Insight #322 – Truth or Consequences

Did you ever listen to “Truth or Consequences” on radio or TV? (Well, maybe you’re not as old as I am.) In 1950, when the show was ten years old, Hot Springs, NM, actually changed its name to “Truth or Consequences.”

The fun show aside, our daily lives are seriously a matter of following truth or facing consequences.

Fake News

Fake news is nothing new. The term is at least a century old, like the term “yellow journalism.” Whatever you want to call it, the practice predates all such terms. An outstanding example is the fabrication that Jesus’ disciples stole His dead body (Matt. 28:11-15). That piece of fake news started because the perpetrators had a hidden agenda.

Call it what you will, if a piece of news is indeed fake, it’s a lie. And lies are as old as Eden. God told the truth: “You will surely die.” Satan told the lie “You won’t really die” (Gen. 2:17; 3:4). As for Satan, “there is no truth in him… he is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Fake news is just one symptom of the human condition. Far too often, we choose pleasing or “helpful” lies over hard truths. In the extreme, many people even deny that objective truth exists: “Your truth… my truth… everything is relative.” Some suggest we are living in the “post-truth” age. The reality is that the post-truth age began in Eden. Romans 1 speaks of the human condition: “men who suppress the truth… knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God… professing themselves to be wise, they became fools… who exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (Rom. 1:18-25).

Truth about Sex

It does seem that the rejection of truth has reached new extremes in recent years. There always have been battles over truths that are not obvious. But today, truth that is literally as plain as the nose on your face is being denied. Out of the multitude of new terms being invented, I’ll limit these remarks to the expression “sex assigned at birth.” How absurd! Sex is not assigned at birth – it is recognized at birth. You just need two eyes. Actually, today with ultrasound, it can be recognized months earlier. How is sex determined? It all depends on which particular male sperm fertilizes the female egg. If you want to use the term “assigned,” sex is assigned at conception!

Of course, a child may be born with sex abnormalities, just like a multitude of other abnormalities. However, the discussion here is not about birth defects; it’s about spiritual defects – an absurd rejection of truth literally as obvious as the nose on your face. Society – including governments, schools, companies, news media, churches, and huge segments of the general public – is rushing headlong into defending this lie.

“In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). Today’s attempts to obliterate the differences between male and female are an assault upon God the Creator. Today, though you have a male body, you can choose to “identify” as a female because you feel like a female. Then you can get legal protection to use the women’s bathroom, to compete in female-only sports, to be a Miss America contestant (“Miss” Nevada 2021), and to demand people refer to you as “she.” Can people be more blind to truth than all this!

One of the most disputed topics today is the issue of female-only sports. For those interested in truth, this debate is bringing to our attention the fact that the God-designed differences between male and female include much more than sex organs. 

A sad consequence of today’s big lie is that a girl in competition can be cheated out of first place by a boy pretending to be a girl. Far more serious are those people, even youth, who feel pressured to attempt to alter their sex through medical and surgical treatments. When some of them come to their senses later on, they are confronted with the sad fact that the damage to their bodies is irreversible.

Love of Truth

“What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus. Whether he asked with a sneer or with some level of sincerity, we can only surmise. What is truth? It is simply what is. If a statement corresponds to reality, it is a true statement.

Some truth is obvious to each one of us. To stay alive I must breathe, drink, and eat. Very cold water turns to ice. If I let go of the book in my hand, it will fall, etc. On the other hand, much truth we accept on faith in the testimony of trustworthy sources. None of us personally know if George Washington was the first president of the USA, but we accept that as truth because of our faith in multitudes of sources. Few of us personally know that the earth revolves on its axis, but we accept that as truth based on our faith in those who have the means to determine that reality.

Of course, the most difficult area of truth is that relating to spiritual matters such as the existence of God, revelations from God, moral issues, and if the life we live now has eternal consequences. Once again, it is a matter of faith in the available testimony. Of all areas of truth, this is the most important, the most consequential, and for many the most ignored.

The search for truth in spiritual matters is more than an evaluation of the evidence before our eyes. It is more than an examination of the testimony of eyewitnesses. It is first of all a matter of the heart. Not only do we need to acknowledge the existence of truth. Not only do we need to seek truth. We must love truth. It’s a matter of life and death. Scripture speaks of “those who are being lost, because they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10). “Love of the truth.”

Have you fallen in love with truth? Even if the truth means giving up some dearly-held beliefs? Even if it hurts? Even if it means you have to change your lifestyle? Are you willing to follow truth wherever it leads? Jesus said, “Your word is truth… I am the way, the truth” (John 17:17; 14:6). Jesus is telling us that God’s Word, the Bible, is truth and that He is truth in person. If you are doubtful but willing to examine the evidence, the first thing to ask yourself in all honesty is this: “Do I hate falsehood and love the truth?” Love truth, buy truth, obey truth, for the truth will make you free (2 Thess. 2:10; Prov. 23:23; Rom. 2:8; John 8:32). The consequences are eternal!