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Truth Divides

 

In John 18:38 Pilate asked an age old question.  "What is truth"?  When it comes to matters of truth we need to head back to Genesis 2:16 where God commanded Adam (not Eve) to stay clear of one specific tree.  That's all; it was just one tree among many trees.  I think I can safely assume that Adam discussed this matter with Eve, but as the apostle Paul stated in 1 Timothy 2:14, Eve was deceived by satan when she ate from the tree.  Paul's statement implies that Adam wasn't deceived.  Instead, he willingly chose to disobey the command that he was given.  His disobedience introduced sin into the world as Paul stated in Romans 5:12. 

 

Adam was ultimately the one responsible for the couple's sin because he was the one to whom the command was given.  Note also that it was Adam, not Eve, whom God confronted after their sin was exposed.  "The Lord called out to the man, 'Where are you who told you that you were naked'"? (Genesis 3:9 - 11)  Of course God knew where Adam was, and He knew why Adam realized he was naked.  God just required Adam to give a verbal explanation for his disobedience.  Confession of sin is important in God's sight, and so are our words we speak.  Jesus told us that what comes out of our mouths shows what's really in our hearts.  "The mouth speaks what the heart is full of". (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45)  Our words expose who we really are.   

 

Adam's verbal response to God shows us who Adam had become.  "The woman you put here with me she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it". (Genesis 3:13)  Adam spoke the truth to God.  He didn't lie. The woman that God gave him did offer him the fruit and he did eat it.  That being said, it's my suspicion that even though Adam spoke the truth, he manipulated it in order to shift the blame away from him and onto Eve, or, even onto God Himself.  In other words, "Don't blame me God.  Blame Eve, or blame yourself for giving me Eve".   The problem with Adam's thinking, if in fact it was his thinking as I suspect, is that God specifically gave the command to Adam, not Eve.  So Paul was right.  Eve was deceived while Adam chose to disobey.  Then, he attempted to shift the blame away from himself as he manipulated the truth to protect his own self interest.   

 

Ever since Adam's act of disobedience man has consistently manipulated truth to protect his own self interest.  Jeremiah confirmed this when he said the heart of man is so deceitful and wicked that it's impossible for us to know how deceitful and wicked we really are. (Jeremiah 17:9)  I know cultural correctness says that man is inherently good, but according to Scripture, God views us as inherently evil when compared to His standards of goodness.  Human tendency is to cover up the truth of any given situation by avoiding it or by manipulating it.  We deflect blame away from ourselves and onto others to protect our own self interest. 

 

Understanding that truth in any shape or form is inherently foreign to us, it's no wonder those who attempt to stand on the side of truth, especially Biblical truth, are so vehemently opposed from all corners of culture.  The simple fact is that truth is often divisive.  It can separate people, even those in long lasting relationships.  For this reason Jesus gave us the following warning.  "Do not think that I have come to send peace to the earth.  I have not come to bring peace but a sword.  For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law - a man's enemies will be the members of his own household". (Matthew 10:34-36)  Note the words "will be" in this statement.  Jesus is predicting the future.  He doesn't say, "might be".  He says a man's enemies "will be" members of his own household. This is something we can expect.  

 

Note also the word sword in Jesus' statement.  It's not a literal sword.  This sword is the Word of God, (Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12) the very Word of God Jesus called ultimate truth in John 17:17.  It's this truth that separates and divides human relationships.     

 

Satanic forces will escalate their attack on those who stand for truth as we get closer to the end of this age, so, be assured that truth will be more divisive than ever in the days ahead.  Jesus predicted this in His end of this age discourse in Mark 13:12.  "Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child.  Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.  All men will hate you because of me".  The apostle Paul agreed.  "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy " (2 Timothy 3:1 - 3)        

 

Truth, especially Biblical truth, is confrontational.  It cuts to the core of our untruthful and manipulative nature.  Therefore, truth is divisive.  If we can't handle the truth we'll discount it or manipulate it to protect our own self interest.  This is one reason why western culture has redefined truth to be no longer absolute but relevant.  This means truth varies from time to time, person to person, and culture to culture.  If there is no fixed absolute truth for all humanity to embrace then no one can be faulted for being in the wrong.  What is right or wrong to you may not be right or wrong to me.  Therefore, you can't accuse anyone for being in the wrong.  Your notion of wrong might be entirely right to another, so the world says.  The only ones who are considered to be in the wrong as far as the world is concerned are those who stand for absolute truth. 

 

Pilate asked, "What really is truth anyway"?  Little did he realize that ultimate truth was standing right in front of him. (John 14:6)  As our culture holds high their anti-Christ concept of relevant truth, and as it deflects blame away from itself, little does it know that ultimate truth is found in those it opposes.  If you haven't experienced the cultural backlash for standing on the side of truth yet, hang around a while, it's coming your way.  Biblical truth divides because it "is living and active.  Sharper than any double edged sword; it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of whom we must give account". (Hebrews 4:12 - 13)  Should I repeat myself and say that truth is divisive?   Why not; truth is divisive.      

 

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