What is Truth?

truth-1

 “So you are a king?” Pilate said. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my  voice.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. After Pilate said this, he returned to the Jewish leaders and said, “I find no grounds for any charge against him…” (John 18:37-38, Common English Bible).

I have been giving a great deal of thought lately to truth. As I am writing this, I am watching the first presidential debate. I am not sure there is much truth coming out of my television right now.

Earlier today, I read an article about both candidates and who was the most truthful. I don’t want to have my blog descend into the muck pile of presidential politics. But, where are we when we are trying to determine who is the most truthful. By definition, when we say who is the most truthful, we are really saying neither is truthful.

That is scary to me. We are supposed to be a people who value truth and yet we are about to put into office a person (regardless of who wins) are far from being honest people. As I look around our society, from social media, to our entertainment, to the politics of our government, truth seems to be something frightening.

In the lesson above Jesus says, “…whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.” We, people of faith in Jesus Christ, by His words, need to be people who are constantly in search of the truth. As I read those words, it says to me, we are called to be in constant prayer, for God to reveal the truth to us.

Seek truth. We also need to be people expect truth. Prior to the debate I watched the popular television show The Big Bang Theory. In the episode, Penny slips and tells people about a friend. Then she lied. Her other friend says how easily she told the lie and how well she did in the telling. Shouldn’t that worry (assuming she was a real person) Penny’s friends? While I realize this is entertainment, how many of us look the other way when we know the truth is not present?

We live in an era where it is so easy to spread things that just are not true. Anyone with the skill to operate a keyboard can go on Facebook and make false claims that can spread like wildfire. With the skills to operate photo software can manipulate pictures to spread untruth. With the ability to click on a “share” link any of us can perpetuate and move forward with things that quite simply are untrue.

Pilate asked, “What is truth?” I think we should be able to answer the question. Truth is truth. It is not what we would like it to be. It is not what we would wish it to be. Webster defines truth as, “the real facts about something.”

As people of faith, we need to be people who seek the real facts. Even more, we need to be people who speak the real facts. We need to be people who investigate, who research and only when we have reached educated conclusions should we speak. If we are unable to investigate and research, let us be silent. It is far better that we be honest and silent than to speak that which is not true.

As followers of someone who embodied truth, as His disciples we need to always be about truth. To do less is leaves us unfaithful in our call. I am not naive enough to talk about the faith of either candidate, nor do I really know much about their faith or lack there of. But, at least for me, telling the truth is not as much about them as it is about us.

The one thing about both candidates I know is true is, at least for now, neither is talking. The debate is over. I for one am not upset about that.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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