There is a major ingredient of truth that is often trashed today. It seems to have been discarded by our McQuick society as an unnecessary encumbrance. It is what we know as context. “The whole truth and nothing but the truth” has fallen victim to the sound bite. The tree has become more important than the forest.
Truth without context is like a car without rubber. It will roll temporarily on rims but not very far and with significant damage. Context is vitally important for two basic reasons:
1) Context helps us determine accurate meaning. To ignore context is to amplify distortion. Our society has become increasingly skeptical of those whose occupations specialize in posturing information for image at the expense of veracity. Valuing truth demands taking the time to understand what the author meant in the setting in which he or she communicated.
2) Context helps us make sound decisions. Whoever coined the phrase “there are two sides to every story” was right on the money. Many of us have bemoaned rushing to judgment on the sole basis of one person’s version of events.
It is precisely because we do not protect context that we are subject today to the eroding of basic freedoms. For example, our judicial system defends the notion that it is compelled by the Constitution to enforce a separation of church and state. Consequently, a public school teacher cannot keep a Bible on his or her desk in many states. Yet nowhere does the First Amendment include the phrase “separation of church and state.” It reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A close examination of the setting in which the Constitution was written reveals that the first act of the United States Congress was to authorize the printing of 20,000 Bibles for the Indians. President George Washington, with the request of both Houses of Congress issued a “National Thanksgiving Proclamation” to God!
Yet, it is not our eroding spiritual freedoms we should fear most—It is becoming irrelevant because we danced the quibble instead of embracing the Light. If our cry is to discern God’struth then we must honor His word even when it hurts our senses, even when it is unpopular.
For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2Timothy 4:3,4)
2 Timothy 2:15-- Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.
If for God’s sake we will value the truth, for God’s glory we will live in His light! Something to think about . . . in reveration.
Let the truth come out in all its rugged force and strength, and it will take effect in its own way.—Oswald Chambers in So Send I You
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
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Photo used under Creative Commons from Rachel Maxey Miles