Cookies & Truth

Cookies & Truth

Gentlemen, we could use your help. After men’s ministry this Saturday the deacons would like to do a little work around the grounds. If you are a member, you vowed to “support the worship and work of the church to the best of your ability.” This may be your moment to fulfill that vow. Join us for breakfast, fellowship & teaching, followed by a little exertion. Thank you.

Also, this Sunday evening at 5:00 is our annual Christmas Carol Sing, followed by potluck and Christmas cookies. Ross has something wonderful planned, as always. I will be bringing cookies based on my grandmother’s recipe. Only those men who participate in the workday will be allowed to gaze upon my grandmother’s cookies, for though justification is by grace, grandma’s cookies are by works.

As much as truth is out of fashion (they said so in the latest Spiderman movie), everyone still lives by it. We have to. For example, it’s true that driving with your eyes closed is dangerous. You can ignore that truth if you want to, but it won’t turn out well. Language itself (even this paragraph) depends on notions of truth clarified by Aristotle 2,500 years ago (his law of non-contradiction). Truth is not merely useful, it’s fundamental to human existence. So most people live in an inherent conflict: they deny truth in the hope it will give them freedom to do what they want, yet all they do is governed by what they subconsciously assume to be true. This leads to the philosophical joke you’ve probably heard: “there is no absolute truth except the truth that there is no absolute truth” — which means truth is inescapable, even by those who want to abandon it. It’s exactly like organizing a protest against people breathing air, yet everyone in the protest must continue breathing air in order to continue protesting.

As Christians, we have no desire to abandon truth because Christ said he was himself, “the way, the truth and the life” (Jn. 14:6), in John 17 he affirmed in prayer to the Father, “your word is truth,” and in John 16 he reminded his disciples that part of the mission of the third person of the Trinity is to “guide you into all truth.” There is a great deal implied in these simple statements, but most importantly we learn that truth and the being of God are inseparable. Truth exists because God exists. Truth does not shift and change because God himself does not shift and change (the divine attribute of immutability). Our lives, if they are to be right and true, must conform to his. If there were no God we could all do what was right in our own eyes (a theme of the book of Judges, cf. 17:6, 21:25). But because there is a God, our lives — and in the end all human lives — must come into conformity with the one who is truth itself.

All this to say that while the culture around us is changing rapidly, ultimate reality is unchanged because God himself “does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). This morning I read Ps 46 which says in part, “God is our refuge and strength… Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam.” It’s a picture of change and instability. Yet all the while there is an eternal city of which the psalmist says: “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved.” So take heart and “do not fear, little flock, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). In that kingdom, both now and in eternity, all is right and true.