Archive for April, 2010

“All truth is God’s truth,” or so we often hear.  I myself have said this and felt righteous, wise and holy in doing so.  But closer examination reveals a serious problem with this popular maxim: no definition of the word truth.  What does truth mean in this context? Highlighting this problem in a lecture available on The Trinity Foundation website titled “The Ministry of the Trinity Foundation,” Jack Lannom said,

My mistaken belief that all truth is God’s truth was really no different from the idea that all worship is God’s worship.  John Moffat (sic) addressed this idea in an article in The Christian Conscience. ‘ I can imagine Nadab and Abihu talking about the early worship service in the wilderness.  One says to the other, ‘all fire is God’s fire.  God made all fire, therefore it’s all of him.” Or while Moses was up on the mountain, Mount Sinai, the children of Israel could have said to Aaron, “Aaron, all worship is God’s worship.’ ‘ I love this last phrase that John Moffat (sic) says, ‘these analogies have the same deceptive sound of being logical at first, but they are full of the same ambiguity and deceit as the expression all truth is God’s truth.’

These saying – all fire is God’s fire and all truth is God’s truth – are ambiguous and deceitful because the same word is being used to mean different things.  There are many types of fire.  There are campfires, there are brush fires, there’s even a burning lake of fire, but these fires are different things than what God deemed acceptable to himself under the law.  There are many activities that people call worship, but only that worship defined by God is worship proper.  All other so-called worship is really idolatry. 

And so it is with truth.  There are many things people call truth:  scientific truth, historical truth, truth gleaned from personal experience, truth learned from Oprah.  But none of these things are truth as the Bible defines truth.  Christ prayed, “Sanctify them by your truth.  Your word is truth.” 

The Bible alone is the Word of God, therefore the Bible alone is truth.  Those who say “all truth is God’s truth,” are proclaiming that there is truth outside of the Scriptures that man discovers on his own.  But this is false, for we are just as dependent on God for the knowledge of the truth as we are for salvation.  What we should say is, “God’s truth is all truth.” That is the Christian position.

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Seeing Red

There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people. – Adam Smith

One of the great privileges afforded to Christians is that we can, without fear of contradicting ourselves, advocate a free society.  Jesus said, “if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”  Of course, the immediate context of his comment was freedom from sin, not political freedom.  But as surely as Christianity releases men from the wages of sin in the next life, so to it has the effect of releasing them from tyranny in this life.  It was the Protestant Reformation that gave birth to what we now call Western Civilization and, in particular, the United States. 

Since the preaching of the Gospel has largely disappeared in the churches of Europe and America, it should come as no surprise that the political freedom which resulted from that preaching is also disappearing.  We can see this everyday in countless ways, some large and obvious such as the recently passed fascist health care bill, while others, although more subtle, are nevertheless reminders that we are a people losing our freedom. 

A particular pet peeve of mine is the recent trend that has many cities installing red light and speed cameras in their jurisdictions.  This noxious idea, imported from Europe, is spreading like kudzu across our formerly free land.  When I first read about these awful things several years ago, they were thankfully confined to the benighted regions of Western Europe.  But now they’re here on our shores, guarding our safety 24/7.   

Here in Cincinnati, we get a lot of things wrong, but when it comes to red light cameras, I have to give the city props.  Back in 2008 a measure was put on the ballot that would permanently ban the use of red light cameras in Cincinnati…and it passed.  Even the mayor supported the measure.  Of course the ham handed local politicos that supported the cameras didn’t help their cause.  When trying to sell the idea,  they actually tried to convince people that the red light cameras would be a great way to reduce Cincinnati’s budget shortfall.  Good grief! Do these people know nothing about electoral politics?  Red light cameras are all about safety, not hosing people down to cover budget shortfalls most likely caused by reckless spending.  Well, if nothing else, I suppose they deserve credit for being honest.  When the next budget crisis hits, I’m sure they won’t make that mistake again.

As a bumper sticker of recent origin states, we’re now one nation under surveillance.  Red light cameras are a sure sign of the trend that governments no longer see themselves as servants of the people, but rather as their masters.    Next time you get in your car, remember that Big Brother may be watching, and he’s sending you a ticket for the privilege.

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