STOVER: Search for the truth in today’s world

Published 7:49 pm Saturday, September 30, 2017

By LARRY STOVERPraise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

People today are as confused about the idea of truth more than ever. At best, it is blurry and inconsistent. Let’s face it, this is nothing new. Even Pilate, in his discussion with Jesus Christ before the crucifixion, asked the Lord, “What is truth?” Jesus had made that plain by telling his followers, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He added these words, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

In our world of relative truth, these words can be confusing to the non-believer or to the nominal believer who is trying to redefine truth to fill their idea of it. Why has this search for truth become such a burdensome, mind-boggling journey in today’s world?

My generation of Babyboomers began the erosion of truth that is so prevalent today. As we challenged the status quo during the 1960s and 1970s, we discovered that we could protest anything and make a scene. Sometimes we took on the establishment just because it seemed like a fun option. In doing so, we saw an erosion of the foundations of truth that had been the guidelines for our parents and our forefathers as well.

As we redefined truth, it shaped our way of thinking beyond anything our parents could have ever imagined. Many of my generation like to make our own rules as we go. Systems of right and wrong along with moral behavior have evolved into the “new truth.” “We are free,” I guess.

Look at how we view traditional Judeo-Christian values. Only about 10 percent of us believe all ten of the Commandments. Some 80 percent see no need to observe the Sabbath.

Two-thirds of us would lie if they felt it would not hurt anyone. More than half admit to cheating on their spouse because they believe that their spouse is cheating on them. Over 40 percent use recreational drugs. And nearly one-third admit to cheating on their taxes.

Tragically, we think that we are “cool.”

While we used to believe that the Bible was our standard for right and wrong, over 90 percent of Babyboomers prefer to decide for themselves what is right or wrong. Again, more than 80 percent of us violate not only the laws of the land but also the rules of our own church. Their reasoning, “I just disagree with them.”

Lying has become a feature characteristic of Americana culture. Some people lie so much that are no longer aware that they are doing it. Statistics show that 91 percent lie regularly with 50 percent admitting to lying every week.

The way we live is changing. The idea of a family is no longer a dad, mom, and children. Rather, it is now defined as any group of people who chose to live together.

One-third of married people admit to having an affair. Some reports are showing as many as 60 percent of marriages end in divorce.

Crime continues to climb in most areas. So many people are victims of theft or assault. People today see no problem with stealing from work or even motels they visit while on vacation. Shoplifting is not really seen as a crime unless you get caught. Internal theft has become one of the major issues in corporate America.

Christianity used to be the main expression of our faith in America. In today’s pluralistic society, people are scrambling for alternative ways to heaven. The vast majority say they believe in God but that reference is not to the sovereign God of the Bible but a belief in the concept of god they have fabricated giving them peace of mind. Less than 40 percent of us believe that sin is against God. The new “sin” is more like breaking the rules of one’s own conscience.

Babyboomers have definitely altered the picture of truth and the Christian faith. We have made serious changes to the absolute standards of our fathers. In doing so we have “come a long way,” but, we have also caused confusion and emotional trauma to those who would like to have some kind of standard to live by.

For the serious Christian who is trying to make sense out of our pluralistic society, discover the truth of God’s Word, not as an individual defines it, but rather, as you allow the Bible to speak to you.

As you rediscover the Biblical standard of truth, you will also find that life is “Simply Beautiful” in the wisdom of Jesus Christ.