As surely as truth sets us free, the lack of truth produces bondage. Our nation has slowly drifted away from the biblical moorings we had as a young nation. We have strayed significantly from the days when our first President, George Washington, concluded one of his many public prayers in 1752 with these words, “Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou has this day prescribed in Thy Holy Word. Direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (Washington’s Papers, Burk, W.Herbert, 1907, p. 87–95).
In twenty-first century America, vain imaginations have replaced moral absolutes. Permissiveness and tolerance have been lifted up as moral ideals. The definition of tolerance (correctly defined as respect for other people without necessarily sharing their ideals, beliefs, and practices) has been twisted to mean that all individual beliefs, values, lifestyles, and “truths” are equal in value.
We have become a culture addicted to our own self‐indulgences, blinded to the discrepancies in our own espoused “values,” and numb to the guilt pangs of our own transgressions. But possibly even more telling has often been the “Christian” response to truth. Possibly more damning than scandal‐filled ministries and more destructive than outright denial of biblical authority has been the subtle decay, which comes from misapplying God’s truth only to the rational mind rather than allowing its transforming power to shape us into living and loving like Jesus.
The freedom principle is still valid today: much truth leads to much freedom; little truth, little freedom. We may have a crisis in our message concerning truth, but the twenty-first century church can and must restore a priority on experiencing biblical truth. Biblical truth was intended to be lived out experientially in relationships. Our culture is burned out on the emptiness of cerebral arguments, linear thinking, and even correct theological systems. They long to see the relevance of God, His Word, and His people in their life and relationships.
The church must not only believe right and behave right, but also live and love right in relationship with God and others. Read More