Truth is Truth

"You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me." - Psalm 40:11 This is a sometimes monthly column concerning the truth of Christ Jesus and the issues that face our world as published in various newspapers and journals by Pastor Dave Seaford. You can return to the home page of the church by going to:

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Location: Redway, California, United States

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Speaking to the Storm

Recently I have noticed a whole new slant by some in the Church (universal) who attempt to use current subjective postmodern worldly values to deal with objective facts and definitive Biblical mandates. Before I go further, allow me to briefly define “postmodern.” Postmodernism in short is the murky stand that all truth is subjective and is determined by each individual independently and thus truth changes from person to person. My question to the postmodernist is “is this statement true for everyone”? The postmodernist principle statement takes a strong “stand” that their indeed is nothing to “stand” on!

John Dewey and others quietly ushered into the public schools this thought process years ago under the teaching philosophy and principles known as situation ethics. This self-centered philosophy teaches that “right” and “wrong” are determined by an individual’s perception of the situation, instead of a firm set of morals. Children in my generation were asked in school to complete the following sentence: “It might be ok to murder if_____________.” We were asked to make judgments about which one of six people to throw out of a five-person life raft based on their education level and potential contributions in the future to society. These potential situations posed to children went on and on. In the end the teacher would tell us that there was no right answer and that the (subjective) rationalization that determined our answer was the important thing. Given these kinds of fluid parameters we do not even have to agree to disagree. We can just all be “right.”

Most evangelical believers have not gone that far in how they deal with issues, but there is a Trojan Horse in the midst of the Church today that must be recognized and dealt with objectively. This hidden enemy could be called: “how I feel about the facts.” In other words we don’t outright deny truth. We just act and react based on our feelings (or thoughts) about the truth. These believers see nothing wrong with saying; “I know what God’s word says and its true, BUT in this particular situation I feel the most Christian way to handle this is….” In this particular case the person’s ‘feelings’ (rather than God’s Word) determined what is ‘the most Christian’ thing to do. It seems that the postmodern Christian has come to let the world define Christianity and that definition has largely determined what we feel is right. All the time that we claim to be dealing with the facts, we are really only agreeing to disagree about how we each feel about the facts.

Now if all this makes you a bit dizzy, you are not alone. Part of the appeal of this drunken high is that it allows everyone his or her own personal righteousness. The mystery of truth simply dissolves into our own personal self-interests and perceptions. The church that has taken on this persona is easily recognizable. Their primary concern is what we ‘think,’ or ‘how we feel’ about God’s Word, instead of what God’s Word actually says. These churches attempt to be all things to all people and at the same time stand for everything and stand for nothing. Their battle cry echoes: “Can’t we all just get along. Can’t we all just agree to disagree in the name of tolerance and peace”? Isn’t that the Christian thing to do?

Jesus’ definitive answer to that question is NO! It is not the Christian thing to do. This might be the world’s definition of a Christian, a spineless, wishy-washy, tolerant bowl of Jell-O. But, this is certainly not the picture of Christ or the first century church we find in history.

The path to genuine peace is not found in the avoidance of truth, but rather in embracing it. Truth avoided only finds a temporary pause in the otherwise unaffected storm. But
Truth embraced speaks to the wind and causes the storm to actually cease. Christ said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). And that’s the truth!