Truth

I posted a few days ago about the virtues of truth, justice and the American way. I only scratched the surface with that blog, so I decided to devote some time to each one separately. So, in order of appearance, and importance, we’ll start with truth.
What is truth? That’s something that people have always asked, even though the answer is usually obvious. A perfect example is Pontius Pilate. He was face to face with the man who claimed to be the Truth personified and asked him what truth was.
I know this is usually the part where non-Christians begin to tune out,  saying, “Well, the Bible may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.” Here’s what I have to say. The Bible is either true for all, or true for none. It’s that simple. If Jesus was, and is, who He claimed to be, He is Lord of all, whether one chooses to believe that He is not. Likewise, if He was merely a man, then he is not Lord of all, whether one chooses to believe that He is. There is no relativity about it. He’s not just a man for some, and God to others. He is one or the other to all. Two contrary statements cannot both be true at the same time. A room cannot be dark and brightly lit at the same time. And if you’re sitting in a brightly lit room and close your eyes, you can claim that the room is dark, but that does not change the fact that the lights are on.
Now, we pose the question again – “What is truth?” Is Jesus the way, the truth and the life, or is the truth elsewhere? Well, the easiest way to answer that would be to examine the veracity of the biblical accounts. And I know that raises some hackles on non-believers as well, who refuse to accept that the Bible is accurate. Historians, and not just Bible historians, will agree that there is enough extant manuscript evidence to show that the texts we have today are the same as those originally written. So, that just proves that the texts are the same, but if the stories were not true when first written, they would not be true today, right? Right. So, here are a couple of things to look at:
Even secular historians agree that there existed a man named Jesus, and that he was most likely crucified. Where the disagreement begins is in the resurrection. But here’s where theories against the resurrection fall apart. First point – all the Romans or Jews had to do was produce the corpse of Jesus. Had they been able to do that, there would have been no doubt that Jesus was not who he said he was. But, there was no corpse.
Second point – Jesus’ followers fled after the crucifixion, certain they would be next. Peter went so far as to deny he knew Jesus. But something happened, something miraculous, which changed these men from being afraid to die to dying martyr’s deaths, with the name of Jesus on their lips as they died. No one would be willing to die for what they believe to be a lie.
Third point – Paul, a man whose sole purpose in life was to find and kill Christians, whom he believed were heretics, had an encounter which caused him not only to stop persecuting Christians, but instead to become one of the chief spreaders of the gospel, enduring hardships such as prison, stonings, shipwrecks, and blessing the name of Jesus through it all. He wrote his epistles at a time when people who had lived in the time of Jesus were still around. The four Gospels were written no later than forty to sixty years after the Resurrection. Any one of the people of that day and age could have stepped up and said no such thing ever happened. But there was no such person. All possible explanations for anything other than the Resurrection of Jesus were discounted many times over. Which leads to one conclusion only – Jesus died and rose again, just as He said he would. His followers died, and still die, professing Him as Lord. He was, and is, who he said He was. If you’re looking for Truth, you need look no further than the ultimate personification of Truth, the one who never lied, never sinned. Look to what He says, and you will see the truth. And if you choose to close your eyes and claim that truth is relative, it will not change the brightness of the Truth one bit, but you might find yourself missing the beauty and the glory of that Light of the World.

My own version of “300”

Yes, that’s right. I’ve got my own version of “300”. Only it does not involve 300 half-naked, sweaty men fighting a battle they can’t win, it involves one fully clothed, sometimes sweaty guy who’s fighting a battle of the bulge.
Yes, that’s right, ladies and gentlemen. I stepped on the scale Monday morning, only to see that dreaded 300. That makes two milestones in less than a month – my big 4-0, and my supersized 3-0-0. I guess it could be worse. I could be 30 and 400 pounds.
Anyway, this was a wake-up call like no other. I’ve constantly told myself I’ll start exercising, I’ll start eating better, all the while sitting on my gluteus maximus and scarfing down seconds. Well, no more. This is where I make my stand. This is where I draw the line in the sand. It will be an uphill battle, and I know that I need to lose this weight the same way I gained it – one pound at a time.
I walked yesterday, and I walked today, and it is my intention to continue to move around, exercise, every day. I also drank my last regular cola today. Only diet sodas for me now, and I know that that alone will help me lose some weight. So…we shall see what we shall see….

Truth, Justice and the American Way?

For those old-school comic book fans, and actually for many who are not, the phrase “truth, justice, and the American way” immediately conjure up images of Superman. He was heralded through the 40s and 50s as the champion for those virtues, and even so recently as in 1978 in the Superman movie, Superman himself claimed as much. It seems as though, since then, those are not virtues worth fighting for anymore.

Truth used to mean one thing – that which is not false. It was easy enough to stand for the truth under those circumstances, and what was true for one was true for all. Now, I’m not talking about people’s opinions. I’m talking about solid, provable truth. But now, there are people who say there’s no such thing as absolute truth. What they don’t seem to realize is that, by making that statement, they are stating what they believe to be an absolute truth, which would put their statement in direct contradiction to itself.

Justice – that seems to be another thing that’s gone by the wayside. By definition, justice is based on moral and/or legal grounds. Someone who acts immorally, or against the law, is supposed to reap the consequences of his or her actions. But nowadays, there is no sense of moral responsibility. There’s always someone else who is to blame for the things we do, thus we should not be held responsible, and we should not have to face justice for things that are not our fault. And why is this? Well, without truth, there can be no justice, because if something you believe is morally wrong is not something someone else thinks is, why should they be judged based on your “truth”? With this mindset, how can there be justice?

And finally, the American Way. It seems people are almost ashamed to be American in this day and age. America has gotten a bad rap, and most other countries consider us to be verging on evil. But here’s the thing. Which country is it that still has vast numbers of people hoping to get in and make something of themselves? How many people still believe in the American dream, that allows anyone from anywhere to become almost anything he or she wants to be? What other country allows such great freedom to speak how you like, to be what you want, and to do what you wish? I’ve heard of several Hollywood types who complain about George W. Bush and who swore they would leave the country if he got elected. They didn’t go anywhere. Why? Because they know that, even on our worst day, we are still one of the best countries to live in. And there is nothing wrong with taking pride in being an American. Yes, America is not perfect and there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed, but the American ideal is worth fighting for, an ideal so eloquently stated in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That should not just be the American way, but the way of the world, and well worth defending.