My current devotional reading is the 1963 classic The Christian Mind by Harry Blamires. It's not an easy read because Blamires is British and writes in a manner not typically found in much of today's literature. The good news is this forces me to slow down my reading and really concentrate on what is being said, and that forced concentration has revealed some wonderful nuggets of understanding.
In today's reading he writes, "The marks of truth as christianly conceived, then, are: that it is supernaturally grounded, not developed within nature; that it is objective and not subjective; that it is a revelation and not a construction; that it is discovered by inquiry and not elected by a majority vote; that it is authoritative and not a matter of personal choice." He goes on to write, "The sense of an objective truth existing within the sphere of religion has been lost. Religious conviction is, for the secular mind, a matter of individual preference related, not to objective truth, but to personal need and predilection."
Remember, he wrote this in 1963. How much more true is this today than then? Since he wrote these words two generations have grown up being taught that there is no such thing as objective truth, that truth is subjective and determined by how one feels or believes about a particular thing. Even in the church the idea of an objective truth has largely been ignored which is one reason we have such difficulties in many of our churches today. Entire denominations struggle to speak with a clear voice on many issues because the idea of a supernatural truth established by God has to be approved by a majority vote. And even if the majority does vote to agree with God, the minority has to be given its politically correct option to loudly disagree and continue to push its agenda. If the church struggles with this how much more will the unchurched population struggle to accept supernatural truth?
This is why one student in a school whose parents do not believe in Christ can cause the entire school to abandon its Christmas program in favor of a holiday program. This is why it is not politically correct to speak of Christ in the public arena. Talk about God all you want, but expect trouble if you bring Jesus Christ into the conversation. This is why it is nearly impossible to bring any kind of moral teaching into any discussion of the major issues facing our nation and the world today. Let's work to eradicate AIDS, but we musn't talk about the moral issues that have brought about this horrible disease. Let's pour money into assisting children who live in poverty, but we must not mention why so many are living in such conditions: the rising number of children born to unwed mothers, the absence of fathers in the home, no-fault divorce, the rising epidemic of drug addiction, the failure of our educational system to properly educate young people so they will have the skills to provide for themselves and their families, etc. We can measure the rising crime rates, but we must be careful to not offer any biblical insights into why people commit crime or we might offend someone. We can continue to pour money into supporting those without jobs until we bankrupt the nation, but we must not point out the immorality of the greed of those who send jobs overseas or the immorality of laws that make such action profitable for those companies who do send those jobs overseas.
A few years ago a movie was made about Al Gore's efforts to promote the concept of global warming. The film was called An Inconvenient Truth. Truth as found in Scripture is an inconvenient truth for most of our population today. Until we in the church recognize that the teaching of Scripture are true and begin to structure our lives accordingly we will never be able to have the impact on society that we should have. Until we are willing to proclaim that truth regardless of the outcry that will be heard against it, we will continue to live on the periphery of society. Until we are willing to confront people with the truth about who Jesus Christ is and why He came to earth we will not see their lives changed through a personal encounter with the living Savior. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me." That may be an inconvenient truth to many in today's society, but it is the only truth that will change lives, and it is the truth the church must proclaim this Christmas season and throughout the coming year.