Hello! Part of the purpose of the TruthBites blog is to understand and respect various worldviews within the context of our daily lives, the workplace, broader community and integration of faith, family and freedom.  We will explore the intersection between the known and unknown, natural and supernatural, the clash of worldviews and common-core values all cultures share in common.  So, diverse perspectives are welcome here.  Please demonstrate civility, dignity  and respect in your posts. Please join me in this journey of joint exploration–understanding self in relation with God and each other.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV).

Is there an overarching truth in this universe, or no truth that is absolute and irrefutably reliable?   Is truth relative? Is your truth different from my truth?  Do we really socially construct our own reality? What do you believe?

Words carry power. Words can edify, inspire and affirm. And words can also crush spirits, cause anguish, stir conflict and sow seeds of discord. One’s choice of words can therefore be a double edged sword. According to Calvan Exoo (2010, p. xvii), “those who own or control society’s ‘idea factories’ including mass media can use [words] to impose their own ideas on others.” This is the idea behind the social constructivist movement in education. As such, academics have used words to socially construct reality rather than pursue the truth. Students are taught what to think instead of how to think. It is unfortunately but in this current postmodern “moral relative” corporeality (meaning, of the body and not the spirit), words have little meaning when not connected with values or recognized apodictic (absolute) truths. However, words can also edify and educate producing emotionally and spiritually healthy interactions within and between groups (Scazzero 2012). Nevertheless, words are often used to distort the truth (Phillips & Gully, 2014). This tradition goes back long before the Chinese warrior/philosopher Sun Tzu illuminated the tribulations of the “bearer of bad news” or Machiavelli’s cruel and narcissistic analysis of politics and power (Sun Tzu, 2012; Machiavelli, 2011). The infamous line in a Few Good Men, “you can’t handle the truth,” rings true. In light of the current divisiveness in this country, why does the truth matter?

9 comments

  1. I believe God is truth. As the creator of everything, truth is one of His creations. He is the source of truth. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (NIV).” I found these explanations, which I thought fit perfectly, on the Grace to You website: “Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: Truth is the self-expression of God. That is the biblical meaning of truth. Because the definition of truth flows from God, truth is theological. Truth is also ontological—which is a fancy way of saying it is the way things really are. Reality is what it is because God declared it so and made it so. Therefore God is the author, source, determiner, governor, arbiter, ultimate standard, and final judge of all truth (2009).”
    As with all other creation, truth doesn’t exist without God. Regardless of how far the world wants to bury its head in the sand when it comes to God, His truth has stood the test of time. For as far back as creation itself, God’s truth has endured. No other “truth” has stood up throughout history. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him (John 14:6-7).”

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    1. Thank you for your edifying thoughts on my blog. I would add, that Truth without grace breeds self-righteousness and legalism. Grace without truth breeds moral confusion, at best, deception and moral compromise at worst. The key to true Christian spirituality is to integrate these two qualities into life, imitating the character of Christ. It’s a double-edged sword.

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    2. Matt, I’m glad you referenced John 14:6 and the biblical meaning of truth. I looked up the philosophical definition of truth and it aligns with the biblical meaning. The philosophical definition states that truth is the aim of belief; falsity is a fault. People need the truth about the world in order to thrive (Britannica.com). If Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, based on the philosophical definition of truth, we need Jesus to live.

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  2. Indeed, I agree that words are powerful. In our country truth is not as respected as previous generations. However, the true change begins with one person at a time. The true change begins with me. When I am with my family I can begin to speak words of life . We can be the agents of change to our world beginning in our very own home. Therefore, truth does matter when our words are aligning with our actions. I agree words are powerful.

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  3. I have done a lot of thinking on this topic. From a Christian perspective, I have been trying to reconcile the exclusive teachings I have heard all my life with the fact that there are millions of people in the world who believe differently than I do. In fact, there are a lot of people of other faiths who are probably much more devout than I am. There are probably even many who make a better effort at connecting with God than I do. So believing that I have the truth, I have wondered if it could be possible that they do to. Could God have revealed Himself through different cultural lenses in ways that make sense for each time and place? Surely He knows what a particular people group will respond to.

    After all, Jesus wasn’t a Christian – he was a Jew. Funny how many Christians have hated Jews in the past. Those are the same “Christians” who probably think Jesus was white. I have further thought how unfair it is, if my Christian belief is THE truth, that I was born into it while others have to overcome opposing beliefs to join in. When I was a kid, if someone tried to convince me my belief system was wrong of inferior to them, I would think, “Get behind me, Satan!” Flip that for a Muslim or Hindu or any other person who’s been raised to believe his or her belief system is THE right one, and it works just the same. That, to me, seems unfair. Because some may never come to a Christian belief simply because they feel they are disrespecting God by doing so, as Christians would feel if they converted to another religion. It’s complicated to think about! So on this, I haven’t figured out quite how to believe yet. I believe there is one truth and one true God, and I believe He is much more all-encompassing and magnificent than any human mind can fully comprehend. Can a tiny island understand the vastness of the ocean that surrounds it? Not hardly.

    One thing I believe for sure is this: when a person calls out to God with a true belief in their heart, God hears them. In terms of someone who has never heard of my belief system, I think if they cry out God, Allah, or avocado, if their heart’s cry is to connect with God, the one true God will hear them and begin to reveal Himself to them. I don’t know how or what the particulars are because I was raised in a Christian church setting. Nonetheless, I believe He will not ignore the cries of His children, which is what every human is meant to be.

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  4. I think a lot of teaching (or peer-pressuring) people what to think and not how to think is happening today in pop culture and politics. Everything is so divided and divisive. No longer can one engaged in a conversation meant to learn and understand another person if it involves anything about race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Simply trying to understand another culture by inquiring about it in a respectful way can be seen as hostile. Each side of every line things their way is the only truth and the more popular opinion’s people utterly destroy the lesser opinion’s side whenever they get a chance. Never a better time to understand the power to create life or death with our words.

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  5. Truth in today’s society? I think we are in an interesting chapter of society that the “truth” is measured or believed by the number of people on each side. Take for example the allegations against Mr. Kavanaugh’s: people keep referring to Christine Ford’s story as “her truth,” when in reality the truth should be the truth regardless of who is telling it. Another issue with today’s society is that people rely on social media or news outlets to decide what to believe and what is true or false. The other issue with society now days is that religion has taken many forms and pastors that are supposed to be spreading the word of God are afraid to say the truth. They think that if they are straight forward with their answers they will lose followers and they are afraid to answer questions that should be answer with simple “yes or no,” instead they go around the question without actually answering it. Mathew 5:37:” Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” clearly states that a yes or no answer needs to be answer directly or the answer is not from God. .
    Hebrews 13:8 tells us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. His word has not change and will continue to be the truth no matter what society says, therefore we as individuals should stay strong and seek the truth (God’s truth), and stay away from multitude true because that is just a way to make noise and confuse people in order to direct them away from God. This is important because the world needs more leaders to guide followers to God to create true change in the world in order to fulfill God’s wishes.

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  6. As I read your statement all I could think of is the phrase “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck”. I would like to think that as we mature, we develop the ability to critically think to debunk that phrase to say “how about if it is another animal disguised as a duck?” As humans we tend to find the easy way out, if the easy way out satisfies our agenda. The fall gives us a good example of how someone decided not to think of the consequences because the falsehood that they were told gave them an easier route to being just like God.

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  7. There is an overarching truth in this universe. However, in our culture it may be termed as something else; such as morals, ethics, principles. I believe that there is absolute truth that is reliable. For instance, there is a sun and a moon. Truth is always relative because it does not have an expiration date. In some regards my truth can be different from yours and let me explain. On a personal level your truth can be synced based on your experiences. Now, since we have different experience the outcome of our truth may differ about something. In regards to socially constructing our own reality, I think has to do much with our perspectives. How one may see the world and its many different cultures may create their reality. It is not until we change the way we look at things that they begin to change. I think we still have room for unity though. When we have different perspectives we still can have the same goal. Now we may have different ways of about accomplishing that goal but we have unity in our goals. This is what I believe.

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