Message of the Month

Recently, while listening to Pastor Brian Fields’ masterful, compassionate, message dealing with the issue of homosexuality and the modern day homosexual agenda from a biblical perspective, I begin to see from the text he was using in Romans 1, the necessary spiritual and cultural environment for such practices to become permitted, popular and pervasive. Within the context of Romans 1, Paul lists three factors that add the most support toward creating the cultural climate that results in the abnormal becoming the normal, and the unnatural becoming the natural:

(1) The truth is suppressed (Romans 1:18);

(2) The glory, worth, or value of the true God is devaluated (Romans 1:21,23);

(3) The truth of God – His eternality, omnipotence and deity, is then exchanged for the lie (Romans 1:25).

When this happens society degenerates into unrestrained, debauched, and destructive evil. Once a majority of the society begins to sink into spiritual idolatry and moral decay, one of the traits of that decay is the inability to see what is happening. The social mind becomes so defective in the moral decadence that it doesn't have the categories or the framework to recognize evil for what it really is. Beloved, we are living in such a day. The inability to render sound moral judgments is evident almost wherever you look.

The heart of the problem in America is failure to diagnose correctly and treat biblically, radically, and remedially, the deadly cavity of Truth Decay.

Until the people of God learn to deal with "truth decay" as they would with tooth decay, they will continue to mistake the cause and feel more rottenness in every level of society. If your tooth has an aching cavity, you don't deny it, or sanitize it, or rationalize it, or wish for it to stop decaying and hurting. Instead, you deal with it fast and radically. As with tooth decay, the only way you deal with truth decay is to open up to the true Truth of the only True and living God and begin to follow His treatment plan.

The typical American Christian response to such a message as Pastor Brian’s would be: “That was just your interpretation of the Bible.” “Who are you to judge that person?" "Don’t you understand that you can do whatever you want just as long as it doesn't hurt anybody?" "Everything is relative." "

One man in speaking to a pastor said, “I think that anybody who holds to absolute truth is oppressive, intoler­ant, self-righteous, rigid, close-minded, and an arrogant know-it-all.”

There was a banner seen hanging between two trees in a local park, stating, "It isn't wrong to think you're right, but it isn't right to think others are wrong." Nice sentiment, isn't it? What it is saying is that it isn't wrong to have to personal con­victions or opinions about what's right and wrong; it's just not right to judge the opinions of others. After all, what gives you the right say that another person's actions are wrong? This philosophy of life is not only false, but unlivable.

Most Americans reject the idea of any absolutes that are universally applicable and knowable. This is true even in the Christian church. Consider the controversial ordination of the Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson. When asked why he left his wife and family for a homosexual lover, he responded “that God had convicted him of living a lie. He was ‘created’ homosexual, and living as a heterosexual was not being true to his authentic self.” When a reporter asked another bishop how he could vote in support of Robinson’s ordination, given the explicit statements of the church’s sacred scriptures, the bishop replied, “We do not consider Scripture as authoritative. Our authority is the Spirit as it moves through community.” In other words, the litmus for truth is not found in the historical text, but in the collective experience and feelings of a group or community.

How widespread is this attitude today? The data from a February 2002 study by George Barna paints a disquieting portrait. The most surprising data is for the ‘born-agains’. Only 32 percent believed in absolute moral truth, with 54 percent believing that truth is situationally dependent. Even more alarming is the data for teens. For teens, only 9 percent of ‘born-agains’ believe in absolute moral truth, with 76 percent believing that truth is situationally dependent.

Let’s let Paul perform a Truth examine on us and expose the potentially hidden or purposefully neglected Truth Cavities.

 I. Truth Cavities Begin When Spiritual Defection Characterizes a People

A. Defection Begins with the Desire to be a Truth-maker instead of a Truth-receiver – Romans 1:18, 25 – “they suppressed and exchanged the truth” 

History hasn't been a search for truth, but a war over who will be the ultimate Truth-Giver. Satan tempted our first parents in the Garden of Eden to be truth-makers. Decide for yourself what is true and what isn't. Be your own god, determine good from evil. But man was made to think God's thoughts after Him, i.e., to be a truth-receiver and an ethic-reflector, i.e., to reflect ethically or morally God's moral character as God's image-bearer.

Man has rejected the God of Truth for the Lie of the Father of all Liars -- the Devil. As a result, carnal, natural minded man pits his reasoning about truth against God's revelation of truth. This causes man to prefer to confess that he came from primordial slime rather than from purposeful design from God's hand. It makes him prouder of relatives who were apes than of God who would be his Father. The cause of all our problems in the world today is from the gaping cavity of "Truth-decay!"

1. Truth, by Definition Requires an Exclusive Truth-Giver

True Truth, or eternal Truth, requires the Eternal, Unchanging God of the Bible! All religions and their gods can't be true -- they may contain some truth, or a lot of truth, but only one can be true! Truth by definition excludes!

Without the True God of the Bible, there is no objective truth -- only what's true for you --; no reason for being; nothing is absolutely right or wrong; nothing has any more value or significance than anything else; and death ends it all!

We learn from the scripture that:

(a) God the Father is the Origination of all Truth -- Jn 17:3

(b) God the Son is the Incarnation of Truth -- Jn 1:14;14:6

(c) God the Holy Spirit is the Revelation of Truth -- Jn 14:17;16:13

(d) God’s Word is the Inscription of Truth -- Jn 17:17; 1 Cor. 2:10

Pilate asked Jesus in Jn 18:38, "What is truth?" What is it? The truth therefore, covers the beginning, the middle, and the end. There is nothing added, taken away, or substituted in its place. For this reason, in a court of law we are sworn to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

When Jesus said, "I am the truth..." He fixed this phrase forever. (John 14:6) For, there is no embellishment, falsehood, or half-truths, in his declaration. The word that Jesus used for "truth" is the Greek word "aletheia, (al-ay'-thi-a)." It's not a theological word at all. The Greeks used it when they wanted the utmost clarity in men and things. It literally means "not hidden" or "it is no secret."

Truth is reality, certainty, reliability, veracity, and authority.

God Is Truth -- What does this mean? This means there is absolute genuineness, accurateness, and faithfulness in God. It means that what God knows agrees perfectly with what God is. He is divinely self-consistent. He is real, genuine, true to His nature.  The God of the Bible is Absolutely Truth The truth of God is the guarantee of reality, the stability of existence, the foundation of certainty. God is Real, reliable, dependable, and faithful. Men can discover scientific facts and truths in history only because God is truth and is the source of all truth.

B. Defection Builds on the Lies of Idolatry – Romans 1:21-25

Paul is saying that the root problem is that we don't like having God in our knowledge...That is the fundamental problem in the world. That is the essence of the human condition. We don't want God. We want self determination and self-exaltation. That was the first sin in the Garden. And that is the root of all evil today. We do not want to know God or to have Him in our lives.

According to Paul, in Roms 1, this manifest in at least 3 ways:

(1). The ingratitude of self-suffiency -- Romans 1:21a, “neither were thankful.” Ingratitude is due to a feeling that one owes no one, including God, anything. That what we have we owe to our on mental acuity and hard work.

America feels self-sufficient. For the most part, today's American believes that our strength is in and our trust should be in big government. We believe that government somehow has the unlimited capacity that only God possesses. When people reject the Lordship of Christ's rule, they place their hope in an earthly ruler whom they expect to satisfy their wants. The people begin to see the nation’s problems as being political and economical in nature rather than ethical, so they believe that they can steal by the ballot box what they are unwilling to work for. This disastrous idea has resulted in government of the people, by the people and for the people, becoming government over the people in the name of the people.

2. The idolatry of self-worship - Romans 1:23,25 -- When God is dethroned man is enthroned. This is called humanism, which is nothing more than man worshiping himself.

Rom 1:23, “and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

Rom 1:25, “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

Are Americans guilty of idolatry? Duh! Among some of our many idols are sports, education, money, politics, Mother Earth, the spotted owl, the snail-darter, baby seals and whales. We are confident that our Mother, the Earth, is in need of saving and we are just the people who can do it. We hug trees and kill babies in their mother's wombs. We send a man to jail for disturbing logger-head turtle eggs but pay him handsomely for killing babies in the mother's womb.

3. The insanity of self-exaltation - Romans 1:21c,22—“Professing themselves to be wise they became fools” (fools is the Greek word for which we get the word moron.) Wise is the word "sophia" from which we get such words as sophisticated. In our self-exaltation, we have concluded that we are, the masters of our own fate, the captain of our own destinies. Self-made men only prove the worthlessness of unskilled labor!

Dennis Peacocke aptly summed up the results of self-centered living: "When our lives center on personal pleasure and convenience and when our life goal is to discover every nook and cranny of our on wonderful little selves, Tyranny emerges. Preoccupation with "self" will turn everybody and everything else into objects whose only worth is in their ability to satisfy our selfish urges. ... In the world of self-actualization and self-centered universes, self is "God" and the law of this "God" is exploitation, “personal rights", and “exploitation of others."

II. Truth Cavities Bring Satanic Deception that Energizes a People 

A. They are Abandoned by God - Romans 1:24, 26, 28

Romans 1:24,Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,”

Romans 1:26, “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;”

Romans 1:28, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

The verbs in 1:21, made worthless, was darkened, made foolish, are in the passive voice which means the subjects were acted upon. Acted upon by whom? (Three times in verses 24, 26, and 28, we are told: "God gave them up, or over." These are in the aorist active indicative tense of the word paradidomi, which means to deliver up, abandon or give over. Does this mean that God made them worthless in their thinking, darkened in their understanding, and foolish in their actions? No, but it does mean that He removed all restraints thus allowing Satan, to whom they had been obedient, to make them more worthless, more wicked and more insane in their actions!

B. They are acted upon by the devil

When God abandons a nation they are given over to cultural demonization. 1 Cors 10:20a -"But I say that the things that the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God." 

In I Timothy 4:1 we read, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons...” This passage declares that seducing spirits and doctrines of demons are responsible for the false teachings that lead people away from the truth. If a person is away from the truth where are they? They are in bondage to sin, self and Satan.  Remember Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free" -- away from it you are enslaved.

The late Presbyterian theologian and author Wilbur Smith said 50 years ago: "Humanity is preparing to yield itself to demon influence in a way that has not prevailed in modern times."

The whole world system has gone berserk with a fascinating allurement to demon activities. Look at the music, the movies, and the books. Their themes involve the Extra-terrestrial, the Supernatural, occultism, New Age mysticism, reincarnation, etc. Yet they don't call these beings by their real names - demons. Instead they call them "altered states of consciousness", "extra-terrestrial beings"," spirit entities", and "unknown masters" from ages past, etc. Despite having given these beings sophisticated names, the Bible identifies them as demons, evil spirits, unclean or enslaving spirits. The world is courting their favor and power. Yet the amazing thing is that those who are doing it are the very ones who deny the existence of demons, as described by the Bible, because of their sophistication, education and intellectualism. In cultured America this truth is dressed in non-biblical terminology. The demons are called inner spiritual guides or some other sophisticated name.

III. Truth Cavities Blow Up into a Sensual Depravity that Dehumanizes a People

A. Mental Vanity – Romans 1:28 – “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”  

God is declared persona no grata from our hearts and homes; He is expunged from our history, barred from the classroom, banned from the public arenas, and blasted and blasphemed on every media outlet. His name is taken in vain; His Son is tempted and tarred with vices; His word is voided; His church is no longer venerated. His servants are persecuted; His people are ridiculed and caricatured.

Humanistic thinking leads to animalistic living. If you teach your children that they are animals, expect their morals to be barnyard in nature.

B. Moral Vulgarity - Romans 1:24, 26-32

We live in a day of arrogant moral vulgarity and iniquity. It struts, strides and screams at us from TV and movie screens, magazines, billboards, bumper stickers, and T-shirts. All that makes news is the vile, the vulgar, the vicious, the violent, the vain, the virtueless.

This country is rollicking in luxuries, revelling in excesses, rolling in pleasure, revolting in morals and rotting in sin. What can we expect of a society which passions are riderless horses?  In which there is a desolation of decency. In which love has become a jungle of emotion, lust is exalted to lordship, sin elevated to sovereignty, Satan is worshiped as a saint, and man is magnified above his Maker. Our minds have been distorted by perverted education, faulty information, depraved imagination, drugged hallucination, drunken stupefaction, sexual deviation, and political manipulation.

1. Sensually oriented - Romans 1:24

Ours has become a touchy-feely, psycho-babble, if it looks good, feels good, taste good, sounds good then it must be good culture. Sensuality and sexuality is used to sell everything from toothpaste to televisions.

The results of a recent national survey concluded that "this study is a disturbing portrait of a nation without a common morality... Americans are making their own rules and laws."

2. Sexually perverted - Romans 1:26, 27

When men give up God, in response, God gives them over to impure lusts and the dishonoring of their bodies -- specifically, to homosexuality, which in turn stimulates further depravities.  Men who give up God and His law are eventually given up by God to wander in morally polluted practices that become a way of life.

"Homosexuality is thus the culminating sexual practice of a culminating apostasy and hostility towards God. The homo­sexual is at war with God, and, in his every practice, is denying God's natural order and law. The theological aspect of homo­sexuality is thus emphasized in Scripture. In history, homosex­uality becomes prominent in every era of apostasy and time of decline. It is an end of an age phenomenon."

Homosexuality is not a civil right. We are not obligated to respect its practice and refrain from intervening against those who engage in it.

The controversy boils down to this: Should special legal privileges not available to other Americans be created for homosexuals? And if so, should we be ready to confer similar privileges upon groups that practice other immoral socially objectionable, or even illegal behavior?

Homosexuality is ... filled with destruction and self-deceit.  It is a masquerade of life.

Homosexuals are not a poor persecuted minority. They are above everything average in almost every department except morals.  Their influence is so powerfully felt because of their money.

Dr. Peter Jones writes: Whether Christians realize it or not, we are part of a human history that is destined for confrontation and conflict with pagan spirituality and that spirituality is driven, in our time, by a militant homosexual agenda. The average Christian appears to be no match for a small, but powerful homosexual elite, imbued by self-preservation, righteous indignation, and a sense of historic destiny. Often highly intelligent and spirit-guided (the meaning of shamanistic), these are formidable people. In particular, the lesbian witches with their own new vocabulary, method­ology, ethical system, and righteous rage would leave most heterosex­ual Christian believers in the dust. They will doubtless stop at nothing to bring in their vision of utopian liberation.

With disarming candor, a gay leader now boasts: "We rule the world these days. Everybody except orthodox religious sects has either been cowed by gay activist intimidation or softened by the politics of victimology and oppression and the doctrines of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion."

The situation of contemporary Christianity resembles and will increasingly resemble that of the early Christians of the first century. With few or no civil rights, those first-generation believers witnessed to Christ with incredible courage and moral power in the context of an antagonistic, all-powerful pagan state.

3. Socially fragmented -- Romans 1:29-31

Romans 1:29-31, “They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

From Romans 1:29-32, there follows a large, black list and catalogue of the sad characters of the Gentiles, and of the best men they had among them. For the apostle has been all along speaking, not of the common people, but of their wise professors, and moral instructors. Of these men it has been said that there never was a more wicked set of men that ever lived upon the face of the earth, who under the guise of morality were guilty of the greatest pride and covetousness, and of the filthiest debaucheries imaginable. They were "filled with all unrighteousness." This word includes in it all manner of sin and wickedness in general and appropriately expresses the condition of fallen men, destitute of righteousness.

The truth is that when a people are totally absorbed in their own selfish interest and pleasures, there is a constant conflict due to run-ins with others who have the same agenda. A society is fragmented and violently begins to disintegrate when there felt needs for personal pleasures are not met.

IV. Truth Cavities can be Treated and Truth Decay Can be Reversed!

A. Truth is Both Propositional and Personal -- Jn. 14:6, “I am .. the Truth…”

Propositional truth is in the Written Word of God – the BIBLE!

Personal Truth is in the Living Word of God – Jesus Christ.

Truth is not to be found in a philosophy, or a set of proposed statements, but in a personal being – God – and Jesus is the full, final and forever revelation of God. Jesus is not just a truth-teller – He is the Truth.  Jesus is the founder and framer of all revealed truth. He is the center and circumference, the core and crown, the sum and the substance, and the fount and the fullness of all truth. Jesus reveals God and exposes man. Anything that contradicts what he says is false. If Jesus is who He said He was, then New Age beliefs, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism may contain some truths but they are not a way to God – Jesus is the ONLY WAY! God’s desire is not merely to inform us, but to transform us, not to fill us with truths, but to make us true. 

B. Truth is Absolute and not Relative

Deut 32:4, “All his ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He. Ps 31:5, “Thou hast redeemed me O Lord God of truth.”

A college student in Pennsylvania revealed the muddle-headedness of relativistic thinking when she said, "If two people come together and disagreed about whether God existed or not, they could both be right!"

Truth is absolute and not relative (relative meaning that it may be true for you and not for me). Truth is true for everybody, everywhere, in every time.

John Dewey, father of modern education said, "Absolutely no absolutes."  To say that absolute truth does not exist is self-defeating. It is not possible to say with absolute certainty that absolute certainty does not exist. Someone who denies that absolute truth is knowable has just asserted, absolutely, that they know something.

It is not “intolerant to say no religion is true other than your own.” Anyone holding to this is equally intolerant, as they will not tolerate intolerance.

If anything is true, it’s opposite - by definition - is false.

Absolutes are unavoidable - if nothing is absolute then nothing cannot be absolute.

Truth does not change over time. Truth does not change when knowledge increases. Truth does not change when we move from wrong to right. It is self contradictory to make an absolute truth claim that absolute truth does not exist.

Jesus said that He was Absolute truth in every realm. Cols 2:4, "In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

Nothing will make sense if you leave Jesus - the Truth out of your life. The Christian faith is a total, comprehensive worldview. There is no sacred and secular division.

C. True Truth is Knowable only by Revelation -- 1 Cor 2:9?14; 1 Jn 2:27

The words of Jesus in Jn 8:32, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free have been taken from their context and used to stir people to pursue knowledge of all kinds with the believe that knowledge will set them free. This search for facts has uncovered tons of truths but can never come to the knowledge of the Truth. That's the reason man is convinced that education is the Messiah.

In his light, we shall see the light. We come to understand that the knowledge of the glory of God is gained in the face of Jesus Christ. Looking unto Jesus is the way of life.

2 Cor 4:6, "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

D. Truth is Objectively Revealed, but Subjectively Appropriated

1. Christians must remember that one cannot please God while living a lie.

Eph 4:15, "Let our lives lovingly express truth in all things -- speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly." We are not to pray, "Lord, give me more truth, but Lord, make me true! We are to believe the truth; walk in the truth; to worship God in truth; speak the truth in love; to rejoice in the truth. You should want truth to drop into your heart like a plumb-line, revealing and righting every inconsistency, removing every falsehood and deception.

Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” God's purpose for you is freedom. His method of freedom is truth. His revelation of truth is Jesus Christ. Freedom is a life controlled by truth and motivated by love.

Ps 51:6, “Behold thou desirest truth in the inward parts.” Speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly! The lifestyle of a disciple involves three things: Walking in the Way of the Lord; Believing in the Truth of the Lord; Living in the Life of the Lord. He is the way to tread in, the truth to trust in, and the life to treasure. Christ's work as the way brings man to God. Christ’s word as the truth brings God to man. Christ's will as the life brings God to live in man.

Is the way you're living and the things you're saying and doing based on the truth? Is the True God in control of your heart? Do you realize that your deeds will be accounted for on the judgment day before the God of truth? Are you truthful in your marriage relationship, with your children? Are you truthful in your work and business life?

The God of Truth is requires that we refuse falsehood, deceit and ungodliness; that we daily gird our loins about with Truth.

The God who is Absolutely Truth is the God of the Christian faith and the Only Way to Life!

John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Steve Kumar illustrates why Christianity is unique and the only way to God;

"As a Hindu I was drowning in a large lake. I didn't know how to swim. Hindu religious leaders and gurus came by and gave me lectures on how to swim. Confucius taught, “You should have fol­lowed my teaching and then you would never have fallen."

“Allah wills whatsoever he wills.” Mohammed advised, Buddha came by and said, “It’s all an illusion in the mind, change your mind and you will change the problem.”

Krishna came along and said, “It’s your karma that you have fallen into the lake. You deserve it.”

Then God came down from heaven in the person of His Son --Jesus Christ. He did not give a lecture or some good advice. He said, “I have come to seek and to save those who are lost,” and he came right into the lake and lifted me out of it and changed my life and put a new song in my heart.

The song writer captured the truth of the salvation experience of all who are ever saved, when he wrote,

“From sink­ing sand He lifted me; with tender hands He lifted me. From shades of night to plains of light; oh, praise His name, He lifted me.”

Write a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.