Tag Archive for culture

Doubt: Part 7–Dependence

 

This is my declaration of dependence
This is my declaration of my need
This is my declaration of dependence
On the one who gave His life to me
 Stephen Curtis ChapmanDeclaration of Dependence

 

 

It is easy to say that, in our culture today, we feel less dependent than ever before.  The reality, however, is that we have merely shifted our dependence.

 

Every culture in every age has been dependent on something.  For example, when the Israelites didn’t like the way that God and Moses were leading them through the desert, they made the idol of a golden calf and worshipped it instead.  Now how stupid is it to bow down to something you just made with your own hands?

 

Hold the phone a minute.  Literally.

 

That gadget in your pocket or purse right now?  Tell me you’re not dependent on it.  All the things with screens and buttons that you own?  Even the computer you’re reading this on right now?

 

Make a quick mental list of all the things you couldn’t imagine living without.  The things you “don’t know how we ever got along without.”

 

All of them were made by human hands.  Your car, your alarm clock, your indoor plumbing, your coffeemaker, your water heater, your air conditioner, your refrigerator/freezer.  I could go on and on.

 

All of these things were created by people.  All of them can break.

 

Nevertheless, as hard as this may be to admit, you can live without every single one of them.  We know this is true, because before these gadgets were invented, EVERYBODY lived without them.

 

All of these things were invented because their inventors believed that life would be better with them.  At least that’s the message that the advertisers hammer home to get you to buy more of this stuff.

 

Why do countless people stand in line for the new iPhone?  Because they believe they need it to make their life better, and they have become blind to the reality that the entire human race has gotten along fine for its entire existence WITHOUT being dependent upon that new iPhone, or whatever the toy du jour is.

 

So what do you REALLY need?  Let’s make another list.

 

You need air, water, food, shelter, and physical protection.  Meeting these needs will ensure the continuance of your existence.

 

But here’s something you might not have thought of.

 

ALL of these needs require you to be dependent on something you did NOT make with your own hands.

 

Now sure, you can cook your own food, build your own house, sew your own clothes, and maybe even make your own medicine if you know how.  But out of what?

 

The food you are cooking either grew out of the ground by a process you didn’t invent or had life of its own that you did not give it.  The materials that you made your own clothing, shelter or medicine from already existed in a form you did not create.

 

The bottom line is that there really is no such thing as a man-made need.  There are all kinds of man-made desires, but you can live without every single one of them.

 

(So how can we tell the difference?  Come back for Part 7–Healthy Doubt)

 

The Nature of Truth–Part 1: Eternal and Universal

 

(Hi there!  This is the first in a four-part series on the Nature of Truth.  If you’re new to this site, please stop by the About Truth Mission page first.  That’ll give you an idea of where I’m coming from with the rest of this.)

 

Are you as bored as I am with hearing “There is no such thing as absolute truth!”?  So many philosophies have been built upon this eight-word contradiction, all the while ignoring that any statement with the words “no such thing” in it is, by definition, an absolute.  For that statement to be true, it would have to be. . .true.  Which would make it a lie.

 

But why hurt your brain with such pointless, convoluted philosophy?  Here at Truth Mission, we like to keep things as simple as possible. 

 

So let’s look at some observations concerning what truth is, and what truth is not.  I will illustrate using a concept that anyone reading this can understand: 2+2=4.

 

TRUTH IS ETERNAL

Truth is that which has always existed and will always exist.  It does not change, because it can not change.  What is true today was true yesterday.  It will still be true tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, for all eternity.  Times change, civilizations rise and fall, ideas go in and out of fashion, but truth remains.

Two plus two equals four.  It equaled four from the beginning of time, it equals four today, and it will always equal four.

 

TRUTH IS UNIVERSAL

Truth applies to all people in all places the same way.  Something that is true for a Christian in the United States is true for an atheist in France.  That same truth also applies to the Bushmen of the Kalahari, the Aborigines in the Outback of Australia, the Waodani tribe in the jungles of Ecuador, Barack Obama in the White House, your aunt Ruth on the back porch, or a five-year-old kid in Iceland learning his addition for the first time.

Two plus two equals four, for all people everywhere.

 

TRUTH IS NOT A CULTURAL OR SOCIAL PHENOMENON

The world is a multitude of different cultures, customs and social taboos (or the lack thereof).  Even in a single place, over time, these cultures, customs and taboos change.  How many times have you heard someone older than you start a sentence with “When I was your age. . .,” indicating that something was different then than it is now?  There will always be changing trends that influence what is considered socially acceptable or morally objectionable within a culture; however, because it is eternal and universal, the truth never changes.

Two plus two will never cease to equal four, no matter what else changes.

 

(Still with me?  Stay tuned for Part 2: Perception)