Truth Has Stumbled

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Last night I was able to see Abdu Murray and Ravi Zacharias speak at the University of Michigan. It was a wonderful evening. I particularly appreciated the question and answer session after the talks. Multiple students, students who in no way agreed with Murray and Zacharias, thanked the University for allowing these men to speak.

Why would students say such a thing? This is a university, is it not? Is this not the purpose of a university to bring multiple view points to the table?

Near the end of the evening Zacharias told a story about a man he met in Russia recently. The man told him that America was the last great hope for the world. The man went on to say that he is distressed because it appears that America has lost its ability to think well.

“America has lost its ability to think well.”

Let that sink in. Do you agree? I do. I think this is an insightful statement. Particularly in light of what we have been seeing in the recent political and cultural milieu. “Post-truth” is a thing now. “Fake News” is a thing now (it’s always been a thing but now it’s a different sort of thing).

We have by and large lost our willingness to discern truth.

The prophet Isaiah wrote these words,

Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has stumbled in the public squares,
and uprightness cannot enter.
Truth is lacking,
and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
The LORD saw it, and it displeased him
that there was no justice. (Isaiah 59:14-15, ESV)

These words cut to the quick of our current situation do they not?

Questions of justice and injustice are at the top of people’s worries and concern. It seems that justice is not something that we can find or discover. Justice seems to be an unattainable goal for anyone in our culture today.

Why?

“Truth has stumbled in the public squares.” 

Think about that for a moment. “Truth has stumbled in the public squares.” What a statement for our times. The public squares for most of us exist in the context of social media. Truth has little place on Facebook or Twitter.

What matters most to people is that they are “right” and what has taken a back seat is “getting it right.”

Consider a small interaction I had recently. I stated that a tariff and a tax were fundamentally different. A friend argued that they are a distinction without difference. Why? Because to call a tariff a tax fit the narrative that he wanted to embrace. Or the statements yesterday after the DeVos nomination was passed by the Senate regarding that there were no Republicans with a spine. Yet, the vote ended in a 50-50 tie which meant that two Republicans broke ties with their party. This fact doesn’t matter because it doesn’t fit a narrative.

“Truth has stumbled in the public squares.”

Because truth has stumbled injustice is on the rise. Justice cannot be brought about apart from truth. When every person does what is right in their own eyes then justice is nonsense. Why? Because each individual determines what is just for themselves.

If we want to be serious about the pursuit of justice then we must recognize that there is a truth outside of ourselves. A truth that is real regardless of whether we want to believe it or not.

Until that time, we will continue to see the results of “truth lacking.” What are those results? “He who departs from evil makes himself a prey.”

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