us in 2Timothy 4:1-4:
1I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
In the years to come, Christians individually and the church collectively will be under intense pressure to conform to the words of man contrary to the truth of God. How will we respond? As laws and dictionaries change definitions, will we hold to the truth? Will we still "preach the word"? Now is the time to decide so that we can prepare for the hardships that will likely come with this decision. Will we choose the truth, the approval of God, and the backlash of man, or will we choose false words, the approval of man, and woe from God?
Stacey E. Durham
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