Knowledge Not Emotions: Seeking Truth

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The world is going through a time when truth itself is being challenged, considered subjective rather than fact, and where people allow emotions to override long-held wisdom and knowledge. How do we find the truth?

Emotion over knowledge?

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”

– Proverbs 29:11

The simple statement in the verse above reminds us that all knowledge comes from the creator of all things – God.

Especially within the last decade, although it has been building for a longer time, postmodernist thinking has taken over. In this mindset, truth is subjective, individual.

How one “feels” about something that is basing thinking from an emotional rather than factual perspective has taken precedence in arbitrating truth.

This is why we now hear terms like “my truth.”

This belief system rejects even the dictionary definition of truth, which is: “That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.”

Through God’s inspiration, the authors of the Bible foresaw the coming of this distortion of truth thousands of years ago.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

– Romans 12:2

A parody of truth

“Claiming to be wise, they became fools,”

– Romans 1:22

The self-enlightened mob we face today that seeks to redefine the definition of everything we know as truth has been able to capture a strong foothold in both traditional and social media to deliver their messages. This has given them enormous power to “shout over” the more silent and peaceful voices, as Christians tend to be. 

Even more, these activists have put fear into corporations to the point that they are participating in furthering some of these objectives.

After 6,000 years of civilization and even longer of human existence, is it rational to believe that we have now only become wise enough to acknowledge these reversals of truth? 

The wise King Solomon already understood this some 3,000 years ago:

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new?’ It has been already in the ages before us.”

– Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

Shooting the messenger

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,”

– 2 Timothy 3:12

In ancient times, a messenger who brought bad news was sometimes killed. Often, the message was a truth the recipient didn’t want to hear.

It’s a metaphor for what Christians face today. 

When Christians try to speak and live God’s truth, they find themselves labeled intolerant, bigots, prejudiced. Their speech is considered hateful, derisive, or offensive. Christians are verbally criticized, attacked, canceled, and even sued.

Pastor John MacArthur writes: “To a shocking extent, truth is no longer the issue; the questions being asked today are, ‘Will it divide?’ or ‘Will it offend?’

“To ask if a theological position is biblically correct is considered unloving, and those who take a stand for historic Christian truth are labeled as divisive,” MacArthur adds.

God’s truth

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 8:32

The words of Jesus in the above verse mean to convey that there is only one truth. Bible scholar Ellicott says that, in this verse, Jesus espouses that God’s truth, in itself, is a power. Something to be lived and felt. Something that gives eternal life.

Jesus, who is both the son of God and God, said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 8:6).

But outside of God’s truth are sin and evil. Humankind naturally has a sinful heart and evil nature, which is why we cannot follow “our truth.”

Scholar Barnes points out that God’s truth “will free you from the slavery of evil passions, corrupt propensities, and groveling views.”

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

– Colossians 2:8