Gleanings (12/12/11) – Truth? Absolutely!

Revelation 3:7-13

“I am coming soon; hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.”

Holding fast to anything seems to be out of vogue these days. Our lives, certainly our culture, is governed more by “to each his own” or “have it you way.” Common over-arching themes (which constitute what a civilization is) are abandoned in favor of less truth and more peace and harmony.

We have been bombarded now for a couple of hundred years with relativism. As Tom Oden says, absolute relativism is one of the four pillars of modern thought (reasoning since the Enlightenment began).  There are no absolutes we’ve been told. I always smile because that very statement is to assert an absolute. So potentially there is one, that there are no others. How convenient!

And yet the Holy Spirit is transforming us into people who hold fast, a people who do not whither in the face of opposition or what some endure, outright rejection. I am reminded of 17 year-old who daily ate alone at a lunchroom table in her private school. In every other way, she would have been a class favorite. She was attractive, bright, and had a sweet disposition. But she ate alone. She believed in truth. She believed in Jesus and she did it among people who were hostile to such truth.

Now I hasten to add that I am not sure that truth itself is the problem. On some occasions it is rather one of pride and submission. A healthy skepticism concerning authority is a good thing. But every feeling of being infringed upon by truth can’t be an experience of illegitimate authority. There are no absolutes remember! 🙂

Sometimes we are just saying, like a three year-old, “you’re not the boss of me.” We rebel. It is in our nature. Perhaps if we want to hold fast we must first admit there is something to hold. Submit to that. Then we won’t run when challenged before we figure out if it is illegitimate authority or simply a real truth we would rather not hear.


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