Monday, April 20, 2009

Tired Truths?

Have you ever heard someone use the expression, “Tired Truths?” What did they mean by it? Or what were they referring to? I was reflecting on this phrase, and thinking of how some might apply it to the Christian church. I could hear someone saying that the church always just recites the same old “tired truths” again and again. The church doesn’t say anything new, or innovative or different. It’s the “same-old, same-old.” You know: confessing the creeds, talk about sin and humanity’s separation from God, talk about God’s Son sent as our Savior and the need to trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. “Jesus died on the cross for you.” I suppose the complaint might be that these are the same “tired truths” we’ve always heard. This is no kind of attitude to have toward the truth.

But as I reflected on that phrase, I began to realize that there really is no such thing as tired truths. On the contrary, there are only tired people who are not brought into the vitality of THE TRUTH. The Truth isn’t something that wears out or becomes irrelevant, or that changes from culture to culture or from time and place. The truth of existence: “Why are we here?” The question, “Is there a God?” The follow-up question of, “If there is a God, what is my relationship to Him?” And questions like these. The truth, more specifically, found in Christianity and the Bible, the answers to the questions about how we find salvation, and in whom do we find it. Answers to the questions about meaning and purpose of life and existence are found in the Bible, and they aren’t shifting or changing or “relative.” Nor are they “tired truths” that don’t apply any longer. The truth always bears repeating, because the truth is always so easily forgotten or supplanted by imitations, distortions, and lies.

Further, though we might wish to always hear the truth in a winsome and persuasive way, nevertheless the truth is no less the truth if it is spoken simply or even crudely, than if it is spoken magnificently and eloquently. In the same way, lies can be told in a crude and unconvincing manner, or they can be spoken with great eloquence and fine speech. So to recognize the truth requires of us thoughtful discernment. That we look at the heart and content of what is said, not merely the outward form, and evaluate truth on the grounds of Scripture.

The truth, especially the truth of salvation and the meaning and purpose of life, are always essential or applicable to our lives. Since these matters are critical to our eternal future, as well as our spiritual peace and well-being here on earth, they must continue to be heard. The church is not a place to market new or “faddish” ideas. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for sinners is and will always remain the church’s proclamation until Christ comes. And so there really cannot be such a thing as “tired truths,” in reference to the church. The only thing that happens is for people to get bored with truth and seek to find something that will satisfy their “itching ears” (read 2 Tim. 4:3). But it is no fault of the truth that people become uninterested. But when people truly grasp the vitality, the dynamism of the truth, then this sacred truth will no longer seem tired, but rather life-giving and as desirable as cold water is to a thirsty traveler.

So if you do begin to find the truth “tiresome,” might I suggest that you need to get deeper into it, and discover the vitality and joy that is in Christ Jesus and His Word? For ultimately, truth leads to Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). For Jesus clearly stated: “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37). And when we find the Truth in Him, we realize that He is the living water that we have been thirsting for (John 4:10ff). In Him, the truth cannot seem stale or ordinary or mundane—for salvation, life and peace are in Him. In Him, we will be tired no more!

No comments: