Do you still trust your own eyes? No one was doing what seemed wrong, but what seemed right. They weren’t setting out to be evil. How could they be? There was no evil.
There was only want, desire, and entitlement. I want this in this way, and I should have it. So, say we about everything. So, say we about marriage. So, say we about our bodies. So, say we about the Church. And without even trembling—so, say we about God.
We will worship only the version we want, only the version we have fashioned and crafted to suit us. We have carved and cut away His holiness, righteousness, justice, and jealousy until the immeasurable and immutable God fits neatly in our human hands. And then we demand that HE bless our idolatrous hearts?
We live in the world of Micah, as Micah.
Everyone does what seems right in his own eyes because there is no Truth. And without THE TRUTH, there is no Way, and there is for sure no Life.
How do you avoid the costly mistake of doing what is right in your own eyes?
You have a standard of truth to guide you. For us that is Scripture. But, why the Bible?
Friend, “…because the Bible says so,” is an insufficient answer unless you are talking to someone who accepts the authority of Scripture. This should be clarified at North Point, sir.
To anyone else those answers don’t hold up and they shouldn’t.
Our faith in Christ is rock solid. But before you get to the rock-solid part with unbelieving others, you need to back up and get them to the facts of the foundation part. What we believe about the Bible is true and trustworthy based on facts—historical, textual, secular facts. It’s one of my very favorite units to teach. But it is the second unit of the semester. Not the first.
Square one of making a disciple isn’t get a good study, or start learning the history of Church Fathers, or the ins and outs of doctrine. It’s not even the overwhelming statistical evidence for the supernatural nature of Scripture.
There is a time for all of that, but that time is not the very beginning. That is meat, not milk. Start small.
The special-ed teacher in me knows to teach something well you must start even further back than you might think and with smaller, concrete chunks.
Let’s establish common language first so we know what we are talking about, let’s come to agreement about some basic principles of reason and logic. Then we can cuss or discuss whatever. Ain’t nobody got time to give their best twenty-minute message on propitiation only to be met with a blank stare and, “Well, that’s your truth.”
First of all, whether mentoring a person who wants to know the Truth, a person I am trying to share the Gospel with for the very first time, or a hostile, sleepy teen in a Bible class—I start with TRUTH. Before we can get to what we believe and why, we need to get to a place where we can acknowledge there is truth.
In class, we start with a definition. Catechism.
What is Truth? Truth is the facts, ideas, and events that are real, right, and irrefutable.
Things that are real or have happened…not fantastical or make-believe, ideas that can be proven…like gravity, and events that can be verified.
Then we talk about ways we can know the truth: we use our senses, we ask reliable sources, and personal experiences. I always have kids get mad because right about the time they agree with all of those ways, we dismantle them one by one.
We talk about how sense can fool us, people can have an agenda, lie, or misunderstand or be missing information, and experiences are not always accurate. Ask any kid if they remember thinking something was very big or scary when they were young and realizing as they got older, it wasn’t so big—they were small. Voila! Experience lies. We don’t have to exhaust it, just acknowledge that reality.
Next, we go into how personal truth sounds super wise but is really—just super dumb. What if the pilots of planes lived their own truth out in the cockpit? What if a violent man truly thought children should be beaten? Not all “personal truths” are valid.
And my very favorite truth lesson…traffic jam! We get little rollie carts and go outside for a little recess. Clearly not necessary but it sure helps the lesson stick.
And, Class, kids who associate information with a simple, everyday symbol or example are infinitely more likely to recall and actually use that information in conversation.
Back to NASCAR, we have red lights and green lights, and we talk about drivers all over the world adhere to set rules, there is actually one way to drive that is best for everyone. We drive our cars safely and no one expects to get to be the lone ranger diverging from all rules. No one objects. So, “drive” a few laps in corporate truth. Then, everyone gets to have their “own truth” on the road for a few laps. Mayhem.
And now we have a new baseline of information for our discussion.
- Truth can be defined.
- There are ways to determine truth. Senses, Sources, Experience.
- Those ways are not always 100 percent accurate.
- Not all personal truth is true.
- Not all personal truth should be accepted or imposed on others.
- Some people’s truth is incorrect, inappropriate, or harmful, and should be rejected.
- There is such a thing as a right or best way to live that keeps people safe and sane.
I’ve taught this to adults, middle schoolers, and first- through fourth-graders. People the whole world over can agree with this logic and if they can’t, no worries! I smile, high-five, and am done making this case—let’s go get a Coke or talk about movies, but I am not exhausting myself with someone who denies reality. I shall scatter more seeds another day!