2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10; 2 Kings 17; Micah 6
People like to brand a lot of stuff as “Fake News” these days. Usually, these are news items that we don’t believe or agree with, so, rather than investigate the veracity of the reports, we deny them outright as false. On the other hand, if we see the heading of a news report is something that we agree with, we jump to click it and read it with glee, again without verifying the truthfulness of the report. We broadcast the report on our social media fields and, when confronted with the truth that refutes the report we posted, we respond by noting that this could be true rather than apologizing and retracting the article. The subjective “truth” of the article is more important than the objective facts.
Subjective truth runs rampant in society as people talk about how what’s true for them may not be true for you. Science is true, unless it clashes with feelings. Feelings and perception become the guide to life and all feelings and perceptions are valid, unless they clash with mine. Corinth was a hotbed of religions with that understanding. They had a lot of “mystery” religions that only the “in-crowd” had understanding of, and if you weren’t one of them, you didn’t get to play. Paul spoke to the need to proclaim the truth. “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)
Mystery religions were a big thing in ancient Rome. Most of them made accommodations to allow for eventual emperor worship. When you were initiated into that religion, you were something special, at least in the eyes of the rest of that religious gang. Some of the beliefs of mystery religions paralleled Christianity and many associated Christianity with mystery religions. Paul set the record straight. Christians don’t have secret ways. Christians don’t engage in shameful activities. Christians proclaim the word of God as the objective truth by which they live. The truths of Christianity are not hidden from non-believers, but are proclaimed openly. Christian Scriptures, back then the Old Testament mainly, were available for anyone to look at. They proclaimed, “this is who God is” and “this is how we are to live.”
When I claim to follow Christ, I am telling the world that while I’m a sinner, my sins have been forgiven by the grace of God. I proclaim that I am going to live to honor God. God’s word is the objective truth upon which I live. That objective truth teaches me to love all people. That objective truth tells me to share the good news of Jesus Christ with all people. Many of the disagreements and conflicts we deal with relate to people living according to their subjectivity. Sometimes the feelings and emotions of one subjective group clash with the feelings and emotion with another subjective group. Sometimes they clash with people who live by an objective truth. Our belief hinges on the truth of the resurrection of Christ and that because of the resurrection, we have experienced God’s grace. Our job, as followers of Christ, is to let people experience God’s mercy and grace. That means, for most of us, we’ll have to be living examples who show God’s grace to people who don’t accept the Truth of Jesus Christ. When they see us living out the truth, they’ll begin to be open to hearing the gospel.
Lord, all truth is found in You. I believe in the truth of the resurrection. I believe in Your mercy and grace. Help me to show this truth to others by living every day as an example of Your grace and truth.