Applied Belief: Post truth

“What is truth,” Pontius Pilate asked Jesus prior to the crucifixion. The question remains as relevant now as it was then. The cover of Time Magazine dated April 3, 2017, read “Is truth dead?”

The article to which the cover alluded addressed what seems like a constant flow of false information and as has been coined now “fake news.” Timothy Snyder, in his little book “On Tyranny” wrote that we have just witnessed in this last election cycle, the very death of truth and that people are living in what appears to be a “post-truth” society. The good news, according to Snyder’s book, is that we still have a chance to hold on to truth.

Snyder encourages us to “believe in truth.” He adds, “to abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is a spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.”

I don’t agree with everything Snyder says and he clearly believes that we are facing the danger of tyranny, with which I disagree. However, I do agree with his statement on truth because it is true. Where Snyder falls short is that he fails to mention, probably because he is not a Christian, that we should believe in truth, more specifically that we should believe in the truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6).

We live every day and believe we are free, but in reality, it is an illusion. As Snyder points out, we are blinded by the brightest light. And it is a counterfeit light. It appears as light to blind and distract us but actually, it is darkness. The Devil blinds people and leads them to believe they are free as human beings. The truth is without Jesus we are all slaves to our fallen and sinful nature.

How did we become this way? God says that we could have been free but we chose sin over God. Romans 1:22-25 states that people “claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

Humans exchanged the truth for a lie and thus we have been enslaved to sin. We don’t think about it much because we love what we see. We love the flesh and the sinful desires it arouses within us, but we are still slaves. It is like being a prisoner in a jail that provides us ample space with all the luxuries we would want but we are still behind bars and we are sentenced to die there.

The good news, literally the definition of the word “Gospel,” is that we can be set free. We don’t have to be blinded anymore by our own desires by this false light from the Devil, once called Lucifer, who “disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

We can truly be set free. Timothy Snyder says that in the post-truth world, Christians will very likely turn back to the words of Jesus. Well, Christians should always abide in the Words of Jesus but if your Bible is gathering dust I strongly urge you to dust it off and begin to read it. There is no fake news, no fake anything in there, just the truth.

Snyder adds, “We must be concerned with what is true and what is false.” He then quotes Jesus “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Yes! This truth that sets you free is the understanding that Jesus, who is the truth, will set you free. You must trust in Him to be free.

Here is Jesus one more time. I pray Mr. Snyder and all who are reading this who don’t believe in Jesus may put their trust in Him and, as Snyder says, “believe in truth,” believe in the truth.

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:31-32, 34-36)

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About Rev. Marcos O. Almonte

Rev. Marcos O. Almonte is senior pastor at Brandywine Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist Church west of Philadelphia. Pastor Marcos is a graduate of Palmer Theological Seminary with more than 10 years working with families with an expertise in theology, trauma and addictions. Pastor Marcos and his wife Mary have three children, Carmen, Joseph, and Lincoln.

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