Teaching: Truth Matters – Part Three

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

There is a saying, “If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.” That is all well and good if you are looking for a duck. But what if you are searching for truth? What does truth look like? Truth has certain characteristics that distinguish it, and set it apart from theories, ideas, opinions, faith, and of course, untruth and lies. Christianity asserts certain specific truths, starting with the existence of God, the Father of Jesus Christ. If we Christians know the characteristics of truth we will be more able to both understand our own faith and communicate it to others. Also, we will be more able to understand the attacks on the Christian faith, and not only defend it, but hopefully win over our adversaries. After all, since the universe is based on truth, a faith based on truth makes sense to the mind and fulfills the soul.

As we of Spirit & Truth Fellowship have studied and examined the subject of Truth, we have come to recognize six characteristics that it has. [1] These six characteristics of truth are: absolute, correspondent, coherent, universal, exclusive, and objective. These characteristics are not totally separate. In fact, they dovetail into each other and overlap each other. Nevertheless, they define truth in distinctive ways that help us understand it and recognize it.

Absolute

When something is absolute, it means that it is not dependent upon anything else. We can better understand absolute if we understand its opposite, “relative.” Something that is relative has a necessary dependence on something else. For example, we tend to think of the passage of time as absolute, that one minute is the same for everyone everywhere. However, scientists can now show that time is relative, and that time for an object depends on the speed of that object. For any given object, time slows down as it approaches the speed of light. Thus time is relative, it is dependant on something else. However, truth is not relative; it is not dependant on anything else. An example of a truth is that God exists. He exists everywhere for everyone. He is not a different God at differing speeds, or with or without a gravitational field, inside or outside of a church, or for different people. He is the same for everyone, everywhere, for all time.

At this point we should note that not all truth is immediately evident to everyone. The fact that many people do not recognize the existence of God does not mean His existence is not a truth, it just means that they have failed to perceive the truth. Truth is absolute, not relative, so truth does not depend on people recognizing it for it to exist and be true. God does not have to be known or believed to be God.

Correspondence

Truth is absolute, so it corresponds to reality, the way things really are. Because truth exists, “reality” is what corresponds to truth. We understand this when it comes to true and false statements. A false statement is false because it does not correspond to reality. Police use the principle of correspondence to determine whether a person is lying. Does what someone say line up with, or correspond to, reality?

Christians must understand that people’s beliefs and perspectives, although real to them, may not be true. Douglass Grothius correctly observed that, “…we all have differing perspectives (which can be biased, prejudiced, ignorant, arrogant, uninformed and so on), but our perspectives only affect our sense of what is true; they do not determine truth. A perspective may be partially true, largely true, or mostly false…” [2]

We live in a world that elevates man’s ideas, beliefs, and perspectives. In fact, some people consider it rude and uneducated to assert that another person’s beliefs are wrong. They would be correct in their assertion if there were no such thing as truth, because then everyone could be correct no matter how widely their beliefs differed. However, there is truth, and because of that, people cannot hold inherently contradictory views of something (i.e., there is a God and there is not a God) and both be correct. In fact, because there is truth, the value of any given perspective depends on how accurately it corresponds to reality, to truth.

What makes lies and untruth dangerous is that they lead us from the truth. We see this in the world around us all the time. A lie or untruth about what is good to eat, or is a good medicine to take, can leave a person sick or dead. Sadly, the consequences of believing a lie about God and Jesus (such as they do not exist, or Jesus is not important for salvation) will leave one just as dead, but the death will be everlasting. Thus untruth and lies about God and Jesus are dangerous indeed!

Coherence

Coherence is internal cohesion and consistency. Truth cannot contradict itself internally or externally. In the debates between science and religion we occasionally here someone say, “Well, that may be true in religion, but it is not true in science.” Truth is truth in every category pertaining to it. It is not true to science that God does not exist, but true to religion that He does. Similarly, Evolution is not true in science while Creation is true in religion. When it comes to a single subject, there must be one absolute, internally consistent truth, and that truth will then correspond to the reality of the situation. In some cases we can observe something and have differing opinions about it, but in the end we will find that there was only one truth.

It is important to understand that truth is internally consistent when it comes to obeying God, and it is one reason that logic plays such an important role in faith. If God could be internally inconsistent, then we could not use logic as a tool to understand God or our faith. Logic is what allows us to extrapolate from the rules and regulations in the Bible to practical use in our world today. [3]

Understandably, the concept of internal consistency can cause Christians to be uncomfortable, because there are so many denominations on the earth today, each with somewhat differing beliefs. No matter how we try to explain it away to minimize our differences, there is not a different truth for different Christians. God asks Christians to get to the point “…that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Cor. 1:10b). The way to get there is not by compromising what we believe, but by much prayer along with careful, diligent study of the revelation that God has given us about Himself: His Word.

Universal

Truth is universal in that it applies equally to everything, or every person, within a specific set of parameters. Another way to think of the universal characteristic of truth is that it is not provincial, parochial, constrained, or petty. Truth is ecumenical, broad, sweeping, and ubiquitous. Truth is not trendy or superficial. Because truth is universal, no one can escape it. For instance, in today’s world, death is a truth for all mankind, and there is a coming Judgment that no one will escape. No one that lives can avoid it or escape it, especially by simply not believing that it applies to them. No one can change the truth about death and the Judgment by deciding not to think about it. The danger in not recognizing that truth is universal is that some people act as if it does not apply to them simply because they do not believe it. That will work until it actually comes upon them, at which time the scripture will be fulfilled that says, “…there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:12).

The universal nature of truth should drive each one of us to seek it until we are confident we have found it. Being content or comfortable with where we are and what we believe is not good enough. Many people say they are “content with what they believe,” but that does not make them right, and it can be a dangerous place to be if what they are content with turns out to be an untruth. God expects us to seek Him, and He promises that if we seek we will find. Interestingly, sometimes finding God actually makes us uncomfortable, because we may find that God has more for us to do than we are comfortable doing, or we may find that the evil in the world marshals against us in a way that makes us uncomfortable. That is when the truth of the next life becomes a true comfort.

You can find the original article here.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

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Karen

Hi! My day job is a CMA in neurosurgery.. I'm a mom to two twenty-something sons. I've been married to the same man for 26 years. I have a lot to say about nothing. Lucky you.