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Then is God perfectly simple and true both in word and deed; he changes not; he deceives not, either by sign or word, by dream or waking vision.
What is truth? God is truth. Is it possible for God to lie? I believe I have found something that God cannot do. This is the one thing I feel in my heart is certain. God cannot lie. If that is so, then we are not made in the image of God. We lie. We seem to be extremely proficient at that.
The quality or state of being true; specif.
a) orig., loyalty; trustworthiness
b) sincerity; genuineness; honesty
c) the quality of being in accordance with experience, facts, or reality; conformity with fact
d) reality; actual existence
e) agreement with a standard, rule, etc.; correctness; accuracy
2. That which is true; statement, etc. that accords with fact or reality. 3. An established or verified fact, principle, etc. 4. A particular belief or teaching regarded by the speaker as the true one (often with the)
Truth suggests conformity with the facts or with reality, either as an idealized abstraction or in actual application to statements, ideas, acts, etc.
Veracity, as applied to persons or to their utterances, connote habitual adherence to the truth. Verity, as applied to things, connotes correspondence with fact or with reality.
Verisimilitude, as applied to literary or artistic representations, connotes correspondence with actual, especially universal, truths.
Webster seems to have a lot to say about truth. It took me a long time to enter all this garbage. Who cares anyway? After all, if we can see our own elephant, and then determine what God is from that, why not just decide what we want to consider as truth?
I did say that I do not agree with the ‘anything goes’ concept. I will stand by that. If I believed that anything goes, then I am wasting my time writing anything. If you believed that anything goes, you would not be reading this. I suppose I am preaching to the choir. But, all of us need to explore our faith. So, back to truth.
We have to remember that we are blind men. Our view of the elephant is limited and incomplete. Perhaps it is even wrong. If we cannot see the total elephant, then we cannot see total truth. After all, the elephant is truth. Remember, we cannot even see enough of the elephant’s leg to see that it is not a tree. Perhaps a select few of us can. The Hindu holy man who said that God exists, but God does not exist may have come to the realization that the elephant is not a tree.
A friend comes to you with a new outfit. She is definitely proud of the choice of fabric, style, color, and fit. “What do you think of my new outfit?”
Really it is the most ugly thing you have ever seen. “It looks good on you, I really like it.”
That was a kind thing to say, especially if your friend is one who needs to hear reassurances. Perhaps her self esteem is very low, and you know that is the only response that will not devastate her.
There is that story of the robot by Isaac Asimov where the robot had to lie to keep from hurting the human. But lies always cause harm. But to not lie causes harm. What happens if that person - so fragile - overhears you asking another about this situation? All you want is to be able to tell the truth and yet not hurt your friend. What happens if that person - so fragile - hears the brutal truth from another who may be unaware of her fragility? What then does she feel about your attempt to be kind. How much have you hurt her now? What if that person - so fragile - knows deep inside how ugly the outfit is, and subconsciously begins to realize that you only said what you said to keep from hurting her feelings? What happens to that fragility now? And you were just trying to be nice.
I have known people who are brutally truthful. Somehow, this does not seem to be the answer either.
Sometimes the truth hurts. Yes, the elephant is very heavy and might step on your foot. Especially if you insist on standing very close while the elephant is moving.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
What is this truth? Where does it come from? You have to read the entire Bible to gain a hint of what this one line means.
Can you be free without truth? I don’t think so. The lack of truth seems to enslave more people than any other mode of oppression. In any repressive government, to control the press is the highest priority. Remove the truth and the people are slaves.
What is this freedom? Is this a freedom from slave owners? That did not work for many. Is it a freedom from chains? That did not work for many. The freedom then has to be an internal freedom. A freedom from the chains of slavery you place on yourself in your own soul.
Is truth defined as that which sets you free? Love sets you free. Love of others as well as love received from others can set you free. Faith sets you free. Hope sets you free. Even good works set you free. What I see here is another way God uses multiple paths to an end.
Reread the above paragraphs and notice that there is another inconsistency in my statements. You cannot be free without truth; but faith, love, hope, and charity do set you free.
1. Plato - Republic: book II
2. Webster’s New World Dictionary
2. John 8:32
copyright© 2007 George L Snyder