Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. – 1 John 2:18-27.
What is truth? Over 2000 years ago, truth was put on trial. Truth was taken by force from the Garden of Gethsemane and put on trial in front of an illegal meeting of the Sanhedrin. Truth was then taken in front of the High Priest who in the process of judging truth broke over seven laws. Caiaphas found the Truth guilty because Truth claimed to be the Son of God. Being unable to legally kill Truth, Truth was sent to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor for trial. During the conversation between Pilate and Truth, the question I asked at the beginning of this paragraph was asked by Pilate and has been asked ever since. Here is what I think is a good definition of what truth is not:
• Truth is not simply whatever works. This is the philosophy of pragmatism – an ends-vs.-means-type approach. In reality, lies can appear to “work,” but they are still lies and not the truth.
• Truth is not simply what is coherent or understandable. A group of people can get together and form a conspiracy based on a set of falsehoods where they all agree to tell the same false story, but it does not make their presentation true.
• Truth is not what makes people feel good. Unfortunately, bad news can be true.
• Truth is not what the majority says is true. Fifty-one percent of a group can reach a wrong conclusion.
• Truth is not what is comprehensive. A lengthy, detailed presentation can still result in a false conclusion.
• Truth is not defined by what is intended. Good intentions can still be wrong.
• Truth is not how we know; truth is what we know.
• Truth is not simply what is believed. A lie believed is still a lie.
• Truth is not what is publicly proved. A truth can be privately known (for example, the location of buried treasure).
From a philosophical perspective, there are three simple ways to define truth:
1. Truth is that which corresponds to reality.
2. Truth is that which matches its object.
3. Truth is simply telling it like it is.
Here is what truth is:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
Father, help me to always speak the truth. Help me to be truthful in all that I do and do everything that I do in Your love. Amen.