Is All Truth God’s Truth? And How Does the Question Relate to Spiritual Abuse?
There is a thinking crisis in our culture that is greatly compounded in the church because faith is often a license for subjectivity; an inability to think coupled with an attitude that pragmatism is the antithesis of spirituality. Especially in Reformed circles, knowing things and being solution oriented =’s “arrogance.”
Propositions are judged by how good they sound, or how logical they sound, or if the hearing thereof incites a stimulating chemical reaction in the brain that we seem to like.
All truth is God’s truth; is that true? No. However, the following is true: that truism has led many to destruction. Why? Because it assumes truth is the same as facts, and it doesn’t understand that all teaching is a process of propositions that lead to a conclusion. And, logic always yields the same results.
“Dr. John Doe has said many valid things here; I would only disagree with this point or that point.”
Facts and truth are two different things. Facts are usually passive and an elementary part of a larger schema. 2+2=4 is a fact, and a tree is a fact, but unlike truth, they are morally neutral and can rarely take you anyplace by themselves. Truth has a moral aspect, and usually has a purpose in mind. Jesus Christ is not merely a fact, though His existence is certainly factual—He is “The Truth.” He is the epitome of all that is good and gives life.
When the serpent deceived Eve in the garden, he used facts to take her to a rejection of the truth. The fact that Eve was not going to die on the spot after eating the apple was a fact. Satan presented many facts to Jesus when he tempted Him in the wilderness, but the goal wasn’t truth. Does that make the facts God’s truth? Hardly.
True facts that lead to untruth are not God’s truth, because God’s truth always equals life and has that end in mind. Sub truth, or facts, are only as true as what they yield whether life or death. When ill motives are attached to a fact, it is still fact, but it isn’t truth because the fact was used for ill intent. Truth has a moral qualification.
It is not a good idea to sit under the tutelage of Satan because he espouses facts that are undeniable—his facts never lead to truth, he is “the father of lies.”
“Satan has said many valid things here. I agree that Psalms 9:11,12 states that the angels will bear Jesus up. However, I disagree with his suggestion that Jesus should have jumped off the temple pinnacle.”
Really? That’s nice.
Secondly, each proposition that builds up to the conclusion needs to be evaluated. Sub points need to be true and they need to fit together logically to affirm the conclusion. When we have some disagreement on a point in a message or teaching, the possible application of it for another conclusion should be irrelevant. It needs to be judged according to its proposition and contribution to the conclusion at hand. Not all incorrect propositions on the way to a conclusion do irreparable damage to the conclusion, but it’s rare.
Thirdly, Philosophy forms logic which always leads to the same results. All “truth” teachers have a philosophy. All teaching seeks to lead you to a conclusion. Conclusions form logic and lead to action. Hence, “….the student will be like his teacher.”
Philosophy is metaphysics (what we believe about reality and being), epistemology (the theory of how we come to know what we know, or how we obtain knowledge), ethics (the moral application of what we know), and politics (how we use what we know to relate to others, or how we communicate it). The first two elements of philosophy always determine ethics and politics. Often, behavior reveals the philosophy: “….by their fruits you will know them.”
This is exactly why we categorize teachers and reject all that they say out of hand because once their philosophy is revealed, we know where the logic will always take us. Even if some of what they say is factual, the conclusions they want to take you to are based on the philosophy. Therefore, their factual stepping stones are only relevant to the truth or error that is the goal, and for all practical purposes, the same value is placed on the propositions leading to the conclusion. Hence, the biblical prescription for those who have errant philosophy: “AVOID THEM,” and, “Do not allow them into your home or bid them God’s speed.”
Therefore, facts that are part of a conclusion that is a lie have no moral value and are not truth, but part of a deception.
This is the folly of sitting under the teachings of people with errant philosophy, or even greeting them: even the facts that they present are intended to lead to untruthful conclusions. So no, all truth is not God’s truth. God’s truth always has a good ending. Scripture states plainly to completely avoid anyone with errant philosophy.
How you would then glean what is “good” from their teachings while “leaving what’s bad on the shelf,” or “eat the chicken and throw away the bones” is a mystery to me. God forbids that the chicken is even in our house and disallows the use of our shelves.
What does this all have to do with the war against spiritual abuse in the blogosphere? Well, there is a reason it is beginning to look like the Jerry Springer show more and more every day. Even though the Christian culture of our day is primarily framed with two gospels that are radically different, nobody is required to state their philosophy. Spiritual abuse blogs are fraught with Christian mystics, Gnostics, and proponents of progressive justification.
As I have confronted some of these bloggers in regard to their abhorrent psychobabble solutions for spiritual abuse, at least one informed me that the Bible (what the Apostle Paul called “the mind of Christ”) is “not enough” to fully address the problem. And let there be no doubt: what you read out there is a gargantuan volley of propositions from a myriad of philosophical camps followed by massive chatter that evaluates the propositions.
If the Apostle John said that greeting a person with errant philosophy was to also partake in their sin—then it is no less for propositions—factual or otherwise.
Do I think there is an endgame to all of this “all truth is God’s truth” business? Yes. I think it is a ploy to keep us at the feet of those with errant philosophy because there are some “facts” in their teachings that can be added to the “wider field of knowledge.” But those facts can’t help us who strive for truth because the usage of those facts are in a context leading to bad conclusions.
And I think that’s the crux. It creates conduits between ill philosophies and good philosophies. There isn’t the wide separation God calls for.
Whatever is used to endorse error is not God’s truth, even if it is factual. The moral goal is not the same. It may be a fact, but it’s not God’s truth.
Propositions are only as good as the conclusions and results that they always produce. And that qualifies the propositions as either endorsing truth or not endorsing truth. And only TRUTH sets us free from spiritual abuse.