Tag: Truth

TRUSTING IN MAN (OR WOMAN)

I can think of several people within my extended family who are trusting in man. By “man” I mean the philosophies of fallible human beings…

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One is well and truly brainwashed and controlled by a large international cult, so that she has avoided all contact with her family for years, including her own mother. She is, effectively, “gone”, though certainly not unreachable by God himself. The question is, since God has given us free will (right-I’m not a Calvinist) whether she will ever respond.

Another, a born-again Christian for decades, has been following one particular televangelist-a man with a very colored reputation and some very dubious theology for several years, to the point that she now considers him to be infallible, and pressures the rest of her family to do the same. She is, to put it in simple terms, obsessed with him, and has abandoned her local church and her Christian friends. Other family members are ardent followers of other famous televangelists, and refuse to question their wealth-gathering tactics or their banal, un-Biblical theology.

One man who I grew up with, representing perhaps several others in my family, is so convinced of the theory of evolution ex-nihilo that he will not listen to a single word about a loving God. He cannot point to any evidence for his beliefs but he’s immovable anyway.

As I look around at the world, I see literally millions led in their political and religious thought by celebrities, who are now among the high-priests of modern day philosophy, along with angry atheists and a host of other “ists”, whose one common profession is that the God of the Bible is the one which should be ridiculed or ignored completely.

More immediately, many of us have found ourselves on the receiving end of an unfaithful lover or spouse, having once believed them to be the “right” one.

As I wrote in a post titled “Ex-ing the Experts”* my own conviction is that we should question everyone and everything. Yes, we have a lot to learn from others, but no human is infallible, and many are without doubt biased, twisted, or just plain wrong. I’ve been on both sides of faith, and now, certain that the God of the Bible is the One true God and the only One who is true and faithful, I agree with His word and guidance, and His only:

This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD (Jeremiah 17:5).

*EX-ING THE EXPERTS:

https://nickyfisher.com/2017/12/30/ex-ing-the-experts/

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YOUR TRUTH, MY TRUTH

A good Christian friend of mine posted on Facebook some thoughts about the nature of truth, and immediately received a negative response. “Your truth is your truth, and mine is mine”, was the thrust of the response, a very common view. I’ve written a lot about the nature of truth, and it almost seems like a tired old topic now. But there’s an incurable conflict here, ever-present in our culture and our daily lives.

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The conflict, if we’re all honest with ourselves and each other, really boils down to the fact that some people want to follow the ways of God and some don’t. The ones who are keen to dismiss the whole concept that there is any absolute truth do so because they want truth to be fluid, bendable and changeable, in order to feel free to do what they think they should be able to do without feeling guilty, and in order to purge the Christian God from our world. They don’t want to think that there might be any supreme authority which might cramp their style or that of their favorite people. It’s like the man or the woman (sorry those in the middle) who tells his or her mate or lover that he thinks they should have an “open relationship”. This little warm-sounding euphemism is really an excuse not to be faithful and not to be committed. It’s not love, it’s selfishness.

Granted, we can argue or discuss what any absolute truth might entail, and where it might emanate from. But I can tell you one thing: without God at the center of our culture, government will inevitably become God. It will be the ultimate authority. It will dictate what is right and what is wrong; what you can and cannot do; where you can and cannot go; how long you should live; what your value is; what you can have and what you must part with, and so on. And anyone living with the thought that we can hold government accountable and shape it to our own will is living in a dream world-a false utopia which history proves over and over again cannot ever be.

Who would decide what this God has said in regard to truth? That’s a good rhetorical question. I don’t want any of the known religious organizations of the world telling me what God has said: I don’t trust any of them. The beauty of the Establishment clause in the US constitution is that it hands freedom of religious thought, and even freedom from it, to the people. Yes, the clause says that government must not establish a religion, but it also states that government cannot prevent the free exercise of religion-the part of the clause which is always ignored by secularists. Therein is balance and freedom.

God, from the start, from the beginning, has given us the dignity of free will, and the dignity to seek him by our own choice and not coercion, in contrast to the dictates of one or two world religions we could name. However, there are certain principle and laws at work in our universe which are undeniably fixed and unchangeable. If our planet did not follow the laws of space-time and gravity in its fixed orbit around the sun, there would be no life. And it seems obvious to me that the God who has established fixed laws to govern the universe and all of nature, would also have fixed ideas of truth, and of what’s right or wrong. I’m convinced that the Bible is our guide book for life. It contains our Creator’s expression of Truth for us to live by.

Most of the peoples of the world have a commonly-held set of ethics and beliefs to live by. It’s only in the West that absolute and universal truths are being rejected, a phenomenon which the Bible calls “lawlessness” and “sin”. The West cannot survive without those fixed principles, a fact known by some who are at work internally to bring the West down. To them, the West and its Judaeo-Christian roots and values must be destroyed. The West of D-Day was for the most part united with shared truths and beliefs and principles. By demolishing Truth, and inviting a flood of “truths”, we are not fostering unity, but division and decay.

WHERE FREEDOM IS

Whatever our view of the beginnings of mankind, we can imagine the first humans having a huge amount of freedom…

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There-wherever it was-the first man and the first woman wandered the land. In every direction they looked they were free to roam. There were no streets, no traffic lights, no private lands, no “No Trespassing” signs, no busy roads, no Mc Donalds restaurants with one-way drive-in lanes and “stop” signs. It was all open, wild and free.

Adam and Eve, or if you like, “Aarg” and “Thug”, had no bills to pay, no car payments or mortgages to struggle with, no taxes, no boss to answer to, no fear of getting a ticket for riding their horses too fast, and no fear of getting locked up for trespassing or for trumped-up charges of collusion or lying to investigators. Their kids were content, attentive and helpful, because there was nothing to encourage them to be otherwise.

However (and in every human story there has to be a “however”) at some point in the virtual bliss of life along came Mr X: the new neighbor. Mr. X decided that he liked Thug, Aarg’s mate, very much, and also that the land the Aargs were living on looked a lot nicer than the land he was on. X plotted in his primitive but fertile mind how he might extricate Aarg and acquire what Aarg was enjoying, and make it his. He first attempted to “move in” on Mrs. Aarg, who wasn’t altogether against the idea of being acquired, because X, after all, was more handsome than was that guy she’d been stuck with for some time.

There ensued a battle between Aarg and X, in which X’s features were somewhat re-arranged, and he didn’t look quite so handsome or appealing any more. So X plodded off with his metaphorical tail between his legs.

However (and there’s another “however” already) while X’s pride and face were damaged his determination was not. Remembering that just over the hill lived that rather large and imposing man “Donk”, with his rather large and imposing sons, he took some trinkets: shiny rocks, fruit, and a nice jaw-bone hair brush, and went to make a deal with Donk. The following morning X, Donk and his rather large and imposing sons swaggered over the hill to where Arrg was banging some sticks on the cave wall- working on some pretty intricate para-diddles, and, with the gang behind him, he raised himself above Aarg, X declaring that he was now king of all he surveyed-including Mrs Aarg.

Aarg was forcefully employed twenty hours a day, digging for shiny rocks and cooking mammoth chops. He was confined to his cave at night, because everything else now belonged to X and his deputy, Donk. Aarg’s rent was two shiny rocks a day, for the cave which once belonged to him.

The worst irony of the story is that after some time, Donk’s slow but deliberate brain determined that he hadn’t done quite so well out of the deal as he could have, and X shortly found himself digging for shiny rocks with Aarg, and doing the dishes. He was, however, Aarg’s supervisor, so that poor old Aarg remained on the bottom social level of X’s kingdom.

I write this sad little story not because I believe, as the Communists do, that “property is theft”-I don’t: or as an example of how all unpleasant human circumstances come about. Obviously there are other causes of loss of freedom besides violent tyrants. Instead it’s intended to be a demonstration of how we as humans have moved from being once free to being under the thumb of the society we live in. We think we’re free in the West, but compared to the original freedom Aarg enjoyed, we’re rather constricted and constrained.

Step out of your door and you immediately find that there are places you cannot go, things you cannot do. Where once Aarg could wander and roam, you have an extremely limited path of legality and propriety. The fact that you can see buildings and roads and gardens and fields gives a false sense of freedom, because if you walk over someone’s lawn or through their house or over the field you’ll have the owner’s dog, or the owner or the police, chasing you. Don’t wander in the road or you’ll get squashed by a forty ton truck. Don’t drive too fast or go through the red light or you’ll get a ticket. Don’t try to explore that interesting structure or the security man will evict you and turn you in. Don’t say certain things in public or you’ll be verbally or even physically attacked or jailed.

Pay your bills on time or you’ll be on the streets in the cold. Pay your taxes or the weight of the government will come down on you. Don’t grumble too loudly against the government or you could be locked up for incitement. Don’t dress out of fashion or people will sneer and reject you. Vote to please those around you or lose your “friends”. Construct your sentences well and like all the right things and say all the right small talk and wear the right clothes and appear meek and yet at the same time confident and cool or people will shun you.

We, like Aarg, have been enslaved to the society we live in. To top it all off we’re enslaved by our mortality, and our lives are limited in time. What we like to think of as a free world and a free life is actually very restrictive.

However, true freedom can be found in the creator of all that we are and all that Aarg, or Adam, surveyed. This is the creator who has promised to restore what he originally made-this time under his own, good government. For life in this present world, the apostle Paul said:

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

And Jesus Christ said:

“If you hold to my teaching, you really are my disciples. The you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

Freedom is to be found in Jesus Christ, and our Creator, who will be in us if we want Him, where no-one can take it away.

 

THE POST-TRUTH POST

Two kinds of people are interested in the type of culture we live in today-those who are concerned about it, and hope and pray to reverse the negative trends, and those who are promoting the negative trends…

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Of course, the promoters, the drivers of our social and political world, don’t see their view as being negative. They’re heading, they think, towards a utopia in which all shackles of morality and propriety are totally removed; in which the old order of things is done away; in which the Judaeo-Christian world-view is abolished and forgotten.

I was listening to an interview with a member of Ravi Zacharias’ team, who was talking about our “post-truth” culture. We’ve moved, he said, from “post-modernism” into “post-truth”. Post-truth culture is one in which, as in post-modernism, truth is perceived to be subjective only (my truth is my truth, your truth is yours), but also one in which the facts don’t matter any more. What matters now is feelings and preferences.

This definition and observation didn’t tell me anything new. I’ve realized for many years that a large number of people-perhaps a majority- aren’t interested in genuine debate or inquiry in order to arrive at facts or truths. Instead, they’ve made up their minds already, based upon what they¬†want to be true, even if it’s blatantly obvious that it isn’t. They only seek to bolster their views with any line of reasoning, faulty or not, which serves to intimidate and bash the “ignorant” and “bigoted” rabble.

In defense of my own ignorance and bigotry, I can say that I once held to many politically-correct tenets which I now see as being faulty or destructive. No-one can accuse me correctly of being uninformed and closed-minded, because I’ve seen both sides of the moral, political, philosophical and social divide.

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I use the word “divide” in its singular sense intentionally here, because if you haven’t noticed, our culture, ostensibly rich and self-proclaimed to be “diverse”, is actually shaping up to be two-sided and polarized. On the one side we have those holding to the traditional view of society and culture which is largely Christian in its morality; one-man one-woman marriages; a uniform view of right and wrong; an un-wavering patriotism; age-old work ethics, and a conservative understanding of immigration and societal growth in which those coming in do so legally, and with the intention of blending into what is already here.

On the other side of the cultural divide we have those pushing, particularly since the start of President Obama’s reign, with all their might to demolish all the above standards, and to replace them with anything else which suits their no-holds barred morality. The Judaeo-Christian view of things is the one obstacle in their road to Utopia.

The election of Donald Trump represented the worst thing which could have happened to the progressive agenda. Trump is no choir boy by any standards, but he did and does hold to the principles of a predominantly Christian culture, as outlined above, and he does take serious note that there are many millions who still see society in its traditional sense. Consequently, the effort to remove him has been driven by angry desperation, and a desperation which claims to be tolerant but which in fact refuses to listen, and which unashamedly negates any reference to objective, verifiable facts. Even the laws and constitution of the land are seen to be enemies in our post-truth age. And so my post returns to its starting point.

The throwing-off of Truth is nothing new. It’s been done over and over again, since the very beginning of man. Someone gets tired of living by the rules-particularly God’s rules-and here comes the abandonment of rational thought, and the embracing of anything which opposes it. It’s a prideful attitude which is destined for failure. The underlying belief is that either there is no God, no Person with any expectations of us, or that even if there is, he/she/it is irrelevant and not worth considering anyway. It’s rather like your left hand intently disliking the rest of your body and so deciding its going to go off and live independently of the rest of you.

We can no more live in a universe without God than we can live in a world without air. And unfortunately for those rebelling against the way of things, against the nature of the real universe governed by its creator, there is nowhere else to go. The One who ultimately controls all things, who gives and sustains life, does indeed have certain expectations. He also has no intention of giving away His universe.

EX-ING THE EXPERTS

I’ve had it with “experts”, of all shapes and sizes…it’s time to exorcise them from my view of the world entirely!

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For a large part of my life I’ve had an inbuilt distrust for “experts” in the secular world. You know-the ones who “must be right” because they went to X university and appeared on TV; the ones who tell us that we’re related to slugs; the ones who tell us that by eating hamburgers we’re destroying planet earth; the ones who so want us to be tolerant that they will not tolerate any other view but theirs, and the ones who tell us that candidate X (yes, I do like the letter “x”) obviously has no path to election.

I’ve also had an intrinsic distrust for those in the “religious” world who invent their own theology and call it Truth. You know-the ones who say that all religions lead to God (which God they don’t say-they just know it’s not the Biblical God); the ones who say that if you don’t speak in tongues you’re useless to God; the ones who say that Allah and Jehovah are one; the ones who say that John Doe is the latest Prophet and we all need to listen to him, and the ones who want to cut your head off if you don’t see things their way.

However, in recent years I’ve been distancing myself also from many “experts” within the evangelical Christian world. You know, the ones who are, metaphorically speaking, paraded on Christian radio and in the pulpits, and now behind microphones and guitars, as bearers of True doctrine. They went to X university, they’re good-looking, and they’ve written five hundred and sixty two million books on the subject, so they must be right.

There are Christian ministers and teachers who will tell you to “be like the Bereans” by searching the scriptures “to see if these things are so”, and who will then tell you how to be like the Bereans their way…

They’re the ones who say that they need X million dollars in the next two weeks to continue their ministry so “give as much as God is leading you to give”. They’re the ones who say that “God has a wonderful plan for your life” while Christians around the world get driven from their homes and slaughtered horribly by their persecutors. They’re the ones who tell me that I’m clearly a Jew and Israel-hater because I’m not a Pre-Trib believer; the ones who say that the early chapters of Genesis are merely poetic language to describe evolution- for example, that the word “day” really means billions of years and that God only told Noah to build a boat so he could float around on a lake for a while. They’re the ones who insist that Biblical wine is only grape juice, failing to explain why Paul would say that older women should not be addicted to “grape juice” (Titus 2:3).

I’ve had it with the “experts”. From now on, it’s me and my Bible.