I seem to see ‘truth‘ much differently from the majority of other people, and I have always been fascinated as to why? I’m not alone in the way I see and understand ‘truth.’ I have found many of us, and, for the most part, we all agree on facts and principles. However, as compared to the rest of society, those who see ‘truth‘ as I do are very few in number. Why? What is it that makes us see and understand truth so very differently? Well, I have an idea, but it isn’t easy to explain it, so I have developed a couple illustrations in the hope that one or both of them will help a few of those in the majority to see ‘truth‘ the same way as we in the minority.
The first illustration I have used for many years. It is that of a sporting stadium – before the advent of modern technology. I liken those who see ‘truth‘ the same way I do as the people actually watching the game at the stadium. While we might still see things from slightly different angles, our differences are little more than sitting in different sections of the stadium, or even just different rows in the same section. But then there are the people watching from home, on the television. Compared to those of us at the stadium, those watching from home are much greater. But herein lies the question: are those watching from home actually seeing and understanding the game the same way as those of us who are in the stadium? And does this change the way the two groups think of the game?
[I’m not sure whether or not this illustration will immediately make sense to some who read this, so, if you will indulge me, I’ll elaborate a bit — for those who it may benefit.]
In my illustration, the people at home can only see the part of the game that they are shown by whatever camera angle is currently being televised. However, until the advent of the jumbo-tron screens, the people watching at home were able to watch some plays as they were repeatedly dissected — in slow motion — over and over again on instant replay. However, those who are actually at the game can see all of the action at the same time — no matter where on the field it happens to occur. And, while they might not have access to instant replay, they have a tangible connection to the emotion of the game that is impossible to feel from home. So, again, are the two groups actually watching the same game? Or, to go back to the purpose of this illustration, are the two groups actually dealing with the same idea of ‘truth?’
It took me years of wrestling with this question before I found my answer. Even then, my answer didn’t exactly come suddenly, like a revelation. At first, it came slowly, piece-by-piece, until something clicked and I made a jump that solidified the answer — for me. For me, the step-by-step process started with my study on ‘post modernism.’ In a nutshell (and admittedly over-simplifying, but staying accurate enough for the purpose at hand), post modern thought argues that there is no single reality, no single ‘truth.’ To the post modernist, ‘truth‘ is the unique creation of every individual’s perceptions. Most all of us have heard this idea expressed in one form or another. It is everywhere in our society today. Generally, it sounds something like: ‘That may be your ‘truth,’ but it’s not my ‘truth.”
When I first encountered this line of thinking, I immediately realized that it was self-contradicting (here again, I realize I am stepping over a lot of finer details, but the point I am making is still valid). Saying that there is no universal ‘truth‘ is — itself — a declaration of universal ‘truth.’ This means, even by its own standards, post modern thinking cannot be ‘true.’ It’s like saying something cannot exist while — at the same time — insisting that it does exists, only in a different way for every individual person. Anyway, to get us back on track, my study of post modern thinking and its claim that ‘truth‘ is different for each person is where the ‘jump’ in my understanding finally occurred.
[As an important aside, it was at this same point in my life that I underwent a transformation in my spiritual life, as well, and the two were not coincidental.]
Around the same time as I was studying post modernism, I started to look into the original languages beneath the English translations of the Scriptures. This was still part of the step-by-step process for me. But then I read something in Greek and the world exploded on me. It was at that moment, when I first read a particular verse of Scripture in Greek, that I made the ‘leap’ which brought clarity to my mind. In a single instant, I realized why my struggle to understand why I see the notion of ‘truth’ so very differently from that of the majority of people I know. For me (and others like me), it all goes straight to this section of Scripture:
John 1:1-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Deity of Jesus Christ
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 [a]He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [b]comprehend it.
Many of us know this passage, but I wonder, how many have read it in the original Greek? If you do, you will find that it says:
“In the beginning was the LOGOS,…”
Now, I have a degree in philosophy, and in the course of earning that degree, we studied the Greek philosophers. To them, the word, ‘Logos,’ had another meaning. In short, it was used to describe the whole of all God’s Laws by which He creates and maintains the universe! This means that, at least in part, Y’Shuah is God’s Law — all of His laws — in human form. Which then leaves us with John 1:5:
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
Remember that I started out by telling you I have two illustrations to help people understand how and why I see ‘truth‘ the way I do. Well, it’s time for the second illustration.
Have you ever been inside a house at night when the lights were on and tried to look out the windows? What did you see? Chances are, you didn’t see much more than your own reflection in the window? But what happens when you turn off every light in the house and try to look out the window? Well, most times, you will find that, even though it may be dim, there is usually enough light outside that you can see outside the window. This is how it is for those who see truth the way I do: we are inside a house with all the lights turned off. Everyone else, however, has all the lights in their houses turned on. Now, do you see the point?
I’m not trying to be rude or ugly here, I am asking a sincere question. Do you see what I am trying to explain? Do you see the leap I made? Think on it for a while before you scroll down to where I pick up my narrative again.
[OK, once again, I do not mean to insult, so, for those who need a bit more help seeing what I am trying to show them…]
If we live in a house where we keep the lights on at night, and we try to look out our windows, all we see is our reflection. We control the lights, but all we end up seeing is ourselves. This is true for every person in the house. Even if we see the people standing next to us reflected in the window, we still see and focus on ourselves. This is the same way with how so many people see and understand ‘truth.’ They believe they control their own ‘truth,’ so all they end up seeing is what they want to see — themselves.
However, for those of us who surrender and give up control and turn off the lights (i.e. bend our knees), we see through the window to the outside world. Guess what? No matter how many of us are in the room when the lights go out, we all see the same picture of the outside world. For those few of us who turn off the lights, we see and understand that, though we may never totally understand it, there is a universal ‘truth’ that exists totally outside of ourselves.
At this point, all I can do is pray you understand because, if you don’t, I can’t… Well, all I can do is tell you that you have to turn off the lights in your house, but I cannot turn them off for you. You have to do that for yourself. The best I can do is what I’ve just done: explain how and why I have come to understand the difference between the way people see ‘truth.’
[NOTE TO THE BELIEVERS: Many of you have been taught that 2 Thessalonians 2 is about ‘The Antichrist.’ However, I’d like to ask you to remember that, under the New Covenant, the Temple is the individual believer’s body, and the Lord’s seat is in the believer’s heart. Take that, and the picture of those who sit in a brightly lit house at night, trying to look out their windows, and re-read 2 Thessalonians 2. Let me know whether or not you see a new, totally different possibility of understanding that passage: a new understanding that rings of, “As in the days of Noah (when every man did as he thought right...).”]