In the Declaration of Independence, America’s founders held certain “truths to be self-evident.” I wonder if today’s politicians regard truth with such respect. Recently, Vice President Harris declared, “We are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” True, but she redacted “endowed by God” and “right to life.” It wasn’t the whole truth. Politicians on both sides do that.
We live in a skeptical age when “truths turn into dogmas,” per G. K. Chesterton. That means it’s true only because you believe it, not because it is self-evident. In the early 20th century, Chesterton predicted the day when defending the self-evident would be a struggle. “Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer.” We are there. In some quarters, to stand on common sense or self-evident truth as revealed by God is to risk being insulted, canceled, or fired. Not even a groveling apology will fix it.
Personal opinion is the rock that shipwrecks truth. For example, “It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and hope that I’m right in my belief,” philosopher Thomas Nagel wrote. “It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.” At least he’s honest about what he wants truth to be, but opinion cannot change truth. Truth should change opinion.
Philosopher Lawrence Krauss makes that point. “The universe is the way it is, whether we like it or not. The existence or nonexistence of a creator is independent of our desires.” He was arguing against God. But his point applies equally to the evidence for a Creator as revealed in nature. “Our beautiful, expanding, and finely tuned universe,” scientist Stephen Meyer writes, “and the exquisite, integrated, and informational complexity of living organisms bear witness to the reality of a transcendent intelligence – a personal God.”
A season three episode of “The Chosen” series portrays Jesus returning to his hometown of Nazareth. Friends and village leaders are excited to see Him until He applies Isaiah’s Messianic prophecies to Himself. He says, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). That’s not what they want to hear, so they turn on Jesus. This new information has no bearing on their opinion.
Jesus said he came to “release the captives.” It is only too human to be a captive of borrowed opinions or your own self-deceptions. The good news is that Jesus has a solution! “If you continue in My word,” He says, “then you are truly disciples of Mine and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). Nothing but the truth, so help me God!