While there are many classic lines from movies that make it into the American vocabulary and consciousness, the title of today’s blog comes from the movie A Few Good Men and I am sure most of you know that line delivered in typical Jack Nicholson brashness. (I don’t recommend the movie due to it’s R rating, a televised version would clean up most of that language, however.)
Can we actually handle the truth depends on whether we want to handle the truth. It is, therefore, completely up to us to decide if we can handle it, or not! It is a decision of the will.
Truth can be used in many ways, but at the heart and foundation (no pun intended) of “truth” is a foundation that you can build on. Can you imagine what would happen if “truth” changed? Right now, some are saying that truth does change. No, truth does not change but circumstance can. As I write these blog, my wife is not with me. This is truth but the circumstance might change in 10 minutes. If she comes into the room, she is now with me. The circumstance has changed but the truth has not. Through all eternity, it shall always be true that she was not with me when I wrote that sentence.
Gravity is a truth. If you drop a hammer from a tree in Texas, it falls just as fast as if you drop it in India. There is a relationship between that hammer and the planet that causes it to fall. It never rises! It will fall on the moon too, although a bit slower. Gravity is a truth you cannot ignore.
Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue, if NASA tried to send a man to the moon only to find out that gravity stopped working at the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere? What if gravity quit working every other Tuesday, unless the sky was cloudy overhead? It would be circumstantial then, subject to change and not a truth.
Here are some good things to remember about Truth that are based on a book called I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist:
Truth is discoverable but it doesn’t matter if you haven’t yet discovered it. (Jupiter’s moons were there before we saw them.)
Truth does not depend on culture. Math works just as well in the U.S.A as it does in China.
Truth does not change based on our beliefs. Many used to believe you would lose your breath if you ever exceeded 60 miles an hour in a car. This was not true before we did it and suddenly, no longer true. It was always a mistaken belief. If I believe a bottle to contain medicine but it contains deadly poison, I will not be able to avoid death simply by believing hard enough the opposite of the truth.
We expect truth from our doctors, parents, spouses, children, and politicians. (O.k. maybe we don’t expect it from our politicians. That might not be true. LOL) However, we want the truth about the house or car we go to buy. If an archeologist tells us that the skull we are about to buy is the skull of a famous Aztec king, we do not expect him to try and sell us a smaller sized skull and tell us it is the same Aztec King’s skull when he was a child!
So why is it that we do not ask for the same thing in our religion? Why are we willing to buy into the idea that what someone believes to be true can be true for them and not for us, and visa versa?
Here is a truth claim, from the Christian Scriptures: Speaking of Jesus, Peter says ” Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Act 4:12)
Now that may or may not be a true statement! Let’s look at that statement though and what it means.
IF IT IS TRUE, it states that there is only one way to Salvation. It states that Jesus is the only way. It is is exclusive of other names, roads, means of salvation. It says, that only by going through this name, may one be saved; if it is true.
IF IT IS NOT TRUE, then perhaps other names are valid means of obtaining salvation, if, that is, that there is a salvation. One might also say that if it not true, that Peter lied, which in most circles is not a good way to obtain salvation. So the door is open to other means of salvation, if salvation exists.
So, can you handle the truth? If Jesus is the only way to salvation, can you accept it? It is not good enough to say “I don’t believe it to be true.”, nor is it good enough for me to say “I believe it to be true.” That statement cannot be both true and untrue, it cannot be true for you and not for me, it makes a claim to be true and it either is, or it is not!