The Relevant Truth
If you’re an 80s or 90s kid like me, you probably grew up with Lisa Frank, a Walkman or Discman, and dial-up Internet. It also means you had a pretty cool childhood, let’s be real. As we reminisce on our childhood, let’s take a look at how it shaped our thinking and who we have become. We are Millennials—and as all generations are—we are a product of our upbringing. While we had awesome toys, we were also shaped by the Postmodern society in which we lived. It is important to understand how postmodernity has fashioned our thinking and perception, but that is a larger topic for another day. Today, I want to address how Post-modernism has affected our concept of truth and the reality of God’s eternal truth.
As Millennials, we have grown up in a Postmodern society which claims truth is relative, and there is no way of nailing down what truth is. One man even called truth “stretchy.” We were raised to think everyone has an opinion and a right to those opinions. “What is true for you may not be true for me.” This thought has greatly affected our generation because many feel they have the right to dissect and dismantle truth if they disagree with it. To be fair, there are relative truths that are contingent on variables, such as this statement: The sky is blue. Obviously, this may be a true statement at one point, but it may change in a matter of a few minutes. Then, there are absolute truths, truth that is transcendent, independent, fundamental, and eternal. It is valid for all times; essentially unchanging.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where virtually everything the Word of God stands for is being rivaled by the argument that it is neither right nor true. Activist groups fight and protest for the rights of animals while the sanctity of human life is cheapened by countless abortions on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, we must be wise and gracious with God’s gifts and provisions, but it’s sad when those made in God’s image have less value than those over which He gave us dominion (see Genesis 1:26). The homosexual community demands tolerance and equality while the rights and beliefs of Christians are constantly under siege by society. Promiscuity and its diseases burn through our culture faster than vaccinations can keep up.
God asks us to deny ourselves, while the world is rushing from one self-gratifying activity to the next (see Matthew 16:24). Deception, corruption, and hypocrisy run rampant through the veins of this world. Good is being called evil, and evil is being championed by the masses (see Isaiah 5:20). Sadly enough, there are even churches and religious leaders who attempt to dissect and dismantle the Word of God. It is inevitable that our modern society is continuing to wage war on what they feel is no longer relevant for modern society (see II Timothy 3:2-5). However, when it comes to God’s truth, we can accept it as true and continue being true until this world passes away, or we can deny its truthfulness and stay in the dark. Regardless of our choice, God’s Word will continue being true. Truth is not contingent on whether or not we accept it.
While studying, I found it interesting that the use of the word “truth” has greatly declined since the 1980s, while the use of the word “relevant” has spiked since the 1980s. I am no linguist, but could it be that we have become more worried about being relevant rather than preaching truth? We must understand truth is not validated by our opinions. Truth is not ours to rewrite, adjust, or dismantle.
One of my professors at Saint Louis Christian College made a statement I’ll never forget. If I forget anything else he taught me, I will always remember these words: “To always be relevant, speak things that are eternal.” As the church, we cannot give into the impulse of society that says to change teachings that seem archaic and out of date. Because God’s Word is eternal, it will always be relevant. To be relevant does not mean it has to be popular; it just has to be applicable, and God’s Word will always apply to humanity.
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Let us not be found compromising truth in an effort to achieve relevance when the only thing that will keep us relevant is what we have already received. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. If we are not preaching, teaching, and reaching the world with God’s message, then we are not fulfilling our purpose, thus we become irrelevant and useless. As you read the passage below of Jesus’ prayer for His disciples as they were sent out to carry His gospel, take time to pray it over yourself and fulfill the mission to stand for truth.
“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (John 17:14-20).
“The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” – George Orwell
Sarah is the Hyphen contributor for InsideOut and a recent graduate of Urshan College. She is now happily married to Jordan Hudspeth with whom she serves the Hyphen group at The Life Center in Saint Petersburg, Florida. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.