I remember my younger years in elementary school. You could name anything about school and I loved it; from the smell of freshly sharpened pencils to the sound of chalk on the chalkboard. My mom even made arrangements with my teachers to make extra copies of seat work to bring home. I would then teach my younger sister who was my only physical student among a host of invisible ones complete with names and imaginary desks. It was the life!
There was one thing however I disliked about school. It wasn’t P.E., music, or even the school lunches but it was most definitely the language arts exercise of Fact or Opinion. I recall the vulnerability felt not being able to decipher between them. Similarly, we see the same struggle even today. The concept is in our homes, churches, schools, and anywhere in community life where a person or organization tries to place their opinions on others seeing them as truth. We see the church called false when facts collide with false truths or opinions but we also see churches compromising truth to those seeking their own truths. There are many scenarios that we can unfold here but what we fail to realize is we like to make our own rules and cross lines never meant to be crossed to satisfy our own way and desires. We don’t have to look far to see this truth come to light in the Bible.
In the book of John, Jesus was taken to Pilate by the Jewish leaders to bring charges against him for saying He was the King of the Jews. Pilate asks Jesus, “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Pilate then asks Jesus if he indeed was a King to which Jesus replied, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true” Pilate’s response is epic and rings true in the hearts of so many today when he asks Jesus, “What is truth?” In Matthew, Mark and Luke we see similar accounts one in which Pilate’s wife begged him to leave this innocent man alone due to a dream she had. Pilate himself could see Jesus was innocent as he tells the crowd this three times in the Gospel of John. He also tried to release Jesus. Pilate stood before an angry mob with a riot brewing. He was in charge of the security to the Roman Empire and if a riot ensued he was directly responsible. Instead, he chose the opinions and fabricated truths of others, his job security and the threats to label him as a rebel to the Roman Empire over truth. He washed his hands of the matter before the people and placed Jesus into their hands. The Pharisees also knew truth yet their opinion/idea of the Messiah and how he would come to earth didn’t match the man before them even though foretold in scripture. They called Him a heretic and demanded His blood.
While it’s easy to blame pastors, churches, teachers and others; who is really to blame? While leaders and those in authority are held to a higher standard they are not the ending voice for a searching heart.
Could it be we hold them more accountable than we think? Are we so quick to take what has been spoken and see it as truth, accepting it, no questions asked? When presented with truth, can we see it and accept it? Do we become loyal to organizations and political parties by what they promise and the false truths they sell to win votes or promote their hidden agendas? Do we really care for who or what they stand for or do we only want what’s promised to make life easier? Do we really care about the cost or repercussions half-truths have on all people? Do we really want to do what is right in light of truth or would we rather succumb to the threats of being fired or a loss in social status? Do we really want to know and search for truth or would we rather be spoon-fed what to think, believe, or stand for?
It’s easy to see the similarities we have in common with Pilate. We see manipulation and fear take center stage and the desire for someone else to step in and tell us what to do. We willingly compromise because we don’t want labeled, lose social status/friendships, or experience job loss at the cost of truth.
We’ve become really good at blaming others for the lies we have fallen victim to however, we fail to realize our own active role in the deception. It may begin with someone else but in the end it is the fault of every one of us for not seeking truth.
There is real truth alive and applicable today. We should know in all our wonderings, doubts and questions, the Lord’s Word is truth. It is never-changing and holds through the tests of time and eternity. Truth may come in the form of pain. The pain we feel is not meant to be bad, offensive or an object to hate. That is how Satan takes up space in our minds. He adds dissention, argument and hate among us. Truth doesn’t do that. When we constantly seek things to prove our opinions, actions, or half truths, we are being double-minded in our thinking seeking something false. This undermines the way God created us. He created us to be one-minded in Christ seeking truth, light and wisdom not a fabrication. This world and everything in it passes away but His truth remains.