following scene: Johnny, a first grader has just received his math paper
back from his teacher. He has done very well, missing just one problem,
2+2=?. Johnny answered "5". After glancing at his paper, Johnny rushes up
to his teacherís desk and begins to plead with the teacher, "Mrs. Brown, I
believe with all my heart that 2+2=5. Wonít you count my answer right?!!"
Mrs. Brown say? Would she say, "O.K., Johnny, since you believe your
answer is right, it is right. So, I will count it right." Or, would Mrs.
Brown say, "No, Johnny, 2+2=4. No matter how strongly you feel that 2+2=5,
you are wrong. I cannot accept your answer."
story illustrates to us that truth is by nature objective,
that is based on facts that are observable to all and not
subjective, that is based on each personís feelings or opinions. Godís
Word is truth (Jn 17:17). Therefore the words of the Bible, observable to
all, are the fixed standard of what is right and what is wrong. What you
or I or anyone else may feel or believe does not establish truth.
that everyone who is of the truth hears His voice (Jn 18:37). Many claim
to be Jesusí disciples and call on Him as "Lord", but sadly, they are not
of the truth because they do not hear His voice. At the Judgment, they
will be like Johnny and try to justify themselves, but no mater how
sincere, devoted and committed they were to their beliefs, they will be
turned away from heaven. They will argue that they have done many
wonderful works in His name. But, He will tell them to depart from Him.
For Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lordí will enter the
kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in
heaven will enter" (Mt 7:21-23).
Out of all the
countless numbers in the world, only one answers Johnnyís math problem
2+2=? Four is the only right answer. Truth is narrow. It is
amazing that what we see so clearly in math cannot be seen in religion.
Todayís religious thought is that truth is broad- "Whatever you want to
believe and practice in service to God is acceptable to Him." The parallel
in math would be Mrs. Brown having the attitude, "Whatever number you want
to put as the answer to 2+2=? is acceptable, as long as you answer the
question." This would work, if truth was subjective. My answer that 2+2=5
would be as good as your answer that 2+2=6. But truth, as we have seen, is
objective and therefore not just any answer will do. In spiritual matters,
anything believed or practiced that is not in accordance with the Word of
God is false. It is error.
In his writings, John shows the connection between "love" and "truth",
emphasizing that love is shown by obedience to truth (e.g. Jn 14:15). To
those who would not walk in truth, John left this solemn warning, "Anyone
who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not
have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and
the Son." (2 Jn 9) Does this sound like Godís attitude is, "Any answer
will do, as long as you fill in the blank?" Why do men say that this is
What would Mrs. Brown say if Johnny announced to her that there had been a
world council on math and that it had been decided that 2+2=5. Therefore
his answer of "5" should be counted right. Believable? Why not? Truth is
unchangeable. Yesterday, 2+2=4. Today, 2+2=4. and tomorrow,
2+2=4. No world council on math has the power to change this truth.
Godís truth is as unchangeable as
2+2=4! Paul warned the Galatians in no uncertain terms, "But even if we,
or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we
have preached to you, he is to be accursed. As we have said before, so I
say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what
you received, he is to be accursed." (Gal 1:8-9).
In view of this, one wonders, why do
the councils of denominations meet together to decide how the members of
their denomination should live and worship? Can they decide these matters
any more than a council on math could render a decision on 2+2=? Of course
they canít! But they claim they can and they have changed the "truth"
about how men should live and worship so many times as the result of their
meetings. Men should ignore and forsake the creeds they have drawn up and
look only to the unchanging gospel of Christ.
Remember these lessons from the nature
of truth. Do not think that truth is determined by your feelings or
"think-sos, however sincere you may be. Do not be deceived by those who
preach that the way of truth is broad. And, do not submit to any religious
council of men and their creeds. (Stop doing so, if you have already!!)
The standard of truth is the unchangeable will of God, not the
ever-changing will of men.
The Palmer Road church of Christ is not
the standard of truth. We do not claim to have found all truth or to even
practice perfectly what we have found. But, we are searching for the truth
and seeking to apply it to ourselves as a congregation and as individual
disciples, with the belief that the truth of God is objective, narrow, and
unchangeable. We encourage you to follow the same course. If we can help
you, we would be glad for the opportunity. Please write, call or email.