Is truth dead and if not, can we still find it in church?
In our high school and college days, many of us studied terms like postmodernism, postindustrial societies, and other types of changes that occur within various societies. It’s natural that we would now be discussing whether we live in a ‘post-truth’ country or world, where truth is no longer black and white, but merely a construct of our current environment and situation.
It’s likely that most of us would argue that’s garbage — that even if it seems few are willing to tell the ‘truth,’ it absolutely matters now more than ever.
The debate on how truth has become so subjective is a debate in and of itself. We can argue that it’s the media, the denigration of the nuclear family, the lack of focus on church/Body of Christ, the advent of the digital age, and the list goes on.
While each of those — and so many other factors — likely play a role, I would argue that many societies (ours anyway) have been struggling with truth and accurate facts for a single reason intertwined with all of the above: truth is no longer convenient.
We live in a society of convenience and comfort that is unlike any society before us anywhere. So, to tell that unvarnished truth often doesn’t fit in with our lives of incredible comfort, affluence, and ease.
To confront the truth would require us to momentarily examine the opulence we have become so accustomed to and confront our mental and emotional scotomas that prevent us from seeing the proverbial forest from the trees.
Case in point: many Christians, when directly confronted, might admit that Jesus Christ has no favored political party, right before beginning our monologue as to why he likely favors the Democratic or Republican party (pick your side) due to social justice/racial equality, right to life, or whatever our chosen issue.
The sometimes difficult reality is that we find truth in Christ through prayer and diligently seeking him, rather than pandering to the noise of the world. The truth is we feed the hungry, love the unlovable, and reach out to the hurting — even when it’s inconvenient.
When we’re putting our faith into action, we suddenly find a lot less time to focus on the ‘alternative facts’ and more time to focus on the truth — right in our local church.
Christopher Dixon is chief operating officer of eLectio Publishing (electiopublishing.com) and pastor of West Finley Baptist Church near Fordland, Mo. He is also a Word&Way trustee.