Friday, October 14, 2011
Pilate's Good Question
The Ten Commandments look so easy. Short and sweet...Thou shalt...Thou shalt not. They state their instructions simply and clearly, like number nine:
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.--Exodus 20:16
Don't lie. Simple and straightforward. Tell the truth, all the time. Like when a witness puts his hand on the Bible in court--"I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Not three things, but one. The truth with nothing added and nothing left out.
But the commandment raises another question, a much harder one:
Jesus answered..."Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
"What is truth?" Pilate asked. --John 18:38
Good question. I want to tell the truth and to act on it, but what is it? How can I tell that what I believe is real? It takes work.
I am not only responsible to believe, but to verify.
If I hear something on CNN, don't repeat it before I verify it.
If Aunt Mabel tells me something about someone, don't believe it, verify it.
If my pastor preaches a sermon, check it out before I take it in.
Even the Bible begs verification--through history, through science, through nature, through my own experience.
Truth is not what I am told, but what I know because I have investigated and learned. Truth is what reality and facts support. Truth is what IS.
The Lord God calls Himself the I AM for a reason. He exists in one way and one way only. He can never be what He is not, no matter what I believe.
God made only one truth and I have to find it. The truth originates in Him, not in my feelings or my lofty imagination. I can care about people and listen to what they say, but God requires ruthlessness on this point: if what people say does not agree with what He says through the many ways He has said it, I cannot believe it.