Monday, September 24, 2007

A Word of Warning

A common mantra that floats around the inner circles of most liberally educated Christians is "All truth is God's truth." Such a dogma is true (pun intended). From modern Catholics such as G.K. Chesterton saying that Christianity is to embrace every facet of truth, to old Protestants like John Calvin declaring that all truth is from God regardless of whose mouth it came forth from, Christians who look at the world and all its facets seriously have long held that everything that is true is from God. It is indeed a wise approach to life, a wonderful way to broaden your knowledge, imagination, and soul in general.
However, a word of warning must be said. "All truth is God's truth" is not a license to believe whatever we want. This is a trap too many "liberated" Christians fall into, too many use this mantra as an excuse to believe in anything that is wise, noble, logical, pithy, clever, but not true. Often you find "liberated" Christians desperately scrambling for anything that supports their opinions, and "All truth is God's truth" becomes a floodgate for using anything to bolster one's congenial preferences.
The reasons behind this error are surely complex, but fundamentally they can be broken down into the following formula:
  1. A certain unChrist-like so-and-so does a very unChrist-like such-and-such to Christian A.
  2. Christian A, though strong enough to not abandon his/her faith over this incident, is not strong enough to see the unChrist-like so-and-so as separate from the unChrist-like so-and-so's denomination, tradition, bible and music preference, political stance, theological stance, philosophical stance, etc, etc.
  3. Thoroughly "burned out," Christian A henceforth proceeds to scrap together every bit of "truth" that goes against unChrist-like so-and-so's denomination, tradition, etc., etc., using "All truth is God's truth" as a smokescreen to allow all manner of thought and belief to slip in the back door, with the only real requirement being that it must bolster one's opinions against unChrist-like so-and-so.
This formula occurs often, is devastating each time, and none are immune to it. We all are susceptible to the same travesty, to treating "All truth is God's truth" as a license to believe anything and everything so long as it is "truth" in that it goes against that which we despise. That what we despise could have some truth of its own buried under all its error is never consider, and thus we ironically betray our own mantra: "All truth is what bolsters my opinion and sooths my hurt feelings."
Get it straight so you won't fall into this trap. "All truth is God's truth" simply means that everything that is true is of God. That is not license, that is limitation, and truth is the limit. These days, we are not bound to the truth like we ought to be. Everybody's too busy trying to be right.