Friday, April 23, 2010

Jesus before a Truthless Culture

John 18:37-38, "Therefore Pilate said to Him, 'So You are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. Pilate said to Him, 'What is truth?"

The text before us here is stunningly applicable to our own culture. Here we have the Lord Jesus standing before a governmental representative who rejects and questions Jesus' self assertions. Jesus admits that He is a king of another heavenly kingdom and that He has come to bear witness to the truth. Jesus then declares a very remarkable thing - everyone who is of the truth listens to Him. I can hear our culture howl with angry voices, "bigot!" How dare Jesus challenge our radical individualism and self-autonomy? "Does Jesus not know", squeals our truth less culture, "that we create our own reality, our own truth, by our powerful and all-important choices?"

And there stands Pilate, alone in his struggle and truth less foundation. Is his problem an epistemological one? Is he stating that he thinks there is truth but he doesn't know it (agnosticism)? Or, is he asserting that he does not believe in truth (atheism)? Or, is he simply expelling his own personal, bitter, and angry feelings of one who has lost all hope and meaning in life (nihilism)? Such is the sequential paradigmatic journey of culture. First, there is an uncertainty about truth, then there is a denial of truth, and finally all meaning in life is lost altogether. Such is the case in our day. The secular, pagan culture of American vacillates between "no truth" and "self-idolatry creating truth."

In this setting and challenge the church of Jesus Christ is planted. What is our task? What must we do? What does God call us to do? We have come to bear witness to the TRUTH, to Jesus Christ and God's revelatory truth about redemption in Christ. We do so using the only means God has given - the proclaiming of the Scriptures. "Lord God, please raise up a generation of proclaimers who stand tall and strong against the winds of an anti-Christian culture. May they speak with a clear, loving, yet firm voice informed by the truth and revealing a love for the truth. Amen."

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