The Truth Of The Matter
By David G. Snowden
A society driven with passionate desire to know and understand the truth of a matter has cost taxpayers billions even trillions of dollars, in many cases yielding only marginal results. Yet, the thirst for knowledge continues to drive individuals to explore the unknown, seeking for answers to life’s complex questions.
Research groups are being pushed constantly to produce the facts. Is there a known cure for cancer? Are means available to make our automobiles more fuel efficient? Do we have other forms of energy that could be used in order to reduce our dependency on foreign oil? Has the disease of AIDS been stifled, or do we know more about it than we did 26 years ago? Is artificial sweetener a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease? We want to know the truth, and we demand someone give us that information. But if we get that information, how can we tell it is really the truth? What if the information we have is skewed in order to prompt the consumer to buy their product? We have demanded the truth, but now we must ask ourselves if what knowledge we have is really what we hoped for—the truth.
An attorney paces nervously back and forth in his office in hopes that some new information may arise or that a spark may penetrate the pages to shed new light on a dismal court case. The information lying on the table in front of him is not substantial enough to prove beyond reasonable doubt. The search continues for more concrete, hard-core, conclusive evidence that will seal the deal. There has to be something that was missed; perhaps some intricate detail that was over-looked during pre-trial. Affidavits are gone over again and again, hoping for a loophole that may prove innocence or guilt. Did the jury buy the witness’ testimony? Was the client convincing on the stand? Too much drama, not enough sincerity, too much information. The lists go on and on as the attorney digs for the truth.
Truth has been jaded by the likes of former impeached President Bill Clinton as he looked into the camera and said, “I did not have sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky.” Because his perception was his reality, America redefined the act of sexual intercourse and as a result no longer considers oral sex in the same category. Did Mr. Clinton lie, or must we allow certain parameters and boundaries to be considered when someone may have his own definition of what truth is. If, in fact, their perception is their reality, can we fault them?
British playwright Oscar Wilde once said, “The pure and simple truth is seldom pure and never simple.” Yet something within us keeps us longing for it. Humanity longs for truth – raw, untainted, untarnished, inerrant, uncorrupted truth. That which satisfies the insatiable desire burning within us, a truth that quenches our thirst for knowledge and drives away the hunger for more wisdom. Truth is what we desire. The prophet Isaiah said that truth was fallen in the street and that truth had failed, and God wondered why there was no justice in the land. What if Wilde was correct? What if truth is seldom pure? What if Isaiah is right? What are the consequences if truth fails?
Is a man still as good as his word? Does it mean anything to shake on a deal? Is a person’s word still his bond? Do marriage vows mean anything? Is honesty always the best policy? Recently, a man wanted to purchase a car from me, but told me he had to go out of town and really wanted to seal the deal before he left. He insisted upon going to the ATM and getting a deposit in order for me to hold the car. The man offered a bank statement to prove that his check was good. I told him that none of those things, while kind gestures of sincerity, would be necessary. I preferred a handshake. What is up with pre-pay service stations? How inconvenient to pay for gas if you are using cash! This does not bother most who do not live their lives by principle, but our lives are being dictated by dishonest people. We live by the mandates imposed on us by crooks, thieves, liars, and cons.
We say we want the truth, but someone once said, “We can’t handle the truth!” Ladies and gentlemen, either we have it or we don’t! The ecumenical society of our day is looking for the common denominator in all religions in order to make us one. Modernity is hoping that strains of truth can be found in all religions that we might get along and be more civil. I do not mean that we become primitive belligerents, but either we have the truth or we don’t.
Apostolic pastors who are reaching across boundaries in hopes of bringing their mainstream counter-parts closer to them have no business doing so. Your friend across town may not have the revelation of baptism and the Oneness of God as you do, but please do not say these people have partial truth. There is no such thing as partial truth! Partial truth is considered punishable by law. An individual can be held in contempt of court for perjury and obstruction of justice because of it. Yes, we preach mercy and glace, but we do not preach that someone possesses partial truth. There is no greater danger than to proclaim to a world that is headed for hell and destruction that they may hold some truth. We either have the life-changing message that will save our world, or we don’t!
Please understand that this is not intended to come across as being crass or calloused. A partial truth is categorized the same way as a little white lie. Our movement cannot afford to jeopardize our message by haphazardly, casually, and flippantly flaunting what we have come to know as truth. Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). His words were meant to penetrate the traditional religion of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He hoped to offer them demonstrative, creative power as was shown in the creation of the world. Only God has the ability to make something from nothing. And we have the message. We harve been strategically placed in this world of some 6 billion people—those searching and on a quest, on a mission, exploring, discovering their destiny, finding their purpose—to bring to them the message of Jesus Christ.
When we say we have the truth, the world can only speculate if we have what we say we have. They become confused when we preach a Christ that performs miracles, yet some of our churches have yet to see one. Truth is further diluted when ministers preach deliverance from alcohol and drug addictions to the sinner, yet they themselves struggle with being overweight and cannot seem to stay away from buffet lines and all-you-can-eat dinners. The addict sits on our pews and laughs at a guy and his wife who can barely bend over to tie their shoes, yet still manage to muster enough self-righteousness to make the addict feel lost, damned, and uncomfortable. Ma’am and Sir, it is not our Holy Ghost that is making them feel uncomfortable, it is our hypocrisy that is making them feel that way! Truth is fallen!
We cannot continue to send the world a skewed perception of truth! Our communities are baffled when a blazing, red-hot, hellfire and brimstone message comes blazing over the pulpit condemning the adulterer and the whoremonger, only to find out later the messenger was as guilty as those being condemned. A pedophile gets convicted to 15 years in prison, while no one knows what websites you are visiting and viewing in your church office. And because they had not a love for the truth, God sends strong delusion that they might believe a lie and be damned!
The world receives a mixed signal when becoming an Apostolic means you let yourself go and personal hygiene and appearance no longer matter, since “bodily exercise profiteth little.” Right, who can argue with the Apostle Paul? We preach divine healing, yet we are some of the sickest people on the face of the planet. The message we proclaim is that we have the truth. Either we do or we don’t. Jesus said, “You shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover,” “Greater works than these shall ye do,” and “These signs shall follow them that believe.” Either He meant what He said, or nothing else He said can be validated.
I submit we have the authority through and by the Word of God to alter the world concept of truth. By preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried, and coming again, we offer hope to a world that has been filled with hopelessness. We bring clarity to those who have only heard the confusion of a trumpeter, sounding his or her own horn. The life of a sinner is changed forever when they come face to face with the truth.
Our message was never intended to be and is not baptism. Our message is not standards. Our message is not a list of dos and don’ts. Our message is not what you can wear and what you cannot wear. Our message is Jesus! When a person comes face to face with truth, their life has to take on His characteristics and His attributes. Prior to salvation, they are void, empty, and lifeless; but upon taking on His nature they become living souls as the breath of God has been breathed into them.
Our world longs for more knowledge and seeks after the whole truth of the matter. We have the message the world needs to hear, whether through personal evangelism or television or radio or Internet. Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ churches and preachers preach the truth, but more importantly… live it. A world that is lost is depending on us.
Article “The Truth Of The Matter” written by David G. Snowden is taken from an Unknown Source.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”