Truth and the Test of Kingship
Then Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’ After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, ‘I find no guilt in him.’John 18:37-38
Those who are “of the truth” are so because of their response to it: they listen! When Jesus says listen, He doesn’t just mean shut up and hear words. He means hear, comprehend, and then act upon that knowledge. A person who listens to truth obeys it and does it as well.
Being “of the truth” is just the beginning. Those who are “of the truth” can take it a step higher:
Jesus equates kingship with “bearing witness to the truth.” We demonstrate kingship by pursuing and promoting Truth.
Jesus constantly spoke truth even though to do so He had to oppose entrenched traditions of his culture. He honored women in a society that viewed them as dogs. He taught and demonstrated forgiveness instead of retaliation, servant leadership instead of power-grabbing. He lived out a vibrant relationship with God, exposing ritual for the tomb of dead bones that it is. The gods made by men – such as thief and womanizer Krishna and murderer and child molester Mohammed – strive and war and mate as do men, taking their kingdom with sword and spear. Thus they prove themselves no god, but mere men. Only Jesus showed us who God is. He lived at another plane, above the realm of men. He embodied the Way, the Truth and the Life that humankind had been searching for down through the millennia.
Because of the foundation He laid, today we have access to mainframe computers full of truth. Because of Him we have Spiritual truth in the form of the Bible and the living work of the Holy Spirit revealing God in accord with the Scriptures. Because of Him we have social truth – how to live peacefully, respect and honor each other, how to forgive, love, and have patience. Because of Him we have scientific truth – the Bible teaches us that God created a rational universe that can be discovered, which is why scientific discovery and the industrial revolution happened in Judeo-Christian nations, and others only followed their lead.
But access to Truth is not enough. Lies abound as well. Often the lies conceal and hide Truth. Ignorance, Complacency and Selfishness lend Error a hand by discouraging the pursuit of Truth, making Error more comfortable. “Don’t go jogging today, instead eat that doughnut. After all you jogged yesterday.” But the truth is, if you don’t go jogging AND you eat the doughnut, you will feel yucky the rest of the day. Truth says “Be disciplined. Do what’s less comfortable.” Complacency says “Be lazy. Do what’s easy.”
It’s easy to stare at the TV and rant and complain at all the bad stuff happening. It’s not so easy to get off the sofa and go do something to change the bad stuff to good stuff. But Truth does so. Truth is confrontational. It challenges Error. The very nature of Truth is to go out against Ignorance and Error. When the family dog sees a stray wandering into its home domain, it’s very nature is to bark ferociously if not also charge it and drive it away. So also ought the Christian to go out with vigor to change Error into Truth.
In Western Colorado most folk don’t bother locking their doors. There’s a reason, and one family wasn’t ashamed to make the reason public: Above their door they hung a sign, “We don’t call 911” and below the sign dangled a replica of a pistol! If a thief enters that house, he’ll meet with the real pistol carried by Papa, and likely exit in a body bag. No “error” is going to threaten that father’s children!
Finally coming to the specific trigger that set me off on this rant:
The other day I was perusing a particular webpage about religion and abortion. In the first paragraph it declared, “Many religious traditions have taken a stance on abortion, and these stances span a broad spectrum.” It then goes on to list every major religion and a large number of Christian denominations, and with the exception of Catholicism and Hinduism, claimed that none really took any position for or against abortion. I was horrified. The truth is that almost all Christian denominations oppose abortion to one degree or another! So do Judaism and Islam and Buddhism. Where did the writer get his information? BBC and a few biased unauthoritative sources! But SOMEBODY WROTE THE WORDS DOWN, and so there they are, unchallenged, freely deceiving people!
Now, how does it make you feel that this website has been deceiving and poisoning minds since 2003, and that approximately 200,000 people have been misled by it to believe that religion is undecided about abortion?
The first two sentences of another website titled “Abortion and Christianity” reads, “Christianity and abortion has a long and complex history, and there are a variety of positions taken by contemporary Christian denominations on the topic. There is no explicit prohibition of abortion in either the Old Testament or New Testament books of the Christian Bible.” This is FALSE. Christianity does not have a “complex” history of its stance on abortion. It is a very simple history: Christians in general are OPPOSED to abortion. The very source of the world’s value for life came from the Bible, and Christians down through the centuries have been the world’s leaders in the protection and celebration of life. This page gets double the number of visits, thus from the time of its creation nearly half a million people have been deceived by this one single article!
Is your blood boiling yet? If it isn’t, perhaps you need to check whether you are “of the Truth.”
If Ignorance and Error are allowed to persuade the world that its moral rudder – religion – is undecided about abortion, then pray tell what hope is there for the unborn infant? If religion, the spiritual guide of humanity is declared to be undecided about whether the cells in the womb are a glob of matter or a living being created by God, no wonder there were 23 MILLION abortions so far this year!
But religion is not undecided, and the website is NOT TRUE. The website LIES. It pumps out ERROR, and the IGNORANT masses believe the error, and so the world moves farther and farther from Truth and from Righteousness.
What does it take to correct the error? To stop the lies? To cut through error with Truth? In this particular case, all it takes is some time and a good deal of tact. Some strategic research and some writing to counteract, refute and remove the lies. It takes someone who is “of the truth” enough to not just shake his or her head and sigh but do nothing. It takes someone who is “of the truth” enough to “hear and do” the truth. It takes someone who is king enough to “bear witness to the truth!”
The Secret that can change your life
In Part 1 I challenged you to meditate on two Scriptures: Jesus is “The Way, the Truth and the Life” and Jesus is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Whoever is of the Way, whoever is of the Truth, and whoever has the Life of the Spirit, will not only enjoy these things for himself or herself, but will actively promote them. If God’s ways have become your joy and passion, then you will not be able to contain them within yourself only but will demonstrate them and promote them. You are a bearer of His Life, a beacon shining His Truth. You will take action to change darkness into light, Error into Truth and Ignorance into understanding. When you join Jesus in “bearing witness to the truth,” then you are living as a king in His Kingdom.
Are you allowing falsehood to go unchallenged? Perhaps you’ve been dulled by Ignorance or Complacency. “But I don’t have time/ money/ skills…” We all have the ability to do something. We might not change the entire world but we can change one small part of it. And that one small part that we can change is that part which we’ve been given to change. That is all that is expected of us. Do that, and you are living the life of a king. You are ruling over a domain. You are taking the land.
Don’t let Ignorance and Error hide Truth. You are of the Truth! You belong to Him who is the Truth. You represent all that pertains to righteousness, joy, progress, peace and life.
So, do something today worthy of the King to whom you belong. Join Him in kingly conduct and royal savoir-faire.
Bear witness to the Truth.