Sunday, September 10, 2006

In search of . . . TRUTH

Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe

I have been dwelling a lot lately on the need for honesty and truth in all of our doings. I’ve been involved in a couple of blog discussions on the marketing of music in general, and specifically Christian music, in the age of MySpace. One thing that kept coming around was that for the marketing to be done in a manor pleasing to God, it must be done in honesty, lacking deception or misleading promises. This is what God asks of us, but is increasingly what we find lacking in all aspects of life.

If we look at the Gospel of John, we notice that it is very different from the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. One of the big differences can be found in John’s emphasis TRUTH. In the three synoptic gospels, we find truth mentioned a total of six times (this does not include all the "I tell you the truth" or "verily, verily" statements). However, John writes about the truth a total of 25 times in his gospel. We even find Pilate asking Jesus "What is truth?" (John 18:38). The basis on which John writes is the reliability, the honesty, the truth of the message the he brings. With this underpinning, he takes us on a journey through the amazing life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God; a journey we can follow and hold to because of the truth to which John held.

We should also consider Zechariah and the passage where God decries the hearts like flint that the Israelites display. We read in chapters 7 and 8 of the things that Jehovah wants from his people. In Zechariah 7:9-10, Jehovah calls the people to

  1. practice true justice (i.e. honesty),
  2. be kind and compassionate,
  3. not oppress others, and
  4. not devise evil in one’s heart against others.

Then, in the same conversation with His people, Jehovah reiterates in Zechariah 8:16-17 that the people should

  1. speak the truth (honesty),
  2. judge with truth and judgment (again, honesty and integrity),
  3. not devise evil in your heart against others, and
  4. not love perjury (even again, honesty!).

For God to present virtually identical lists of good actions that He desires to see from His people, almost in the same breath, speaks to the importance of the message. And the message that Jehovah is conveying is to live and act in honesty and truth and integrity.

So, how does this all come around to the above-mentioned conversations on the marketing of music, and specifically Christian music? We must present God’s word and God’s heart to the world: we are His ambassadors, offering the world reconciliation with God. The very basis of our ability to do this is rooted in the honesty which the world can find in our lives. Just as John wrote his gospel on the foundation of Truth, so that it could be accepted as trustworthy and reliable, we must found our message in truth. When we shroud ourselves with illusion and trickery, our message is not longer found trustworthy by the people needing to hear it. A life established in truth is the life of a servant of God. A life that mixes truth with deception is lost to the man of lawlessness who comes "in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10, NIV)

I’m not good at posing questions to others, just at recording my own thoughts. Where do these thoughts impact you? What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Anne said...

1 John 2:4 "He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." NKJV

In the New King James translation the word "truth" is mentioned 223 times.

euphrony said...

I love that passage in 1 John. All told, John had a lot to say about truth. Possibly because of the gnostic influence he was fighting.

Anne said...

It's sad there is so little truth in man. The only Truth is the Word.

"A life established in truth is the life of a servant of God. A life that mixes truth with deception is lost to the man of lawlessness..."

I forgot to mention - I liked this post.

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