I was scrolling through Facebook recently and stumbled across a fellow believer who posted a strong (and some would say biased) statement. Yet, the statement isn't what caught my attention, it was the 20+ comments underneath. I'm one of those people who when I see a lot of comments for a status or a blog or an article, my investigator senses (which my wife calls my "nosy senses") go off. So I'll scroll down, quickly glancing at the comments until I get the gist of what's being commented and then I move on. Well in this particular case, some of the comments from the believers made me cringe. Some of the believers who commented spoke of truth as being "subjective"—that is, "we all can have our own interpretations and still call it truth". I exercised self-control and wisdom and chose not to meddle (thankful for the Holy Spirit, because I sho' did want to meddle). But I could not stay silent, so here I am.
What are we upholding?
We have to uphold the absolute Truth of God, but not simply for those outside, but for those inside all the more. The sad reality is too many members in the Body uphold subjective truth and "my truths" but are devoid belief in absolute Truth. That is a dangerous, destructive, and unbiblical position. It's too much of the "reader's intent" and not the "author's intent" on what Truth is in Scripture. The human authors were the ones sovereignly selected and inspired to write God's truth, not us. Our aim should always be to find out their intent not ours or anyone else's.
Most believers are devoid of proper biblical interpretative methods. That's part of why truth is subjective to many believers. It's hard to believe in absolute Truth when you're never taught there is absolute Truth nor shown how to understand it in Scripture. Of course then Scripture becomes "what you make of it" (i.e. "reader intent") rather than "what the Divine Author intended and used His human instruments to convey" (i.e. "authorial intent").
What are we striving towards?
Yes, we should strive to agree on every absolute Truth in Scripture. But we won't agree on everything because our sinful nature presents that incessant hurdle of pride.
So what do we do?
- We seek to find agreement in the essential truths.
- We seek to be objective (i.e. open and unprejudiced) where Scripture is open-ended.
- We seek to become like Jesus in our upholding His truth, in our exercising grace toward ours and others imperfections, and in our love for one another.
- And we seek to discuss, seasoned with grace and love, those hard things like understanding Scripture properly where we disagree—even if we still end disagreeing.
We are to graciously fight for God's absolute truth because we were saved by His absolute truth (Jam. 1:16-18). But let's do so not with a spirit of dissension, but a spirit of grace.
Below are 3 other blogs I wrote and a sermon. The first one discusses truth and what it is. The second one discusses the need for proper biblical methods of interpretation. The last one is a debate I had with someone who held to "subjective truth", and a glimpse of how dangerous, destructive, and unbiblical it is. And the sermon is on upholding God's truth in our thinking.
1. Let's Talk About Truth
2. The Need for Hermeneutics
3. Blog Debate
4. Uphold The Truth pt. 1