Tag Archive for universal

DN=: Part 13–Fair Play

 

“It’s not fair!”

Every child ever

 

Justice, as you’ll recall, is when we get what we deserve.  It’s interesting, though, to note how abruptly our stance on justice and fair play adjusts depending upon which side of the justice we find ourselves.

 

We sure don’t mind dispensing justice; however, receiving it is a different story.

 

As in so many other situations, our pride is the problem.  If we exalt ourselves to think that we are above justice, and that “the rules” don’t apply to us, then it would follow that we wouldn’t expect to partake in the natural consequences of breaking those rules either.

 

JUSTICE DN= GETTING YOUR WAY

 

So although justice is always fair, it only FEELS fair if we have a clear understanding of what it is that we truly deserve:

 

Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.  (Romans 5:12 CEV)

However. . .

 

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
 God won’t always play the judge;
he won’t be angry forever.
He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin
or repay us according to our wrongdoing,
     because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.
 As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.
 Like a parent feels compassion for their children—
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.
(Psalm 103: 8-13 CEB)

 

Did you catch the key phrase there?  David repeated it to make sure that you would.  Justice is universal, but God reserves grace for those who honor him.

 

Without this grace, the only thing left for us is justice.  The universal natural consequence of our universal sinful nature is death.  This is the ultimate Truth of our lives, and complete reliance on Jesus for our salvation is the only way out of it.

 

Obviously, many reject this Truth.  Equally obvious is the fact that we all have a choice to accept it or reject it.

 

Nevertheless, for some reason the prevailing mentality in this country has become that one can do whatever one wishes, up to and including a complete rejection of universal Truth, and suffer no consequences whatsoever.

 

We all have desires.  However, a person who is ruled by pride will view the fulfillment of his or her desires as the primary goal.  Those that are successful in fulfilling a few of these desires may quickly begin to regard this fulfillment as an entitlement.

 

Then, in their own minds, they will conceive a bogus sense of fair play, in which they “deserve” to get whatever they want whenever they want, and anyone or anything that would deny them that is guilty of an injustice.

 

However:

 

Many people vie for special treatment from a ruler,
yet genuine justice proceeds from the Eternal.  (Proverbs 29:26 VOICE)

 

Because God alone is righteous, and because God alone determines Truth, it is only by God’s authority that true justice can be dispensed.

 

The eternal, indisputable and universal justice that applies to all humanity is not only manifest in our rights, but also in our consequences.

 

A majority of humans may get laws changed.  A government skilled in social engineering may even be able to get the attitude of a nation changed.  But NOTHING a government or its advocates can do will ever be able to change the natural consequences of a choice.

 

A government can grant or deny privileges.  A government can mandate civil responsibilities.  A government has the authority to set its own civil penalties for breaking its own rules and laws.

 

But a government will NEVER be capable of conferring rights upon any subset of the human race.

 

Yes, this even includes homosexuals.

 

(Yeah, I went there.  Wait till you see where I go next in Part 14–Equal Opportunity)

 

Entitled to Our Own Opinions?

          

 Opinions are like noses.  Everybody has one, and they’re always in your face.

 We say, “Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion,” generally when we disagree with that opinion.  But are we really entitled to an opinion?

Everyone who has an opinion strong enough to give voice to it typically assumes that his or her opinion is the correct one.  Nevertheless, there’s always somebody who will disagree with that opinion and offer one of their own.

So how do you determine whose opinion is the right one? 

Well, the truth is that NO opinion is the right opinion.  Here’s why.

An opinion is based on belief and perception with varying degrees of fact sprinkled in.  Different facts, beliefs and perceptions will lead to different opinions.  The one thing every opinion has in common, however, is that every opinion is based on an incomplete picture of the situation at hand. 

In other words, an opinion is simply somebody telling you what they think about what they don’t know.

 

 

For this reason, opinions can only serve the purpose of starting arguments.  Furthermore, these arguments have little hope of resolution.  For even if people make a show of listening to another’s opinion, much more often than not, they will still inwardly cling to their own.  Such a conversation will probably end in a mock-civil state known as “agreeing to disagree.” 

I believe the technical rhetorical term for that is “load of crap.” 

A Truthseeker never agrees to disagree.  Rather than attempting to win the argument by holding an opinion in a death-grip to the bitter end, a Truthseeker will do an end run around the argument to the common ground, seeking resolution in the relationship along with the Truth.

Remember from the Nature of Truth series the criteria for Truth:

 

  1.      Truth is Eternal—it was here before you got here and will remain, no matter what else changes.
  2.     Truth is Universal—it affects everyone in exactly the same way.
  3.     Truth is Indisputable—it is what is left over at the end of the argument.

Opinions simply do not fit these criteria.  If it is an opinion that you formed yourself, it started with you and will probably die with you (unless you manage to convince some people to carry it on after you are gone).  Therefore, opinions are not eternal.

Opinions definitely do not affect everyone the same way, or everyone would have the same opinion.  Therefore, opinions are not universal (duh).

Even more of a “duh” is that opinions are not indisputable.  In fact, they are at the very core of every dispute.

Therefore, we can only logically conclude that opinions are not Truth.  As such, NO opinion can be the right one.

Now here’s the sticky part—that means that YOURS isn’t the right one either.

So what to do then?  Simple!  Seek Truth, share it when you find it, and have nothing to do with opinions.  As Paul advised Timothy:

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:23-25  NIV)

 

No one is entitled to an opinion, but EVERYONE is entitled to Truth!

     

 

The Nature of Truth–Part 4: Offense

 

TRUTH IS NOT CONCERNED WITH WHOM IT OFFENDS

 

In our politically correct society, people are growing increasingly leery of saying what’s on their mind for fear of offending someone.

 

But every now and then, people encounter the truth in some fashion that fundamentally alters their belief system.  There is a part of them that feels compelled to share the truth they have found.  After all, if truth is universal, then it would apply to all of one’s friends as well, right?

 

However, what we frequently do instead is to take the path of least resistance and keep the truth to ourselves. Why rock anybody’s world by challenging their belief patterns and thereby offending them?

 

But still, the truth remains.  Because it is eternal, it will not change.  Because it is universal, it will apply equally to anyone with whom you share it.  Because it is indisputable, it could not possibly offend anyone who receives it with an open mind and heart.

 

Ah, but there we have hit upon the problem, haven’t we?  Receiving.

 

We would rather hear 100 lies that back up what we have already chosen to believe than to receive a single word of truth that could permanently change our lives for the better.

 

What is it that blocks us from receiving the truth?

Pride.

 

 

Pride is the mother of offense.  It makes us think we are better, smarter, more worthy than everyone else.  Pride is what makes us not want to associate with people who don’t live up to our standards.  Pride is what makes us not hear what we need to hear, because we have already made a judgment about the person bearing the message.

 

The most important thing that I can possibly tell you about pride is this: you will NEVER find the truth until you lay your pride aside.

 

The minute you believe that you have a right to be offended by a person or situation, you have slammed the door in the face of truth, becuase you have lost sight of the reality that how you live and what you believe is just as offensive to someone else’s sensibilities.

 

So it is not the truth itself that is offensive.  Rather, the offense comes from our own pride preventing us from challenging our own beliefs, perceptions and attitudes.

 

Again, the truth is what’s left at the end of the argument.  It’s also what’s left when you get over yourself and begin receiving.

 

Two plus two equals four, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so you might as well accept it.

 

 

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)