First Congregational Church
Stanton, MI

Love for Truth  *  Passion for Righteousness  *  Enthusiam for Service

 
 
 

Open Door Newsletter


Honestly?

             --Pastor Jamey Nichols                     

          In the first minute after I die, what will be the state of my soul? Until then, what I think is true has no influence on what is really true. Real truth is not altered because of what is true to me or anyone else. It doesn’t matter what the smartest scientists hypothesize, how philosophers wax speculatively, or how overconfident religious types bloviate. At the end of my life, even the sweet childhood lessons from loving elders are bupkis if it turns out they weren’t true. At the end of life, I am without regard for any opinions including my own biased reasonings. None of it will matter unless it turns out to be true. I might expect to reincarnate, soul sleep for a time, work off my sins in purgatory, or skip in flowery meadows of heavenly bliss. At death, what I expect won’t change what is.

          I love truth. Truth is like a best friend. Because there is an all-powerful God who created everything, truth is his calling card. I want to know truth. I want to understand truth. The most basic thing about myself that I’m sure is true is that I care about truth. I want to think truly, act truly, reason truly and above all, recognize truth no matter where it comes from. Since truth is so marvelous, I want as much as my finite mind can contain. I want nothing but that which is true. I want to rid myself of everything that is not truth. I want to be governed by the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God. I want truth in the church. I want truth in theology. I want truth in friendships. I want truth in my preaching. I want truth to govern every synaptic impulse in my mental processes. 

Anything not true is a lie. The devil is the father of lies and obfuscation is his whore.

          Everybody loves truth. We love witnesses who testify truthfully. We love when our physicians make truthful diagnoses. We love when bankers report truthful balances. We love when the gauges on our cars reflect reality. We love when our children tell us the truth about their whereabouts. We love it when an invoice is truly paid in full. We love to hear our loved ones express love for us that is entirely true. As I say, everybody loves truth. We depend on it to function.

          Truth absolutely exists and, consequently, so does absolute truth. Since obfuscation is the devil’s whore, doubt must be her handmaiden. Philosophers who ask “Can we know truth?” intuitively recognize that the asking of any question is a true action. Additionally, they fully expect there will be someone who truly understands the question and proceeds to truly engage with a truly comprehensible reply.  Society—even religious society—may pretend to doubt the existence of absolute truth, but the very act of doubting confirms its existence. Erudite progressives have criticized me for the “oversimplification of things” and of “black and white thinking.” Such criticism, at its very core, proves my point: Either I’m being black and white or I’m not. There’s simply no escape from the true-false dichotomy. We need oxygen to talk about pulmonology. We need minds to contemplate thought. We need the existence of absolute truth to talk about everything including doubt. Do you dispute the idea that there is no such thing as absolute truth? Are you absolutely sure about it?

          A message to Postmodernists: Uncertainty is not a virtue. Hiding from propositional truth in order to “remain open” is not the same thing as open minded humility. Stop faking intelligence. Your pretentiousness is a ruse to avoid commitment and accountability. You are cherry-picking the existence of truth and it’s dishonest. It’s duplicitous to demand truth when you fly and when you talk to your banker, only to ignore it in regards the most basic questions of human existence and morality. Please, just stop it. The apostle James was right when he wrote that double-minded people are unstable. Go back to the ancient paths. Ask the Heavenly Father to firmly establish you in all that is true. Live with integrity and openly love truth; even if it stings at times; even if it causes a falling out with your social-media “friends.” Truth is beautiful. Don’t believe me? You will. When you’re absolutely dead, you will.

And, yes. Jesus was right, too. If you know the truth, the truth will set you free.