Apologetics 9: The Truth Shall Set You Free

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 1, 2021 3 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
~2 Timothy 2:24-26
“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
~John 8:32

There is nothing like truth. It takes little time to be around me to know I am truth oriented. My life and my very modus operandi are in and about truth. I’m very much like John MacArthur in this regard. One of my favorite sermons from him is titled The Primacy of Truth. It is the opening of a series he did on 2nd and 3rd John, and in it he makes the point that divine truth is the most important thing of everything. Without truth, we have nothing else. While Paul declares the greatness of love in 1 Corinthians 13, there is no love without a foundation of truth. Paul speaks about truth – defining it, warning against distorting it, and alerting us against those who distort it – more than any other singular topic across his letters. He wrote one chapter on love, making references to it throughout the other letters. He wrote entire books on truth (namely Galatians). Jesus said the truth shall set us free, and Paul tells Timothy that those he will deal with do not have truth. But if we do not quarrel and instead be gentle, able to teach, patient, and humbly correct, then God may grant them repentance, so they may know the truth.

We live in a world full of lies, and it’s getting harder and harder to determine what is reality and what is not. No one trusts the media anymore (you wonder why) and people are asking, “Why don’t people trust science anymore?” I get lots of death stares when I answer, “When science became political.” Isaiah lamented in his day that truth had fallen in the street and justice had been turned backwards. Does that not sound like our day now? Even those who hate the lies from the far left are easily falling for the lies on the far right. A cliché says: “A lie gets halfway around the world before truth can gets its pants on.” And what we are seeing is a more and more clear divide between those who love the truth and those who hate it.

When someone is lost, they do not know the truth; otherwise, they would not be lost. If you are in a maze and you know where you are, you aren’t lost. But you only know where you are if you have the map to the maze. God is the truth. He is the standard of all truth. All reality can only be known factually by what God says. Sin is utter rebellion and treason against God. Since God is the truth, and sin hates God, that means by definition that sin hates truth. Instead of letting God define the truth, sinful people want to define it themselves. That was one of the first promises of the serpent to Adam and Eve: “And you will be like God, knowing good from evil.” This statement says, “You can be the arbiter of truth. You can determine your own reality. You can do all things your own way.” As a result, we lose all grip of reality and ‘truth’ becomes whatever we want it to be, whatever satisfies our sinful cravings.

There are two things I’ve noticed about lies. 1) They come automatically whenever someone wants something or when they are in trouble. A baby has never had anyone teach him how to lie; it comes by instinct. That’s the sinful nature. 2) False teachings have to be taught. Despite the sinful nature being in automatic rebellion against God, God has already taught each of us His standards. While our sinful instinct is to rebel against truth, the reason we have that instinct is because we KNOW the truth intuitively. That’s why we lie without being taught – we know the truth and we don’t like it, therefore we will suppress it and fight against it. No one has an excuse. But I want to emphasize this point.

I will declare that no one believes Evolution (just for an example; it also applies to Mormonism, Critical Race Theory, Communism, or any other wild, crazy idea) because the evidence supports it. The evidence is not there; what is shown doesn’t actually support it. They believe it because they were taught it and they were NOT taught ALL of what is involved with it. What’s the most common answer to why most scientists believe in Evolution, Big Bang, and all the other Deep Time methods? “Because most scientists believe it.” You will have a hard time coming across a scientist who can actually articulately describe and explain an example of evidence for these ideas. The standard answers we get don’t actually support those models as proclaimed, but rather are parroted from what they read without any hint of critical thought. Evolution is widely believed, not because it has truth, but because is taught as truth not to be questioned, and any dissent is virulently attacked. This is true with any false teaching, but it’s also easily seen in cults. You have to be taught the lies. There isn’t evidence that, when fully investigated, will showcase the lie to be valid. When cross-examined, the lie falls apart. You can’t do a scientific experiment that will showcase a lie. You can’t do a historical or evidentiary analysis or a logical analysis. Any honest test you throw at a lie will make that lie collapse. But if you throw an honest test against the truth, it always stands tall.

These lies DO have some truth, however. In fact, the most successful lies are those that are about 95-98% truth. But rat poison is also 95-98% fine; the other 2-5% poison is what kills. The same is true about lies. They look like the truth and will act like the truth, but they are not the truth. Cults feed their new converts all the soft stuff that is very artistic, well-decorated, and looks like the truth. But the lies are mixed in, often only sporadically to make an alert person raise some eyebrows but diluted enough to hopefully not have them catch on. Then once the person is completely sucked in, then they are embraced into the full teachings (such as actually becoming “God”). Once this process has taken root, it usually takes a jarring uprooting to get someone freed from it. Often it takes a tragic event to break that person free of it. The people who are sucked into these teachings lose their rationality. They no longer can think straight. This is what sin does by itself, but we see it on display in cults. They are ensnared by the devil and then enlisted to do his bidding. What I am describing here is the process of brainwashing. See my series here from last year for details on that. Only the truth can set them free, and it takes God to break through to them. Next week, we’ll look at the insanity that lies produce.

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Unknown said...

Good read! The truth about lies.

SMW said...

I can tell from you prioritizing truth above love, you have nothing to offer me. I have much studied the bible as the foundation of our worldview perspective and values. For the theistic world view ultimate reality is infinite personal being – God, and values the personal. People who esteem Reform doctrine and emphasize impersonal truth miss the highest personal value which is love. My position is If the truth isn’t good, what good is it?

Charlie said...

SMW, I see where you are coming from but I think you missed the point. I wasn't saying "truth and don't love". I was specifically addressing the common claims of "let's all get along and love each other" in a very post-modern worldview at the expense of truth. That's the "love" I was addressing. I absolutely do not argue we should not love each other as the Bible describes. But I will argue that unless we have truth and live by truth...then any love we do cannot be love at all. It is because of truth that we can love. It is our love for truth that enables us to love others. You say if the truth isn't good, what good is it? That's a good question. But if your love isn't true or based on truth...then is that love?