I’m sure you have seen the movie, A Few Good Men, or are at least familiar with it. Even if you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you’re familiar with the quote, “I WANT THE TRUTH!” followed by, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” It’s not a perfect illustration of what I’m about to go into, but how many of us say we want the truth, but maybe in one way or another, we don’t?
If we really want the “truth,” and we believe the Bible holds the truth, then why aren’t we digging deeper into what the Bible says? Why aren’t we trying to understand the meaning of what Scripture tells us? Why are we simply content with just reading a few Bible verses here and there or listening to a message on Sunday at church instead of digging in for ourselves?
I often find myself wondering why people hide from the truth.
I sometimes think there are obvious reasons like trying to avoid consequences, not wanting to admit failure or defeat, or hiding behind self-deception to justify behaviors or a lifestyle they don’t want to give up.
Maybe that is the majority of people who don’t seek after the truth.
But, it seems to me that there are exceptions to those reasons too. These might be people who are really trying to lead good lives, and are trying their best to do what’s right.
I have even found myself lacking passion for God’s Word, or motivation for the truth through many seasons of my life, even when I think I’m genuinely trying to do my best.
We encounter a lot of relativism today with phrases like, “Well, that’s not my truth.” But this really isn’t anything new.
In the first century, the Pharisees are an example of a group of people who prioritized their system of living over the truth. Whether consciously or not, or deliberately or not, they saw their own man-made system of beliefs as superior to God Himself in the flesh. Even with all the miracles and wisdom and perfection that Jesus displayed, the Pharisees ultimately rejected Him because He did not conform to their system of man-made rules. As a result, through their denial of the truth in favor of a lie, and their rejection of Jesus, they led many Jews astray and brought physical destruction upon their society in A.D. 70.
The Truth spoke among them and they denied Him.
The Creator offered them the world, and they rejected His offer.
How many times have we all rejected something good and true because it didn’t conform to our perceptions or desires at that moment? I’ll admit, I know that I have been guilty of that many times. In fact, I have deliberately chosen an unhealthy and temporary distraction over a healthy and true solution just to avoid the monotony of suffering that I was feeling at that moment.
I have noticed many similarities and parallels, today, within mainstream “Christianity.”
People have left the Church and are leaving the Church in droves because of man-made rules and systems that actually have nothing to do with the Bible. Because of those unbiblical examples, these people see legalism, hypocrisy, and injustice, and think to themselves, “How could a perfect God condone this?”
Many of them may talk about how they’ve been burned by the “Church” or other “Christians,” and want nothing to do with their God. But what they may not realize is that God wants nothing to do with that behavior that they experienced either.
I have heard from Jewish people that they would never believe in Christianity because of all-too-common misinterpretations of the Tanakh, or Old Testament. However, these misinterpretations are truly that, misinterpretations.
Here is one example of how we can miss the truth…
If someone misunderstands the New Covenant, then it is likely that they will be confused about all the other still yet unfulfilled prophecies in the Old Testament that deal with Israel. If someone misinterprets the New Covenant to be all about the Church and not Israel, then that one misinterpretation can lead to a slippery slope of other misinterpretations. Whether knowing it or not, someone who rejects that Israel in the OT and the Church in the NT are two distinct entities, they would also be rejecting the truth and embracing a falsehood that aligns to what their preconceived truth is. The truth is that there are many still unfulfilled prophecies in the Old Testament throughout the books of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others that can only deal with Israel and not the Church.
If you are reading this and are skeptical of Christianity, or if you have been burned by the Church or by people who call themselves Christians, I hope you look past the poor interpretations of the Bible and misrepresented behavior and seek out the truth for yourself.
Don’t let disordered people keep you from what can truly set you free and quench your every thirst. After all, Jesus is the One who said that anyone who comes to Him won’t hunger, and anyone who believes in Him will never thirst (John 6:35).
Jesus also said:
John 8:32 NKJV "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 4:14 NKJV "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
I understand the hesitancy to research and look into something you associate with a bad experience. But stoking that fear to confront a bad experience you may have had with Christianity is one of Satan’s strategies to defame God’s character and distort the truth.
I also have to admit that seeking the truth involves humility.
And humility is something that people may often shy away from, especially in our culture today.
We must acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers, but there is One who does. He is the Uncaused Cause, the One who set everything into motion. The One who left heaven in order to show Himself to mankind, pay for the sins of the world, and make a way for anyone who believes in Him to have everlasting life—Jesus Christ.
Let us commit to being truth seekers, no matter the cost. When we truly find the truth, and seek to live it out, only then are we truly set free.
I challenge those who might be on the fence about this, or don’t believe in Jesus, to ask the One who intelligently designed the world to show you the truth. I’d suggest that you start with the Gospel of John, and see for yourself if Jesus is not the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
For those of us who do believe in Jesus Christ for His promise of everlasting life, how many of us find ourselves “too busy” to “fit in” time to read the Bible? How easy is it to sit and listen to a podcast, sermon, or talk and take someone’s word for it, instead of going to the Bible ourselves to understand it and glean truth from it on a personal level? The answer is, it’s easy, very easy. I have definitely been guilty of that.
Not only does the Bible hold the truth, but it is a means for spiritual transformation and power.
God gave us His Word in order for us to learn who He is, and follow in His footsteps. Throughout the Bible, Jesus has been the manifestation of God’s glory to mankind. So those who read the Bible with the intention of discovering the truth, ultimately learn about and uncover the glory, character, and knowledge of Jesus.
Jesus said in John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
As we dig into the Scripture and pull on threads to learn more and apply it to our lives, God changes us. He empowers us to live a resurrected life from this body of death.
Romans 8:11 NKJV But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
My challenge to you is to remind yourself of the life-giving power and wisdom of God’s Word. We must allow God’s Word to penetrate through our distorted views of how we see the world, God, and others, and to break through our poor interpretations and deceptive schemes to make the Bible fit our narratives.
Dear God, humble us to be a people who seek after wisdom and who commit to applying that wisdom in our daily lives. May no one ever again be pushed away from God due to our words or actions, but be drawn to God through the lives we lead and the truth we speak.